Banker’s Bar – drinks and jazz

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Although I have never spent the night at a Mandarin Oriental, I find the chain to be absolutely wonderful and I secretly vouch that we have to stay there at least once. Ideally located with stunning lobbies and top restaurants and bars. I have dined and drank at a few but more recently it was Banker’s Bar in Barcelona which caught my eye and palate.

The Mandarin Oriental is located at 30-40 Paseo de Gracia where the Santander bank used to be. In an effort to maintain some of the bank’s essence, original safety boxes decorate the walls while copies cover the ceiling giving the bar a more than unique feel. Your imagination flows as you imagine the secrets and treasures those boxes once guarded.

The space in not only elegantly set but the cocktails are delicious and the drinks are well served. On Wednesday nights they have Gin&Live sessions where there is a signature gin for a reduced price and live jazz music.

A great place to have a drink and enjoy a night out on the town!

 

Banker’s Bar at the Mandarin Oriental

Paseo de Gracia 38-40, Barcelona

http://www.mandarinoriental.es

 

Tickets – tapas galore

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Who doesn’t have memories of the fair when it comes to town, of the smell of cotton candy, the colorful blinking lights and the chiming sound of the Ferris wheel and the merry-go-round? A magical aura has always accompanied the fair and that is what Alberto Adriá, Ferran Adriá’s brother who worked at the world-renowned El Bulli, has tried to bring back to life at Tickets, a place which is simply fun. The idea is to either create your own menu or to order a fixed menu of small entrees (tapas). All of them have an extra twist to them and an ounce of excitement so that you again feel like a child at the fair.

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Sagas – sandwiches in Born neighborhood

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During my last trip to Barcelona I discovered Born neighborhood, located quite close to the beach, where cobblestone streets are lined with small ateliers of new upcoming fashion designers and trendy stores ideal for browsing. This neighborhood dates back to the 10th century when craftsmen started settling around the area. Today, the street names still carry that heritage being named after the many skilled occupations so it is quite common to find a blacksmith or a milliner street.

A friend had recommend Sagas which is a nice informal place to grab a bite to eat when you are on the go. We really enjoyed it! Well decorated with posters on the walls and industrial feel wooden floors. At the back there is a long common table with high stools where we ate. The menu is composed mainly of salads and sandwiches inspired from both Catalan cuisine as well as international. They served their own version of David Chang’s pork belly steamed buns. Although they were good, David Chang’s are unbeatable. They buy the produce from local markets giving the dishes a fresh healthy feel.

We had the pork buns with spicy peanut sauce and ginger. a cecina (cured meat) sandwich and patatas bravas which were well fried with a slightly spicy sauce.

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The prices are very reasonable, sandwiches from 8 – 12 euros.

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http://www.sagaspagesosicuiners.com

Barraca – rice overlooking the Mediterranean

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Summer nights are gradually getting shorter and before we know it, we will be changing beach towels and espadrilles for scarves and an extra blanket on our bed at night but before that time arrives we still have a few beach days left. This summer I found myself in Barcelona for a few days and although it is no secret that the beach area is everything but glamorous and that the restaurants have a very touristy feel to them; I am happy to say that there is an exception to the rule, Barraca. It wasn’t initially on our list of places to visit but a friend recommended it and we decided to give it a try.

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DelaCrem – a piece of heaven on a hot summer day

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I don’t know if it was the summer heat and the fact that I was near dehydration but the mojito ice-cream at Delacrem felt like elixir from the fountain of eternal youth. It was fresh and tasty. Sorry to say that I was too busy gulping it down that I couldn’t bare to stop and take a picture. I beg forgiveness! I also tried the pink grapefruit, chocolate and hazelnut flavours at this corner shop with a small indoor sitting area and some tables outside and they were all really quite noteworthy. So if you find yourself near the area, I strongly recommend that you give them a try. I will definitely be back!

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Carrer Enric Granados, nº15-17

http://www.delacrem.cat

 

Oriol Balaguer – pastries, chocolates and desserts brought to a whole new level

When passing by Oriol Balaguer on the corner of 44 Ortega y Gasset Street and General Pardiñas Street, your first impression might be that of a high-end jewelry store. Actually, it is a pastry shop with sweets placed on display as works of art. There is actually a showcase where the creation of the month is exhibited as if it were the crown jewel.

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