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AUGUST 2018 Nยบ 259









ISSUE 259 · AUGUST 2018


Make a splash this summer


A Barcelona-born flamenco legend from humble beginnings

IN THE CITY 06 09 10 12 15


Catching waves in Barcelona

35 ISLAND PARADISE Diving in Les Illes Medes

New in town Five things Streetlife Best of History

WHAT’S ON 22 24 26 28 31

Music Art Calendar Misc Art review


32 La Ruta del Cister 35 Les Illes Medes


37 Startup of the month 38 A day in the life

FOOD & DRINK 40 Restaurant review 42 Quick bites

James Blunt P.22. Photo by Jimmy Fontaine.


Publisher The Noise Lab S.L. Art Director Tara Shain Marketing Director Jalil Alui Account Executives Richard Cardwell Sales Assistant Daniel Vaenerberg Business Manager Marina Piegari Editorial Assistants Sophie Gamble, Adina Rose Levin Contributors Rosalind Bond, Natalie Donback, Catherine Howley, Sam Mednick, Will Shank, Tori Sparks, Tara Stevens, Sam Zucker IT Consultant Hector Cols Illustrator Tara Shain

Duc 6, 08002 Barcelona Tel. 93 451 4486 The views expressed in Barcelona Metropolitan are not necessarily those of the publisher. Reproduction, or use, of advertising or editorial content herein, without express permission, is prohibited. Depósito legal: B35159-96



Tori is a professional musician living in Barcelona. Since 2005, Tori has released six albums under the auspices of her own record label: Glass Mountain Records. Her most recent work, La Huerta, is a bilingual collaboration with Barcelona-based flamenco fusion trio, Calamento. When on the road, she plays shows in everything from large festivals to small house concerts. Tori writes for Metropolitan on topics dealing with society, culture, art and music, and she enjoys the opportunity it presents to meet fascinating people.


Born and raised in Chicago, Adina left her heart in Barcelona in 2006 and finally made her way back to “Barna” in 2018. In the meantime, she lived in New York, where she graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University, built a career writing ads for Broadway shows, served as Executive Director of the Catalan Institute of America and more. She speaks fluent Catalan and takes ballet and hip hop dance classes every week. Find more at


Tara is a freelance graphic designer for print and digital publications. She moved to Barcelona in 2005, when she became General Manager of the American Society of Barcelona. Originally from Nebraska, Tara completed her BFA in photography with a minor in Spanish at the University of North Texas, and later studied design at Valencia College. Tara is a voracious reader, avid hiker and aspiring cake-builder. She speaks English, French, Spanish, some Catalan and a bit of Mandarin.


new in town A FAMILY AFFAIR

Photo courtesy of Marimorena.

MARIMORENA. LORETO 24–26.  MARIMORENA.ES A small door on a fairly unassuming street in Les Corts opens into a gastronomic wonderland. A magical forest-like tunnel leads into a bright and stylish restaurant, giving diners a sense of adventure before they even pick up their knife and fork. Winner of Cuiner de l’Any 2017, awarded to the best Catalonian chef each year at the Fòrum Gastronómic de Girona, chef Albert Mendiola is passionate about authentic Catalan home cooking and bases his menu on regional classics with a luxury twist. This new venture, opened in June, is the second Marimorena, the original still as popular as ever in Sant Boi de Llobregat, Mendiola’s hometown. His own family roots are the life-blood of the business, working alongside his wife and inspired to name the restaurant by the villancico (traditional Spanish nursery rhyme) Ande la marimorena, that his three-year-old daughter sang one day. With plans to buy land in Sant Boi to grow their own produce, a full house every night and nothing but positive reviews, this is a refreshing example of genuine home-grown restauranteering.


Photo courtesy of ZUU.

ZUU. PLAÇA DE PIUS XII 4.  SOFIABARCELONA.COM/EN.NIGHT Barcelona by night as you’ve never seen it before, the SOFIA hotel presents a brand new live dining experience for an unforgettable evening. Enjoy gastronomic delights whilst an exciting and unpredictable live cabaret and music show takes place right before your eyes. Inspired by famous clubs in New York, London, Paris and other world capitals, the space is stylish and seductive, drawing on Parisian cabarets with deep reds, blacks, ancient golds and violets—the perfect setting for this sensory culinary experience. A feast for all the senses, the staging is fully immersive, encouraging guests to embrace their wilder side and let their hair down. Once the show has finished, the fun doesn’t stop. The space transforms into a lounge bar, where guests can mingle, dance and enjoy an extensive range of cocktails for a luxurious end to a unique evening.


Photo courtesy of Bar Limón.

BRUNCH AT THE BEACH BAR LIMÓN. PLAÇA DE PAU VILA 13.  FACEBOOK.COM/BARLIMONBARCELONA With the sea breeze floating in through large windows and a menu to rival the city’s best bites to eat, this newly opened restaurant believes that everyday is a brunch day. A stone’s throw from the beach, this calming airy space was previously a tapas bar in need of rejuvenation. Concept director Moises Rodriguez, who previously worked for the famous Brunch & Cake, put the zest back into the restaurant, jumping on the infinitely popular brunch bandwagon with a fresh menu of juices and rainbow-colored dishes. He insisted that the cooking lies at the heart of the business, which forms parts of the Grupo Lombardo restaurant group, with the aim of providing “good food from the heart,” prioritizing high quality, fresh, organic products over gimmicks and frills. Enjoy brunch at its best with friends in this relaxed space, full of mismatched timber tables, plants and retro decor. The perfect start to a day at the beach.


LAST NIGHT OF FREEDOM Alternative ideas for hen and stag parties in Barcelona



Admire Barcelona from the sky with a glass in hand while learning from experts at a mixology masterclass. The Eclipse bar, on the 26th floor of the iconic W Hotel (Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents 1), hosts classes that will let you in on the secrets behind three of their most popular classic cocktails: the Watermelon Martini, Passion Fruit Martini and Venezuelan Mojito. The bar can host up to 20 participants, with prices from €50 per person. If you want to dive even deeper into the world of specialised alcohol, Cocktail Shop (Roger de Llúria 46) offers in-depth classes focusing on perfecting gin, rum or vermouth cocktails. Using the best craft liquors, the master mixologists take groups of up to 15 participants through a two-hour workshop exploring the history of a single spirit and how best to use its different varieties to complement a range of cocktails.



Shop, cook then eat your dinner in a personal cookery class in the heart of the Raval. Bear on Bike at Espai EGG (Riereta 15) offers an immersive experience, during which you will explore La Boquería market, enjoy a tasting board of local produce, prepare a three-course lunch and then enjoy the fruits of your labours, all at the expert hands of Ella and Alberto. The couple provides beautiful, tasty food but also emphasizes the sustainability of their project─they try to source all of their produce as locally and seasonally as possible. The menu goes beyond most typical Spanish cookery classes, drawing inspiration from everything from Nordic cuisine and Mediterranean staples to healthy alternatives based on their slow-food philosophy. The gourmet afternoon lasts four and a half hours, costs €80 per person for groups of up to 10, and also includes local biodynamic wines to help the cooking go as smoothly as possible.



Treat yourself to a traditional afternoon tea at El Palace (Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 668) set in what used to be The Ritz. In the traditional, gilded restaurant, gloved waiters serve stacked platters of sandwiches, scones and 12 different kinds of tea for €28 per person or €40 with champagne. For a more personalized touch, Rooftop Tea Barcelona ( offers groups the opportunity to be pampered by Angela Carroll and her amazing array of homemade goodies. An English expat, Carroll has brought the British tradition to the Spanish audience, with towers of delicate sandwiches, fluffy scones and tea or cava served in vintage china. Her friendly welcome ensures a relaxed afternoon for groups of a minimum of eight people, hosted in chic venues around the city, and she can also provide personalized touches such as handcrafted cake toppers, iced biscuits and beautifully decorated place settings.



Get those creative juices flowing at a workshop at Arte Bar (Roger de Flor 135), a space dedicated to proving that everyone can have fun painting. You will get three hours of expert guidance from trained artists who will provide the canvas, paint, equipment and snacks─all you have to do is bring the wine. At the end of the session, you will be able to take away your finished masterpiece as a colorful memento of the occasion. To get more in touch with nature, join Gang & The Wool ( for a flower workshop set in a little greenhouse in Vallvidrera in the Collserola hills. The boutique floral design company specializes in flower crown workshops for up to 12 people, which include brunch, tuition and professional photos sent to you the week after the event.



Take advantage of Barcelona’s proximity to the sea, and let your hair down during a scenic cruise along the stunning Catalan coastline. Various companies based at Port Olímpic, including Orsom Catamaran and Barcelona Boat Party, offer extravagant three-hour outings for up to 100 guests, which include music, drinks and time for a paddle in the glorious blue waters of the Mediterranean whilst the crew prepare a barbecue. Try to book a cruise late in the afternoon to watch the sunset from the deck while sipping on champagne, then continue to dance the night away at Opium (Passeig Marítim 34) or Pacha (Passeig Marítim 38) after disembarking.




CARRER DE SALVÀ A quiet, residential street at the base of Montjuïc bursting with a sustainable conscience and colorful, creative spaces.


No 3

No 19

Bodega L’Antiga Carboneria

A local favorite described by its customers as a bodega para toda la vida (for life), L’Antiga Carboneria is filled with stacks of wine barrels, hard-to-find local, bottled wines and artisanal beers by small cooperatives. Owner Bárbara Boyero Rabasco’s personal touches only add to the familiar atmosphere. Quality is of the utmost importance and many of their wines are first pressings, with special effort made to keep the price accessible. There are also organic and gluten free beers, and a whole shelf dedicated to Lagarta, Wanted and Loba beers produced by the all-female run brewery, Cervecera Libre.


Graphic designer Albert Vilaplana and former safari employee Albert Macaya opened this Sixties-themed bar in July 2015. Since then, they have only improved on their ever-cool, chilled vibes and have become the queer meeting point of Paral∙lel. The interior is complete with pastel colored, symmetrical wall decorations and a collection of original Sixties furniture. As well as a selection of draught Mahou beer, cocktails and wines, they also serve high quality tapas and hold themed parties every fortnight.

No 23

Poc a Pots

As one of the first plastic-free foodstores in Barcelona, Poc a Pots provides Poble Sec with local, organic produce whilst reducing waste. Customers are urged to bring their own containers and buy poc a poc (little by little), to promote environmentally friendly lifestyles. This strong focus on sustainability extends into the space itself, which is filled with hanging plants, glass jars and reclaimed furniture. Owner Virginie Rocher believes in giving everyday objects a second life, and she reinforces the importance of recycling with her display cabinet and containers which are taken from an old sweet shop. Products are sourced following a zero-mile policy, and all ready-to-eat food options are handmade daily.


La Lleteria’s door framing mosaic is by far the street’s most historically fascinating and striking facade. Depicting dairy farmers in a Dutch landscape, the artwork dates from a time when the shop sold sterilised milk over a century ago. Today, the space sells a wide range of organic products, including food, natural cosmetics, environmentally friendly diapers, toys, music lessons and craft workshops.

No 68

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Espai Piluso

Through a blue, wooden door at the top of Carrer de Salvà is a bright and airy, multidisciplinary, artistic space, which offers classes and intensive workshops in clown, physical theatre and improv. Artistic director and clown, Ale Risorio opened the space in October 2015, with his wife and creative director Laura Filgueiras, as a platform to showcase his own work as well as to teach. The intensive workshops are run by different artists in residence every month, while Risorio teaches the yearly classes, which run weekly in trimesters. Shows usually take place once a month, and those interested in taking classes must become associates of the space.

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TIBIDABO Climb to new heights for the best view in town. The base of this striking mountain, the highest in the Serra de Collserola range at 512 metres, can be reached by the FGC train (L7) to Avinguda Tibidabo from Plaça de Catalunya. Either take the funicular, or lace up your trainers and get to the summit on foot for an extra sense of achievement. The two kilometer trail zigzags up through dense forest and beautiful buildings, leading to the Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor, Tibidabo’s crowning glory, which was finally finished in 1961 after 60 years of construction. Spain’s oldest running amusement park sits just below the church, for those who seek some extra mountaintop thrills. Tibidabo Amusement Park. Photo courtesy of Tibidabo Oficial.

SANTA COLOMA DE GRAMENET Enjoy quiet, leafy streets, laid-back local life and a taste of history with a day out in this lesser-known commuter town. Take the metro (L1) eight kilometers north to Santa Coloma, a traditional Catalan town with ancient settlements and impressive museums, an area inhabited since the Iberian period. Climb to Puig Castellar, a colony built by the Laeitani tribe in the sixth century, to learn about the archaeological importance of the area and enjoy views of Barcelona from afar. Or, stroll along La Rambleta, the local go-to spot for some authentic tapas—favorites include Casa Pepe (Sant Carles 36) and Restaurante Santa Lola (Sant Ignasi 14). Poblat Ibèric del Puig Castellar. Photo by Enfo.


MONESTIR DE PEDRALBES Located at the foot of the Collserola hills, this Gothic monastery was founded in 1326 by King James II of Aragon for his wife, Elisenda de Montcada, who lived adjacent to the monastery for 37 years after her husband’s death in 1327. Until 1982, this was a functioning convent and the spaces where convent life played out are all relatively intact, from the kitchen and refectory to the chapter house and the dormitory. The latter was converted into an exhibition space in 1993 and currently houses a fascinating collection of treasures from the monastery. This summer, visitors can enjoy the recently opened exhibition, ‘Divine Murals,’ which coincides with the reopening of the chapel of Sant Miquel, a treasure trove of fresco and secco mixedmedia paintings, heavily influenced by masters such as Giotto, Simone Martini and the Lorenzetti brothers. A wander round the impressive three-tier cloister, one of the largest in the world, and the meticulously kept, leafy, medicinal herb garden is sure to leave you with a sense of peace. The site is well connected by public transport, either via metro (L3) to Maria Cristina or buses H4, V5, 63, 75 and 78.

Pedralbes Monastery.



A day out at the coast doesn’t have to mean packed coastlines and crowded bars. Just half an hour down the coast, this long, beautiful beach is reachable by the L95 bus, which leaves from Ronda de Universitat, near Plaça de Catalunya. Paddle in the clear waters, grab lunch at one of the xiringuitos dotted along the beachfront, or simply enjoy a picnic away from the city’s tourist masses. If you wish to wander further afield, the GA1 bus connects Gavà Mar (the beach) to the town centre of Gavà, where you can find the Minas prehistóricas de Gavà, a fascinating museum about Neolithic mines, or hike to the atmospheric ruins of Castillo Eramprunyá for panoramic views of the surroundings.

A clean and easy-to-reach beach with rugged waves, white sands and good wind conditions, making it popular amongst water sport fanatics. The Renfe Rodalies (R1) train from Plaça de Catalunya zooms up the coast to Montgat Nord, transporting you to this wilder stretch of coastline. The prime wind conditions make this a popular choice for surfers, with two kilometers of lifeguarded beach to enjoy. Soak up the Mediterranean Sea breeze and wander around the cobbled streets of the whitewashed town, set just back from the sea, or enjoy a cool beverage in one of the beachfront xiringuitos with sand between your toes. For children and big kids, the nearby Illa Fantasia water park provides hours of fun in the sun.

Gavà beach. Photo by J.M. Izquierdo.






n the oldest streets of Barcelona, one of the first forms of traffic control can still be encountered. Usually found on the corners of buildings and placed at a height of over two metres, these plaques remind us of a time when traffic control was quite a hectic proposal. The plaques, dating primarily from the 19th century, were the means of controlling the movement of horse-driven carts through a labyrinth of narrow city streets. Throughout Ciutat Vella, El Raval, Barrio Gótico and El Born neighborhoods, small, rectangular signs can be spotted with the coat of arms of Barcelona City Council, together with an image of a horseman pointing his horse or mule in a particular direction. These images are accompanied with the bold inscription of “Entrada” or “Salida,” indicating the permitted direction of circulation. The earliest examples of these signs can still be found in Sant Pere neighborhood, as well as other variations painted on ceramic tiles, some of which are now on display in the city’s history museum (MUHBA). However, it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that definite rules and regulations for cart drivers were established. Drivers had to follow a list of requirements: be over 16 years of age, dismount the cart while passing through narrow streets, circulation at night was not permitted, a bell to warn pedestrians of their approach had to be carried at all times, a limited number of passengers was allowed, drivers were not permitted to control more than one horse at a time and they needed to carry proof of licence in the form of an engraved metal, registration plate. With its irregular, tight layout, Ciutat Vella was a challenge to manoeuvre, in spite of the regulations. Proof of this difficulty can still be observed in the wear and tear at intersections, where the stone structures were damaged by passing carts knocking against them. As a result, some streets were protected with chains to stop the passing of carts and avoid potential damage, such as Calle Cadena, a now nonexistent street that was once in The Raval.

Photos by Tara Shain.



Illustrations by Tara Shain




he Passeig Marítim in Barceloneta is a boardwalk where tourists and residents ramble down the strip adjacent to the sand, pedal down the bike path, stop to buy a smoothie or take a selfie. Just off the path is small, nondescript square called Plaça de Brugada. In that square is a 24-hour grocery store and a fountain, adorned with a sculpture of five dancing and guitar-strumming angels standing under an arch. This is the Fuente de Carmen Amaya—a fountain named after the most important and beloved flamenco dancer in the history of Barcelona, and arguably the world. The current structure, designed by the sculptor Rafael Solanic, stands in the place where a humble tap once provided water for the young gypsy girl and her family, living in the seafront shantytown of Somorrostro. According to official records, Carmen Amaya was born in the year 1913, in the middle of a torrential rainstorm,

When she was visiting London, the local papers snapped a shot of her with Queen Elizabeth II and published it with a caption saying "Two Queens Face to Face." surrounded by poverty and chaos. Her father was a Romani guitar player named José Amaya "El Chino," her mother Micaela Amaya Moreno. Carmen was the second of eleven children. She became known all over the world as "La Capitana" (The Captain), although the moniker did not arise from her place as the leader of a large family and travelling musical show, but was given to her when she was a little girl. Her strong character and generosity inspired such devotion that even as a child, she became the natural leader of the pack among the neighborhood kids.

José Amaya made his living playing music in bars and on the street, and when La Capitana was still barely older than a toddler she began accompanying him—dancing, singing and collecting the change tossed at their feet by passing patrons. In the year 1920, at the age of seven, she made her public debut at the famous Catalan restaurant 7 Portes, which functioned as a cafe-theatre for local artists in those days. Their reputation grew, and eventually the duo started performing in a few small local theatres. Carmen’s unique dancing style and boundless energy attracted attention. One day, this energetic little girl was noticed by a variety show booker named José Santpere. He was able to sell her show to the Spanish theatre and later to theatres in Paris. In 1929, she performed at the International Exposition in Barcelona, in flamenco festivals in the caves of the Sacromonte in Granada, and alongside other artists in Madrid. King Alfonso XIII became a fan. Her unconventional, forceful, frenetic style—and scandalous tendency to wear men’s trousers while performing—set her apart from other dancers. No one had ever seen anything like her. As Amaya’s fame grew to an international level, she collaborated with great musicians, such as the guitarist Sabicas, and was cast in several films, including Mario de la O (1936) and La Hija de Juan Simon (1935). For the next 20 years, she and her ever-expanding troupe of family and musicians toured the world. She insisted that whoever wanted to book her, booked all of them, or no deal. Amaya was so in-demand at the time that promoters had little choice but to agree. She was a force of nature artistically, and a hot cultural commodity commercially. When the Spanish Civil War broke out, Amaya’s dance company sailed to Buenos Aires from Portugal with the entire family. For the next several years, they performed in South America, and Amaya continued her film career in movies directed by Argentine director Miguel de Molina and others. In the Forties, Amaya was cast in films in Hollywood, and travelled to Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC to perform for President Franklin Roosevelt. FDR was so impressed with her performance that he invited the dancer to the White House and presented her with a bolero jacket covered in gold, emeralds and other precious gems. As the story goes, Carmen promptly dismantled the jacket to divide amongst nearly 30 family members who were travelling with her at the time, with the explanation that what was hers was also theirs. The Amaya clan didn’t return to Spain until 1947, where by


this time, Carmen was hailed as a living legend. She went on to tour in London, Italy, France, Germany, America, Argentina, Mexico and more. When she was visiting London, the local papers snapped a shot of her with Queen Elizabeth II and published it with a caption saying "Two Queens Face to Face." In 1952, Carmen married her guitarist Juan Antonio Agüero, who was a payo (non-gypsy), but was nevertheless accepted by the massive gitana family of los Amaya. He reportedly referred to her by "usted" until the day they were married, a mark of his unfailing respect for the woman who would become his wife. On Valentine’s Day in 1959, the fountain in Barceloneta was inaugurated in the presence of Amaya and her family, even though the Amayas had to cancel tour dates in France and drive through the night in order to be there for the ceremony. Carmen Amaya stood in front of the mayor, the press and her public, and shed tears of happiness on the spot where she once filled a metal bucket with water from a spigot every morning of her young life. She was presented with a huge bouquet of flowers by three young local girls. In 1963, Carmen shot her last film, Los Tarantos, though it was at this time that she was beginning to show signs of renal sclerosis, a disease that would eventually kill her. On August 8th, 1963, in Malaga, Carmen Amaya danced for the last time in public. She lived out her final 10 years in a masia (country house) in the coastal Catalan town of Begur, surrounded by family. When she died on November 19th, 1963, Carmen Amaya was only 50 years old, but she had left an indelible mark on the flamenco world. Her funeral procession wound down the hill from the masia into the streets of Begur, as gypsies and fans from all over Spain and even France came to pay tribute. When the procession was over, her house was left stripped bare—it seems everyone wanted a piece of the beloved dancer’s life for themselves. Dishes, silverware, fans, dresses, the great dancer’s shoes, bedsheets torn into strips,


Genuine Flamenco Show A classic tablao, with an ensemble of eight artists made up of four dancers, two singers and two guitarists. Located in the Spanish Village of Montjuïc Poble Espanyol. Avda. Francesc Ferrer i Guardia 13 08038 Barcelona +34 93 325 6895


paintings on the wall—all were seen as relics of an almostsainted figure. Upon her death, streets, statues, tablaos de flamenco, theatres and more were dedicated to her. In Begur, her house has been converted into a cultural centre dedicated to the protection of the environment. In Barcelona, there are countless small tributes to the great artist around the city, including the Sala Carmen Amaya at the Mercat de Flors and the Tablao de Carmen in Poble Espanyol. And of course, there is the little fountain in Barceloneta. This year, according to official records, Carmen Amaya would have been 105 years old, and exactly 55 years have passed since her death. In 2013, the city of Barcelona celebrated what would have been her 100th birthday with talks, presentations, and photo exhibits by Julio Ubiña and Isabel "Colita" Steva Hernández. There were numerous flamenco shows, as well as meals featuring all her favorite dishes, including sardines, which Carmen infamously roasted for her family and crew in her hotel room at New York’s Waldorf Astoria, much to the chagrin of the management and other guests.



urfing in Barcelona? Yes! Knowing the best spots and having a little patience can pay off, because when it’s on, it’s on for as long as the wind stays offshore. In recent years, surfing—now also an Olympic sport—has gained enormous popularity. Many people are increasingly interested in learning to surf, its fashion and its unique lifestyle. More surfboards are sold in Barcelona than in any other Spanish city, and though even the locals go abroad to catch


the bigger waves, this Mediterranean city has become a headquarters for wave hunters. Its cosmopolitan vibe, vibrant music and art scenes, excellent cuisine and prime location make an exceptional base for ocean lovers. The city and its surroundings offer wonderful surf spots; the most popular are found in Sitges, Castelldefels, El Prat, Barceloneta, Masnou, Premià de Mar, Vilassar de Mar and Montgat. However, you have to become an expert in checking the webcams and weather forecasts to know where to go and, most importantly, when to hit the spot. Toni Ginard, one of the first surfers in Barceloneta remembers: “When I started to surf in the Nineties, there were no smartphones to start with, not to talk about webcams! I remember how I would come at 7:00 am to the beach, sit down and stare at the ocean with my board, waiting for the waves to show themselves. When they did, the joy was indescribable, when they didn’t, the disappointment of not unpacking the board would be devastating.” Toni learned to surf on his own by reading magazines and watching movies. “I just did one surf course, in a school

that no longer exists, and the teacher would take us to the right spots for us to learn, not just sticking to one location.” Barcelona offers two types of surfing schools: traditional courses located at the beach, such as Pukas, and schools that pick you up and take you to the appropriate spot according to your level and the weather conditions, such as Spaguetti Surf or BCN Surf School. Toni also comments on how the surfing scene has changed over the years; it has gone from a close-knit and protective community of local surfers to a more openminded one. There are now numerous WhatsApp groups that share insights on favourite spots, and even websites, such as that offer real-time updates on weather conditions. “Sharing insights is very controversial,” Toni explains, “more conservative surfers are completely against it, due to the fact the beaches might get overcrowded by newbies. Nevertheless, I think that the ocean belongs to all of us. Most importantly, you have to understand the unwritten rules of surfing when going to a beach which is not your own. First, you have to respect the locals by leaving the first waves to them. Then, you should respect seniority and priority. And, snaking [surf term for stealing waves] is never acceptable.” Barcelona’s surfing community has a wide variety of surf shops, from the large, multi-brand shops such as Tactic, Boardriders Barceloneta and La General Surfera, to smaller boutiques that offer local products such as La Joya and Wet Dreams Surf Shop, which offers clothes made out of recycled materials, collaborates with Surfrider Foundation Barcelona and has a coffee corner with free WiFi to hang out and watch competitions or surfing documentaries. Near the end of the interview, Toni feels compelled to mention the garbage cluttering the beaches and filling the oceans, “We are often not aware of the impact that the trash we leave behind on the beaches has on the ecosystem. As a surfer, and someone who is passionate about the ocean, I believe it is our responsibility not only to pick up the garbage littering the beaches, and to support NGOs that clean the oceans, but also to help increase awareness of this very serious environmental issue.”

The surfing scene has changed over the years; it has gone from a close-knit and protective community of local surfers to a more open-minded one.




2nd. Satori and The Band From Space. Sala Apolo. Nou de la Rambla 113. 4th. Carnifex. Razzmatazz. Pamplona 88. 5th. James Blunt. Cap Roig Festival. Jardí Botànic de Cap Roig. 6th. Noelia Rodiles. Palau de la Música. Palau de la Música 4-6. 11th. DGTL Festival. Parc del Fòrum. Pau 12. 13th. Levon Avagyan. Palau de la Música. Palau de la Música 4-6. 14th. Sons of the East. Sidecar. Pl. Reial 7. 15th. Tori Sparks Trio. Festa Major de Garcia. Pl. Rovira. 16th. Mayte Martín. Palau de la Música. Palau de la Música 4-6.



Perched upon a hill overlooking the glistening sea, the castle setting of this Costa Brava festival is unforgettable. Built in 1927 as the dream home of a Russian colonel and his English aristocratic wife, the picturesque location provides the perfect backdrop to the festival’s equally impressive line-up. The open-air stage, with capacity for over 2,000 spectators, plays host to a range of international stars, including James Blunt on August 5th and Andrea Bocelli, who will close the festival on August 22nd. Nestled among 17 hectares of peaceful botanical gardens, festivalgoers can also enjoy a fine dining experience at the Via Veneto gourmet restaurant to round off a magical summer evening. Festival tickets range from €20 for local acts, such as Spanish fusion musician Macaco, to €260 for headliners like Bocelli.

22nd. Andrea Bocelli. Cap Roig Festival. Jardí Botànic de Cap Roig. 24th. Virginia and The Woolfs. Harlem Jazz Club. Comtessa de Sobradiel 8. 29th. Homenatge a Paco Lucía. Palau de la Música. Palau de la Música 4-6.


The Barcelona-born flamenco cantaora, bolero singer and composer, brings her authentic style to the city for a performance of Spanish composer Manuel de Falla’s El Amor Brujo (The Bewitched Love). Originally commissioned in 1914 as a gitanería (gypsy piece) for the female flamenco voice but more recently revised into an orchestral piece, a ballet and a piano suite, the work is stripped back to its powerful, original form. An Andalusian love story, the performance paints the picture of rural southern Spain, the birthplace of flamenco, and features original versions of beautiful pieces, including ‘Song of Wildfire’ and the ‘Dance of Terror.’ Martín has been dubbed “the best female flamenco voice of her generation” and “the most complete cantaora” by Ángel Álvarez Caballero, flamenco critic for El Pais from 1981 to 2012.




The city’s tranquil green spaces present a programme of 49 free concerts this summer, enticing residents to make the most of the outdoors. The initiative, led by Barcelona City Council, started 15 years ago with a view to boost the profile of young musicians, promote parks as recreational spaces throughout the summer and educate residents on the importance of these spaces. Before each concert, visitors can enjoy a free guided tour around the park to learn about flora and fauna, history and biodiversity, before settling down to enjoy the show. This year, the programme focuses on small group performances, all selected by a jury aged 16-35 years. With an eclectic mix of styles ranging from blues and jazz to school groups and choral ensembles, there is something for everyone to enjoy. To round off this summer celebration of al fresco music, renowned Catalan jazz-blues-swing group, Txell Sust & August Tharrats Trioto, will bring the curtain down with a grand finale in Parc del Clot on August 30th at 9:00 pm.


Palau Robert’s exhibition celebrates renowned Barcelona-born photographer Antoni Bernad, famous for his work in fashion and portraiture. Having spent 50 years in the profession, Bernad is praised worldwide for his ability to capture the personality of his subjects so well. Self-taught in a homemade studio with the help of a large pile of books, he picked up his first commissions after moving to Paris in 1966. By the age of 19 he had already won first prize for his fashion documentary at Barcelona’s Week of Film in Color (1962), the first of many he would receive over his long and distinguished career. His portraits of women, especially in more modern contexts, are celebrated for his feminist approach, avoiding cliché poses and allowing them freedom in their expression. He is a perfectionist, always striving to get the shot, moving away from traditional, neutral techniques towards his famous eccentric style. This exhibition honours the artist, his works and his variety of influences from all four corners of the globe.

Photo courtesy of Palau Robert.



Photo by Pere Virgili, courtesy of La Virreina Centre de la Imatge.

José Maldonado, Ventana ∏, 1989. Colección ¨la Caixa¨de Arte Contemporáneo



The works of audio-visual artist Kikol Grau provide a fascinating narrative to the cultural and political history of Spain and, more specifically, Barcelona. Curated by Valentín Roma this collection spans from Grau’s early days, producing shorts and experimental pieces, through working in television at TV Clot and BTV in the Nineties all the way to his later evolution into filmography with works such as Objetivo Gadafi (2013) and Las más macabras de las vidas (2014), exploring Spain’s tumultuous transition into democracy. The exhibition also focuses on his somewhat disturbing cartoon-like drawings, which he referred to as “the mad monkeys that are destroying Earth.” Additionally, visitors can explore a wealth of material from Grau’s personal archive including photographs, videotapes, vintage video game machines and comics that inspired him. Free guided tours are offered on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm and Fridays at noon.

Melanie Smith. My world. Courtesy of the artist.


A “giant palimpsest” is how Melanie Smith (Poole, United Kingdom, 1965) defines her work. MACBA now hosts the largest exhibition of her work to be held in Europe to date, reviewing the artist’s career in depth. The exhibition brings together more than 120 works (sculptures, assemblages, reliefs, paintings, videos, photography and installations) spanning the period from the early nineties until today, including new work. Resident in Mexico since 1989, where she developed her career, she has witnessed the impact of capitalist modernisation, neoliberal globalization and hyper-consumerism, and the collapse of modernity. In her work, as in a palimpsest (a manuscript retaining traces of an earlier text), several levels of meaning coexist, and the contrast between her country of origin and that of adoption is integral to her work. Exhibit tours every Wed at 4:00 pm (Catalan). Museum admission is €10 and is valid for one month. Museum hours are weekdays 11:00 am–8:00 pm (Tuesday, closed), Saturday 10:00 am–8:00 pm, Sunday 10:00 am–3:00 pm. Free admission Saturday 4:00 pm–8:00 pm. Exhibit tours every Wednesday at 4:00 pm (Catalan).

Melanie Smith. Fordlandia. Courtesy of the artist.

ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO FIGURATIVO The modern art museum presents a collection of 21st-century figurative art including a range of painting and sculptural techniques. MEAM. Until December 31st.

One of the brightest talents in Spanish and international pianism takes to the stage for a special one off concert. 8:00 pm. Palau de la Música.





OCEANS, THE LAST WILD TERRITORY Dive into the deep blue sea with this fascinating audiovisual tour of the sea bed, the product of 75 exhibitions and seven years of work. Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona. Until September 24th.

FESTIVAL A series of thought-provoking films devoted to magic and illumination, shown on the outdoor patio at the CCCB. El Pati de les Dones. Until August 23rd.




ANTONI BERNAD A special exhibition in celebration of the renowned Barcelona-born photographer, famous for his work in fashion and portraiture. Palau Robert. Until August 26th.

Show off your musical skills at this open mic session for all instruments. 9:00 pm. Sonora de Gràcia.

LA RESPOSTA Brian Friel’s light-hearted play about the complexity of human relationships takes the stage as part of Festival Grec. Teatre Goya. Until August 12th.

Europe’s biggest gay and lesbian festival returns for its 11th year with parties, concerts, talks, cultural tours and more. Various locations. Until August 19th.


CINEMA LLIURE A LA PLATJA Spend an evening on the beach watching a film chosen by the public. 9:00 pm. Platja de Sant Sebastià.

MUSICA ALS PARCS The city’s green spaces fill with music for this annual series of free al fresco concerts, supporting emerging young musicians. Various venues. Until August 30th.


SPACE This spiritual and energetic band brings their unique electronic world music to the stage. 8:30 pm. Sala Apolo.



Enjoy this crime thriller in majestic surroundings, as part of the annual summer program of outdoor film screenings, Sala Montjuïc. 10:15 pm. Castell de Montjuïc.




AUTO-MÀTIC A fascinating exhibition exploring computer generated drawing, fusing mathematics, mechanics and creativity. Gallery Santa Mònica. Until September 2nd.

Enjoy this 1980 crime thriller, starring Al Pacino, as part of Filmoteca’s current cycle celebrating classic films. 10:00 pm. Filmoteca de Catalunya.



MEXICAN COOKING WORKSHOP Discover the secrets of Mexican cuisine at this workshop, part of a wider program of summer activities hosted by the luxury hotel. 5:30pm. Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I.

FORUM Electronic music and art combine with technological innovation in this two-day festival. Parc del Fòrum. August 10th & 11th


THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST Oscar Wilde’s renowned comedy is performed in Catalan, mixing farce and social hypocrisy for a unique night at the theatre. Teatre Poliorama. Until 5th August.

The deathcore band all the way from California take the audience to the dark side with their black metal style. 8:00 pm. Sala Razzmatazz.



OPERA Y FLAMENCO - PALAU DE LA MUSICA Experience a taste of authentic flamenco with this stormy and passionate dance performance. Palau de la Música. Ongoing event.

LA MUSICA FOR FAMILIES L’AUDITORI Go on a journey of discovery into the history of music with this guided tour designed for families. 11:00 am. Museu de la Música, L’Auditori.


DIA-LOGOS Exhibition exploring the impact of 13th-century Catalan-Mallorcan writer, Ramon Llull in the visual arts, literature, and politics. CCCB. Until August 5th.

ROIG The British singer-songwriter headlines at Festival Cap Roig on the stunning Costa Brava. 10:00 pm. Jardí Botànic de Cap Roig.





INTERIOR SCREEN The museum presents a program of free screenings, based on cinema expressing the realms of dreams and the imagination. CCCB. August 1st–31st.

Exhibition exploring how knowledge and images affect our interpretation of art. La Virreina. Until September 30th.

JAZZ AND FLAMENCO SESSION Embrace your musical side at this vibrant session celebrating jazz and traditional Spanish Flamenco. 8:00 pm. Robadors 23.

PARTY Enjoy an elegant Tuesday night at new heights with the best party in town. 10:30 pm. W Hotel.

NOT HERE, NOT ANYWHERE This fascinating solo exhibition from Domènec offers a retrospective view of his work from the late Nineties to the present day. MACBA.

Three internationally renowned guitarists combine with one of the country's most important dance duos to offer an unforgettable tribute to Paco de Lucía, fusing Spanish and Flemish guitar. 9:00 pm. Palau de la Música.


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SARDINES AND RUMBA Every Wednesday in August and September, enjoy grilled sardines and beer as Moritz presents live rumba music on Montjuïc. 9:00 pm. La Caseta del Migdia.

ANDREA BOCELLI AT FESTIVAL CAP ROIG The angelic voice of the Italian tenor closes the show at Festival Cap Roig. 10:00 pm. Jardí Botànic de Cap Roig.


MUSIC IN THE WORKS OF GUINOVART - MUSEU DE LA MUSICA A journey through the musical styles which inspired the works of Josep Guinovart. Museu de la Música, L’Auditori. Until October 7th.

One of the biggest street parties in the city returns for its 201st edition, filling the neighborhood with color and festivities. Gràcia neighborhood. Until 21st August.


NITS DE JAZZ AL TERRAT - LA PEDRERA Jazzy summer nights on the iconic rooftop of La Pedrera. Includes entrance to Espai Gaudí. La Pedrera. Until September 15th.

NELLO Enjoy a night of swing and rhythm and blues as part of Mas i Mas Festival. 9:00 pm. Jamboree.


DINNER UNDER THE STARS Escape the bustle of the city and enjoy a magical summer evening of dinner and stargazing. 8:30 pm. Fabra Observatory. (See page 28 for more info.)

The Australian indie-pop trio with over 30 million downloads on Spotify perform for the first time in Barcelona. 9:00 pm. Sidecar.


YOGA FLOW AND LIVE MUSIC Get your weekly yoga fix in the heart of the Raval with this unique session, accompanied by live cello. 7:30 pm. Hidden Factory Barcelona.

A fascinating free photography exhibition of 300 photos exploring the relationship between the interior and the exterior. Arxiu Fotogràfic de Barcelona. Until October 27th.


STARTUP GRIND SUMMER PARTY Head to this summertime edition of the business networking event to share ideas over a beer. 7:00 pm. Carrer de Pallars 122.

Celebrate summer with tours of this beautiful Modernista apartment, accompanied by a glass of cava. 7:00 pm. Casa Museu Amatller.


FILMOTECA WORKSHOP Learn all about the world of film in this educational experience. Filmoteca. Until June 26th, 2019.

HARLEM JAZZ CLUB Inspired by artists such as Mary Wells, Etta James, Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin, this energetic band presents an unmissable evening. 10:30 pm. Harlem Jazz Club.


MECAL AIR The Barcelona International Short and Animation Film Festival returns for its 10th year in a row. Short films and gastronomic delights will be based each week’s theme. Museu del Disseny. Until August 31st.

As part of the Festa Major de Gràcia, this mini-music festival features performances in the street to add to the party atmosphere. Gràcia neighborhood. Date and time tbc.



BIG BANG OPEN MIC Show off your rock, blues or jazz skills during an open mic night at this buzzing bar. 9:00 pm. Big Bang Bar.

A collection of photography based on daily life in New York in an abstract and intimate style that made the artist famous. Foto Colectania. Until October 21st.


BRUNCH IN THE PARK See the weekend off with a bang with an afternoon of electro fun for the whole family. 8:00 pm. Jardines de Joan Brossa.

Formed in 1985, the American band brings punk rock to the city with their greatest hits from 16 albums. 9:00 pm. Sala Apolo.



LA FESTA CATALANA Watch brave men and women build astonishing human towers in celebration of Catalan tradition. 11:30 am. Catedral de Barcelona.

BOSTIK Join street artist Vassilis Rebelos for an introductory course on Muralism. 11:00 am. Nau Bostik.


ROTOTOM SUNSPLASH Ben Harper, Jimmy Cliff and members of The Wailers headline the 25th edition of this reggae festival celebrating the music of Jamaican origin. Benicàssim, Costa del Azahar. Until August 22nd.

Judge the best-dressed street or dodge fire jets during the traditional correfoc at these community festivities. Sants neighborhood. Until August 26th.



THEATRE WORKSHOP An immersive theatrical class with Moreno Bernardi, drawing on textual, poetic, musical sources of inspiration. 8:30 pm. Hiroshima.

Kick back at this after work event with top DJs, delicious food and drink offerings and a buzzing atmosphere. 7:00 pm. Od Barcelona.


NITS D’ESTIU Making the most of long, summer evenings, this program of summertime music fills the beautiful Modernista site. 9:00 pm. Hospital de Sant Pau.

The Latin Grammy Award-winning Mexican rock band present the first single, ‘Azul’, from their highly anticipated new album. 8.30pm. Sala Apolo.


FESTES DE SANT ROC The oldest festival in the city, dating back to 1589, brings a day of celebration to the Gothic Quarter. All day. Plaça Nova.

The Barcelona-born flamenco cantaora performs Manuel de Falla’s ‘El Amor Brujo’. 9:00 pm. Palau de la Música.




FESTA MAJOR DE GRÀCIA. GRÀCIA. AUGUST 15TH–21ST. When it comes to festas, the Gràcia neighborhood takes first prize. Dating back to 1827, this festa major has religious roots, although today it is more a vibrant celebration of community and summer. This year, the 201st edition of the festival will see a colorful array of concerts, exhibitions, performances and activities for all ages, including mini music festival Festigàbal, which presents local Catalan performers and bands, over the course of a fun-filled week. An independent municipality until 1897, the small-town charm of Gràcia emanates through the neighborhood’s streets, each one competing for the highly coveted prize for the best decorations during the festival. Canopies of multicolored handmade garlands hang from above, creating a labyrinth of tunnels that transport visitors to a different fantasy world at every corner. Attendance is free.


DINNER UNDER THE STARS. OBSERVATORI FABRA. CAMÍ DE L’OBSERVATORI. UNTIL OCTOBER 7TH. Combining delicious food, breathtaking views, fascinating science and astronomy with dinner under the stars is a recipe for an unforgettable summer evening. The Fabra Observatory, established in 1904, is one of the oldest still-functioning observatories in the world, and belongs to the Royal Academy of Science and Arts of Barcelona. The surroundings of the Collserola mountainside are truly awe inspiring, and the Fabra Observatory offers an incredible vantage point to view both the stars in the sky and the city lights below. Guests can enjoy a welcome drink on the terrace as the sun sets, followed by a delicious dinner, choosing from a range of astronomicallythemed gourmet menus. A tour of the museum and the unique Noucentista hall— an architectural example of the Catalan cultural movement that fought back against Modernisme—follows the dinner. The climax of the evening is the telescope, with which guests can marvel at the solar system and try to spot an asteroid or a comet. This stellar experience runs throughout the summer, with tickets starting from €71.



GANDULES ‘18. CCCB. MONTALEGRE 5. AUGUST 7TH–23RD. No Grease or Dirty Dancing here, this film festival wants its viewers to sit up and think. Now in its 16th year, the event presents a programme of nine fascinating international films, picked by local experts. This year’s theme ‘Illuminated cinema: Magic, altered states and the occult,’ coincides with the CCCB’s concurrent exhibition, ‘Black Light.’ The programme will be split into three strands: the first three films explore ghosts, demons and the supernatural, and includes Victor Sjöström’s La Carreta Fantasma (1921). The second trio explores mental illumination, escape from consciousness and antireality, including Eighties Spanish art house film, Arrebato (1979). Lastly, viewers can transcend into the world of spiritual illumination, from vampires to witches, with top pick, The Wicker Man (1973), a British mystery horror film directed by Robin Hardy. Screenings take place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10:00 pm in the CCCB’s Pati de les Dones and entrance is free.



Will Shank reviews ‘Black Light: Secret traditions in art since the 1950s,’ at the CCCB until October 21st.

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‘Black Light’ is not for everybody. But if you’re a baby boomer fan of Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin, this might be the show for you.


urator Enrique Juncosa believes that the work of artists whose production derives from their association with alchemy, secret societies, theosophy and anthroposophy, is habitually overlooked. “Despite their importance for the development of 20th-century art, they tend to be ignored or disparaged…due to the dominance of rationalistic thinking and the difficulty of talking about these subjects in clear, direct language.” The title comes from Sufism, an Islamic cult that regards reality as light in differing degrees of intensity. This show sets out to give these individuals their due; the tag line is, “Discover the occult side of contemporary art.” A state of supraconsciousness is announced symbolically by this black light. The difficulty in mounting such an exhibition in any cohesive way is that the very individuality of the creative minds whose production is on display generally defies categorization. It is thus difficult to group any kind of visual or philosophical trends together into a meaningful presentation for the visitor. The exhibition covers a lot of territory as it incorporates the work of artists as divergent as filmmakers Kenneth Anger and Derek Jarman, visual artists Antoní Tapiés and Francesco Clemente, performers Joan Jonas and Sun Ra, and several all-purpose creative/philosophical types like Joseph Beuys and Bruce Conner, to name but a few. Most of the artists are not exactly household names, like the Americans who revolved around their better-known gurus William S. Burroughs and Timothy Leary. The opening galleries, full of the work of Jordan Belson and Harry Smith, for instance, seem to be paving the way for the visuals of Monty Python (a black-and-white animated video called The Heaven and Earth Magic Feature from 1957-1962 is a prime example). But it gets more intense from there, and heavy-hitters like Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman enter the picture. “There is no such thing as a good painting about nothing,” wrote Rothko to a colleague. “We assert that the subject is crucial.” (Whether or

not Rothko could be considered primarily a spiritual artist might be open to debate.) It is refreshing to see lesser-known, but equally worthy, artists like San Francisco’s Jess (Collins) included in this group of forward-thinkers, as he was a trailblazer in queer art in the Fifties, and his homoerotic collages and tribute to his lover, the poet Robert Duncan, settle in comfortably here. A group more blatantly influenced by mind-altering drugs is represented by the Simplest Brothers, who in Twenties and Thirties France inhaled carbon tetrachloride, a synthetic refrigerant, for their inspiration. Aleister Crowley gets a gallery of his own; the prolific English writer and occultist transcribed his Book of Law from a supernatural being who dictated the text to Crowley on his honeymoon. He died in 1947, but he lives on as inspiration for the cover art of Pink Floyd’s vinyl and for appearing on the cover of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in the Sixties. Many of these original thinkers made art, like the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner (who founded the Waldorf education system), but the objects that they left behind were not necessarily meant for public consumption. Steiner, for instance, whose work combined science and spirituality, drew constantly as an exercise in personal growth, but he never looked at the truckloads of images that he created. ‘Black Light’ succeeds more as a cultural exhibition rather than art, which is, after all, the genre that the CCCB tackles most successfully. Maybe the darkened galleries of the museum are not the best environment in which to try to enter into the heads of dozens of such original thinkers. There are a few brief—and dare I say welcome—moments of visual beauty amid the cacophony. Two lyrical Agnes Martin paintings (on loan from the collection of La Caixa) comprising horizontal bands of subtle high-key colours make you feel as if you are floating over a desert landscape of New Mexico. And the exhibition ends beautifully with a 10-minute video by Bruce Conner, the San Francisco ‘beat’ artist who is often credited with inventing the music video. His ‘Easter Morning’ strikes a musical and visual tone of great beauty as a wrap-up to an exhibition where one’s senses have been violently altered.





Reial Monestir de Santes Creus. Photo by Roberto Al.



a Ruta del Cister (the Cistercian Route) is a walking trail connecting Catalunya’s three most prestigious Cistercian monasteries: Santes Creus, Poblet and Vallbona de les Monges. This picturesque route—a 105 kilometer, circular section of the GR 175 hiking trail—takes you through rural countryside and ancient villages against a backdrop of the soaring Prades Mountains. It can be broken up in several different places and doesn’t have to be attempted all at once.

THE ROUTE THE REIAL MONESTIR DE SANTES CREUS is the first on the route and, indeed, the first Cistercian monastery to be built in Catalunya, although it’s now the only one without a religious order. Building work started in 1174 and was finished around 1225. The monastery is known for its royal tombs and is the final resting place of King Pere III and his son, King Jaume II. Open Tuesday–Sunday. FROM SANTES CREUS TO POBLET: 34.9 km. Estimated time: 7 hr 45 min. If you’re doing this part of the route in two stages, it is recommended to stay the night in either Prenafeta or Montblanc.


Monestir de Santa María de Poblet. Photo by Francis Raher.

The UNESCO World Heritage MONESTIR DE SANTA MARÍA DE POBLET was founded in 1151. It is the largest and most complete monastery on the Cistercian Route and, indeed, in the whole world, with its austerity, majesty and fortified royal palace making it an impressive sight. Peter IV of Aragon made a solemn oath that all Aragonese kings be buried here, an oath only Ferdinand II of Aragon broke after his kingdom was merged with the Kingdom of Castile. Monastic life was halted with the seizure of church lands in 1835, after which the complex suffered at the hands of plunderers and fires, falling into disrepair. During this time, the tombs of the Kings of Aragon were desecrated and the remains were transferred to the Tarragona Cathedral. In 1930 reconstruction began, and in 1940 monastic life was returned, as were the


Reial Monestir de Vallbona de les Monjes. Photo by Isidre Blanc.

remains of the deceased of the Royal House of Aragon. FROM POBLET TO VALLBONA DE LES MONGES: 25.6 km. Time: 6 hr 30 min. This part of the route is best to do in one go, as the only town with accommodation is Espluga de Francolí, just 2.5 kilometers from Poblet Monastery—it’s not a halfway point. Alternatively, you could make Espluga de Francolí your starting point, making sure you give yourself a full day to explore the attractions of this medieval town. THE REIAL MONESTIR DE VALLBONA DE LES MONGES is set in the tiny village of the same name. Built in a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles, this is the only convent on the Cistercian Route, and the only one in which monastic life has continued uninterrupted since its founding. It has been home to an order of nuns for over 800 years. From Vallbona de les Monges to Santes Creus: 43.7 km. Time: 10 hr. Stay the night in: Rocafort de Queralt. WHERE TO STOP OFF EN ROUTE PRENAFETA is an ancient village with a population of around 61 people. Here you can explore the eerie ruins of the old village abandoned in the 18th century. Walk down paved

The Cistercians are a religious order that was founded in France by Saint Robert of Molesme, abbot of the Benedictine abbey of Molesme. Dissatisfied by the relaxed observance at his abbey, St. Robert set out in March 1098 with 21 of his monks into the wilderness of Cîteaux to found a new, reformed monastery. The new monastery sought to emulate monastic life at the time of St. Benedict. It espoused simplicity and poverty, with an emphasis on manual labour and self-sufficiency. From France, the Cistercian order spread throughout Europe, bringing its unique and austere architectural style with it, a style now considered one of the most beautiful of Medieval architecture.

medieval roads and discover the ruined Church of Sant Salvador and visit the ruins of the 12th century castle at the top of a hill, overlooking the village. Mas de la Planella, a stonebuilt, former farmhouse, offers comfortable accommodation with a swimming pool, garden and barbecue. The in-house restaurant, Cal Gaya, has a traditional, Catalan menu. MONTBLANC’S well preserved defensive walls and gateways hide a labyrinth of medieval streets within. There are a number of restaurants to choose from in this village but El Call de Montblanc, Sant Josep 18, is worth a visit. Housed in a small palace dating from the 14th century, this restaurant serves up traditional Catalan cuisine. ESPLUGA DE FRANCOLÍ is home to an extensive network of caves used by humans since the Paleolithic period. One of the caves, Font Major, houses a museum and is open Tuesday– Sunday. Accommodation can be found here in an old, 17th century, country house Casa Pairal Espasa, Carrer de la Font Major. Portal del Bonet and Portal de la Font mark the medieval entryways to the small village of ROCAFORT DE QUERALT. Accommodation can be found at Casa L’Arassa. Montbrió 9. Set in a traditional country house, this hotel combines original features with a modern style and has a swimming pool.





he Mare Nostrum holds many a secret in its 2.5 million square kilometers, including a scattering of uninhabited islands just off the Spanish coast. In stark contrast to many Mediterranean islands, there’s not a soul to be seen in the archipelago of the Illes Medes along the Costa Brava. A distinguished natural park and marine reserve boasting crystalline waters and an abundance of wildlife, this is a diver’s paradise. Located just a mile off the coast from L’Estartit, the Medes Islands archipelago consists of seven islets and forms part of the Montgrí, Medes Islands and Baix Ter Natural Park. Once a base for pirates, and later monks, the islands have been uninhabited since 1934. They are considered to be one of the most important marine reserves in the Mediterranean and are a popular destination for scuba diving.

There are several diving schools in L’Estartit offering a range of excursions to the islands, suitable for varying levels of experience. If diving isn’t your thing, Nautilus (, based in L’Estartit, has a fleet of glass-bottomed boats offering several sailing trips per day around the islands and along the nearby Montgrí coast, where you can catch a glimpse of the underwater world without getting your feet wet.

WHAT’S DOWN THERE Dusky Grouper The dusky grouper has a dark brown body with yellow and white asymmetrical splotches. The tip of its fin is bright white, making its lower end look luminescent. It measures 50–100 cm and weighs 3–10 kg. European Barracuda Fast swimmers and powerful predators, the European barracuda has a long, compressed body covered in small, silver scales. It has a large mouth and a projecting lower jaw lined with prominent, sharp teeth. It normally measures 30–60 cm and weighs approximately 6 kg.

Suitable for all levels, dives of varying depths are possible, with shallower areas offering dense, well-lit seaweed and over a hundred brightly colored species. Dive down 10–15 metres, and you’ll find light-deprived seaweed, rocks, coral, starfish, octopus and lobster, whilst a further five metres will bring you to colored coral inhabited by over 600 species of fauna. Sardines, barracudas, eagle rays and groupers can all be spotted in the area. The limestone archipelago is also known for its caves and tunnels, although extreme care must be taken in those areas. The largest shipwreck along the Costa Brava, the Reggio Messina, which was deliberately sunk in 1991, lays close by.

European Sea Bass The European sea bass is dark blue, green or grey in color with a light white or yellow belly. Juveniles tend to have lighter bodies than adults, with small dark spots along their backs that generally disappear within the first year. It measures up to a metre long, weighing 9–10 kg. Mediterranean Gorgonian The Mediterranean gorgonian is a species of bright, soft coral that grows in fan-shaped colonies. They are brilliantly colored in bright yellow, fuchsia and red.



startup of the month


for pilots, a simulator with tools and text that would tell you things like how to start a plane’s engines, understand the interactions of flight systems, avionics, etc.” Jordi is a leading advocate of the sharing economy and in that spirit created a platform that empowers people to share knowledge effectively and efficiently. According to Jordi, “The most important part of a marketplace is the community. When we started out in 2014, marketplaces weren’t the hype they are today. There was only Airbnb, Ebay, and Bla Bla Car in Europe, and Lyft and Uber in the United States. For Sharing Academy the hardest part was to convince people to get on board to build the leading community of students and tutors.” Today Sharing Academy comprises a team of five passionate individuals sharing a common vision, and interestingly enough, Jordi got to know most of them through the platform. Jordi explains, “In the beginning, we were doing a lot of in-person events to foster a sense of community and that’s how we met some of our most active users. For me that’s key and to differentiate ourselves from any other tutoring platforms. Our Chief Technology Officer was actually the best coding tutor on the platform. We met at one of our events and I asked him to join the team.”

JORDI LLONCH ESTEVE (33), FOUNDER & CEO OF SHARING ACADEMY By Natalie Donback Sharing Academy is a digital marketplace connecting students with tutors. This platform helps you find your ideal tutor: someone trustworthy and who expertly passed the course you are taking now, at the same university. Feedback on the tutor, client reviews, comments and hourly rates makes the process of selecting the best tutor easy. Sharing Academy comprises a community of 8000 students and tutors from 53 universities across Spain. In September, Sharing Academy will also start working with a consortium of Swiss universities and global partners. Listing websites like Milanuncios and Craigslist have been around for years, but these solutions fail to offer both students and parents a level of trust that is fundamental. Sharing Academy excels in this regard, as it performs background checks for both academic qualifications as well as criminal history checks on its tutors. After a career as a pilot, Sharing Academy’s founder Jordi Llonch went back to university and wrote a thesis, culminating into what became the first version of Sharing Academy. Jordi says, “My university thesis was a computer-based training program

The platform’s go to market strategy focuses on university students, but the platform is increasingly being used by high school students as well. Sharing Academy is a tool for building local communities, so if your university has 20,000 to 50,000 students, it adds value to help initiate and foster this community network. Jordi’s team has also realized that, “students from online universities need much more help than traditional ones. They really love to be a part of the platform, and not only for finding tutors, but also to offer classes. When you have that aha-moment that helps you pass a difficult course, you want to share it with others and our platform.” This essence is what Sharing Academy hopes will help it go viral. Parents love Sharing Academy because it both encourages and empowers students who excel in specific subjects to earn an extra income easily and enjoy recognition from their peers. If you need to pass a specific exam, join their platform to find the ideal tutor.


Carrer de Badajoz 32. August 9th. 7:00 pm–9:30 pm. 22@Bcombinator Afterwork is an informal meeting where large companies explain the programs they offer for entrepreneurs and startups. Bcombinator offers training services, mentoring, fund-raising, financial and legal advice, and event organization where networking, innovation and collaboration are encouraged.


K+K Hotel Picasso, Passeig de Picasso 26–30. August 23rd. 6:30 pm–8:00 pm. Women With Ambition host a hands-on stress management workshop, providing wine and snacks to like-minded women. Attendees will leave this workshop with actionable takeaways that will allow you to continue exploring your entrepreneurial dreams without compromising your health.


Carrer de Pallars 122. August 31st. 7:00 pm–10:00 pm. Big open mic session, a brief presentation of upcoming events, and a huge get-together over cold beers and music. Registration will be for free until the week of the event so, hurry up and get your tickets!


Photo of Jessica Craig by Jason Keith



JESSICA CRAIG, INTERNATIONAL LITERARY AGENT, USA, FOUNDER OF CRAIG LITERARY Jessica began her career in publishing more than twenty years ago in New York soon after graduating from Columbia. In 2005 she moved to Edinburgh to work at world-renowned independent publisher, Canongate Books, and later was a founding agent of United Agents in London. In 2016 she struck out on her own and founded Craig Literary in Barcelona.

9:00 AM Usually I start my day by reading publishing news and new material from my authors or from prospective authors, with a pot of green tea. But, since the end of May when I started learning about the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, I have been starting each day reading reports of human rights abuses committed by my government against immigrants and deciding how US citizens abroad can respond most effectively with activism. I recently created an action group in Barcelona and a coalition of international resistance: Families Belong Together International. In Barcelona in May and June we were the first US citizens outside the US to protest against the separation of young children from parents. 11:00 AM My first cup of coffee. Soon after I walk down to the beach with my partner, who also works from home, and we go for a swim. This clears my head and readies me for my main battles as an international literary agent. 12:00–9:00 PM These are my main hours for fighting for my authors, but I handle anything urgent at any time of day. Most of my work is with editors or clients in the US or UK, so these are the best hours for emailing, calling clients, submitting my authors’ manuscripts and scheduling London or Frankfurt book fair meetings. My partner makes a delicious lunch that we eat together around 3:00 pm, and then my work resumes. 9:00 PM Sometimes in the evenings I attend a Democrats Abroad or Women’s March meeting, go to a concert, or I catch up with a friend. But, usually, I wind down at home with a glass of wine and read. If I don’t have urgent reading I may watch a film, an episode of The Wire or read one of the published books that are piled beside my bed as pleasure reading. Our whole apartment is like a library of books and music, an oasis of calm in an increasingly stormy world. I know some Americans in Barcelona would rather not think about what is happening back in the US. And, I know some people in publishing think we should keep work separate from politics. But, I believe we are now living in a time when every one of us needs to decide what kind of world we want to live in, what kind of world we want for the next generation, and what each of us can do to make a difference. In a city as international as Barcelona, linked to the US through education and tourism, there is a lot we can do here to raise awareness and to make a positive impact. In my work as a literary agent of multicultural authors, many of whom are immigrants, I see my role as a champion of their voices as inextricably linked to my role as an activist for human rights.


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s the age old saying goes, when one door closes, another opens. Chef Xavier Pellicer’s vegetable-centric restaurant, Céleri, which earned a Michelin star in 2017, has closed as the chef and his partners went separate ways. Chef Pellicer has made a name for himself by combining fine dining technique with the principles of healthy, flexitarian living, and his new eponymous venture, Restaurante Xavier Pellicer, is no different. The menu abounds with surprises, like the grilled cabbage, served chilled with candied pine nuts and pickled radishes, or thick tender trunks of white asparagus dressed with citrus chunks and plump oysters. In fact, at the beginning of May 2018, the We’re Smart Green Guide named Restaurante Xavier Pellicer the Best Vegetable Restaurant in the World 2018. I agree that the plating and cookery employed here are visually unique and, for the most part, delicious, although ‘Best in the World’ is a grand declaration. Chefs don’t just fold their knife rolls and take their Michelin stars with them, they must earn the stars again when moving to a new restaurant. The maître d’ seemed optimistic that the restaurant’s first star would be arriving soon, but I think that substantial improvements to service will be the biggest hurdle. The interior design of the restaurant is chic, minimal Mediterranean, with wood, wicker and stone elements that welcome you but indicate that a casual experience is in-store. We waited for a long time before a waiter asked us if we were ready to order, though we hadn’t yet been given a menu. Our waiter was helpful, though he seemed a bit stressed with the full section he


Chef Pellicer has made a name for himself by combining fine dining technique with the principles of healthy, flexitarian living

Photos courtesy of Restaurant Xavier Pellicer



Provença 310 P. 93 525 90 02 Tue–Sat 1:30 pm–4:00 pm and 8:30 pm–11:00 pm JJJJ J NOT WORTH THE TRIP JJ COULD IMPROVE JJJ GOOD JJJJ VERY GOOD JJJJJ NOT TO BE MISSED


By Tara Stevens

t’s a funny thing living in Spain when it still feels so balmy that come August we’re really heading in to autumn. In the markets that means the arrival of the first crops of root vegetables that are particularly sweet and tasty right now, especially carrots, which were first cultivated in Spain in the 1100s, about 300 years ahead of the UK, curiously enough. Increasingly, you do see the older purple and yellow varieties around, but for the purposes of this dish look for smallish, orange carrots that still have their frilly green fronds attached (I like to wash and dry these and use them as a garnish on top of the tortilla). It is particularly good for late summer picnics and brunches, punched up a notch by the addition of North African harissa. A dollop of garlicky aioli on the side doesn’t go amiss either.

INGREDIENTS • 500 g carrots, peeled, roughly chopped and steamed • 500 g potatoes, peeled, roughly chopped and steamed (or use leftover roasties) • 2 onions, sliced and fried until translucent, but not colored (or use leftover roasties) • 1 tbsp ground coriander

• • • •

1/2 to 1 tbsp harissa, to taste 4 large garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley • 8 large eggs • 1 tbsp butter

METHOD 1. Pre-heat oven to 200º C 2. Chop potatoes into thin slices 3. Roughly puree carrots in a food processor together with the coriander, harissa, and garlic. 4. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Beat in the salt and pepper, then fold in the potatoes, followed by the carrots and the parsley. 5. Grease a deep, 22 cm, ceramic oven dish with butter and pour in the carrot batter. 6. Place in the centre of the oven and cook for 30 minutes. 7. Leave to rest for 10 minutes, before flipping out of the dish. 8. Cut into wedges and serve at room temperature with a crisp, green salad.


was handling. He explained that for two diners, the recommendation is to order between five and seven plates to share. Each plate is made to share and consists of a carefully measured 100-gram portion. I imagined the dishes to be smaller than they turned out to be, and was thoroughly stuffed by the end of the meal. We ordered 14 dishes among four people, but we would have been fine with 10—though some are certainly more filling than others. The vegetable dishes are grouped by their main ingredient—from celery and aubergine to cauliflower and green beans—and most have a vegan, vegetarian, and meat or fish version of the same dish available, listed in that order. We began with the lentil hummus, which was expertly seasoned and presented perfectly, piped onto a plate and topped with sesame seeds and fragrant micro herbs. Accompanied by paper-thin Sardinian flatbread, this was a great starter to the meal. The wine list is definitely geared towards bottles, with only a handful of wines available by the glass, so I opted for a bottle of Er Boquerón instead, a Valencian craft beer brewed with sea water, which turned out to be an excellent pairing for the mix of vegetables and seafood to come. A surprise highlight of the meal was the cauliflower purée. A simple preparation of creamy cauliflower drizzled with smoked oil, I actually preferred this already rich, vegan dish to the vegetarian version, which included a slow-poached egg on top. The egg felt like an unnecessary addition that confused the naturally velvety texture of the purée. Perhaps a sprinkling of aged Parmesan shavings would have made a more pleasant contrast. The dishes went on, with Thai fish soup, confit aubergine and watercress (with or without sausage), green beans with potato and chanterelle mushrooms, and crab-stuffed figs all making an appearance. The meal culminated with two final dishes: a forktender fillet of crispy-skinned, seared snapper with a vibrant array of barley-cooked baby vegetables straight from the garden, and a royale of braised rabbit with confit shallots and swiss chard. The wholeroasted tomato garnish on the fish dish, however, was cold inside when compared to the other fullywarmed vegetables, and the rabbit was a bit dry and underwhelming in flavour, despite the tableside pour of rabbit jus, especially after such a fresh and wellseasoned meal. We were completely stuffed at this point and couldn’t even think about attempting a dessert course, so enjoyed instead a strong espresso and went on our way. I think there is a lot of potential for Restaurante Xavier Pellicer, though some tweaking is surely necessary. All in all, things seem to bode well for the world of vegetarian fine dining in Barcelona.




Photos courtesy of Can Fisher




oining the bright and breezy parade of xiringuito restaurants along Barcelona’s Bogatell beach, Can Fisher is a fresh addition, offering food that is far beyond the typical seaside fare. Of course there are classics, like cod fritters and boiled octopus, but at Can Fisher the former is dressed up with a sweet-tart lemon curd while the latter is made extra indulgent with the addition of smoked bacon and a creamy potato purée. The kitchen works with local products whenever possible and aims to take much-loved traditional flavours and bring them into the current day with elevated technique. Waiters in sailor stripes bustle around the interior dining room, filled with sunlight and leafy plants, and along the wooden deck of the terrace with its unobstructed views of the Mediterranean, delivering salt-baked cod and seafood paellas fresh off the wood-fired grill. Little touches, like the fine ribbons of basil in the malagueña olives, and the black salt crystals sprinkled atop the tomato salad with salmorejo, abound. One of my favorite starters was the fresh razor clams from the Delta de l’Ebre, roasted on the Josper grill and dressed with a sweet and savory sauce of mango and miso. At the entry of Can Fisher is a lively tank full of live lobsters and crabs, both local and imported. Priced based on market value that day, the lobsters are grilled in the Josper oven and served with classic tartar sauce, bernaise sauce and a side of your choice, be it the green salad, roasted potatoes or braised local vegetables. If a succulent lobster, or the hefty dry-aged rib eye steak, don’t strike your fancy, one of the eight varieties of rice surely will—from the creamy rice with scarlet shrimp to the chicken paella with traditional Valencian garrafon beans and beef ribs. We chose the ubiquitous and easy-to-eat “Arroz Señorito”, a traditional paella with rice that is cooked to nearly dry, topped with pre-peeled prawns, langoustines and mussels. As with any good paella, the key to the richness and depth of flavour is in the broth, and chef Álvaro Garcés and his team at Can Fisher clearly know their way around a stock pot.



Av. del Litoral 64 T. 93 597 1840 Mon–Sun 12:30 pm– midnight

THE BENEDICT BCN4 BARRI GÒTIC The Benedict BCN can be found in the heart of the city’s Gothic quarter. A cozy place full of charm, it has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and features a distinctive vintage design. Start your day with the best brunch in Barcelona - the house speciality, the eggs Benedict, aren’t to be missed! Or grab your friends and spend evenings together enjoying their exquisite Latin food with an exotic cocktail in hand.  Gignás 23. 08002 Tel. 93 250 7511 Brunch: Mon-Fri 9am-4pm Sat-Sun 9am-5pm Dinner: Thurs-Sun 7pm-11pm Cocktail bar: Thurs-Sunday till 2.30am

BAR CENTRO4 EIXAMPLE Bar Centro offers a unique experience when you indulge in one of their burgers. 40-day aged beef of Galician ‘Vaca Vieja’ cooked on the grill is a must-try. Eight craft beer taps go hand in hand with their gastronomic proposal. Don’t miss all four versions of their pulled pork, the homemade nachos, the chilli or the bravas! Everything is handcrafted.  Casp 55. 08010 Metro Tetuan/ Urquinaona Tel. 93 192 5255 Mon-Wed 1pm-11pm Thurs-Fri 1pm-11.30pm Sat 8pm-12am

D9 BAR4 POBLENOU Whether you are an Erasmus student, a football fanatic or a music lover, D9 Bar has a night for you. Equipped with a terrace, D9 offers a wide range of tapas, beers, cocktails and shots for every night of the week. With American Day on Wednesdays, Erasmus parties on Thursdays and music-themed parties on Fridays and Saturdays, there is always something for everyone. 

Pallars 122, 08016 Tel. 93 309 9202 I Sun-Thurs 6pm-2.30am Fri-Sat 6pm-3am

NICE SPICE4POBLENOU Specialists in Tandoori. Typical halaal with high quality dishes. See the chefs prepare and cook your food ,which is all made with fresh ingredients. Boasting a Bollywood musical ambience, Nice Spice is an excellent choice for traditional indian food in Barcelona. 



& IN


 under 20 |  20-30 |  30-40 |  over 40  food&drink visit our online directory

To advertise in this section call: 93 451 4486 or email:

MANNÀ GELATS4 BARRI GÒTIC Mannà Gelats offers homemade ice creams, waffles and crêpes in the heart of the Barrio Gótico. Their ice creams are inspired by family recipes, using the finest products. The fresh fruit sorbets are made with market-bought products, and boast a range of exotic varieties. Their passion is to please their customers with personalised attention.  Banys Nous 22 | Metro Liceu Tel. 93 342 7312 Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm Fri-Sat 11am-11pm

BAO BAO4SANTS “Bao”is one of the most delicious Asian street foods and is hugely popular in countries right across the continent. At Bao Bao, innovation is merged with tradition to provide a gourmet, fusion touch to this light and spongy bun; you’re invited to embark on a journey of taste through flavours from around the world.  Riego 23 | Tues-Sat 8pm-2am |

GOVINDA (VEGETARIAN)4BARRI GÒTIC Founded over 30 years ago, Govinda continues to thrive on a blend of experience and fresh innovation with its vegetarian Indian cuisine. The international menu features thalis, a salad bar, natural juices, lassis, pizzas and crêpes. Govinda offers a vegan-friendly, nonalcoholic and authentically-decorated environment with lunch and weekend menus. 

Plaça Vila de Madrid 4-5 | Metro Catalunya | Tel. 93 318 7729 Tues-Sat 1pm-4pm and 8pm-11.30pm, Sun-Mon 1pm-4pm |


A warm and welcoming environment allows you to fully enjoy a tasty and healthier alternative to your everyday meal. Dishes include cereals, pulses and vegetables and homemade puddings. The cuisine is creatively international with care taken to ensure that each meal is well-balanced and made with the freshest ingredients. Their menu of the day costs 10.90, while their night and weekend menus cost 15.80.  Diputació 164 | Metro Urgell | Tel. 93 454 8613 Mon-Sat 1pm-4pm and 8pm-11pm, Sun closed | www.



Pujades 207 | Metro Poblenou Tel. 93 308 9548 Open everday 12pm-4pm, 8pm12pm

Former banker-turned-chef Laila Bazahm has taken Barcelona by storm with her deliciously creative fusion cuisine, lovingly crafted from the Southeast Asian and Latin American flavors of her childhood. Hawker 45 respects and cherishes classic street food but elevates it to a higher gastronomic level. The result is pure multicultural foodie heaven.  Casp 45 | Tel. 93 763 8315 | Mon-Sat 1pm-4pm and 8pm-11pm, Sun 1pm-4pm


Dr. Steven Joseph - DOCTOR An English doctor in Barcelona, Dr Steven Joseph is a member of The Royal College of General Practitioners and The Royal College of Psychiatrists. He offers a wide range of medical care, including family medicine, sexual health, mental health and access to all specialists and tests. Physiotherapy and chiropractic services are also available. Googol Medical Center provides comprehensive healthcare in a relaxed, friendly and discreet environment. Dr Joseph is happy to take your enquiries directly.


To advertise in this section call: 93 451 4486 or email: See our online directory at

Gran Via Carles III 37-39, 08028 M. 662 291 191

Mary D. McCarthy - DOCTOR

Doctor for Adults

Mary D. McCarthy, M.D. Fellow American College of Physicians

Narayn Yadave -


Feel confident with Dr. Mary McCarthy, an American-trained doctor for adults. A native English speaker with over 20 years’ experience in Barcelona, Dr. McCarthy offers professional, private health care. She is a member of the American College of Physicians and International Association for Medical Assistance for Travellers, and is also certified as a Specialist by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Narayn is an expert in digestion disorders, diet and nutrition at Ayurveda Barcelona, an Ayurvedic Health Centre located in the “Les Corts” district behind L’Illa Diagonal. The centre provides Ayurvedic consultancy, Ayurvedic treatments and massages, detox programmes and ongoing training in Ayurveda.

L’Aviacio 11, 08029 T. 93 494 29 28 / M. 639 325 756 Open Mon-Sat 10am-8.30pm

Aribau 215 Pral. 1a T. 93 200 2924 M. 607 220 040

ServiDigest - HEALTH ServiDigest have more than 40 years’ experience working in the health industry and are pioneers in colorectal cancer prevention. Nowadays, colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers and prevention is the best treatment. Detecting symptoms at earlier stages is the key to a good outcome. However, if it is discovered at an advanced stage, it has a five-year survival rate. They have two important digestive screening programmes: the Colorectal Prevention Programme and the Digestive Cancer Prevention Programme. Balmes 334, 08006 T. 93 415 3464 / 93 545 0990 Mon-Fri 9am-2pm and 4pm-9pm Sat 9am-2pm, Sun closed


Eugenia is a licensed psycologist (col. 18602) and therapist for individuals, couples and families, who specialises in issues related to migration. Trained in Mexico, New York and Barcelona, she has a wealth of experience in treating individuals dealing with the complexities and stress of building a new life in a foreign country. She also offers comprehensive treatment for people going through depression, divorce or any other life-altering event.



Santa Perpetua M. 677 090 479


The Javier Bassas Dermatology Centre is a well-renowned dermatology and surgical centre equipped with the latest technology. The medical team, led by Dr. Javier Bassas Bresca, consists of surgical dermatology and venereology specialists with vast clinical and surgical experience. Their goal is to provide specialised, rigorous, efficient and accessible care, with the highest quality and ethical standards. Diagnosing and treating skin diseases is their priority, as well as offering the latest advances in dermoaesthetics.

Hestía International Psychotherapy Centre has become a reference in the city, due to its high quality multidisciplinary and multilingual profile. Their professional team works with individuals, couples and families through a variety of services and approaches to therapy and personal development. They speak English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Greek, Polish, Swedish, Russian and Catalan. The first consultation is free.

Consulta Balmes 24 1º1 T. 93 412 6602 Teknon, Marquesa de Vilallonga nº12 Consulta nº 34 1ª 08017 T. 93 290 6434

Diagonal 343, 2º 3ª T. 93 459 2802


Orthoestetic - DENTIST

Platinum Provider


The Orthoestetic Clinic is located in the heart of Barcelona near the Sagrada Familia. They have modern clinical facilities and equipment, which together with their extensive experience, allows them to offer an integral quality dentistry, designed to seek the satisfaction of the patients. Dr. Holguin is a specialist in dental aesthetics, and orthopedics and orthodontics for children and adults. She is certified by the Invisalign system.


Diagonal 341, loc 1. 08037 T. 93 512 4749 M. 638 545 555

Francesc Perez Cabrero 19-21 08021 T. 93 252 9 729

Dra. Susana Campi -

Goldie Uttamchandani -

New premises, new services and new state of the art equipment! For all your dental needs, their team of first-class professionals offer excellent treatment. They have over 35 years’ experience and provide services in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Catalan.

Goldie is a bilingual ICF Certified Youth & Family Coach. It is her belief that in your teen years, you can truly unlock your highest potential as a human being. She is focused on accompanying this age group on navigating through this challenging and exciting journey to help them attain their goals. Try a complimentary first session and begin your journey on connecting with your true greatness.

Turó Park Medical Center is an international practice in Barcelona for foreign residents, tourists and locals alike. Its team of 15 dental and medical specialists speaks fluent English. Opened in 2017 by resident orthodontist Dr. Madeleine Smit, the centre already has 900 affiliated patients. Its prevention service includes general health checkups, and it accepts reimbursement policies of more than 200 insurance companies.



Josep Tarradellas 97 local, 08029 Bus: 15,27,32,43,54,59,66,78 T. 93 321 4005



Emma Ruiz -


Dr. Boj and his team offer specialised, comprehensive dental and orthodontic treatment for children and teens. Laser dentistry and invisible orthodontics are provided. Dr. Boj lectures on dentistry related to these age groups. He studied at the School of Medicine and Dentistry of the University of Rochester, NY, USA. This is a fast and friendly service in an English-speaking, international environment.

Prats de Mollo 10, Bajos B, 08021 T. 93 209 3994

Dr. Alistair Gallagher DENTIST

The British Dental Clinic has a patient-friendly philosophy that combines aesthetics, youthful appearances, and a commitment to total oral health. Conveniently located in Barcelona, they offer orthodontics including Fast Braces and Inman Aligner, implants, cosmetic dentistry, whitening and general family dentistry. Their talented, conscientious and friendly staff will help ensure that you comfortably receive the healthy and beautiful smile that you deserve. Diagonal 281 T. 93 265 8070 M. 607 332 335

M. 669 788 508 Skype: goldieuttam

Are you ready to thrive? I can help you with . . . • Relationship issues • Grief / Loss • Feeling stuck • Finding your life purpose • Reconnecting with yourself Don’t wait any longer to be the best version of you


Còrsega 218 M. 659 126 877


Konstantina uses homeopathy to boost your immune system, allowing you to be a part of your own healing. It is an effective, non-invasive, holistic system of healing, which can treat a number of physical problems and help overcome mental/emotional ailments, such as fears or anxiety. Konstantina also offers ear acupuncture; an effective treatment for reducing withdrawal symptoms of smoking cessation or substance abuse while detoxing the body. M. 655 666 618

Estudio 3 Pilates Reformer

First session free for new clients. Rambla Catalunya 66, 1º F 08007 T. 93 215 2393

Sombrerers 27, Principal T. 93 268 3070 M. 622 772 623

Our studio gives professional instruction to improve full-body flexibility and strength–without adding muscular bulk. Sessions are personalised to individuals or groups of up to five people, run by expert coaches trained in Reformer Pilates. We offer monthly subscriptions for 1, 2 or 3 sessions a week with flexibility to fit our clients’schedules, and also offer one-off classes for occasional visitors.


Oliver Dawson -

CHIROPRACTOR Oliver Dawson is a chiropractor who focuses on the direct relationship between spinal structures and health. Through specific spinal realignment and structural correction, better neurological connections are established throughout the nervous system. The result is less pain, more vitality and better health. Every Thursday from 8-9pm, Oliver offers free health activation workshops about the benefits of chiropractic and the key principles.To attend the workshop, please confirm by email and quote ‘Metropolitan’.


Kamen B. Petrov - PSYCHOTHERAPIST Kamen is an experienced Jungian Psychotherapist, Lecturer and Psychologist, Member of the British Psychological Society, Professor at Metáfora Barcelona. He works with individuals, couples, children and families and offers supervision to psychotherapists. To learn more or to book a free introductory session, please visit his website. M. 603 490 498

Mind & Soul Barcelona - INTERNATIONAL GROUP OF DEPTH PSYCHOTHERAPISTS A group of certified psychotherapists with extensive experience in the field of psychology and psychotherapy. They focus on issues of change, conflict and relationship difficulties, offering individual and couple psychotherapy with flexible hours and affordable fees adjusted to individual income. Visit their website for more information or to book a session. Jonathan Hooker - PSYCHOTHERAPIST

Jonathan specialises in helping people to deal with change. This may be aspects of their life they would like to change or unexpected changes that they are dealing with. An English-speaking psychotherapist, counsellor, coach and guide, he helps people to improve their relationships and make sense of their lives. M. 639 579 646

Cecilia Frigerio - HOLISTIC HEALING Cecilia Frigerio is a holistic therapist channeling her passion for nature into her healing sessions. Offering a variety of treatments, including therapeutic massages, Reiki and tantric massages, a session with Cecilia is the perfect way to take a break. Clients receive a personalised experience and find serenity through a combination of holistic techniques. M. 605 625 938 Yoga con Gracia - YOGA

An enchanting neighbourhood studio and community space with two locations in the heart of Gràcia. Founded in 2004, you will find a friendly, international vibe in the gorgeous loft-style studios. YcG has something for everyone, from Hatha, Sivananda, Kundalini, Jivamukti (a fast-paced Vinyasa) to English, pre-natal and Mum and Baby yoga classes.

Pharmacy Serra Mandri - CHEMIST The pharmacy is open 365 days a year and offers a home delivery service. The staff can help and advise each client to ensure they get exactly what they need. They also stock a great range of products, including homeopathy, natural medicine, aromatherapy and organic cosmetics. Av. Diagonal 478 T. 93 416 1270 9am-10pm

Sanz Pancko Dental Clinic DENTIST

Sanz Pancko Dental Clinic in Barcelona and Terrassa provides excellent oral care in an Englishspeaking environment. Dr Nancy Pancko, an American dentist trained at Columbia University in New York, is an American Board-certified orthodonist. Dr Javier Sanz is an American Boardcertified periodontist and implantologist who lectures on periodontal technologica advancements and leads research projects at the university. Together, they provide comprehensive and affordable dental care. Rogent 40, local 2, 08026 Metro: Clot (L1, L2) T. 93 246 9043 Open Mon-Fri 9am-8.30pm

The Pink Peony BEAUTY SALON The PEONY de SY facial is a complex recovery treatment for mature skin that combines organic Dr. Hauschka products, non-abrasive ultrasonic exfoliation, detoxifying lymphatic stimulation and collagen-regenerating LED Light therapy. The result is a luminous, visibly repaired complexion and an ongoing stimulation of collagen production. When making your facial reservation, quote ‘Metropolitan’ for a free eyebrow and upper lip threading worth €35. Passeig de Gracia 100, Pral. 2ª Mandri 62 T. 93 487 8464 Whatsapp: 648 248 744

The Vital Touch - MASSAGE The Vital Touch help people to focus better and feel re-energised. They come to your office or event and set up their ergonomic chairs, which you can relax into comfortably and fullyclothed for an effective energising massage. You emerge 20 minutes later with increased vitality and all tensions released. Benefits of the massage include: de-stressing, relaxation, revitalisation, tension release, detoxification, immunity boost and improvement in posture. Contact Nunu by phone or email for more information. M. 659 995 657

Spain Accounting-

TAX & BUSINESS SERVICES Qualified UK accountant with 30 years experience in Spain offers: • tax services for freelance “autónomos” and small SLs • income tax returns for employees and non-residents • practical advice on setting up a business in Spain • registration of “autónomos” and company incorporation (SL) • personalised advice on your tax obligations in Spain • fast, reliable email service Contact David Cook on M. 678 702 369


To advertise in this section call: 93 451 4486 or email: See our online directory at

Klev & Vera -

Barcelona Accounting -

This firm specialises in attending to the legal needs of international clients in Spain. They have multilingual team of lawyers with international backgrounds, specialising in different areas of legal practice including: • Real Estate • Business Set Up • Spanish Residence • Family Law • Litigation • Tax Planning

Need help with your small business finances? Barcelona Accounting can create an efficient financial system for a start-up or existing business, convert you to a modern cloud accounting solution, organise and/or update your bookkeeping, manage your compliance and run financial analysis to help grow your business.



Valencia 281, 2-2 T. 93 176 0190



Sánchez Molina -

NIE Barcelona



NIE Barcelona is a service that helps foreigners resolve all the paperwork needed for living and working in Barcelona. Their main focus is on helping to secure the NIE for EU and NON-EU citizens in a fast and efficient way. They can also help with other administrative procedures, such as social security numbers, empadronamiento, autónomo set up, and change of driving license.

The lawyers at Sánchez Molina speak English, Spanish, Italian and French. They can help with your business licensing services, legal defence and representation, registration under any form of ownership, accounting services and work and residency permits.

Gran Via Carles III, 84, 5 T. 93 490 9669

M. 603 209 403


Barcelona Women’s Network - NONPROFIT

This local Barcelona insurance agency provides complete personal and business insurance services (home, car, health, commercial, public liability, life, motor, yacht, travel, etc.). They offer a 30% cost-saving guarantee by keeping insurance coverage identical. Advice is available in Spanish, English and German.

Supported charities 2016 - 2018 M. 636 465 010

M. 670 405 727

BWN offers support, friendship and networking opportunities to internationally minded women residing in, or just arriving in Barcelona. They are unique in that they are a social group with a social purpose - raising funds for community organisations through various activities and events, with the help of their community sponsors. Connect with like-minded women while giving back to the community. Find out more about membership via their website

PWN Barcelona - NON PROFIT

Coccinelle - PRIVATE STAFF

PWN Barcelona is part of a global movement working towards gender balanced leadership through professional development and a range of networking options: in-person, online, cross-industry, and international. They offer Mentoring programmes and an EU Business School certified virtual programme for entrepreneurs. Regular events include 2nd Tuesday Networking Drinks and professional development workshops. “Let’s advance how men and women work together”.

Coccinelle specialises in providing highly-skilled, experienced domestic staff in Barcelona and surrounding areas. Their expertise and rigorous selection method ensures they are able to provide seasoned professionals for both permanent and temporary positions, where over 700 families have trusted in their services. Call them today and quote ‘Metropolitan’ for a free consultation.

Pau Claris 151 T. 93 010 9758

Radix -


Radix is a Property Finding Service that works exclusively with buyers. Ideal for locals or people living abroad lacking the time to dedicate to their property search. Customized to your needs, budget and location. Let Radix save you time and guide you through a smart purchase. Dream. Find. Enjoy.

M. 647 588 569


Geo Mac - COMPUTERS George Cowdery is a freelance Mac technician who has been providing valuable support to the Mac community in Barcelona for over 15 years. Among the services he offers, George can help clients with maintenance and upgrades, hard drive replacement and ADSL setup. He can also provide consulting and tutorials according to his clients’ needs.

M. 606 308 932

Handyman - HOME SERVICES Mark offers honest, transparent, efficient, English/Spanish/Swedish speaking handyman services. He can help you hang a mirror, paint a room, install reverse osmosis, hang blinds or curtains, do home repairs, assemble Ikea furniture and he can even fix up your place, assiting the process of retrieving your “fianza” from your landlord. Hourly rates. Real time updates.

M. 645 691 475 Facebook handymanbarcelona74

Yacht Point Barcelona - Online navigation theory courses and sailing tuition. - Obtain your Competent Crew, Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster with us! - Courses for beginners to advanced sailors. - Day Charter trips for private groups. We want to share our passion with you, we are more than a Sailing School!

T. 93 004 5707

FOR THE BEST ENGLISH-SPEAKING BUSINESSES IN BARCELONA, SEE OUR ONLINE DIRECTORY Lawyers - Accountants - Language schools Business schools - Computer technicians Real estate - Insurance - Electricians Plumbers - Graphic design Driving schools - Sailing schools Babysitting services - Translators International schools - Printing services

Language Surfing - LANGUAGE

Highlands School Barcelona - SCHOOL

Highlands is a private Catholic school for students aged between one and eighteen. Students follow a high-quality, multilingual curriculum delivered mainly in English, with some classes in Spanish and Catalan. They also have the option of learning French and German. The school is accredited by Cambridge International Education, a world leader in education for international schools. Highlands offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities and works together with the Conservatori Liceu. Manuel Florentín Pérez 26, 08950 Esplugues de Llobregat

Barcelona is your classroom and its streets are your books.


Entença 34 enslo 1, 08015 Metro Rocafort M. 663 563 720

Spanish with Angeles -

Oak House - SCHOOL Founded in 1968, pupils at Oak House are taught according to the UK national curriculum in early years and primary education. Secondary pupils follow a multilingual programme, with a firm emphasis on English. Oak House offers IGCSE qualifications to help prepare students for university courses in English. The school also offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in English, as well as the National Bachillerato programme. The school’s modern installations are conducive to an active learning style. Their motto is ‘building futures’. Sant Pere Claver 12-18, 08017 T. 93 252 40 20

Language Surfing is a revolutionary learning approach where students practice in real life situations and accelerate their learning by having lessons in real bars, parks & museums. Our teachers are native and professional, who love to explore the city with you, so you can take in the culture and practice in a fun and exciting environment. It’s the end of boring lessons!


LANGUAGE Do you want to speak Spanish well? With Angeles, you can make incredible progress in your language learning, becoming a confident speaker with a solid understanding of grammar and good writing and reading skills. Angeles’ lessons focus on conversation and are tailored to every student’s individual needs.Angeles is a professional, native Spanish-speaking tutor with more than 12 years of experience, who believes in the importance of providing custommade materials and guidance. Her personalised lessons are the most effective way to help students reach their goals. M. 647 626 487

Corsa International - DRIVING SCHOOL

Corsa driving school offers theoretical classes and practical driving lessons in English. Their experienced instructors will give you the confidence to drive comfortably in Barcelona and help you learn about Spanish road systems. They have both manual and automatic practice vehicles.

Gran via de Gracias, 266, 08022 T: 934885221

BritSat - SATELLITE TV Missing out on British TV? Not to worry. With their latest equipment, extensive experience and fantastic aftersales service, they provide all UK and European TV via satellite and Internet installations. So don’t miss out on all the summer sporting action, phone or email Britsat for a competitive quote and expert advice. M. 649 605 917

Ibex - INSURANCE SERVICES Ibex have been in operation since 2000 and have grown to be one of the largest insurance providers for the expatriate community in Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar. They can insure your car, motorbike, home, pet, health, holiday home, boat, travel, business and provide funeral plans and more. T. 900 102 527

Language Deaprtment - LANGUAGE SERVICE

Language Department is a global language service provider offering translations, adaptations, localizations, voice-over and subtitling services and more for businesses around the world. Our team specializes in recurring language projects for business, legal, medical, marketing and the technology sector. Save10% on your first order! C/ Sardenya, 299. Planta 5 T. 93 380 1061

BCN L.I.P. - LANGUAGE SCHOOL BCN LIP language school is a small school located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter offering a wide variety of dynamic classes for those wishing to learn Spanish, Catalan, English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and Hebrew. The courses are intensive and extensive, varying from four - 30 hours a week, Monday to Saturday. The teachers are qualified native speakers, with several years of experience. They also offer specialised summer programmes, excursions and cultural activities for the students. They can also help you with your student visa and finding a place to live.

Avinyó 50, 08002 T. 93 318 6591



FIND THE BALANCE! Dear Sam, I can’t seem to have constructive conversations. Every time I want to talk about something that’s bothering me, get something off my chest or confront a situation at work, it ends up exploding. I’d like to think it’s the other person, but if I’m honest with myself, I’m the common denominator in each of these situations. I don’t have a particularly combative personality I just can’t seem to tell people what’s on my mind or how I’d like to change a situation without things getting out of hand. Conversations usually end with someone walking away, a door being slammed or someone hanging up the phone and saying they need space. Any feedback on how to have better, more constructive and less volatile chats would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much, Ticking Time Bomb


By Ben Rowdon


Sam Mednick is a professional life and executive coach based in Barcelona ( A Canadian native, she’s been living in the city for eight years working with companies and individuals focusing on transitions, communication, leadership training, time management and productivity, as well as emotional intelligence development. For more coaching tips, tune into Sam’s podcast:

Hi Ticking Time Bomb, Many of us view uncomfortable conversations as confrontations. Even if we’re not conscious of it, we can often walk into a situation that we know is going to be hard and already have our guard up and the armor on. I applaud you for owning this and for not outright blaming the other person. That’s something most of us don’t do. Because these types of conversations are hard to have, it’s easy for both parties to become defensive and combative. One thing I’d suggest is to notice your demeanor before going into these chats. What are you thinking and feeling? And what is your body language saying? All of this contributes to how we set the initial tone. Are you going into these conversations ready for a fight or are you going into them wanting to hear the other person out and genuinely walk away with a change? We sometimes convince ourselves that we’re talking to someone because we want to create a positive outcome and alter the way things are going, when in fact we sometimes use these situations to unload and get everything off our chest that hasn’t been said in a while. Another thing to consider is how long are you waiting before you have these conversations? Most people avoid these conversations, wait until things have boiled within us so much so that it explodes into an angry verbal diarrhea that neither gets our point across nor results in any constructive change. If you’re the type of person who lets things sit for too long before confronting them then try having these conversations earlier, when you know it’s on your mind and before it’s at the point that you can no longer control. Here are a few other practical tips for having more constructive and less confrontational chats: 1. Interrogate Reality: Go into the conversation with the intent to listen

and understand the other person. If you genuinely want things to change and preserve the relationship, you’ll want to know what’s going on within the other person. Unless they tell you, you can only assume. Unless you ask them what they’re feeling and understand why things are happening the way they are, you may be talking at them and not to them, which won’t prove constructive. 2. Avoid the word “you”: When we say “you did this” or “you make me feel,” it induces automatic defensiveness in the other person, and ineffective conversations. Instead, include yourself in the equation, because you are a part of the equation. It will have a drastic impact on the outcome of the conversation. 3. Set the tone from the start: The way you start the conversation will determine how the rest of it goes. I often share these seven points with people to help properly open an uncomfortable chat. They’re from the book Fierce Conversations (highly recommended). The idea is to touch on each point in the opening 60 seconds. So, all seven points should be mentioned in the first minute and then you let the other person speak. The seven points are: • Name the issue • Give an example of the issue (very short, tangible example that the person listening will know what you’re referring to. Do NOT go into detail since you only have 60 seconds) • How does it make you feel? • What are the consequences if this continues? • What role did you play in creating this issue? • Express your wish to resolve it. • Invite the other person into the conversation. These steps can help you diffuse the “ticking time bomb.”

Barcelona Metropolitan Issue 259  
Barcelona Metropolitan Issue 259