FOODventures, TRAVELventures

In which I wax lyrical once more about Barcelona

I’m a little bit in love/obsessed with Barcelona. I keep going back and I keep needing to go back. Thankfully, I do have friends there making it way too easy to go back on a whim or maybe it’s simply the pull of the blue and orange tones of that beaut of a city that is just too much. Or maybe it’s the way of life? Beach, food, music and friends, how can anyone say no?

I will move there, soon enough I’ll go there for a weekend and just decide to stay – it’s not unheard of…

ANYWAYS.

I was naughty…I didn’t take as many pictures of food as I had intended. In fact, I only really took a picture of one of my meals…it was damn good too. I think for the most part it was a sudden onset of shyness in being in such local places, and also in large part to a deep impatience to eat what’s in front of me. You know…don’t let your food get cold and all…important stuff.

Since there are not many pictures of food, I’ll just have to describe it because guys, you need to go. And you need to eat.

DO IT.

EL MUNDIAL

El Mundial for proper tapas and Catalan feel – it was my favourite of the trip too, I had aubregine chips with honey and they were just heaven in my mouth, along with some grilled clams in a white wine sauce type thing where the juices were just so good and thank god for bread to soak up! It was just super, I ate there three times in a week. Also get the pimentos de padron – they are lovely and salty and wonderful – you can get this anywhere and even do them at home (we found some in Waitrose – from Spain and it’s a a favourite snack in Casa Reyes) but it’s worth ordering, along with some chipirones – crunchy squid bits. Don’t be intimidated by the tentacles. DO IT. Its a narrow place with a long bar and marble tables to the side and genuinely just looks old school, reminded me of the kind of places my family used to drag me to as a kid. Quite frankly the opening hours are seemingly sporadic, I walked by it daily (often a few times a day since my friend lives next door) and sometimes it was open, and sometimes it was not, but maybe it was me who was sporadically walking by.

Plaza Sant Agusti Vell, 1, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

MOSQUITO
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Not spanish tapas BUT still a great place is Mosquito which does “exotic tapas” so dumplings and other delicious asian food like Pho and crispy friend duck amongst other things. The beautiful dumplings and amazing crispy duck breast with plum sauce were my favourite. So much so that I’m thinking about it right now and I actually physically miss it. If you do go, get the duck – it’s the 2nd option that’s 7.60 because they don’t specify it just says duck 1 and duck 2 (or if you get the catalan menu like my friend and I did and had to decipher what the hell was what -we learned that duck is Anec, so get the anec) Below is the menu in Catalan: feel free to just order the same, it was sexy.

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Also get the coconut tapioca for dessert, it was grand. There’s a great array of craft beer as well which is so nice to see – craft beer revolution is world wide, HOORAY. There’s always a queue as well but it goes quickly and its vastly worth it. Seriously. GO.

Carrer dels Carders, 46, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

ESPAI MESCLADIS
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Espai Mescladis is lovely for lunch – I had a great lentil soup and a chicken empanada and some artesian beer but what’s best is the actual space, it’s mostly inside a courtyard and good atmosphere – takes ages to order though so don’t go hungry. My lunch didn’t photograph well and I was pretty hungry, so again, apologies for lack of food pictures. However, the food is not the only attraction – it’s just such a lovely space worthy of just a glass of artesian cola or a coffee and a good book (I sat there for hours, but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves).

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Carrer dels Carders, 35, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

LA CANDELA
La Candela was also very lovely for a sit down dinner or lunch, I had a great white bean and tuna thing but their menu changes daily – they have a cute little narrow place but also some tables outside and the staff are pretty nice. I took my laptop there to work a few days and it became a firm favourite .
Placa de Sant Pere, 12, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

LA XANPANERIYA
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I’ve already told you about this. But to reiterate.

GO THERE, EAT THINGS & DRINK CAVA.
Carrer de la Reina Cristina

A little photo diary from the rest of my trip…because Barcelona is beautiful and I can’t get enough of it.

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Dream Journal

#4

This was a strange one – it started off in the middle of a jungle river and it was just raging. I was on a door raft thing and next to me were these two baby tigers just swimming along merrily. Suddenly, one of the tigers leapt onto my raft and started to cuddle, turning into my little sister but then she fell into the river and luckily, I caught her so we struggled along the river holding tight to each other trying to get her back on board. But then, slowly, the river began to calm until we were out of the jungle and approaching a town and the river was the main street. We approached a bright blue door and entered, and it was my great aunts house and my whole family were there and preparing food. It was warm, inviting and like the jungle river struggle never happened – even though just seconds ago, I was feeling helpless against the river, overwhelmingly afraid that I was going to let go of my sister, and an intense need, that filled my whole dream self, to become a boat and be as strong as I can be. We started to sit and read while the others cooked and I walked into the beautiful, big kitchen (something I blatantly saw on Pinterest before falling asleep) started to merrily chop away vegetables looking out into the jungle garden that was filled with light. Then, my grandmother made a disparaging remark about my weight as I sneakily grabbed a chip. Naturally, that’s when I woke up.

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Dream Journal

#3

Predictably, I had dreams of Oscar night. I mean, no surprise there – I fell asleep, phone in hand, scrolling through my Twitter feed which was just laden with Oscar related posts.

SO, it was a pretty awesome dream this one – I don’t remember seeing anything about pizza before falling asleep but I must have looked at my phone when I woke up in the middle of the night because otherwise it means I am psychic.

Everyone was dressed in pizza. Like normal, gorgeous gowns you see on the red carpet but made out of pizza.

I was there sat next to my BFF Kevin Spacey and my other BFF Jennifer Lawrence (we did a super movie together obvs) and we were just giggling at Billy Crystal making many jokes and rating everyone’s outfit out of ten and had to eat a bite out of everyone’s dress. Julia Roberts’ pepperoni and mushroom number one best dressed.

Then I woke up. Seriously craving a pepperoni pizza.

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Dream Journal

#2

Telling ya, it’s these pyjamas. Or maybe it’s the fact that I watched Stardust before going to bed and then read Game of Thrones before falling asleep while thinking about my trip to Barcelona in a week. But I’m going to go with the pyjama theory.

Now to fully appreciate my dream, here’s a little back story:

In the north of Spain there are large amounts of mountains and valleys and when I was younger, the roads were not as great as they are now – they were old roads winding around these said mountains, twists and turns and the constant fear of falling off the side of the mountain. I don’t get motion sickness but on these roads, even I couldn’t help but get a little queasy.

So, last night I dreamt of these hills. I was in a car with my padre and madre and my dad was driving. We started out in Madrid and it was super hot and there was just dust and desert-y and then everything was futuristic – straight outta that Kylie Minogue video from 2001, can’t remember the song – and suddenly we were on these super crazy windy roads, just like the ones in those mountains in Northern Spain, but they were on stilts and my dad was going super fast in this (really awesome) Mini Cooper and then all of a sudden I open the door to vomit because the turns are making my stomach just really unhappy and just tumble out and roll and roll (very much like in that one scene in The Princess Bride) and then I’m in these valley villages that look like super quirky lovely little villages that you seen in old films about Greece or Italy. And all of a sudden I’m in totally different clothes straight out of the Ren Fair (obviously, it makes perfect sense to dream Ruth) and I’m walking around this village and decide to head into the tea shop when I walk through a door into a palace and there’s a beautiful masked ball where I’m provided with a mask and start dancing and then I’m taken away and on this council and then I woke up.

What could this mean universe? That I’m on a whirlwind ride through life and destined for greatness?

Yeah, I think so too.

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Dream Journal

#1

Right, so.

I’ve always been prone to some freaky ass dreams.

Some great, wonderful ones where the boys of Mumford and Sons live next door and we hang out on the roofs to our apartment thats actually a giant overgrown wonderful garden and they have a cat that needs catsitting from yours truly. Some great, scary ass ones where I’m in some sort of mystical land where it’s perpetually twilight and I’m preggo on some sort of stone bed thing with glowing alien people attending to me in a circle in the middle of some forest with twinkling lights in the trees. Some exciting but also awful ones where I’m a spy but then I watch my enemies kill someone I love and then I get shot but not before some excellent running through the city.

I’ve always been quite good at remembering the dreams and really should write them down so here they shall live. DAILY. See, a way to write daily AND remember my crazy ass dreams. Unless of course I haven’t dreamed that night, which would be strange and usually means I’m ill.

Also, I’ve got these new pyjamas and I swear down, they are giving me some of the strangest dreams EVER. Seriously, I’m convinced it’s the pyjamas. Nothing to do with my mental health. PROMISE.

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FOODventures, TRAVELventures

Sneak peek: Barcelona

I’m a regular visitor to Barcelona as it’s pretty cheap/quick to get there from London AND I’ve got friends to visit there, which is as perfect an excuse to go again and again if there ever was one. Even though there are a great deal of other places to visit and people to see, Barca always feels fresh and new to me so never truly feel guilty for going there over anywhere else. It’s a brilliant city break with the ocean – I mean really, can it get more perfect? Food, ocean, city life. Trifecta of AWESOME.

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I’m headed back in a few weeks time and will report back with a definitive guide of where to go and what to eat (the more I go, the more I learn, you see?) because this time I actually have the monies to eat out and have more time than usual. Here’s a sneaky peek with my ultimate Barcelona recommendation (seriously, if anyone mentions they are going, I immediately mention this little slice of heaven…sometimes I just mention it, just because).

The Xampaneria

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This gem of a place was discovered on my first visit to Barcelona – the cava is cheap AND lovely. That little glass really gives potency to the phrase “small and mighty” because I have never not stumbled out of that place and that’s only after one or two, let alone half a bottle if you stay in there long enough. You can even buy by the bottle in the bar itself during the day time to drink it there or take it home!

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You have two options, rosat or normal – the rosat is sweeter and lighter than the normal cava which is drier and tastes more of the grapes. We always get the rosat, but thats mainly because my friends have massive sweet tooths. The best part is that you have to order a tapa or a sandwich, so no eating on an empty stomach (wise) and it’s also delicious. There’s chorizo, cheese, croquettas (and we all know about my deep obsession with croquettas/croquettes), sandwiches with chorizo, morcilla and all sorts of other delicious meats. It’s a minuscule place, so get there early before you have to squeeze through crowds of people and elbow your way to the bar.

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LIFEventures

Back to buisness

Oh hi, my name is Ruth and I’m a neglectful blogger. But it’s a new year, and you know what? I WILL STOP THIS NEGLECTFUL NONSENSE.

To be perfectly fair, this has been mostly due to being rather busy/not travelling somewhere entirely new/laziness/not really cooking so much in the last couple of months. And if you pay attention, this is a food/travel blog and without the cooking, the eating and the traveling, then there’s not so much to write about then is there?

Except there is… I do eat out lot and I HAVE been to some places, just none of them new to me (but new to YOU, dear readers,  because I realise I actually have yet to write about some of my dear old haunts)

Anyways – this is just a quick hello to re-introduce myself back into the blogosphere and to give a little taster of what’s to come with a mini photo diary of the past 9 odd months or so (except if you follow me on Twitter, in which case you’ve already seen half of these…if not all)

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Pictures are mine, all mine so don’t use without permission/accreditation por favor. 

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