Monday, 29 November 2010

'Fabulous ..... In Barcelona'

Returning to Barcelona for the first time in many years as we drove into the city from the airport I remembered how much I loved the city & was reminded of how incredible & breath taking its architecture and general energy of it’s people can be.

Staying at El Palace Hotel which is situated near the top of Las Ramblas which is the central heart of Barcelona city with pockets offering such varied experiences branching off the main strip. Pulling up outside El Palace hotel has a sense of grandeur that is in keeping with the hotels heritage, with its history dating back to 1919 and having been recently refurbished back to 5* standard and earning its LUXE place amongst the prestigious group of ‘Leading Hotels of the World’

Complete with doorman dressed in the finest threads & top hats, as you step through the revolving door into the impressive foyer you are transported back to a bygone era of opulence and tradition – but now with every modern amenity seamlessly sitting alongside the hotels distinguished design.

Taking afternoon tea in the main salon, or enjoying an aperitif on the outdoor terrace before heading off for your evening meal is a fantastic way to really soak in the ambience & atmosphere of the stunning d├ęcor.

Being in Barcelona for work there was limited time to enjoy the city itself – but from past trips I can recommend that you absolutely must spend a day exploring the exquisite design genius that is Gaudi with the famous Sagrada Familia and Park Guell amongst my favorite places to lose an afternoon and also the wonderful produce market which is found just of Las Ramblas offering a visual feast of mouth watering Spanish delights.

I did however discover a new culinary experience recommended by a local who is very much in the know when it comes to the best local fair – Bar Mut is a new favourite with the well-dressed & well heeled Catalan crowd located in the upmarket area just off Avenida Diagonal serving small elegant tapas, an excellent wine selection and exquisite tapas dishes like the foie, sea cucumbers and wild sea bass.

As my whirlwind ‘Fabulous In ….. Barcelona’ trip came to an end with an extremely early flight taking me to Paris I made a note in my Smythson travel diary to ensure I don’t leave it so long before returning to this enchanting city once more.

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