It took a little bit longer to come back than I'd thought it would.. but the Collection has taken over my life in the last few weeks, leaving little room for anything else. I hope everyone had a good start into the New Year, and wishing you a happy, peaceful and joyous 2017!
At the end of the holiday season we went on our first family trip with a dog, which made it an adventure for all of us. The challenge was to find places to stay and things to do that could be equally enjoyed by DH and me, our teenage DS and the little Milo! Barcelona seemed an obvious destination since it was easy to reach and the weather forecast promised blue skies.
Our trip was planned pretty much last minute, and I felt so lucky that we could still book into the chic and pet-friendly Claris boutique hotel a block away from the Passeig de Garcia. The Claris's owner also owns the Egyptian Museum across the road, to which hotel guests have free access. His son did the hotel's interior design and created a beautiful atmosphere by mixing modern furniture and fixtures with antique sculptures, paintings, furniture and decorative objects from his father's private art collection.
The Passeig de Garcia's plane trees were still clinging onto their autumn leaves, but Gaudi's Casa Battló was decked festively with fun and quirky clusters of snowballs hanging from its windows and balconies.
Milo's first 'sight-smelling' trip!
The Reserva Iberica ham bar would have clearly been Milo's Barcelona favorite, but he had to wait outside. It is one of the best places to buy the famous Spanish Ibérico ham, and you can also enjoy it right there and then... they have a few tables and bar stools where you can sample the different kinds, along with a glass of chilled Cava.
The finest of the finest Ibérico ham, the Bellota (acorn in Spanish). The Bellota producing Ibérico pigs spend their days roaming happily in family groups under the oak trees and rooting for herbs, grass and of course bellotas, their favorite food.
Barcelona is a tremendously lively city with so many vibrant quarters that it's easy to forget that you're right on the Mediterranean sea. The beaches and ports are lined with cafés and restaurants, and on the weekends people meet friends on the beach, go for walks on the shore, play beach volleyball or get together with their families for a picnic. It was indeed the perfect place for the four of us to spend a day!
The weather continued mild and warm, and it could just as well have been an early spring or summers day. We started off at the Port Olympique, where a row of restaurants along the beach path invite you to have lunch on their pretty terraces overlooking the sea. We settled down at the Agua, where simple fresh seafood and mediterranean cuisine was brought out in charming and relaxed surroundings.
The Port Olympique's bronze whale. Walk west from there, and you come to the Agua and many other restaurants and cafés. You can continue your walk after lunch towards the One Ocean Port, and find plenty of entertainment and things to do along the way.
Milo's Spanish amigo
Sunset with palm trees.. who could resist taking a pic!
Once you get to One Ocean Port, you are very near to Las Fritas, one of DS's favorite places in Barcelona. He's tried and tested it on many occasions, and it has his definite seal of approval. I have to agree, the hand-made Las Fritas chips are amongst the best I've ever had.
Winter in Spain
Even though the Passeig de Gracia has beautiful shops, I did the best shopping on the way home. After half an hour on the road back to France, you go past the La Roca Village. This time we stopped.. the night before I googled the brands on offer.. all of us found something of interest in this chic outlet village! I came home with some beautiful Max Mara sweaters, which will keep me cosy and warm throughout the rest of the winter.
Back home, winter had finally arrived...
...coinciding with the arrival of the new MaiTai Collection mink earmuffs
available in dark brown and sable (click here)
Will there be summer ever again?
Claris Hotel: 150 Pau Claris, 08009 Barcelona. Tel: +34 934 876 262www.hotelclaris.com
Egyptian Museum: Calle Valencia 284, 08007 Barcelona. Tel: +34 934 880 188 www.museuegipci.com
Jamon Reserva Ibérica, Rambla de Catalunya, 61, 08007 Barcelona
Online shop: www.reservaiberica.com
Agua Beach Restaurant: Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 30, 08003 Barcelona. Tel:
34 932 25 12 72