Wed 24 (25c)
Arrived at BCN on time. Long queue for passport check. Baggage comes quickly. Met by Mario & Jordi. Tears. Drove home. Dumped luggage then caught bus to Sants for lunch at La Tere Gastrobar. More drinks on a terrace in the sun and back at Jordi’s house. Bus home again to bed.
Thu 25 (15-23c)
Breakfast on the terrace. Gorgeous warm sunny day. Drove to Sitges for lunch at Cal Pinxo. The sea is sparkling and there are plenty of sunbathers out. Gin tonics first at 2 terrace bars with some fried calamari at the Chiringuito. Fried white bait, tuna salad before fideua with alioli for lunch. Nice white wine. Divine day. Drove home via the dramatic old coast road.
Fri 26 (13-23c)
Breakfast on the terrace again. The new metro line 10 to Diagonal and a day exploring the bario of Gràcia. Kick start with coffee and a sweet treat at an old style bar full of neighbourhood matrons. Interesting shops, grand apartment buildings and lively squares. Clouding over and a bit cool today. Jordi joined us for lunch at La Gilda and to visit Casa Vicens, one of Gaudis earliest works only recently restored and opened to the public after many years in private hands. Spectacular and crazy as you’d expect - wonderful designs from nature and with Arabic influences. Late drink on gorgeous Plaza La Virreina. Metro home and I stir fry some broccoli for supper.
Sat 27 (11-18c)
Cooler again with rain today. Drive to Vilafranca del Penedes (about 60km) an historic town from Roman times and the centre for the Penedes wine area,. Market day today with lots of great produce to see. The cathedral and old town very pretty. Last time we visited the Cordoniu cava cellars at nearby Sant Sadurni d’Anoia. Today we visited the Torres estate and did a tour with 6 tastings - some very fine wines. The lunch restaurant (el Cigro d’Or) I chose from Trip Advisor - 7 course tasting menu was 35€ (~$60). On the way home we stopped at Cornellà to see Mario’s mum Rosario, brother Jordi, his wife Ana, with Helena, Alex, & his 2yo son Lucas.
Sun 28 (9-13c)
Cold and very wet. Clocks went back so we gained an hour. Still, it’s breakfast inside and a lazy morning before heading in to the centre about 1300 and check in at the Cotton House. Absolutely gorgeous hotel. Lunch at the bar in Batuar - croquettes, tartar, lamb ‘bikini’. First a fantastic gin tonic (47 Monkeys) and followed by a fine rose. We meet Jordi & Luigi at a bar in el Born for a few beers then kick on later at another bar near Diagonal. Stumble back to the divine fine cotton sheets at the Cotton House.
Mon 29 (8-15c)
Slow start with a hangover on another cool cloudy morning. I run a bath and have a soak to revitalise. Breakfast buffet at staff rate of 18€, with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. Walk thru Eixample and Barri Gotic to an old favourite, Cafe de l’Academia, with lunch menu at bar for 11.5€ - chickpea stew, little pork sausages with apple purée, coconut pudding, wine & bread. Collect bag from Cotton House and bus 39 to the W. Fantastic Room 1206 with an amazing view of the city and Barceloneta beaches. Relax. Light dinner in the restaurant - ordinary chicken dish, and ordinary service.