Thursday, 14 July 2016

Sun, Sea and the City, Barcelona

Opening my eyes to glorious, piercing sunshine and blue skies in Barcelona is what I would rather be doing right now, but here I am, bound behind my computer screen, reminiscing over the photos I'm about to share with you all. 

Our second day began with a healthy breakfast in Flax and Kale; a place where we'd had lunch the day prior and enjoyed it so much that breakfast there was jotted onto the itinerary immediately. 

Amidst the metropolitan life that suffuses bustling Barcelona, F&K is an oasis for those seeking not only a sense of languorous well-being, but healthy (yet delicious) nourishment. But you can read more about F&K's health policy here.

I opted for the rather almighty acai bowl which was topped and drizzled in all things healthy. This was delicous but so cold I actually began to shiver (but I must admit, I feel the cold even in scorching heat!)

I also devoured the very instagrammable antidox juice and maple glazed muffin. Meanwhile, my sister Jess demolished the avocado toast (a very popular choice amongst fellow customers) and ginger muffin.

I can't recommend this place enough. The extremely slow service does definitely let this place down, but it's well worth a visit for both the dreamy interiors and healthy indulgent food.

A train, mountainous hike and a bottle of suncream later and we were at Park Guell. This was definitely a standout highlight of our trip and I can't stress enough how beautiful every corner was.

The walk up to the Park, designed by architects Gaudi and Guell, is a trip in itself. My sister and I likened the steep slope to those situated in San Francisco - in fact, when we turned around to admire the view (or how far we'd come in the 30'C heat!), we almost felt as if were going to fall back. Yet, it really is worth it as the Park truly is a must-see. It's best to book in advance if you fancy seeing the best parts of the architecture, which you can book here, but there are also some great bits for free too.

Looking a little impatient and frazzled in the scorching heat!

The park also boasts some of the best views of the city.

A few hours later and we hit the beach. But we saved the sunbathing and slinky bikinis for the following day and instead opted to have a relaxing affair of a lunch and amble along the promenade. 

We first heard of Surf House via Pinterest. After a little research on their website, we fell in love with it and knew we had to visit it.

This place, although situated on Barceloneta beach, is quintessentially Californian - everything from the 'surf shack' facade, the healthy fast food, to the fun activities on offer. These activities, which unfortunately Jess and I never got round to trying, include paddleboarding, a running club, wakesurfing and yoga on the sea.

We both ate burgers so exquisite, so dense and rich that it was almost literally heart-stopping, and were washed down with mojitos.

Mine included a fried egg and bacon while Jess' option included lettuce, tomato and bacon. They were insanely messy and difficult to eat but for a good burger, I'm willing to spill a bit or two!

Time to wander off pregnant-looking tummies and meander around the beach.

Top - Pull & Bear, shorts - Topshop, sandals - New Look, bag - Cath Kidston, sunglasses - Ray Ban

Then, after stumbling past it during lunch, we made a dinner reservation at Gallito's.

This place was so perfect since it was located right on the beach, meaning we could see the pinky blue haze of dusk along the beach burst into a fiery sky of sunset. It was all so incredibly tranquil and peaceful.

I'm happy to report that I tried calamari (squid) here for the first time and found it absolutely delicious. We also ordered the burratta with tomato, potato wedges with paprika, cod fritters and bread with tomato. What I love so much about tapas is that you get to try a magical medley of dishes all in one meal. 

Gallito's was a lively, buzzy but tranquil place with a peaceful ambiance, and when I return to Barcelona I shall be sure to visit this place again. 

A true oasis from the bustling city and beach.

A few cocktails and rosé glasses too many later and we were giggling on the beach, utterly content and in a state of bliss.

We caught the metro back to our hotel under the sharp C of a tropical moon. We rolled to bed, peacefully happy to of had such an epic last night in a city that had stole our hearts.

The last Barcelona photo diary will feature Sunday - stay tuned!

What have you been up to lately?

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