January 2014 Nº 204 Free
COCKTAIL CULTURE The art of the winter drink
where east meets west
The legal limbo of Spain’s alternative practitioners
GONZALO COMELLA The history of a fashion family
NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS
THE BEST HOT CHOCOLATE IN TOWN WHAT’S ON THIS MONTH RESTAURANT REVIEWS
Escape to the Pyrenees
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Publisher Creative Media Group, S.L. Managing Director Andrea Moreno Editor Esther Jones
January 2014 Features
22 Winter warmers Barcelona perfects the art of the seasonal cocktail 26 Healthy alternatives Traditional medicine struggles for recognition in Spain 30 Gonzalo Comella The rise and fall of an iconic Barcelona brand 32 Ski season Escape from the city to the Pyrenees this winter
Regulars 06 10 11 21 34 50
In the city On the cover Recipe Culture Food & Drink Interview
Art Director Aisling Callinan Account Executives Jalil Alui, Richard Cardwell, Adriana Soto and Daniel Whitehead Editorial Assistants Eleanor Bodman and Heather Buchanan Design Assistant Marina Dimova Sales Assistant Sena Çakiroglu Contributors Amanda Astramowicz, Lucas Cavazos, Anjalina Chugani, Jay Collins, Carol Moran, Tori Sparks, Marius Stankiewicz, Nicola Thornton and Sam Zucker Cover image Heather More Photographers Aimee McLachlan, Lee Woolcock, Sam Zucker Illustrator Ben Rowdon Editorial: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: email@example.com. General: firstname.lastname@example.org. Depósito legal: B35159-96 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.
Ciutat 7 2ª-4ª, 08002 Barcelona. Tel. 93 451 4486
What’s on 12 14 16 18
January calendar Music Art Best of the rest
Directories Food & Drink Business Shopping Jobs
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Canadian writer Marius Stankiewicz has travelled extensively throughout Asia writing on topics such as health, society and multiculturalism. He is currently writing a book about his hyphenated identity and exploring Barcelona’s diverse communities and their beliefs about allopathic and nonallopathic cures. His piece in this issue is about Catalans’ perceptions of medical alternatives. “I lived in South Korea for two years and had great success with a variety of alternatives. I wanted to know how traditional medicine was viewed here.”
Lucas hails from Brooklyn, New York, though he was born on the border of Texas and Mexico. After spending his first post-university years working in the financial world of New York, life brought him to the shores of Catalunya in the summer of 2008. He has been here ever since, working as a tutor, writer and educator, even serving the Catalan military as their English teacher. His love for the city is how it continuously teaches him to be in the moment and to slow down... not always easy for a New Yorker!
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SAM ZUCKER Sam is originally from Boston, Massachusetts in the US. He studied ecology, photography and Spanish language at Hampshire College (Amherst, MA). He then went on to train as a chef at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, NY) and earn an introductory certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2013. He currently lives in Barcelona and works as a culinary tour operator and food/travel writer for several outlets, including his blog: Zucker & Spice Travel—zuckerandspicetravel.com
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gastrobar & restaurant
New Restaurant & Gastrobar meeting point for the cosmopolitan people of Barcelona. Gastrobar (prices between €10-€20 per person), open all day with tapas cooked on the spot. Brunch menu available from 12pm to 5pm. Enjoy the finest classic cocktails in Barcelona (€6 to €9) from 7pm. Restaurant with Grill from 1pm-4pm and 8pm-12.30am where the best meat in the city is authentically prepared. Cuts include Black Angus from Santa Fe, Argentina and Nebraska.
Balmes 127, Barcelona Tel. 93 451 5048 www.milorestaurant.com
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06 IN THE CITY
IN TOWN arthouse cinema Cinephiles will welcome this new addition to Barcelona’s ﬁlm scene. Zumzeig Cine Bistrot opened in Sants just three months ago and offers a programme geared towards a young crowd. Zumzeig founder, Esteban Bernatas, wants to showcase ﬁlms with a strong, personal voice, giving the city’s movie-goers an alternative to the commercial circuit. The 70-seat theatre will screen European auteur cinema, independent American ﬁlms, documentaries and video-art, all in original version. The adjoining bistrot serves artesanal beers, ecological juices, tapas and salads. Béjar 53 www.zumzeig-cine.eu
vintage by the kilo A shopping oasis for trendy urbanites and vintage lovers, Flamingos Gallery opened in December on Carrer Tallers. The 600m2 gallery is home to 20 shops, featuring young fashion designers. There’s also an outlet of Flamingos Vintage, the ﬁrst chain in Spain to sell clothes by the kilo. Every unit has been painstakingly thought out by interior designer Abel Melkonian, to create a mood that suits each label’s style and personality. The gallery is the brainchild of Daniel Martínez, owner of the Flamingos Vintage chain. Tallers 68 www.ﬂamingosgallery.com
pins and needles Hot on the heels of co-working comes co-sewing. Keen needlesmiths who lack the space or equipment can join Lantoki’s cooperative workspace, or simply rent a sewing machine, by the hour or long-term. Created by local design students Sandra and Urko, Lantoki is a place to share and learn. Workspace users have continual access to expert advice on technical and creative issues and can attend the sewing workshops, which are also open to the public. Next door, the Lantoki shop stocks sewing equipment and creations from the workshop. Doctor Dou 15 www.lantoki.es
Hot chocolate thick enough to stand your spoon in, topped with an indulgent blob of whipped cream and served with a side plate of deep fried, sugar-coated churros. Perfect for cheering up a grey January day. But where to indulge? Here are our favourites:
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1 GRANJA LA PALLARESA
3 GRANJA BANYS NOUS
4 GRANJA VIADER
A BARCELONA CLASSIC with long queues to prove it. Inside, the atmosphere is friendly and busy. We love their dark chocolate but it doesn’t always score well with children. Petritxol 11
ANOTHER PETRITXOL FAVOURITE, Dulcinea is laid back and welcoming under the attentive eye of 90-year-old owner Joan March and his wife Elvira Farras. Petritxol 2
LOCATED IN A MODERNIST building that dates back to 1872, the atmosphere here is cosy and the service friendly. For people who like their hot chocolate very sweet. Banys Nous 4
FOUNDED IN 1870 this is the birthplace of Cacaolat, that sickly drink that children love. Happily, their suizos are delicious. Enjoy the charming, dated décor. Xuclà 6
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IN THE CITY 07
Is working from home driving you to distraction? Newly-opened Apocapoc near the Arc de Triomf is a multi-functional coworking space for the eco-conscious. Light and airy with lots of recycled materials and calming neutral shades, there’s space for working, meeting, socialising and relaxing. The outdoor terrace, complete with fruit trees, is perfect for recharging your batteries. If you value your independence but miss the creative stimuli that your sitting room lacks, then this could be the space for you. Passatge Hort dels Velluters 5 www.apocapocbcn.com
Detox your closet! Humus sells ethical clothing that meets strict criteria. All designs are made from fabrics of natural and organic origin, meaning no pesticides or fertilisers are used. Each piece is created in an environmentally-friendly way using only ecological methods, and respecting the rights of the workers involved in the process. Boots made from 100 percent organic leather and recycled rubber, organic baby alpaca wool sweaters, and purses made of recycled mosquito net are just a few of the pieces you can ﬁnd on Humus’s stylish shelves. Catalan owners, Guillen and Cecilia, will be happy to tell you where each item comes from and how it was made. Avinyó 29 www.humusbarcelona.com
Established just a few months ago, Di!p music bar is making a name for itself in the Eixample. Its eclectic, yet classy ambience includes long draping Persian rugs stretching from the ceiling to the ﬂoor, a massive backlit amber wall, and quaint, modern seating arrangements. The club also offers a white brick wall to display artwork by painters, photographers and sculptors. Di!p is building a reputation for showcasing underground DJ talents as well as renowned acts. If you walk in on a Friday or Saturday night, expect cutting-edge swing, funk, disco, deep house and techno music. Rosselló 156 www.diipbarcelona.com
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08 IN THE CITY
el barómetro The new AVE train link from Barcelona to Paris finally opened in December. The high-speed train replaces the 11-hour night train and takes just over six and a half hours to reach the French capital. It’s pricey though, at €170 each way. Catalunya has added five restaurants to its Michelin-starred list. The restaurants awarded one Michelin star include Barcelona eatery Tickets, owned by the Adrià brothers. (See our review of Tickets on page 34) The Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona is developing an app to prevent taxi drivers from overcharging clients. The app, which will be launched in early 2014, will allow the user to calculate the price of any taxi ride in the city. It will be available via the www.amb.cat website. Congratulations to the Verdi Cinema which has been awarded a Medalla d’Honor by the city in recognition of many years of service to Barcelona’s cinemagoers. KGB club in Gràcia has been temporarily closed down until the management take action regarding excessive noise levels. The club has been at the centre of protests by neighbours for many years. 870 people are currently living on the city’s streets, a 47 percent rise since 2008. The Ajuntament has opened an emergency shelter for the winter months which will provide beds for 75 people.
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ill.. w I 4 1 0 In 2
...be a better person
Barcelona has been named European Capital of Volunteering for 2014 in recognition of its active voluntary sector (according to a recent survey 17 percent of Catalans do some kind of volunteer work). One organisation whose workload keeps growing is Arrels Fundació, which helps the homeless of Barcelona. The volunteer work they offer varies from hands-on support on the streets to helping out in their day centre. Alternatively, the website of Haces Falta lists requests for volunteers from a wide range of different charities. The positions include pretty much everything from drivers, teachers and carers to architects and children’s monitors. You can apply for positions you’re interested in directly through the website. www.arrelsfundacio.org www.hacesfalta.org
...give up smoking
In former empty shops across the city electronic cigarette franchises have been popping up like mushrooms. There have been calls to extend the smoking ban to these tobacco-free, vapour-producing cigarettes. The arguments are that they actually encourage smoking and that there is no evidence yet regarding long-term health risks. If you think that it beats a pack-a-day habit then treat yourself to one of the many designs on offer and choose what flavour you’d like to inhale: with or without nicotine, coffee, strawberry...? If breathing vapour doesn’t appeal, then you can go the old-fashioned willpower way, with the help of local healthcare provider CatSalut. Call 061 and you will be assigned a nurse to support you through the process and who will answer your calls via a free helpline. If you think you’ll need more than willpower, Stephan Moellman offers two-hour hypnosis sessions in English, German and Spanish. www.hypnosisconsult.com
...improve my mind
In the 19th century the tertulia was a staple in the lives of the city’s artists and intellectuals. These social gatherings to discuss literature and art took place in private homes and cafes, such as Els Quatre Gats or the now defunct Cafe Delicias on the Ramblas. The tertulia literaria finds its modern-day equivalent in the less romantic-sounding book club. Today there are over 80 book clubs in the city, meeting in civic centres, libraries and museums. If you prefer to do your reading in English, The Reader is an English-speaking book club that meets to discuss a different book each month. And, if you’re short on reading material the public libraries are an excellent source of literature. They are free to join and the membership card allows you to borrow books from all the city’s libraries and to access their wifi. Just head to your local library with some ID to get your card. www.facebook.com/BCNReader
The locals are clearly onto something: life expectancy for Barcelona residents is above both the national and Catalan averages, at 80 years for men and 86.2 years for women. So, do as the locals and fill your cupboards with wholesome Catalan produce. Els Bandolers de Gràcia stocks Catalan wines, cavas, cheeses and local meats. The shop also sells its own fruit and vegetables, which are grown on a plot of land outside the city. Or, make sure you eat your five-a-day by getting them delivered right to your door. Sign up online with La Cesta Fresca to order your regular box of fresh, seasonal and locally-grown fruit and/or vegetables. And why zap all those wonderful nutrients? Crua Gourmet Cuisine offers cooking classes that teach you how to make delicious raw food meals. So busy with your other resolutions that you don’t have time to cook? Then head over to Poble Sec and take a seat at sophisticated raw food bar Espai Kru. Els Bandolers de Gràcia, Verdi 12 www.lacestafresca.com www.cruagourmetcuisine.com www.espaikru.com
Get into shape without setting foot in a gym. Hit the beach early and join the morning fitness class that meets three days a week on Barceloneta beach. Or seek out the free Tai Chi and Qigong classes that the Ajuntament offers in the city’s main parks. Although these sessions are particularly aimed at the active elderly, everyone is welcome. Cycling is easy and practical (just make sure you buy a good lock), and the Ajuntament is planning some major improvements to the city’s cycle paths this year. And lastly, you could join the growing numbers of runners in the city. This sport is enjoying a major popularity surge right now with 5k and 10k runs taking place each month. But New Year is a time for thinking big, so how about signing up now for Barcelona’s 35th annual marathon that will take place on March 16th. Keep yourself motivated by joining a running club. The Barcelona Casual Road Runners group meets twice weekly at the Ciutadella park. www.facebook.com/beachfitbcn www.zurichmaratobarcelona.com www.meetup.com/Barcelona-casual-runners
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IN THE CITY 09
Q. What is YOUR new year’s resolution?
Jesús Rubio Lawyer Spain
A: I would like to quit smoking, and sign up for a creative writing class.
English Teacher UK
A: I want to learn Spanish, become a better cook and learn more about Barcelona.
Juliet Paternotte Student Holland
A: I would love to go to Bali, speak Spanish fluently and learn Catalan for my boyfriend.
Graphic designer Bulgaria
A: I would like to learn to play the djembe [a type of drum].
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10 THIS MONTH
ON THE COVER Illustrator Heather More www.heathermore.com
Barcelona is Colourful, proud and beautiful. I never miss: local festivals such as the Festes de Gràcia and the Sant Joan festivities. I always avoid La Rambla. The best of Barcelona is elsewhere! A view From the top of Montjuïc. Panoramic views of Barcelona! On Saturday mornings one of the gardens opens its gates for the best view on the hill. A building An ornate and grandiose apartment block in Plaça del Sol. I fell in love with this building instantly. Its exterior is decorated in pastel green and pink and it reminds me of a giant fondant fancy. An inspiration Mariscal’s lobster sculpture at Barceloneta beachfront. Its smiling face reminds me to always be creative and have fun with it. The sculpture is a reflection of Mariscal’s personality and I think personality should never be hidden or compromised in art. A place to go with friends Plaça del Sol. The name fits this beautiful sun-trapped square in Gràcia. Relaxed yet bustling, the best place to sit with friends over tapas and a beer. On my to do list The Montjuïc cemetery. I always find old cemeteries great places to draw. This is the resting place of Joan Miró among other known Catalans. For food, La Taqueria, a Mexican street food restaurant tucked away on a lane opposite the Sagrada Familia. About the cover Gràcia was my home for the warmer months of last year. I spent a lot of time outdoors with sketchbooks. The cover is an illustration of Plaça del Diamant and surrounding buildings. The colours and varying sizes of the buildings were joyous to put on paper. Barcelona is energetic yet relaxed at the same time and it was a great challenge to capture the spirit of the city.
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I have always drawn and I thankfully never experienced the time when most children decide to put down the pencil. This has become more important in my adult life as I have been able to record in line and wash the places I have visited and the people I have seen. I graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2011. Specialising in illustration, I chose drawn lines over graphics or photography. I have always had a love for drawing and more recently it has become a journalistic tool for me. In the past year I have visited Germany, Spain, France and the Czech Republic and filled sketchbooks as I travelled. I grew up near Edinburgh, Scotland and had the experience of cities and countryside which I think inspired my creative side. The feeling you get from drawing on location is very different from working from a photo or your imagination. Location drawing is the most honest and rewarding work I do. Most of the time I am not looking at the paper I am drawing on as my eyes are studying the cathedral/monument/ skyline/coffee drinker in front of me. This relaxes me and means the work is not self-conscious or contrived. It might not always be perfect but it becomes an instant artefact of a time and a place. My house is quickly filling up with sketchbooks! Drawing in Barcelona was one of the best experiences in my life. I can’t wait to come back. When I am not drawing on location I like to draw characters and dinosaurs and foxes. This helps pay the bills.
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THIS MONTH 11
Spinach and coriander green chicken with spiced potato wedges by Anjalina Chugani Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 40 mins Total time: 55 mins Serves: 4-6
Ingredients • 500g fileted chicken breast, cut into cubes or strips • 1 bag spinach • 3 handfuls fresh coriander • 1 tsp fennel seeds • 1 tsp cumin seeds • 3-4 curry leaves • 1 can tomato puree • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely-
grated • 2 tsp garlic, crushed • 2 tsp turmeric powder • 2 tsp coriander powder • 1 tsp chilli powder (optional) For the spiced potato wedges: • new potatoes, par boiled • 1 tsp turmeric • 1 tsp coriander powder • 1 tsp garam masala • salt and lemon juice to taste For the yoghurt dip: • 1 tub greek yoghurt • 1-2 tsp harrissa paste
Instructions 1. Place the spinach and coriander in a food processor with a little hot water and blitz until fine and almost paste-like. 2. Season the diced chicken with salt, pepper, lemon and turmeric powder (about half a teaspoon). 3. In a large non-stick pan, heat a little sunflower or vegetable oil on medium heat. Add the fennel and cumin seeds and curry leaves. 4. As they start to sizzle, add the canned tomatoes, turmeric, coriander powder, ginger and garlic. 5. Allow to simmer until the oil starts to rise to the sides of the pan. 6. Add about half to one cup of boiled water (depending on how much gravy you want). Stir, then add the chicken. 7. Cook the chicken in the sauce until it’s cooked through. 8. Stir in the spinach “puree”, and season with salt and lemon juice. Bring to the boil then lower to a simmer. Cover and allow to cook for about 20 minutes on a low heat. For the potato wedges: 1. Cut par boiled new potatoes (skin on) into wedges. 2. Season with salt and pepper. 3. In a non-stick pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the powdered spices to the pan and stir till slightly smokey. Add the potatoes, skin side up. Pan fry the potatoes until they turn a nice golden colour. For the yoghurt dip: 1. Combine the yoghurt and harissa paste Serve with chopped coriander and steamed white rice, chapattis or naan bread.
Anjalina Chugani was born in London but moved to Bangalore in India when she was 15; since 2000, she has been living in Barcelona where she works as an English teacher. A self-taught cook, she held Social Suppers in the meeatings23 space, and has a blog for recipes and food photography, www.rainbowspoon.com. email@example.com
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CALENDAR JANUARY 2014
SPORT SANT SEBASTIAN BEACH
01 .01 At 12 noon on New
Year's Day a huge crowd of brave souls take their first dip of the year. No registration needed. Brrrr.
ART & MUSIC
MERCAT DE LES FLORS
02 .01 Camus Band present
04 .01 DJs Albert Almakx
Sonoritats, in which the dancers create a magical world of sounds and music as they dance, using wood, metal, plastic and sand. (Until 4th)
and miKegineR take a musical look at the exhibition Arte Dos Puntos. The result is an avantgarde fusion of electronic music against a collage of images.
07 .01 Get your comfy shoes
09 .01 A chance to show
on: today is the official start of the January sales. They end on March 6th, but you'll need to get there early for the best bargains.
CLASSICAL MUSIC PALAU DE LA MÚSICA
14 .01 American pianist and conductor Stephen Kovacevich recites Beethoven's Sonatas 5, 30 and 31.
off your general knowledge and language skills at the Philharmonic's Thursday night bilingual quiz (English and Spanish).
DANCE ESPAI BROSSA
HARD ROCK CAFE
15 .01 Dance company Born 16 .01 The Milkers are back en Dansa presents Bathroom Simphony; five stories about intimacy in that most intimate space of all, the bathroom. (Until 16th).
for this month's Hard Rock Session, sponsored by Metropolitan. All your favourite covers from The Beatles to Coldplay. (See page 14).
CINCO JOTAS, LAS ARENAS
MUSEU D'HISTORIA DE LA CIUTAT
22 .01 Join us for the Guiri
23 .01 Early music ensemble
Business Drink, sponsored by Metropolitan. A relaxed way to meet new people...and the first drink is on us!
LA SONNAMBULA, LICEU
HARLEM JAZZ CLUB
26.01 Head to the Apolo at
27 .01 Opening night of
28 .01 The Harlem's Tuesday
8.30pm on the last Sunday of every month to dance swing and lindy hop to the sounds of the Barcelona Jazz Orchestra.
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Bellini's La Sonnambula at the Liceu. (Until February 17th).
17 .01 The first Festa Major
of the year gets underway, with nine activity-packed days for all ages. (Until 26th).
Música Reservata de Barcelona performs pieces by Renaissance composer Cristóbal de Morales.
LA 2 DE APOLO 2
night Blues Jam Session is a regular fixture on the Barcelona jazz calendar. Top-notch local and international musicians perform blues and swing.
MUSIC & DANCE L'AUDITORI
29 .01 The choir, ballet and
orchestra of the St Petersburg Army, known as "the first peace army" perform popular Russian songs accompanied by spectacular choreographies.
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THREE KINGS PARADE
05 .01 Every child in the city comes out for the spectacular arrival of the three kings. But you don't have to be a child to enjoy the extravagant costumes and music.
11 .01 29 musicians aged
12 .01 Screening of A Por-
between nine and 20 make up the Sant Andreu Jazz Band. They will be performing with well-known artists as part of the Festival del Mil.leni.
trait of Jason by Shirley Clarke (1967). The film is part of the CCCB's cycle: Xcèntric. 13 years of visionary cinema
CHILDREN FUNDACIÓ JOAN MIRÓ
19 .01 A Petita Escala is an architecture workshop held at the Joan Miró Foundation, and based on the foundation's building. For children aged 4+.
GASTRONOMY MUSEU DE LA XOCOLATA
25 .01 Learn to make chocolate delicacies at Speaking with Chocolate, a three-hour workshop in English. €25 per person.
MUSIC PALAU SANT JORDI
30 .01 Canadian crooner
Michael Bublé comes to Barcelona as part of his 2014 world tour.
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0 editor’s pick
HARD ROCK SESSIONS
The Milkers. January 16th, 10pm. Hard Rock Cafe. Pl. Catalunya 21. Every Thursday night the Hard Rock Cafe offers free concerts by up-and-coming local bands. Metropolitan has teamed up with the restaurant to sponsor a different act each month. This month it’s high-energy foursome, The Milkers, who know how to get a crowd up on its feet, as they cover the best indie, Britpop and rock and roll songs from the last two decades. Visit our homepage to find out about their upcoming solo projects in our online interview: www.barcelona-metropolitan.com
JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH
Ignasi Cambra. January 19th, 6pm. La Pedrera. Provença 261-265. www.lapedrera.com. Ignasi Cambra is one of Spain’s most outstanding young pianists. He is taking part in Residències Musicals at La Pedrera, a project which aims to support and raise the profile of some of the best young musicians in the country. The concerts will give the artists an opportunity to showcase their versatility and talent. Cambra started at the Badalona Conservatory before going on to study piano at the University of Indiana in the US. He has won various competitions both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, and has performed at renowned venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Centre, and at the Contemporary Piano Faces Festival. Cambra performs here alongside guest artists Laura Gené (violinist) and Oriol Aymat (cellist). Together they will interpret pieces by Haydn, Shostakovich and Brotons.
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Depeche Mode. January 15th, 10pm. Palau Sant Jordi. Pg. Olímpic 5-7. The critically-acclaimed British electronic band performs in Barcelona as part of their world tour. Formed in 1981, Depeche Mode shot to fame with their debut album Speak & Spell. This was followed by a string of UK hits, including “Enjoy the silence” and “Just can’t get enough”. In 1995 Alan Wilder quit the band, leaving original trio Dave Gahan, Martin Grove and Andy Fletcher. A plethora of personal issues, including drug addiction, alcoholism and depression nearly saw the end of the band around this time, but by the late Nineties, and after much rehab, the band was recording and performing live again. Depeche Mode is arguably one of the most influential bands in modern music. After over 30 years of performing and producing music, the trio return with their latest album Delta Machine, released in March, 2013.
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12/23/13 11:08:31 AM
10TH. THE STATESBORO REVUE The acclaimed five-piece from Texas interweave rock, blues and country, resulting in a sound that’s both dynamic and soulful. Rocksound. Almogàvers 116. 18th. DREAM THEATER Progressive metal from this thoroughly accomplished US band who have won dozens of awards between them for their instrumental prowess. Sant Jordi Club. Pg. Oímpic 5-7. 20th. PROTEST THE HERO More progressive metal with this band from Canada who are known for their fast, upbeat sounds and musically complex arrangements. Bóveda. Roc Boronat 33. 21st. STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKS Former frontman of US indie band Pavement, Malkmus is touring with the band he founded in 2000. Sala Bikini. Deu i Mata 105. 22nd. OBITS Indie rock and garage punk from this Brooklyn-born band who are touring their 2013 album Beds & Bugs. Sidecar. Pl. Reial 7. 23rd. CASS MC COMBS From blues to rock to songs of worship, Californian born singer-songwriter Cass McCombs brings his eclectic music to Barcelona and showcases his latest album, Big Wheel and Others. Apolo. Nou de la Rambla 113. 27th. THE SADIES The Toronto-based band bring their unique mix of rock and roll and country/western to the stage. Sidecar. Pl. Reial 7. 30th. MICHAEL BUBLÉ The multi-platinum Canadian artist Michael Bublé has enjoyed worldwide success. Don’t miss his upbeat, big-band tunes when he comes to Barcelona. Palau Sant Jordi. Pg. Olímpic 5-7. 31st. FRANK TURNER The UK singer-songwriter used to be frontman of hardcore punk band Million Dead. Since they split in 2005 he has turned to lighter things, exploring acoustic folk and country music. Bikini. Deu i Mata 105. FebRUARY 1st. JACCO GARDNER A baroque/pop multi-instrumentalist, Gardner creates a unique sound by combining the sounds of harpsichord, strings, flutes and other classical instruments with raw psychedelic effects. Sala Becool. Pl. Joan Llongueras 5.
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12/23/13 11:08:33 AM
City Perspectives Antoni Tàpies, Guerra. Sèrie Història Natural, 1950-1951 © Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona / Vegap De la fotografia: © Gasull Fotografia, 2013
A Cop d’Ull. Until March 16th. Palau de la Virreina. La Rambla 99. www.bcn.cat/lavirreina With just a glimpse at the photograph of Via Laietana layed with cobblestone, A Cop d’Ull manages to pull you back in time as far as the 1950s in Barcelona. The exhibition aims to assess the city’s scenes with displays of recent work by contemporary practitioners alongside a series of key photographers from past decades. A Cop d’Ull invites you to discover the complex relationships between the city and its people, while weaving together a narrative about Barcelona’s colourful past. With this collection of individual subjectivity in the public eye, you may just see Barcelona from a truly different perspective.
0 editor’s pick
A CATALAN MASTER
Antoni Tàpies. Collection, # 6 Until February 27th. Fundació Antoni Tàpies. Aragó 255. Local artist, Antoni Tàpies (1923-2012), was one of the most famous European artists of his generation. He started out as a surrealist but soon experimented in other fields, including incorporating non-artistic materials into his paintings. The Fundació Antoni Tàpies presents a new selection of works by Tàpies, which takes viewers on a journey through the creative phases of the renowned Catalan artist. Exhibiting works from the 1940s onwards, this collection illustrates the chronological development of the typologies, techniques and materials used by Tàpies, as well as his interest in physical matter, his political commitment and the relationship between his work and other artistic disciplines.
BACK TO BASICS LIFE THROUGH A LENS
Jo faig el carrer. Joan Colom, fotografies 1957-2010 Until May 25th. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. Parc de Montjuïc s/n. MNAC opens a window to the past this month with a major retrospective exhibition of the work of local photographer, Joan Colom (b. 1921). Renowned for his portraits of Barcelona’s underworld and working class, Colom’s chief subject matter is street life, which he has artfully committed to film for over 50 years. Shooting from the hip, Colom surreptitiously captured fleeting moments, emotional insights and curious characters, allowing us to peer through his lens into another time. This exhibition reviews the complete works of this key post-war figure, with images selected from MNAC’s extensive collection, donated by Colom himself. From the red lights of the Raval to the shanty town of Somorrostro, the Barcelona of Colom depicts the same familiar streets, whilst serving as a powerful historical testimony to the urban transformation of the city.
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Invents. Idees que canvien vides Until February 23rd. CaixaForum. Av. Francesc Ferrer i Guardia 6-8. Living in the 21st century, not a day goes by without another mind-boggling, technological breakthrough. In a world of seven billion, however, the creative efforts of the world’s inventors are often directed exclusively at only 10 percent of the population. Meanwhile, non-profit groups of creative minds have been focusing their energies on designs that truly make a difference. This inspirational exhibition reveals how simple, yet ingenious ideas are changing and saving lives across the world’s poorest countries. From the solar bottle lamp to the low-cost infant’s incubator, the exhibition presents 14 of the most revolutionary inventions that improve living conditions and access to basic necessities for the four billion people worldwide who live on less than eight dollars a day.
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GALERIA TRAMA Adrián Espinós. The Spanish artist (Alicante, 1985) explores material realism in art. From January 23rd. Petritxol 5. MUSEU PICASSO 50 years of the Picasso Museum. A series of documentary exhibitions based on different facets of the musem’s identity. January 16th - March 9th. Montcada 15-23.
ARXIU MUNICIPAL Barcelona en postguerra 1939-1945. Photographs and documents from the city’s archives showing politics and daily life in the city after the civil war. Until January 27th. Santa Llúcia 1. CAIXAFORUM Pisarro. Retrospective of the work by Danish-French artist Camille Pissarro (1830-1903). Until January 26th. Av. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia 6-8. FUNDACIÓ JOAN MIRÓ Clothes on the line. Pere Formiguera’s first photographic series, from 1975. Until January 19th. Parc de Montjuïc s/n. GALERIA ARTEVISTAS 2013 - Entre Terres. Artist Santo depicts the harsh and brutal contrast between life in the city and life in the countryside. Until January 26th. Passatge del Crèdit 4. GALERIA JOAN PRATS Todesfuge. Various art forms are used by Brazilian artist Fernando Prats to explore Paul Celan’s poem against the death camps of Nazi Germany. Until January 12th. Rbla. Catalunya 54. GALERIA SENDA Data Packets New Yorker, James Clar, presents sculptures and video installations that use light as a raw material. Until January 18th. Consell de Cent 337. GALERIA TRAMA Déja Vu. A collection of works by painter and illustrator Perico Pastor (1953, Lleida). Until January 20th. Petritxol 5. MUSEU PICASSO Journey through the blue. An examination of the connections between Picasso’s La Vie painting and drawings from the museum’s collection. Until January 19th. Montcada 15-23.
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080 Barcelona Fashion. January 28th-31st. www.080barcelonfashion.cat. Fashionistas, start your engines. At the end of this month 080 Barcelona Fashion will be back with their 12th edition. The event is intended to be the bi-annual meeting place for professionals within the design and textile industry. 080 will be hosting clothing and photo exhibitions, master classes, workshops, and catwalk presentations by individual designers such as Celia Vela and the design duo Martinez Lierah, as well as companies like Desigual, Slazenger and Boboli. The designers will be competing for a €20,000 prize, awarded by an international jury. There will be a total of 24 designers’ showrooms, 27 “pop-up” or temporary stores, and 43 international models gracing the runway. The full schedule and list of participants is available on their website.
0 editor’s pick
Fleadonia Reyes, January 5th, 11am -7pm. Plaça Salvador Seguí. www.freedonia.eu. Bargains are to be had at the special Reyes edition of Fleadonia vintage market. Local designers and artists sell their wares alongside second-hand, vintage and craft stalls. Special extras to celebrate Kings’ Day include live music throughout the day and a children’s puppet workshop organised by the Casal d’Infants del Raval. The Asociación Cultural Freedonia organises two markets each month, a Sunday market on Carrer Lleialtat and a Saturday market in Pl. Salvador Seguí (in front of the Filmoteca de Catalunya).
MAXIMUM GAGS PER MINUTE
Bits by Tricicle. Teatre Poliorama. Rbla. dels Estudis 115. Bits is the latest creation by Catalan comedy mime trio Tricicle (Joan Gràcia, Paco Mir and Carles Sans). In 1979 the three students of Barcelona’s Institut del Teatre got together to perform on the street and in alternative venues and they never looked back. This is their eighth show in what has been a phenomenally successful 32-year career. Their “gestural theatre”, which relies on a fast supply of wordless gags has found immense appeal and they play to packed venues. Bits takes us into the digital world where the three comedians hop deftly from sketch to sketch delivering in their words “a humoristic show full of bits which transmit gags at light speed in constant search of the maximum GPM (Gag per Minute) rate possible”. Over 90 percent of the show is mime so even those with little Catalan should get most of the jokes.
what’s in a name
Tots els Noms. January 25th and 26th. Mercat de les Flors. Lleida 59. www.mercatflors.cat. Tots els Noms is the latest project by experimental dance company Mal Pelo. The performance is “a journey of discovery through the names that make up a specific body,” with texts inspired by Carlos Thiebaut’s Historia del Nombrar. Artistic Director, María Muñoz, is the sole performer. The project is fruit of her collaboration with Pep Ramis and Leo Castro. A brief clip of the performance is available on the Mercat de les Flors’ website.
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Barcelona enjoys a thriving theatre scene for families. Here’s a round-up of what’s on for peques in January. All the venues listed host regular children’s shows
Jove Teatre Regina (Gràcia) From January 18th. Els tres porquets. An adaptation of the classic story of The Three Little Pigs for modern children. Tickets: €10.80 (free under 3). Sèneca 22. www.jtreginea.com. Teatre Tantarantana (Raval) January 11th-26th. El bavastell antic. A poor farmer exiled by a king creates a travelling theatre and visits different towns with tales of adventures from his old kingdom. Puppet show. Tickets: €8.50 Carrer les Flors 22. www.tantarantana.com. La Puntual puppet theatre (Born) Until January 12th. Blau Marí. An adventure story about the friendship between a boy and a blue dragon. Tickets: €9 January 17th-26th. Rinaldo in Trinocería. An old stagehand decides to be the star of a show and discovers some of the theatre’s long-forgotten puppets. (From age 3+). Tickets: €9 Allada Vermell 15. www.lapuntual.info. Casino Aliança Poble Nou (Poble Nou) January 12th. Reggae per xics. Children’s music group The Penguins perform popular Catalan songs to the sounds and rhythms of Jamaica. Tickets from €10-€15 January 26th. La cigala i la formiga. The musical story of the unlikely friendship between a crayfish and an ant and their different ways of seeing the world. (From age 3+). Tickets from €10-€15 Rambla del Poblenou 42, www.casinoalianca.com Fundació Joan Miró (Montjuïc) January 19th-27th. Per terra de dracs. Martina and Dídac discover a book about dragons and other mythical creatures and set about to investigate, with the help of musical instruments, songs and short stories. (From age 3+). Tickets: €6 Parc de Montjuïc. www.fundaciomiro-bcn.org. Teatre del Raval (Raval) Until January 12th. Pastorets superestel. A lively musical about two children who come across a couple who are spending the night on the metro in Barcelona as they don’t have money for a hotel. (From age 3+). Tickets: €9 Until Jan 27th. Conte de Nadal. A musical based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. (From age 2+). Tickets: €15 Sant Antoni Abat 12. www.teatredelraval.com. Teatre Poliorama (Ciutat Vella) January 13th, 20th & 27th. La camisa de l’home feliç. An award-winning play about the search of happiness through new technologies, objects, music and situations. (From age 5+). Tickets: €13.50 Les Rambles 115. www.teatrepoliorama.com.
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GUIRI BUSINESS NETWORKING DRINK January 2014 22nd January
Metropolitan presents this monthâ€™s business networking event
of 6000 + members
For more information and to RSVP please visit www.GuiriBusiness.com
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AN AUDIENCE WITH JOCULAR THEATRE THE BARCELONA-BASED THEATRE COMPANY HAS BEEN PRODUCING COMEDY IN ENGLISH since 2003. by Tori Sparks.
“Is theatre really dead?”
The 39 Steps “Four actors, 130 characters in 100 hilarious minutes” Saturday, January 18th, 9pm Sunday, January 19th, 7pm Saturday, January, 25th, 9pm Sunday, January 26th, 7pm Tickets: €12 at the door Fundació Cultural Hostafrancs Torre d’en Damians 6 Metro: Hostafrancs MORE INFO www.joculartheatre.com www.facebook.com/JocularTheatre
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Philosophical implications of the semirhetorical question aside, the answer is: “Not in Barcelona.” An English-language theatre company based just a stone’s throw from Plaça Espanya has been quietly putting on quality productions for years. Jocular Theatre’s 14th production, The 39 Steps, opens on January 18th. Jocular is a non-profit group with the mission statement of “bringing quality theatre in English to Barcelona’s ever-increasing international community… and, you know, making people laugh.” The group was founded in 2003 by American import Joshua Zamrycki. Although Zamrycki insists that he never sought out a career in the theatre, it seems to be his calling. From his first role in Annie The Musical at the age of five, he went on to study Meisner acting technique at Bingham ton University in New York state. “My plan was always to become a high school math teacher, direct the school plays, coach the boys’ volleyball team, and be a lifeguard on the beach during the summer. But life rarely works out as we plan,” says Zamrycki. He came to Barcelona for a temporary stay immediately after graduating from college. (That was 15 years ago). He auditioned for a play produced by a group called 12x12 Theatre. “I went on to act in a few more of their productions before I decided that I’d like to try my hand at directing,” he adds. “Nobody was producing the deliciously dark comedies that I really enjoy, so I decided to do it myself.” He started Jocular Theatre in 2003 by directing a production of Christopher Durang’s The Marriage of Bette and Boo, in the Teatre de la Riereta in the Raval. Although Zamrycki and his cast were the first English group to perform in that space, he says that over the years the Teatre de la Riereta became known as the unofficial home for
English theatre in Barcelona, until economic pressures forced the historic space to shut its doors in 2012. Since then the Jocular Theatre productions have been based out of the Fundació Cultural Hostafrancs. The 39 Steps was originally a 1915 novel by John Buchan, later adapted into a post-war thriller by Alfred Hitchcock in his 1935 film version. The recent 2005 stage adaptation by Patrick Barlow is, in Zamrycki’s words, “very much a comedy, more a Monty Python sketch than a juicy spy novel.” The play follows the same story and even retains much of the original dialogue of the 1935 film, but all of the more than one hundred characters in the film are portrayed by only four actors, including (somehow) a full Scottish bagpipe marching band. Only one actor, Nick Devlin, plays a single character: Richard Hannay, an “adventurer who in a serendipitous trip to a London theatre finds himself involved in a foreign espionage caper that threatens British national security.” Lorna Duffy—who has appeared in several past Jocular productions—plays three roles, whereas all of the play’s other characters are performed by Andy Laughton and Dan Speed. “They play constables, conductors, newspaper vendors, cleaning ladies, spies, innkeepers, lingerie salesmen and more, often switching from one character to another in a span of seconds with the change of a hat. It’s really mental gymnastics for those two guys,” adds Joshua. “Every production we learn something new, and our shows keep getting sharper, bigger, faster and funnier. Our audiences, as well, keep getting bigger,” he says proudly. “We can only hope this trend continues into the future.” In addition to directing, Zamrycki is also the company’s producer, lighting designer, and sound engineer.
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Chefs behind the bar
The art of seasonal cocktails in Barcelona. Text and photos by Sam Zucker.
heir names are many: ‘Bar chef ’, ‘Liquid Chef ’, ‘Mixologist’, ‘Cocktail Geek’, ‘Star-tender’ and so on, and while scores of young professionals across the globe have garnered these distinctions as of late, some find these titles to be a bit pretentious. Either way, what all of these movers, shakers and stirrers have in common is that they live behind the bar, and they love it there. It’s not just a place to strive to create the perfect classic Martini or mojito but also to devise drinks that sum up each season of the year, and winter is proving inspirational to these alchemists of alcohol. The creative potential of Barcelona’s own bartender corps is just beginning to blossom. With several hours of detailed, daily prep and an arsenal of tools and gadgets rivaling that of their chef-coated brethren, bartenders here are fast approaching the prestige awarded to their counterparts in craft cocktail meccas such as San Francisco, London, New York, Paris and Tokyo. These are professionals who have dedicated their lives to making unique, balanced, creative drinks behind immaculate bars with house-made infusions, syrups, tinctures and bitters. They use seasonal fruits and juices, along with eclectic amaros and spirits that only the studied truly know how to utilise. Quality is paramount, and even the type of ice used is of the utmost importance. Apprentices and mentors are many, and knowledge flows freely in support of a common goal: evolution.
Quality is paramount, and even the type of ice used is of the utmost importance. With thousands of bars in Barcelona, setting out to find the true, modern cocktail culture of the city is easier said than done. It is championed by a tightly-knit group of young, passionate bartenders who, despite countless hours behind their respective bars, seem to— by all accounts—spend most of their free time on the other side of the counter, watching their compatriots at other locales refine their shared passion. The results are innovative, expressive creations and top-notch, world-class service. How did this revolution begin? I was surprised, when asking Sergio Padilla—bar manager of the grandiose cocktail bar Boca Chica
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(right above ‘big brother’ Boca Grande restaurant)—about drinking trends in Barcelona, as he confided to me that if it had not been for the ‘Gin Tonic’ craze that swept the city a couple of years ago, opening people’s minds to premium drinks, the burgeoning success of the artisanal cocktail in Barcelona would never have come to pass. And yet, it has, and now the bar is learning from the kitchen, and vice versa.
“There have been big changes, huge changes in the cocktail culture of Barcelona since I arrived seven years ago,” says Daniel Schober, head bartender at Ocaña, an expansive institution on the corner of Plaça Reial that houses a cafe, restaurant, terrace, nightclub and a high-end cocktail bar called Apotheke (‘Chemist’s’ in German). “With Barcelona’s reputation for night life, bars began to realise several years ago that they had to live up to the European standards [for cocktails],” he adds. Schober agrees that Barcelona’s current cocktail culture owes nearly everything to the rise of the ‘Gin Tonic’; but ask him about all the bells and whistles that some Barcelona bartenders go through in making them and he tells you it’s all for show. “The fact is, pouring tonic down a bar spoon causes a 14 percent faster loss of carbonation. The spoon is pointless. All I want is a tall glass, very cold ice, 50ml of dry Bombay or Plymouth gin, no garnish, and a bottle of Schweppes tonic on the side. I’ll pour the three-quarters of the bottle myself. That’s it.” Having taken inspiration from Australian Fraser Campbell’s Alchemist Bar in Melbourne, Schober is launching a “periodic table of flavours” format for Apotheke’s winter cocktail list. The ‘chart’ will feature some 30 cocktails including one that nostalgically evokes a spiced apple strudel pastry (from Schober’s native Austria), with
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house-infused apple vodka, cinnamon syrup, apple juice, lime and Borgman—a warming German herbal liqueur with flavours of mint, cinnamon, bergamot, anise and clove. And if you meet Schober, ask him about ‘butter-washed’ vanilla vodka. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and it’s remarkable. Of all of the unique products that these ‘bar chefs’ have put their signatures on, house-made bitters are by far the most prolific. Modern cocktail bitters provide the subtle nuances that bring these vivid creations into full colour. Traditionally defined as extractions of various botanical ingredients in high-proof alcohol (and used by the drop as a cocktail flavouring component), bitters now come in innumerable varieties and flavours, joining classic brands such as Angostura and Peychaud. These potent variations range from peach, grapefruit and rhubarb to jalapeño, chamomile, vanilla and bitter chocolate. Tinctures, on the other hand, are similar, but unlike many bitters, tinctures derive from a single ingredient, opposed to a blend (at least in the realm of ‘bar speak’). At Boca Chica, one winter drink—the Cordoba—consists of smokey, spicy, oak-aged cachaça (an absinthe reduction) and orange bitters. The bartender finishes the drink with flare by taking a blowtorch to cubes of apple and sugar that sit atop a classic absinthe spoon. Boca Chica is just one of several up-and-coming hot-spots in the popular cocktail epicentre of Diagonal and Passeig de Gràcia, which includes Dry Martini, Bobby Gin, Le Noire and Slow Barcelona. At Slow Barcelona, the pace of your evening is designed to fall into a pleasingly relaxed gait; hence the plodding moniker. With a relatively small, low-lit bar, Slow is a comfortable place for an excellent cocktail. When asking bartender and Barcelona-native Christina Bruno if there were any secrets to how the cocktail she had just presented me was made, she replied, “Love, lots of love.” A wonderfully balanced cocktail, the Capitán Barbarroja goes something like this: Johnnie Walker Platinum whisky, Laphroaig whisky, Carpano Antica vermouth, maple syrup, Pedro Ximénez sherry, spiced apple purée and pasteurised egg whites. The drink is served frothy and chilled under a glass cloche filled with smoke from charred, Laphroaig-scented wood chips. Tart, smokey, creamy, spicy and delicate; I felt the love. If you’re not keen on the trip uptown, look no further than the hideaway in the Born that is Collage. On a nondescript street at the fringes of the neighbourhood, Collage announces itself only by the deer-head emblem that emblazons the sign on their corner. It is here where Italian owner Lorenzo Meini creates the fresh, inspired cocktails that he thought the barri was lacking when he left a popular bar nearby to open his own business over a year ago. Adorned with regularly changing work by local artists, the space at Collage is eccentric and inviting with a touch of nostalgia. The drinks menu features original recipes, well-worn classics, tropical concoctions and more. “I use premium, fresh ingredients in every drink, but I’m not charging people more than the drinks are worth,” says Meini. “You pay for the products and the labour, not the privilege of being in the bar.” The interior of Collage is softly lit and scored by Fifties jazz music that complements the old books and vintage piano perched in the lofted lounge above the bar. “I wanted to create a classic cocktail bar but with a lighter atmosphere. I want anyone, of any age, to feel at home.” Check out the complementary aperitivo snacks every evening between 7pm and 10pm. In addition to winter classics such as Hot Buttered Rum (hot water, butter, cinnamon, lemon peel and rum), Meini serves up his own version of a classic Blazer with a lovely flourish. The Spicy Tea Blazer is a warming blend of house-spiced rum, smoked lapsang tea liqueur, ceylon tea, honey, ginger, and Angostura bitters. The drink is mixed in a metal mug and then lit on fire and poured between identical mugs several times—while still flaming—until the rum is hot and fully in-
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fused. Not for the amateur bartender. At the five-star Hotel Ohla in the centre of Barcelona one can find—in addition to the one-Michelin-starred restaurant Saüc—exceptional cocktails at the Ohla Boutique Bar; a swanky cocktail lounge run by Italian cocktail icon and 2012 World Class Competition’s Best Bartender in Spain, Guiseppe Santamaria. Young Italian bartender Giacomo Giannotti explains that the philosophy behind the cocktail service at Ohla is that all the senses are stimulated by the masterfully-crafted cocktails that he and several other seasoned cocteleros serve from behind their sleek, polished bar. Giannotti tells me: “Sight, smell, sound and taste all play a part in the overall experience of the drinks that Guiseppe Santamaria has designed. There are 35 signature cocktails, and four that change every month with the season.” One seasonal cocktail I’m looking forward to sampling this winter at Ohla Boutique Bar is an ‘old-fashioned’ of rum, fig syrup and lavender bitters, garnished with chocolate-smoked figs—figs in a glass dome, infused with a smoke gun that burns crackling chocolate shavings, dubbed ‘chocolate tobacco’. Ohla’s subtle play on a traditional Manhattan will also make it into the winter rotation, consisting of spicy bourbon blended with truffleinfused Pedro Ximenez sherry and aged behind the bar in small, oak casks for three months and then served with a tasting of savoury blue cheese. In short, the cocktail culture in Barcelona is on the rise, and just as the public in the past has discovered the pleasure of fine wines and craft beers, ‘bar chefs’ are becoming more and more respected and appreciated in this city full of international influence and trendspotting gastronomes. Truly great cocktails are about the experience, not the effect. Amongst a sea of duplicate bars offering ‘the best deals’ on powerful drinks full of cheap liquor that are made without love or soul, these five—as well as many others—are slowly but surely changing the way Barcelona considers enjoying a drink.
ADDRESSES Boca Chica: Pg. Concepció 12. Tel. 93 467 5149. All drinks: €15 Apotheke (Ocaña): Pl. Reial 13-15. Tel. 93 676 4814. Drinks: €9-€13 Slow Barcelona: París 186. Tel. 93 368 1455. Drinks: €9-€14 Collage: Consellers 4. Tel. 93 179 3785. Drinks: €6-€11 Ohla Boutique Bar: Via Laietana 49. Tel. 93 341 5050. Drinks €13-€17
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EAST MEETS WEST Alternative medicine is increasingly popular in Barcelona, but it is unregulated, unaccredited and excluded from the healthcare system. by Mariusz Stankiewicz
few months ago, a young intern named Ana was riding her scooter through the streets of Sant Antoni when a car came out of nowhere and blindsided her. She was sent flying off her bike but miraculously, while the ambulance was en route with its sirens growing louder, Ana surprised her civilian caregivers by standing up, dusting off her torn business suit, and lamenting her broken helmet. Unfortunately, though, her streak of good health ran out a few weeks later when she developed excruciating back pain. “There were periods when I couldn’t walk,” Ana said. “I was forced to sleep in the fetal position with a pillow stuffed between my knees just to get some relief.” Ana may have had access to the most up-to-date technology and top-notch medical facilities, but when deciding on treatment for her back pain, she did something many Barcelonese have been doing more and more of in recent years: she deserted mainstream medicine and opted for the traditional kind, a means of recovery, health and wellbeing which has been claiming an increasing share of the public’s awareness. According to a 2011 report by the World Health Organization, between 70 and 95 percent of the world’s developing population relies on traditional medicines for primary care. In industrialised nations such as Canada, Germany, France and Italy, between 70 and 90 percent of people have tried traditional medicines as either an alternative to, or as well as, western medicine. In Catalunya, according to Professor Manuel Rodríguez Cuadras, a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine, the figures are anywhere between 50 and 70 percent. Cuadras’s estimate tells us two things. It shows not only that Spain has a lot of catching up to do with the rest of Europe and the world, but that there is also a lack of accurate statistical data. The latter is the most important for natural therapists since it is clearly the direct consequence of the government’s opposing stance towards alternative medicine. “Not considered, not regulated,” says Cuadras in his office on Rambla de Catalunya. His statement, which rings like a picket chant at a complementary and alternative medicine rally, speaks volumes. Natural therapists, who are medical specialists in their own right, are hardly tolerated by the ministry of health, and are in many cases seen as
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intruders. Thus, validation has proven to be a contentious point since the practice of medicine is the exclusive right of allopathic doctors. Allopathic and non-allopathic practitioners, however, share many commonalities such as caregiving, illness prevention, diagnosis and the overall health management of their patients permitted by many years of rigorous study. Yet the problem in recognition is based on the gross imbalance in scientific research favouring “Greek” medicine over the holistic kind. Paradoxically, the only way the government would consider regulation of alternative medicine is if it invested in research in order to produce evidence-based data on the efficacy of alternative medicine, yet it doesn’t want to invest in research to produce evidence-based data because it sees alternative medicine as little more than pseudoscience or folk medicine. Over the years, this position has given little hope of integration into the public health apparatus, meaning that natural therapists must set up practice privately. During such difficult times there are more and more sick people lacking the ability to finance alternative treatments. Their only choice is between seeing their local GP for prescription pills or buying a packet of Paracetamol for €1.50. Ten sessions of acupuncture for €200 are not an option. Lack of validation also prevents the use of proper terminology. A place to get treated by alternative means is not a hospital nor is it a clinic but a school of traditional medicine or a private office. Professional designations are also affected. Miguel López Alarcón, a shiatsu therapist at ISMET, is obliged by law to correct me when I mistakenly call him doctor. “A Chinese acupuncturist [in China] is a doctor, legally,” says Alarcón. “In Spain, the legislation simply forbids us to say we are. We’re not doctors nor are we healthcare workers.” Professor Cuadras addresses this state of legal limbo more poignantly. “We don’t know where we situate ourselves. Within the law? Outside the law? We are not illegal, we are alegal.” Over the years this legal vacuum has conditioned natural therapists to the ever-present danger of possible reprimand by the government. That is because, according to Article 44 in the Code of Medical Professional Ethics, methods which have not been scientifically validated to make a diagnosis or to treat a patient, are prohibited. Despite the many efforts in recent years to harmonise alternative with standard healthcare, the relationship continues to be neither congenial nor collegial.
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We are here, the people demand our services, yet the problem is more with our exclusion from the current health care system.”
The tense nature between both schools also finds its equivalent in those who prefer standard medicine to natural means of treatment. “My mother never believed in anything but regular medicine,” said Ana, “and so when I told her about acupuncture, she scoffed at the idea of pins being inserted into my body.” Though Ana’s mother may be representative of the supporters of the status quo, Barcelona’s high population of tourists and expats, as well as a growing number of well-informed patients and healthcare professionals is slowly contributing to the inertia of the acceptance of traditional medicine. The demand has been increasing so much that some medical doctors have started gaining additional accreditation to practice herbal medicine, acupuncture or tuina (Chinese massage). Yet by law, they are still obliged to promote such treatments as coadjutant to orthodox medicine, informing their patients about the priority of primary care medicine. “[Natural therapists] are very well accepted in society,” says Alarcón when asked about perceptions. “And there are many people who practise yoga and tai chi. We are here, the people demand our services, yet the problem is more with our exclusion from the current healthcare system.”
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Arantxa Delgado, Director of Communications at the Escuela Superior de Medicina Tradicional China, concurred. “I’ve been in this centre for three years and even within this time people’s perceptions have changed greatly. Catalans are opening up to Chinese medicine. More and more people are seeking alternatives and we are doing well only by word of mouth advertising.” Ana’s treatment for her back injury was acupuncture with herbal therapy. When asked about her primary motivation to try traditional medicine, I was not surprised to hear her answer. “I looked through the information booklet of my father’s pain medicine and was not happy with what I read.” What Ana read would have been disconcerting to anyone as well as being the deciding factor for going ‘natural’— a list of possible side-effects rolling down like a medieval scroll. The most popular alternative treatment in Barcelona is acupuncture, the king of traditional and complementary medicine techniques. Despite those like Ana’s mother who believe it is merely the sticking of pins into the body, the procedure does successfully treat many pathologies that occidental medicine has found no cure for, such as migraines, severe back pain, strains and cramps, and the rigidity of muscles. At the Escuela Superior de Medicina Tradicional China in Barcelona, Arantxa even claims a 99 percent success rate in fertility with the use of acupuncture. Moxibustion, a form of acupuncture which burns Artemisia, is also popular for the treatment of pain, especially in patients with chronic arthritis. Phytotherapy, especially the use of Bach Flower Remedies, is used to restore the delicate mind/body balance by ridding emotions such as fear, worry, hatred and indecision. It is also popular in reducing aggression in children. With such a high consumer demand for traditional and complementary medicines, how long will it take the government to start taking notice and action? The WHO’s recent publication, Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023 recognises the importance of traditional and complementary medicines around the world and seeks to support policies that address the integration of such therapies into existing health care systems. It seems that traditional medicine has momentum on its side and it is probably just a matter of time before we are able to claim Chinese medicine on insurance or be referred to an acupunturist by the CAP. How much time? Well that’s anybody’s guess.
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A GLOBAL STRATEGY FOR TRADITIONAL MEDICINE In answer to the growing world-wide use of traditional medicine and the lack of a coherent global policy, the World Health Organization has elaborated the Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023, an evidence-based collection of suggested policies for the WHO’s member states. Both traditional and complementary medicine (sometimes called alternative medicine) are included in the policy recommendations. The WHO defines traditional medicine (TM) as indigenous to a culture, and complementary medicine (CM) as health practices that are not part of a country’s own tradition. Individual countries use these terms in vastly different ways. The main aim of the strategy is to support countries in the development of proactive policies that strengthen the role of T&CMs in keeping their populations healthy. These policies would ideally facilitate regulation and supervision and, most importantly, integration into each country’s overall healthcare system. The majority of the world’s population use T&CMs but it’s still an underestimated part of healthcare, and legal recognition is patchy. In the past few years there has been a positive evolution in this respect and, since 2005, the number of WHO member states that have a specific traditional medicine policy has grown by almost 30 percent from 92 to 119. Exactly which medicines are included in the policies varies from country to country. However, the practice that has made the most progress is acupuncture: one study found it to be legally recognised in 80 percent of 129 countries surveyed. Miguel Lopez. Photo by Aimee McLachlan.
Escuela CENAC specialises in acupuncture and naturopathy. Jota 13 (near Fabra I Puig metro station). Instituto Superior de Medicinas Tradicionales offers courses as well as affordable prices for treatments as part of their students’ practicum. Floridablanca 18-20. Escuela Superior de Medicina Tradicional China offers practitioner training in traditional Chinese medicine. Gran Vía de Carlos III 64-66.
In many European countries, however, T&CM regulation is not well established and, as in Spain, these practices occupy a legal limbo, meaning that patients cannot get insurance coverage. Other countries have some regulations in place and recognise certain practices when performed by a medical practitioner. For example, many French doctors are specialists in acupuncture and homeopathy, both of which are reimbursed by the Social Security when practised by a doctor. In Finland, when provided by an allopathic physician, acupuncture and other complementary therapies can be covered by the Social Insurance Institution (SII). In Germany, some T&CM treatments by specialist practitioners are covered by public and private insurance. And in 2009, 67 percent of Swiss citizens voted to include certain T&CM therapies into the basic universal health insurance scheme.
Professor Manuel Rodríguez Cuadras specialises in acupuncture, Chinese medicine for children, as well as phytotherapy. Rambla Catalunya 62, 1º, 2º A. Tania Spearman is a Uk-trained acupuncturist. www.taniaspearman.com Tel. 644 322 161
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THE GONZALO COMELLA BRAND LIVED THROUGH THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF THE CITY’S TEXTILE INDUSTRY. By Lucas Cavazos
he rich tapestry of Barcelona’s fashion and textile history pieces together the fabric of the city we know today, with the industry responsible for creating many aspects of modern Barcelona. The experience of one leading Barcelona fashion family, the Comellas, since the 19th-century has been symbolic of the city’s changing fortunes. After its defeat in 1714 and the subsequent loss of Catalan power to Spain, Barcelona found itself in a precarious position. While geographically it had many advantages, thanks to its a centrally-placed port, the city was suffering in the aftermath of war and siege. It was also hampered by being prohibited from trading with the Americas. So Barcelona citizens began developing their infrastructure from within, increasing the activity within the ports and markets for wider European trade and slowly re-building the war-torn city. The zones around Barceloneta and Las Ramblas began to expand into important urban centres and the building of academies and institutes of fine arts and sciences quickly followed. By 1790, the population of Barcelona had more than tripled, and with this population growth came the flourishing of trade and industry. In 1800, ten percent of the labour force in Barcelona was devoted to textile creation and international trade. Over the following years the province experienced a huge cotton boom which added to the burgeoning textile industry. More fabric and texile plants sprang up near the city centre and throughout the Barcelona province to deal with increasing demand. Some of the textile colonies that were built in the 18th and 19th centuries are still inhabited today, and can be found from Igualada to Mataró to Manresa, tiny villages that comprised of small homes, markets, a shop or two and a church for the workers who were often treated very much like indentured servants for the factory owners. Between 1842 and 1877, the city’s population doubled to around 250,000 inhabitants, evidence of the boom it was enjoying. In 1870, had you taken a walk through the streets of the northern section of the Raval, tucked away behind the tanning shops, you would have found a small undergarments shop called L’Electrica. The name harks back to a time when the invention, usage and distribution of electricity in cities was of overwhelming significance. This little shop with its ‘modern’ name was founded by Gonzalo
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Comella and specialised in handmade undergarments and knitwear. Over the following 30 years the store became very successful and, when the patriarch of the family and owner of the shop died, his doting wife renamed the shop Viuda de Gonzalo Comella (Widow of Gonzalo Comella). Over the years, the shop expanded and eventually changed locations but it always remained in the family. Barcelona circa 1900 was a hub of glamour and a magnet for fun-seekers. With the waves of immigration from the rest of Spain came a strengthened industrial and commercial bourgeoisie. With its Mediterranean location, and growing industry, Barcelona was the place to be. Few cities could boast a luxury palace like The Ritz Hotel or the wild nightlife entertainment of Paral·lel. With time, what had begun as a modest undergarment shop became a full-scale clothiers and the name Gonzalo Comella began to establish itself as the epitome of good taste in fashion. As each generation in the Comella family passed on the business to the next male heir (often named Gonzalo), the Gonzalo Comella brand grew. As the century passed the halfway mark, the store name was now widely known and the family, young and old, male and female, still managed it as it had been managed for a century. By the Sixties and Seventies, the younger generations of the Comella family were in line to take up new positions in the business. With this new generation at the helm, the Nineties saw continued growth, and the company took a more creative direction. The city was preparing for the 1992 Olympics and the new phase of what is now T1 at El Prat airport. The idea projected by city planners was to turn the long passageways of the terminal into a Rambles-style shopping mecca for the multitudes of visitors and travellers that were expected that Olympic year. Gonzalo Comella established its brand in one of the largest and most viable spaces in the new airport mall. Not only was the concept a big success, but it also opened the doors for the family to spread the brand into four other airport shops, and to launch Gonzalo Comella stores in Barcelona, Mallorca, the Malaga coast, Alicante and Tenerife. The company continued to grow until the economic downturn in 2008 brought harder times for the brand. Turnover fell dramatically and after a long, hard fight to keep the stores open, Gonzola Comella finally closed its doors in 2011, another commercial victim of the “crisis”.
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CATALAN STYLE Catalunya is home to many of Spain’s major fashion retailers, including Mango, Custo, Desigual, Punto Blanco and Pronovias.
Elena Comella was at the helm of Gonzalo Comella throughout the company’s expansion in the Nineties until just before its ultimate demise in 2011. After gaining a BA in Fashion Design in Barcelona, followed by a degree in Theatre and Stage Design from St. Martin’s in London, Elena entered the family business. The world of business was acutely patriarchal at that time and, as a woman, she found that she had to work twice as hard as her male colleagues. “It is still necessary in some ways”, she reflects. The airport store was Elena’s idea and she managed the project from concept to fruition. With the arrival of the new millennium, Elena had for some time been pushing for a more forward-thinking approach to the brand’s future. “I believe that in life and in business, it’s important to adopt an ‘adapt or die’ attitude,” she says. “If you’re not growing in your future, aren’t you just wasting time? Because of the family name and all the stores, there was a complacency among other members of the Gonzalo Comella team. We’d always been in modern Barcelona history so the idea was that we would continue to be, but that wasn’t the case. If you don’t know how to maintain your tradition and innovate, you risk killing the tradition.” Elena resigned from her post when she became pregnant with her fourth child and shortly thereafter the stores began to close one by one. “It was difficult when I heard about the closings. There were things I would have completely reworked or changed if I had had more control, but in the end I’m very happy with what I accomplished and what I learned in my time with the family company and, most importantly, where I am now. You have to adapt, right?” Elena settled into her new life projects: raising a family and using her years of experience to launch a fashion PR agency and showroom called COSE, along with her associate Ana Segui. Their clients include Luesma & Vega (tableware designers for restaurateur family du jour Adria), fashion house La Costa del Algodon, artist and sculptor Teresa de la Pisa and textile-maven Rocio Moreno, whose work has recently been selected by Peter Marino for Louis Vuitton stores. “All of this is a challenge, everything is. But doing your best to have a well-rounded life—with your family, your spiritual life, your work, your dreams and desires—that is so important. After all, that is what makes all of life’s work a beautiful challenge!”
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MANGO Mango founder Isak Andic was born in Istanbul in 1953 to a Sephardic Jewish family and emigrated to Barcelona with his family at the age of 16. He began his career in fashion a year later, selling hippy shirts to shops, and in 1984 opened a store on Passeig de Gràcia by the name of Mango. Within just a year he was overseeing five shops in Barcelona and one in Valencia. Ten years later his modest empire had grown to 100 shops. The company now has 10,000 employees of which nearly 2,000 work in Hangar Design Centre in Palau-solità i Plegamans. Andic is now one of Spain’s richest people and considered the main rival of omnipotent Amancio Ortega of Inditex group. CUSTO Custo Dalmau was born in Tremp (Lleida) in 1959 and spent his childhood and adolescence in Barcelona. After a trip to the US he decided to design shirts for a living and on his return went into business with Catalan textile company Meyba. In 1983 he moved to the US with his brother David and they sold Meyba’s creations door to door. Eleven years later Custo and David Dalamau ended their partnership with Meyba and founded Custo of Barcelona (later Custo Barcelona). Their big break came in 1997 when they were invited to the Spring/Summer New York Fashion Week. After a drab week on the catwalk, their colourful patterned shirts were a big hit. The US is still the company’s main market. DESIGUAL The Desigual brand was founded in 1984 by Swiss-born Thomas Meyer. His aim was to create fun, original clothing that defined itself by its slogan “Desigual is not the same”, with bold patchwork designs and graffiti-look prints. The brand began to establish itself in the Nineties but really took off in 2002 when Manel Adell joined the company as CEO. Since then the distinctive Desigual look has become ubiquitous on the high street. Between 2002 and 2009 it achieved a 60 percent annual growth rate. It now employs over 3,000 people of 72 nationalities.
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WINTER HIGHS The Pyrenees offer stunning scenery, laid back resorts and skiing for all abilities and budgets. By Jay Collins.
here’s something comforting about the Pyrenean ski resorts. Unpretentious and overwhelmingly frequented by locals, they ooze down-to-earth cheerfulness. The beautiful people may have headed to the Alps and the aprés ski is mostly conspicuous by its absence, but who cares when it’s all just so friendly? If you’re an accomplished skier, then you may have already worked out the best spots. If you’ve never tried, then what are you waiting for? The many resorts offer something for everyone, from complete beginners to advanced skiers. Skiing locally doesn’t need to break the bank either. If you’re on a tight budget, there are still plenty of affordable options. BEGINNERS AND FAMILY-FRIENDLY Vall de Núria Vall de Núria is a small resort in a spectacular setting. Surrounded by dramatic peaks, this peaceful valley lies 2000 metres above sea level, and can only be accessed by a “zip train” from nearby Queralbs. Its compact size makes this an easy option for families and beginners —there are just seven kilometres of pistes, mostly aimed at novice skiers. And the snowpark with sledging and tubbys (like big inflatable tyres) will keep non-skiers happy. The resort has a large, reasonablypriced hotel with a restaurant and bar. The valley can get some bad weather, so check the forecast before heading up. Pistes: Green: 3, Blue: 3, Red: 2, Black: 2 One-day ski pass: €19.50 (€29.50 including zip train) www.valldenuria.com Vallter 2000 Roughly a two-hour drive from Barcelona is the easygoing resort of Vallter 2000. It is situated in the lush Vall de Camprodon and is the only resort with views of the Mediterranean. There are just under 18 kilometres of downhill skiing available. You could just about make this a day trip but if you’re looking for a weekend break, the picturesque town of Setcases, just a few kilometres from the slopes, makes a good base. The resort’s website has several local accommodation suggestions. Pistes: Green: 2, Blue: 3, Red: 6, Black: 2 One-day ski pass: €25. www.vallter2000.com
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Port del Compte Located at the north of the Serra de Querol mountain range, and the closest resort to Barcelona, Port del Compte is great for beginners and families. It has plenty of easy runs, mostly through woodlands and it’s generally less busy than some of its more popular neighbours. The two-star Hotel Serhs is perfectly positioned at the foot of the beginners’ slopes and offers simple, comfortable rooms for a weekend stay. Non-skiers can try tubbys, sledging, snow-shoes or even the snake gliss, an articulated sledge that slithers down the mountain with you and your friends atop. Pistes: Green: 7, Blue: 11, Red: 13, Black: 6 One-day ski pass: €32. www.portdelcomte.net INTERMEDIATE AND ADVANCED La Molina and Masella Although located right next to each other, La Molina and Masella are run by different operators. A telecabin links the two, and provides a total of 121 skiable kilometres. Both resorts have lots of accommodation options very nearby, details of which you can find on their websites. The bigger of the two, Masella, opened in 1967 and has a skiable area of 68 kilometres plus the longest run in the eastern Pyrenees. Most of the pistes have you gliding through thick pine forest. There’s also a great snowpark, La Pleta, for snow boarders of all levels. Just an hour and a half from Barcelona, it’s a popular family resort with a good range of skiing for all abilities. Pistes: Green: 8, Blue: 21, Red: 20, Black: 7 One-day ski pass: €41. www.masella.com Neighbouring La Molina began life as a ski resort way back in 1923. Smaller than Masella, with 53 skiable kilometres, this is a very popular resort with Barcelona residents, in part as it’s one of the easiest to reach without a car (the train takes about two-and-a-half-hours from Sants station). Non-skiers can also enjoy the Parc de les Arbres, a treetop adventure park which is open all year round. Pistes: Green: 13, Blue: 16, Red: 16, Black: 6 One-day ski pass: €41. www.lamolina.com
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weekend escapes Day trip to La Molina Spend the day in La Molina for just €41. The price includes the return train fare and a day’s ski pass. Hostal weekend in Espot Esqui Friday and Saturday night in the basic but comfortable Hostal Vall d’Aneu with breakfast included and ski passes for Saturday and Sunday. Located 13km from Espot Esqui. From €83 per person (based on two sharing a double room). Self-catering studio in Boí Taull A stylish self-catering studio in Aparthotel Augusta with ski passes for Saturday and Sunday. Just a 7.5km drive from Espot Esqui. From €136 per person (based on a studio for two). “Pié de pista” in Port Ainé Half board (breakfast and dinner) in the three-star Hotel Port Ainé 2000, including ski passes for Saturday and Sunday. From €180 per person (based on two sharing a double room). Baqueira Beret Referred to as Spain’s lower-key answer to Aspen by the New York Times and frequently mentioned on the pages of Hola! magazine thanks to its patronage by the Spanish royal family, Baqueira Beret is Catalunya’s most up-market ski resort. It’s also the largest ski area in Spain, sprawled over six peaks and divided into three separate ski bases. Located in the Vall d’Aran, 200 kilometres north of Barcelona, it has 108 kilometres of slopes. Its Atlantic climate guarantees good quality snow and the longest skiing season in Catalunya. Pistes: Green: 5, Blue: 33, Red: 25, Black: 6 One-day ski pass: €47. www.baqueira.es Port Ainé Thanks to its location just below the Pic de l’Orri peak and with 95 percent of its slopes north-facing, Port Ainé enjoys excellent snow quality when other resorts are getting out the snow canons. There are 32 kilometres of pistes and a new snowboarding zone which offers plenty of challenges even for the most advanced snowboarder. If you can afford to splash out, the Port Ainé hotel (the highest hotel in the Pyrenees) is conveniently located right at the foot of the slopes. Pistes: Green: 7, Blue: 4, Red: 13, Black: 4 One-day ski pass: €32. www.skipallars.cat
Luxury in Baqueira Unwind after the slopes at the ultramodern five-star AC Baqueira, complete with stylish spa area. Two nights, breakfast only. Ski pass not included. From €450 per person (based on two sharing a double room). All prices quoted are for high season. You can rent ski and snowboard equipment from about €20 per day and a two-hour group class will set you back about €20 per person. For more ski offers see: www.esquiades.com and www.nieveplus.com
Espot Esqui Located in Pallars Sobirà, Espot Esqui enjoys an enviable position beside the lush pine forests of the Aiguëstortes and Sant Maurici National Park. The resort offers 23 kilometres of skiing and has plenty for the young and non-skiers, with a snowpark, sledging with dogs and snow-shoe trails. Pistes: Green: 2, Blue: 9, Red: 7, Black: 4 One-day ski pass: €32. www.skipallars.cat MULTISPORT Boí Taüll, which opened in 1991, is the highest ski resort in the Pyrenees at 2,750 metres. It offers a wide range of winter sports, including extreme, mountain, downhill and cross-country skiing. It is located in the Vall de Boí, 270 kilometres from Barcelona. Pistes: Green: 2, Blue: 9, Red: 7, Black: 4. One-day ski pass: €38. www.boitaullresort.es
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Carrer Santa Clara © Ajuntament de Girona. Photographer: Toni Vilches
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34 RESTAURANT REVIEW
Tickets Take a playful journey through fine dining at the Adrià brothers’ contemporary tapas bar. Photos and text by Helen Willavise
t’s been over two years since Catalan chef, Ferran Adrià, took the culinary world by storm and closed his globally successful, three-Michelin-starred restaurant El Bullí. If you missed dining in this mecca of creative gastronomy, take heart: the Adrià brothers’ contemporary tapas bar on Parallel offers a more affordable taste of the family genius. The waiting list for a table is about two months, with all bookings managed via an online system. An usher dressed as a circus ringmaster greeted us at the door. Inside, the eclectic space is a carnival of styles— part theatre, part market, part cinema. The red carpet, heavy wood tables, coloured globes and Catalan trencadis floor lend the restaurant a quirky playfulness. The waiters are dressed as cinema ushers and the chefs work busily at the five open cooking stations, assembling intricate dishes with giant tweezers. The atmosphere is more Willy Wonka than fine dining and there’s not a whiff of stuffiness about the place. Our waiter was excellent: fun, personable and with his eye on every detail. And right here is the secret to getting the most out of Tickets: relinquish all control to the experts, relax and enjoy the ride. He suggested a bespoke menu for us, and asked us about allergies, food we liked and didn’t like and whether there was anything in particular we would like to try from the menu. He proposed a list of tapas and we, of course, said yes to everything. All the dishes are designed to be eaten as one bite and the only cutlery provided is a huge pair of tweezers. We started with the Pulpitos de azafrán (saffron octopus) which we naïvely assumed would be octopus. We were wrong. This delicate combination of rice and saffron only ressembled octopus tentacles. It had the texture of a perfect crisp and was reminiscent of a good old Sunday paella. It was the perfect companion to the famous El Bullí olives, prepared by a culinary technique called “spherification”. The method consists of the controlled gelification of a liquid which, when submerged in a bath, forms spheres. It takes six olives to prepare one of these creations. Served individually on a silver spoon, the olive spheres burst in the mouth, creating a sub-
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lime explosion of intensely-flavoured olive. The next dish was Huevos de codorniz en su nido (quail eggs in their nest): a delicate quail’s egg carefully perched on a crunchy nest and topped with a little hat of wasabi and hazelnut. My personal favourite of the evening was the Mini airbags rellenas de espuma de queso manchego (mini airbags filled with manchego cheese foam). It looks deceptively light: one bite and my mouth was filled with cheese and hazelnut caviar. Truly wonderful. From the caviar we moved onto the Viaje nórdico (Nordic trip), Tickets’ version of a steak tartar: a thin strip of steak was covered by a snowfall of vinegar powder, imitating a thin layer of snow over a sledge. From there we travelled south to the Ensalada de tomate con gelatina transparente de gazpacho (tomato salad with transparent gazpacho gelatine). The tomatoes looked like simple cherry tomatoes lying on a transparent gelatine, yet their flavour was as intense as a refreshing summer gazpacho. Oysters were next on the menu. These were matched with unlikely flavours, such as passion fruit and caipirinha, that blended artfully with the oyster taste, creating a strange but oddly natural pairing. The highlight of our evening was most certainly the Filete de vaca de máximo nivel (High level beef tenderloin). You order this by weight, so we ordered a 300g filete to taste between us. The meat was cut at our table, and as the knife sliced through, a rich smell wafted out. It was cooked to perfection. After waiting two months, skipping dessert was not an option. Each sweet bocata was a heavenly burst of flavour. And although the strawberry meringue and lemon sorbet cheesecake were delicious, my vote went to the soft chocolate “stones”. The intricate techniques and sheer work that goes into creating these dishes is mind-boggling. The element of surprise is used playfully and each mouthful is rich with flavours, textures and smells. Dining at Tickets is also a lot of fun and from just €45 per person this is truly fine dining at its most accessible.
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Clockwise from top left: Huevos de codorniz en su nido, Las ostras Nº 5, Pulpitos de azafrán with Aceitunas verdes sféricas, Viaje nórdico
MORE INFO. Avinguda Paral·lel 164, 08015, Barcelona Reservations firstname.lastname@example.org www.ticketsbar.es ✪✪✪✪✪
Authentic Mexican Restaurant located in the heart of the Eixample Esquerra where you can enjoy the most typical Mexican dishes and first-class service in a unique environment. The restaurant is tastefully decorated and furnished to make you feel like you’re in a Mexican hacienda. You can also enjoy our cocktail menu and the best Margaritas in town in our lounge/bar area as well as
NOT WORTH THE TRIP ✪✪ COULD IMPROVE ✪✪✪ GOOD ✪✪✪✪ VERY GOOD ✪✪✪✪✪ NOT TO BE MISSED ✪
taking advantage of our weekly promotions. We recommend our nachos con pastor, our ceviches, exquisite tacos and meats.
Calle Mallorca 188
Tel. 93 127 1051
Check our Facebook page ElAlebrijeBarcelona for daily promotions.
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36 QUICK BITES
La Trini This new locale in Gràcia successfully combines tapas, dinner and drinks. Text and photos by Helen Willavise
hatever happened to beer, vermouth and wine? For a while now, Barcelona has been all about Gin & Tonics. And whereas some bars are failing dismally to keep up with the city’s drinking trends, others have dutifully taken note and are working hard to stay ahead of the fashionable crowd. This is the case of what was formerly Bo in Carrer Verdi. A facelift last summer transformed the bar into La Trini, a cosy locale that specialises in Gin & Tonics. Located right by the Verdi cinema, it has quickly become a favourite for cinema-goers. And, for good reason. With its handsome décor, reminiscent of the 1930s, La Trini makes a great evening hang-out and also offers a wide range of wines and cocktails. La Trini is not just a cocktail bar. It’s also a tapas bar and restaurant. The warmly-lit bar opens into a wood-panelled dining area. As befits its easygoing nature, you are welcome to dine at the high tables in the bar or sup your G&T at a table at the back. The menu is an eclectic fusion of local tapas, Spanish and international dishes. We hoped that La Trini wasn’t spreading itself too thin, so, to hedge our bets, we started with a selection of tapas dishes. First was the aptly-named and highly-recommendable Las 3 Bravas. The three types of Bravas were potato with classic brava sauce, sweet potato with pesto sauce and my personal favourite, the yucca Brava. As a Bravas fan, and a bit of a specialist, I enjoyed this twist on the classic dish. The different flavours complemented each other well and provided a welcome change to the classic Brava. The rest of the tapas didn’t disappoint either. To accompany our Bravas we had the light and crunchy Calamares olé (fried squid), honey chicken wings with a touch of picante, as well as the bread-coated, deep-fried eggplant. The latter was surprisingly light and served with a touch of honey and balsamic vinegar. A little full from all those tapas, we moved onto our second course, a fusion of Mediterranean and Nordic. My friend was delighted with his black rice with ali-oli, and salmon tartar which came with a generous serving of avocado. I chose the tuna carpaccio with sesame: the subtle taste of the tuna was beautifully drawn out by the sesame. We also shared a very well-produced veal fillet with foie and, since it’s mushroom season, a delicious plate of bolets (mushrooms). And of
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course, we enjoyed a good G&T. We had the Bramble gin cocktail: a refreshing mix of gin with berries. There is no sign that La Trini is spreading itself thin. On the contrary, it offers a relaxed fusion of wining and dining, cocktails and tapas, or just a beer at the bar. At the table next to us, the diners were digging into burgers and fried eggs with bacon and chips. It looked and smelled delicious. I made a note to myself that I’d be back soon.
MORE INFO. Verdi 30 08012, Barcelona Tel. 93 237 0335 Facebook: restaurantlatrini30 Opening hours Every day from 9am-1.30am Thursdays to Saturdays until 2.30am
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For more in food&drink visit our online directory www.barcelona-metropolitan.com/eating-and-drinking Discount for Metropolitan reaDers.
NEFW &D IN
Bar BIERFEST TAVERNSAGRADA FAMILIA This cosy traditional pub has a fantastic range of draft and bottled beers as well as wide selection of G&T’s. They have large TVs and it’s the perfect place to watch the match with friends. If you study at UAB join them on Facebook for more info on their regular language Intercambio nights. € Av. Gaudi 81 | Metro Guinardó , Sagrada Familia T. 993 480 157 | www.bierfest.es | www.facebook.com/bierfest-barcelona
BOLLOCKS BARBARRI GÒTIC The quintessential rock bar in downtown Barcelona. Covered in posters and graffiti from top to bottom, the bar has the air of an abandoned subway station where daily riffs and whiskey bring together all those who carry rock & roll in their blood. €
YES WE BAGEL Take it easy on weekends. YES WE BAGEL delivers fresh hand rolled bagels on Saturday mornings. Do you miss having Bagels for breakfast or brunch? Make your order online before 6pm on Friday afternoons and they will be at your door first thing Saturday mornings. Choose from Plain, Sesame, Everything, Onion and Cinnamon Raisin. They also arrange events and offer office service. Don’t hesitate to get in touch. €
Ample 46 | Metro Jaume I | Every day 7pm-3am M. 663 710 095 | www.bollocksbcn.com
Order at www.yeswebagel.com or call 626 990 713
MANCHESTER BARBARRI GÒTIC
BE MY BAGEL GRÀCIA
Manchester Bar brings together friends and music fans to enjoy great tunes from the Eighties and Nineties. From Joy Division to Placebo to The Smiths and all the way through to the Happy Mondays, Manchester Bar has it all. A must-visit place for anyone who knows and loves their music! €
Do you dream of great bagels? Then Be My Bagel is the right place for you. They sell authentic bagels from Barcelona, just how you like them. They have an extensive range of bagels and cakes, from the more classic choices such as poppy and multigrain to delicious and innovative chocolate, almond and coconut bagels—you won’t come away disappointed. €
Milans 5 | Metro Jaume I | Every day 7pm-3am M. 627 733 081 | www.manchesterbar.com
SUGAR BARBARRI GÒTIC Located in the back streets of Plaça Reial this small bar is renowned for its huge personality and fun vibe. The friendly bar staff dish out great mojitos that don’t cost a mint. Good tune selections, Happy Hour until 11pm and great mingling opportunities make Sugar a sweet spot. € Rauric 21 | Metro Liceu I Opens at 8pm
ANDÚBARRI GÒTIC Andú offers an escape from Barcelona’s mayhem, without sacrificing the fun. The cool music and relaxed vibe draws a diverse and bohemian crowd making it a warm and spirited bar full of animated locals enjoying a great wine list and classic Spanish tapas, buritos, tacos and cocktails. € Correo Viejo I Metro Jaume 1 I M. 646 553 930 Mon-Sun 6pm-2.30am
BAR 32BARRI GÒTIC This bar is one of best kept secrets in the Gothic area, you’re guaranteed a friendly reception from their staff and their fantastic mixture of customers & friends.They have a great list of cocktails, beers and even a bar menu. Their laid back tunes will be setting the mood every night – so you’ll want to come back again and again. € Ample 32 | Tel. 93 268 4826 | www.bar32barcelona.com
Food & drink JAN 2014.indd 45
€ under 20 | €€ 20-30 | €€€ 30-40 | €€€€ over 40 RV Reservation Advised
Planeta 37 (Pl. del Sol) I Metro Fontana and Gràcia I Tel. 93 518 7151 I email@example.com Open Mon-Fri 9.30am-2pm and 5pm-8.30pm, Sat 10am-2.30pm, 6pm-10pm, Sun 10.30am-2pm
7SINS BAR AND LOUNGE EIXAMPLE E If you’re looking for a friendly and good value place to get a bite to eat, 7Sins is the place you’re looking for! The menu has a vast selection of dishes to share as well as a large choice of gourmet 100% beef burgers. After your meal there’s an elegant lounge with Chesterfield sofas and impressive decor, ideal for having a drink or cocktail. 7Sins also has a terrace where you can enjoy a meal or a drink outdoors. You can see their full menu at www.7sinsbar.com €
Muntaner 7 | Metro Universitat Tel. 93 453 6445 | www.7sinsbar.com Mon-Sun 1pm till late | RV
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40 FOOD & DRINK Burger CARROT CAFE POBLENOU
PIM PAM BURGERBORN Here quality is of the utmost importance, making it the best burger and frankfurter take-away in town. Special hamburgers, chicken burgers, bratwurst, frankfurters, home-made chips and stroganoff are also available and are all prepared on the premises. €
The ultimate sandwich place in one of the fastest-growing districts of Barcelona@22. They offer a great selection of sandwiches served on more than 11 types of artisan bread. In addition to their premium hamburgers, beef, turkey and lamb halal, you will find an extensive menu in an inviting location. Without a doubt, Carrot Cafe is the place of excellence for sandwiches in Barcelona.€
Sabateret 4, Born I Metro Jaume I Tel. 93 315 2093 I firstname.lastname@example.org Calle Bigai 1, Bonanova, 08022 I Tel. 93 211 5606 www.pimpamburger.com I Every day 1pm-12am
Tànger 22 I Metro Bogatell Tel. 93 309 3375 I Mon-Fri 9am-11pm, Sat 8am-midnight www.carrotcafe.es
Indian KEIK SARRIÀ / SANT GERVASI
International fusion dishes, plus a big variety of salads. Everything is made fresh and with top quality ingredients. Save space for their wonderful cakes and desserts - eat in or take away. On Saturdays and Sundays they offer brunch from 10am til 12.45pm, including eggs benedict, French toast and granola. Open every day of the year. €
Situated in the heart of the fashionable Rambla de Poblenou, this cool, modern Indian restaurant offers the most exquisite variety of Indian cuisine you’ll find in Barcelona. They want to provide the best recipes, inherited from their ancestors, using the same fresh and seasonal ingredients, the same spices, the same touch and the same aroma, to create that mouth-wateringly unique and authentic flavour. €
Rambla de Poblenou 101, 08005 T. 93 603 5909 | www.restaurantesitar.com Open Mon-Sun 12pm-12am
Doctor Fleming 21 | Tel. 93 414 5536 | www.keik.es
Indian / Pakistani
Café PLATÓ CAFÉLES CORTS
This is an innovative restaurant that is open from 8am, serving breakfasts, lunchtime menús and a delicious range of tapas. This is the ideal place for meeting friends after work. This fun and original theme restaurant will make you feel as though you were on a film set. They also offer spectacular brunches every Saturday. €
Specialists in Tandoori. Typical halaal cuisine 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. €
Pujades 207 | Metro Poblenou T. 93 308 9548 www.restaurantenicespice.com Wed-Mon 12pm-4pm, 8pm to 12am
Gandesa 6 | Metro Maria Cristina Tel. 93 250 2626
Indian / Tandoori CAFÈ MANDACARÚPOBLE SEC The irresistible food, fantastic wine list and the beautiful interior make Cafè Mandacarú a unique space, equally suitable for a coffee, a glass of wine or delightful tapas. You can also enjoy a lovely cocktail or liquor in a welcoming atmosphere, and be happily surprised to listen to the best musicians in concert every week. € Magalhães, 35 | Metro Poble Sec or Paral·lel | Near Plaça del Sortidor | Tel. 93 441 4017 www.cafemandacaru.com | Wed-Sun from 6.30pm
PLACE YOUR ADVERT HERE CALL 93 451 4486 ADS@BARCELONA-METROPOLITAN.COM
Food & drink JAN 2014.indd 46
MADNOO FOODS POBLENOU Need to spice up your life? Try this new Tandoori restaurant in Poblenou. Authentic Punjabi cuisine made with the freshest ingredients. Madnoo Foods, situated in the @22 district, offers a unique dining experience. Serving contemporary Indian dishes, they blend delicate flavours and light textures and use the very finest ingredients. Free delivery. 10 percent discount on take away. €
Sancho de Avila 167-171 I Tel. 93 172 8131 Metro Glòries / Poblenou I Tram Glòries Every day 11am-11pm
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FOOD & DRINK 41 Peruvian
Japanese DOBLE ZEROOBORN/ MARESME This contemporary and cosmopolitan Japanese restaurant uses all the secrets and art of exotic cuisines to create an exquisitely refined dining experience. Their tapas are a creative and harmonious fusion of flavours and textures and their innovative and transformational approach to sushi will prove almost impossible to resist. €€
This magnificent Peruvian restaurant specialising in fish and seafood is located in the heart of Barcelona, just a few streets away from Plaza España. The menu offers a delicious variety of plates for any time of the day, each prepared with authentic Peruvian ingredients, bringing the true taste of Peru across the Atlantic. Their famous Pisco Sour cocktails won’t keep you away either! €
Doble ZerOO Born, Jaume Giralt 53 Tel. 93 315 1744 Tomoe by Doble ZerOO, Sant Delfí 11 Tel. 93 211 9869 (Take away) Doble ZerOO Maresme, Buenos Aires 22, El Masnou Tel. 93 555 8599 (Take away)
Gran Vía de les Corts Catalanes 487 I Metro Rocafort exit Calabria I Bus lines 9, 50, 56 Tel. 93 325 7110 I email@example.com www.restaurantemochicabcn.es I Mon-Sun 12pm-12am
€1 Beer for Metropolitan reaDers
Sano juice offers a healthy alternative choice with smoothies and juices, homemade bagels, paninis, wraps, tasty lunch menu for €10.45 and now brunch. Their food and smoothies are made to order with fresh ingredients, no extra sugar, offering the best quality. Sano Cuina (Sants) specialises in brunch and Sano Buenos Aires in take-away salads, wraps and drinks. Eat better. Feel better. €
Messié Pizza is the new place in Gràcia that strives to be cheap and cheerful. It’s the perfect venue to have a few drinks after going to the cinema or theatre, or simply for meeting up with friends. In this charming Gràcia spot you will have the pleasure of sampling a great pizza with a homemade thin and crunchy base, topped with fresh ingredients from the local market. Messié Pizza offers all of this at a good price and in a unique atmosphere decorated with style and great music. Home delivery is also available. €
Creu Coberta 50 | Metro Espanya | Tel. 93 327 8272 Buenos Aires 44 | Cerca de la Plaça Francesc Macià Tel. 93 217 8115
Torrent de l’Olla 65 I Tel. 93 218 9345 Mon-Fri 6pm-11.30pm, Sat-Sun 6pm-Midnight www.messiepizza.es I Metro Fontana / Diagonal
Thai MAGNOLIA BARRI GÒTIC
THAI GRACIAGRÀCIA Expect authentic ingredients all imported from Thailand and cooked by experienced Thai chefs. The Pad Thai and green and yellow curries have excellent subtle flavours. Simply delicious! The special tasting menu for €21 is a huge hit and allows you to try all the exotic dishes Thai Gracia has to offer. An affordable €12 menú del día is available during the week. The warm hospitality and attention to detail to every dish at Thai Gracia will keep you coming back for more. €€
In the heart of the Gothic quarter, Magnolia offers exquisite signature cuisine from chef Gianni Fusco at affordable prices. With its warm and loungy interior, it is the place of choice at any time of the day. During the week, breakfast and lunch menus attract big crowds thanks to their great quality and reasonable prices. In the afternoon, clients can choose from a variety of tapas or enjoy mojitos for just €3.50. €€ Breakfast from €2.70, Lunch from €9. Dinner menu €17.95 (Sun-Thurs) €25 (Fri-Sat) Ciutat 5 | Metro Jaume I | 93 304 2376 | 691 504 942 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.magnoliabarcelona.com | www.facebook.com/magnolia.rna Mon-Thurs 9am-1am, Fri 9am-3am, Sat 1pm-3am, Sun 1pm-1am
Còrsega 381 | Metro Verdaguer / Girona Tel. 93 459 3591 | www.restaurante-thai-gracia.com Every day 1pm-4pm, 8pm-12am | RV
Vietnamese AMALTEAEIXAMPLE E
Visit Amaltea vegetarian restaurant, where 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 with home-made puddings. The cuisine is creatively international with care taken to ensure that each meal is well-balanced and made with the freshest ingredients. Menu of the day €10.70, night and weekend menu €15.30. € Diputació 164 | Metro Urgell | Tel. 93 454 8613 | www.amalteaygovinda.com Mon-Sat 1pm-4pm, 8pm-11pm, Closed Sun
GOVINDA (VEGETARIAN) BARRI GÒTIC
Founded 25 years ago, Govinda continues to thrive on a blend of experience and fresh innovation in vegetarian Indian cuisine. The international menu features talis, 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 www.amalteaygovinda.com | Tue-Sat 1pm-4pm, 8pm-11am, Sun-Mon 1pm-4pm
Food & drink JAN 2014.indd 47
Main dish take away €5.95
LA VIETNAMITA GRÀCIA/BORN La Vietnamita is a Vietnamese street food-inspired restaurant in the heart of Gràcia. This month, they open a second restaurant in Born next to the Chocolate Museum and old market. They serve light and nutritious dishes such as traditional Pho soup, savoury rice noodles like Bun Bo, and a variation of fresh Vietnamese rolls and appetisers. All of their dishes have a vegetarian version and they aim to work with local or organic products and fresh ingredients while maintaining reasonable prices. Main dish take away €5.95. € Torrent de l’Olla 78 | Tel. 93 518 1803 Comercio 17 | www.lavietnamita.com
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42 BUSINESS DIRECTORY
DISCOUNT FOR METROPOLITAN READERS.
To advertise in this section call: 93 451 4486 or email: email@example.com See also our online directory at www.barcelona-metropolitan.com
Dr. Alistair Gallagher -
The British Dental Clinic has a patientfriendly 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 Metro: Sagrada Família (L5) Monumental (L2) T. 93 265 8070 M. 607 332 335 firstname.lastname@example.org www.thebritishdentalclinic.com
DENTIST Sanz Pancko Dental Clinic in Barcelona and Terrassa provides excellent oral care in an English-speaking environment. Dr Nancy Pancko, an American dentist trained at Columbia university in New york, is an American Board-certified orthodontist. Dr Javier Sanz is an American Board-certified periodontist and implantologist who lectures on periodontal technological advancements and leads research projects at the university. Together, they provide comprehensive and affordable dental care Rogent 40, local 2, 08026 T. 93 246 9043 Metro: Clot (L1, L2) www.clinicadentalsyp.com Open Mon-Fri 9am-8.30pm
Pascual La Rocca - DENTIST
Dra. Susana Campi - DENTIST
with 15 years of experience and academic excellence, Dr. Mónica and Dr. Andres Pascual La Rocca open the doors of this new dental centre which features the latest in dental technology and equipment, and a warm, friendly atmosphere. In an international environment, they strive to make their patients feel comfortable and cared for. English, Italian, Spanish, Catalan and Portuguese are spoken.
For all your dental needs, a team consisting of their first-class professionals can offer you excellent treatment. They have more than 30 years of experience and are pleased to offer you their services in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Catalan.
Vilamur 15, 08014 T. 93 119 1931 email@example.com www.plrodontologos.com
Rosselló 95, local, 08029 Metro: Hospital Clínic (L5) Entença (L5) T. 93 322 9114 Fax. 93 322 0220 firstname.lastname@example.org www.clinicadentalcampi.com
PropDental - DENTAL CLINIC
Dr. Boj - DENTIST
Clinicas Propdental · Specialists in same-day implants and teeth · Cost of a dental implant: 450 · Titanium root · Dental veneers without cutting the tooth · Orthodontic treatments · First visit free. Call 93 491 4914.
Dr. Boj and his team provide specialised comprehensive pediatric dental and orthodontic treatment for children and teens. Dr. Boj also lectures about all treatments related to these age groups, including laser dentistry.
Sants 151, 08028 T. 93 934 485 www.propdental.es
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Sanz Pancko Dental Clinic -
Prats de Mollo 10, bajos B 08021 T. 93 209 3994 www.drboj.org
12/19/13 1:56:23 PM
NEST - Network of English Speaking Therapists
Mary D. McCarthy - DOCTOR
Doctor for Adults
Mary D. McCarthy, M.D. Fellow American College of Physicians
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 is also certified as a Specialist by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
Bsc Hons - Midwife
Krishinda is a fully-qualified and trained British midwife offering home birth and home dilatation services. She also provides antenatal and postnatal care and support to mothers and babies for six weeks after birth. She is supported in her practice by a team of Spanish but British-trained midwives and alternative health care professionals as well as a breast feeding consultant/Doula. Midwife means ‘to be with woman’. Marenostrum Centre de Salut familiar
Fontanella 16 Principal, 08010 M. 665 143 437 email@example.com
Nick Cross - PSYCHOLOGIST /
Hestia - PSYCHOTHERAPY The Hestia International Centre of Psychotherapy has become a reference in the city. The professional team works with individuals, couples and families through psychotherapy, coaching, counselling, clinical hypnosis, art therapy, NLP and EMDR. They speak English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Greek, Polish, Swedish, and Catalan. The first consultation is free. Passeig Sant Joan 180 Pral 2a Metro: Joanic (L4) T. 93 459 2802 firstname.lastname@example.org www.hestia.es
Jonathan Lane Hooker -
Nick Cross is a registered psychologist, specialising in psychotherapy. Psychotherapy can help you with the causes of distress and unhappiness and it provides treatment for anxiety, fears, relationship difficulties, depression, problems adjusting, loss and trauma.
Jonathan Hooker can help if you’re looking for support, guidance or help with any aspect of your life. An English-speaking psychotherapist, counsellor, coach and guide, he is dedicated to helping people make sense of their lives. Jonathan provides one-to-one sessions or workshops for groups of four to 12 people. Metropolitan readers are invited to a free 20-minute introductory meeting.
M. 644 193 825 email@example.com
Bianca Kruk - THERAPIST Bianca Kruk at Ganesha Healing is a certified therapist in: Naturopathy, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Ear Acupuncture and Quantum Kinesis. She is a member of the Asociación de Profesionales de las Terapias Naturales. Treats: Physical and emotional rebalancing, Pain and stress relief, anxiety, depression, Chronic and acute conditions, Nutritional advice, pregnancy discomforts. All ages welcome! To find out more visit the web or call Bianca directly. Dutch, English, German, Italian and Spanish spoken. T. 65 439 3629 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ganeshahealing.wix.com/engl
MP 40-46 JAN 2014.indd 45
The Barcelona Network of English Speaking Therapists (NEST) is a multidisciplinary group of qualified and practising psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists who live and work in and around Barcelona. NEST members work in the English language and have their roots in training bodies and professional associations based elsewhere. A number of NEST members also work in Catalan, Spanish, Bulgarian, Dutch, German, Italian and Greek. For detailed information, please visit their website.
Aribau 215 Pral. 1a T. 93 200 2924 M. 607 220 040 Metro Diagonal or FGC Gràcia
Krishinda Powers Duff
BUSINESS DIRECTORY 43
T. 93 590 7654 M. 639 579 646 email@example.com www.jonathanhooker.com
Pharmacy Serra Mandri -
The helpful and qualified pharmaceutical staff at this wellknown Barcelona chemist 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. The pharmacy is open 365 days a year and also offers a home delivery service. Av. Diagonal 478 Metro: Diagonal (L3, L5) Chemist T. 93 416 1270 Homeopathy T. 93 217 3249 Open every day 9am-10pm
12/19/13 1:56:27 PM
44 BUSINESS DIRECTORY
HEALTH · BUSINESS SERVICES
Clínica Masculina Europea -
Clínica Masculina Europea is one of the most pioneering medical centers at a national level The most common sexual dysfunctions treated are: Erectile dysfunction, Early Ejaculation, Penile Curvature, Perturbation of sexual desire. Urologic problems: Prostate Symptoms, Fimosis, Vasectomy. Valencia 281 Entlo. 2º, 08009 T. 93 219 3060 firstname.lastname@example.org www.clinica-masculina.com
Dr. Steven Joseph - Doctor General Practice Mental Health MB, MRCGP, MRCPsych.
Dr. Steven Joseph4DOCTOR Established in 2005, Googol Medical Centre offers its patients comprehensive healthcare in a friendly, discreet and relaxed environment. UK doctor Steven Joseph provides a wide range of medical care with access to all medical specialties and tests. Gran Via Carles III nº-37-39 | Metro Les Corts Mon-Sat | M. 662 291 191 www.googolmedicalcentre.com
Rosàngela Bertran 4SUCCESS COACH Meet Rosàngela Bertran, polyglot PhD, a brilliant Success Coach that uses the Emotional Freedom Technique. Help yourself to happiness and success. For everybody that wants to create a life of success. Have a complimentary free 30-minute consultation. M. 676 216 995 | www.rosabertran.com email@example.com
Tania Spearman -
Víctor Sánchez Vaqué -
Make acupuncture your first choice, not your last resort! Tania is offering all Metropolitan readers a 15 discount on first appointments with this voucher. Acupuncture treats many conditions from pain, stress and depression to infertility and more. Call now to make your appointment or to see if acupuncture is right for you. Tania is a UK university trained acupuncturist with her own clinic in the centre of Barcelona. English, Spanish and German spoken.
As a business lawyer and legal consultant, Víctor Sánchez Vaqué offers legal advice and assistance to foreign and local companies and individuals in contracting, licensing, negotiation, investment projects and other legal areas of business in different sectors.
Enric Granados 133, 4-1 bis 08008 M. 644 322 161 firstname.lastname@example.org www.taniaspearman.com
BeVoip - Voip telephony provider •
Low-cost calls worldwide
Cheaper than skype
Fully managed 24 hour service
Call centre services
Per second billing
Receive calls on PC, mobile, landline, tablet
Víctor Sánchez Vaqué
M. 616 233 333 email@example.com
Sánchez Molina -
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.
T. 93 220 1764 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bevoip.com
Gran Via Carles III, 84, 5 Metro: Maria Cristina (L3) T. 93 490 9669 email@example.com www.sanchezmolina.com
Spain Accounting -
Geo Mac - COMPUTERS
Tax AND Accounting services
Qualified UK accountant with 25 years’ experience in Spain offers: · Tax services for freelance ‘autónomos’ & companies · Income tax returns for employees & non-residents · Registration of ‘autónomos’ & company incorporation (SL) · Practical advice on setting up a business in Spain · Fast, reliable email service
Call David Cook 678 702 369 firstname.lastname@example.org www.spainaccounting.com
MP 40-46 JAN 2014.indd 44
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 email@example.com www.geomacbcn.com
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BUSINESS SERVICES · SCHOOLS
BUSINESS DIRECTORY 45
Graham Eisner -
Client Referral CONSULTANT - EISNER CONSULTING IN JUST ONE SESSION
With 25 years senior corporate experience and 13 years business coaching, Graham Eisner will help you think laterally and find actionable ways to increase client referrals by 20 percent in just one session. Visit the website below to find out more about Graham’s experience and how the session works .
INCREASE CLIENT REFERRALS BY 20%
Michaela Xydi - PHOTOGRAPHY
Mrs.Q design studio - GRAPHIC DESIGN
Are you are looking for photographic services for portfolios, books, events and advertisements with economical prices and outstanding results? Then contact Michaela Xydi now to discuss what you would like to create. Michaela is an artist. She has a wealth of experience in both photography and design, which is reflected in her skillful eye for detail and the elegant style of her work.
Mrs.Q Design Studio offers a range of specialised services from branding to graphic design, web design, ceramics, photography and bespoke invitations. Whether you have a new concept in mind that you want to see brought to life or need assistance rebranding your company, contact Mrs.Q design studio. At Mrs.Q design studio they love to design creative, engaging brand identities that help their clients flourish. They will help you bring some of your personality to your brand and use their knowledge of colour, passion for typography and creative flair to create an identity that engages your customers. They specialise in bespoke wedding invitations, tailor-made to suit the style of your wedding. Match your wedding invitations with save the dates, menus, place cards and thank you cards to create a polished look. They are now offering wedding stationery packages.
M. 600 60 40 22 firstname.lastname@example.org www.michaelaxydiphotography.com
M. 699 260 938 email@example.com www.mrsqdesignstudio.com
BCN L.I.P. LANGUAGE SCHOOL
Coral - spanish teacher
BCN L.I.P. Languages is a small school with a warm and welcoming atmosphere in Barcelona’s old town. They offer both intensive and extensive courses and it’s the perfect place to ensure success in your language immersion. The centre is equipped with the most advanced facilities to enable you to succeed in your chosen language.
Reach a Spanish level that best fits your time, interests and needs! Try Coral’s personalised courses using interesting and effective methods that make learning easy. She will come to your home or business and provide the material. All levels; private or small groups (up to 3). 60-min class €25; 90-min class €35. If you need classes via SKYPE, she can also offer online lessons. She is a native, experienced and highly-qualified teacher.
T. 93 318 6591 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bcnlip.com
M. 676 249 744 email@example.com
Bcn Windows -
Fifty Soluciones -
home improvements If your flat is noisy or you suffer from cold drafts then BCN Windows can help. They can double glaze your traditional wooden windows and doors without changing the way they look. Their unique system is both cost effective and attractive. Have a look at their website for more information; it even shows you how to price your own windows. Call Michael on 619 908 642 and quote ‘Metropolitan’ for a free quote.
M. 619 908 642 www.bcnwindows.es
MP 40-46 JAN 2014.indd 45
· Cleaning and domestic services. · For companies and private homes. · Over 10 years of experience. · Licensed and insured. · Competitive prices . · Excellent service. · All kinds of cleaning jobs.
Travessera de Gracia 50, 08021 Tel. 93 200 3075 Fax. 93 100 1435 firstname.lastname@example.org www.fiftysoluciones.es
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46 BUSINESS DIRECTORY
BUSINESS SERVICES · BEAUTY
Wishing you a Happy New Year
Easi-Sat - TELEvISION SERvICE
BritSat - TELEvISION SERvICE
Specialists in satellite Tv, HD, audiovisual and unmatched for quality and reliability throughout Catalunya for many years. Our professional team provides satellite television from across Europe, including Dutch, French, Italian and Russian, at unbeatable prices. unmatched for quality materials, installation and after-sales service. we have solutions for loss of uK channels, with or without a dish. Please visit our new website for all the information regarding the changes. New IPTV packages including all UK freesat channels, Al Jazeera sports 1-10, and many more.
BritSat offer the best Tv packages from the uK, Ireland and much of Europe, including Russia. They have been installing satellite Tv in Catalunya for 15 years and have an excellent reputation for quality, reliability, price and aftersales service. * Sky cards with or without a uK address * All the latest Sky HD equipment * Sound systems and multi-screen viewing Freesat services will almost certainly be lost to this region of Spain by the middle of summer and BritSat have the solutions. * They supply and install all the latest internet-based Tv systems * No internet? No problem, they are the official installers of the market leading TOOwAy Satellite internet system * Extensive channel list from the uK and Ireland.
For our personal, efficient and friendly service, call the specialists. Follow us on Facebook/Easisat and Twitter ‘@PaulDuval15’ New IPTV packages including all UK freesat channels, Al Jazeera sports 1-10, and many more. Book now for your free demo. T. 93 845 9874 M. 649 413 832 email@example.com www.easisat.net
The Vital Touch - MASSAGE The vital Touch Massage clinic helps you relax, energise, re-balance and improve your health and lifestyle with a therapeutic, holistic full-body massage. - Enjoy a winter massage wrapped in hot towels, breathing in the essence of warm oils on your skin! - Helps relieve tension, reduce stress, detoxify your body and boost your self-esteem. - We also visit offices and events around Barcelona helping stressed executives to relax and re-energise in their working day. M. 659 995 657 firstname.lastname@example.org www.tvtbarcelona.com
M. 649 605 917 email@example.com www.britsatlive.com
HAIR CUT €15 + HOT SHAVE €25
BCN Cuts - BARBER SHOP Directly from Boston to Gràcia comes BCN Cuts Barber Shop to offer you time to relax surrounded in a welcoming environment. with a drink in hand and jazz music playing in the background, you can have a hair cut or try their hot lather shave the classic way. BCN Cuts is a traditional barber shop with a contemporary atmosphere. you will keep coming back for the excellent service.
Gran de Gràcia 223 T. 93 611 1813 firstname.lastname@example.org Open Mon-Sat 10am-8pm
HAIR AND BEAuTy Leave behind your daily routine and prepare for a range of sensational treatments at Beauty Planet. They offer each client a completely customised service, including aesthetic advice from their experts. Beauty Planet hair and beauty in Barcelona has a team of hair professionals to ensure you receive the highest quality, comprehensive service.
Visit our online BUSINESS DIRECTORY www.barcelona-metropolitan.com
Diputació 197, 08011 T. 93 512 2360 email@example.com www.beautyplanetbcn.com
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12/19/13 1:56:42 PM
SHOPPING For more shopping visit our online directory www.barcelona-metropolitan.com/shopping
Plaça Virreina 7, 08012 · T. 93 218 6907 · www.bateaulune.com · firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/bateaulune
Balmes 383, 08022 T. 93 527 5760 email@example.com www.gogobaby.es www.facebook.com/gogobaby.com
Bateau Lune is a traditional toy shop for kids where you can find a large variety of traditional toys including; wooden bicycles, trains, also micro scooters, also kites and outdoor games and many more rare and original toys. Go visit them today and get ideas for special occasions such as birthday presents and Christmas gifts. Check out their free activities for children twice a month on the Virreina square in Gràcia!
At GOGO baby they embrace the spirit of joy. They believe in making your baby’s world magical, comfortable, and full of smiles. Discover developmental toys, comfty baby clothes, urban-friendly strollers and carriers, and a selection of English story books; everything is high quality, city proof, and reasonably priced. If you’re looking for that special gift or getting ready for little one’s arrival, they make shopping convenient, fun, and affordable.
EL MUNDO DE HAMACAS
Josep Anselm Clave 3 (Drassanes) · Mon-Sat 10.30am-2pm, 4pm-8pm · T. 93 317 5115 · www.mundodehamacas.es
Ever thought of spending your mid-day rest in a comfy, restful hammock, rather than on the old living room couch? You can find this friendly hammock heaven just 25m off La Rambla (close to the Columbus statue) in the historical centre of Ciutat Vella. El Auténtico Mundo de Hamacas offers high quality hammocks in different sizes and styles, suitable for all.
Sitges 7 · T. 93 676 2311 · www.facebook.com/Artshopbcn
Located close to Plaça Catalunya, the Artshop has a full range of artist supplies and a small family gallery. If you need a simple watercolour set or any other specialist items, they can be bought or ordered for you at the shop.
BCN PAINTING ROUTE
CABOCLO HAND MADE SHOES
New gallery in the heart of the Gothic quarter showcasing oil paintings on canvas and other works of art. High quality paintings starting from just 40 The perfect place to find the perfect painting of Barcelona.
Hand made by the best artisans from the north of Brazil, the Caboclo team defines themselves as an Eco & Social company. Each sandal and shoe is made with chrome free leather, and uses recycled tyres to form the sole. Visit them just steps from the city hall and look over their unique and elegant styles that compliment an easy going lifestyle. Don’t miss the sustainable decoration!
Carrer de Lledó 17 · T. 93 319 9178 firstname.lastname@example.org · www.facebook.com/BCNPaintingRoute
Torrent de l’Olla 62, 08000 · M. 617 021 527 · www.caladazul.com
Located in Gracia, this new shop has a huge range of products to help you cut down, be healthier or even stop smoking! With their products there is no tar, no arsenic, no carbon monoxide nor any of the other toxic substances found in tobacco. You can use it wherever you want, whenever you want, with the same satisfying feeling that tobacco gives you. Quote Metropolitan for a free trial and ask about special reader discounts and offers.
Comerç 29 · T. 93 268 8437 · www.24-kts.com
Located in the Born shopping area, this exclusive streetwear store has become internationally renowned thanks to its exciting design collaborations with many famous brands like New Balance, Stussy, Reebok, Lacoste, Puma, Asics, Nike, Saucony, Adidas, New Era and more. Definitely worth a look.
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Baixada de la Llibreteria 8 · T. 93 317 2929 www.caboclobrasil.com
Banys Nous 20 · www.parrup.com www.facebook.com/ParrupBarcelona
PARRUP brings together the best from local designers, carefully selected unique pieces, limited edition products and finely crafted clothes, jewellery, art and furniture.Why PARRUP? Because they love talented people. Because they want to showcase what they can offer. Because they believe in the local economy and production transparency. Because they don’t believe in the ‘made in Asia’ business. Nothing more but nothing less.
València 87/89 · T. 93 454 1001 · email@example.com www.microgestio.com
Need help with your Mac? Want to buy an iPad? Microgestió supplies everything a Mac user needs, including service and repairs, classes on how to use different programs, useful tutorials, and the latest new products on the market. You can count on Microgestió for all of your Mac needs... and a friendly, professional service!
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JOBS To advertise in this section, call: 93 451 4486 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org We also have a new job section on our FREE CLASSIFIEDS www.classiďŹ eds.barcelona-metropolitan.com For the latest jobs for English speakers in Barcelona, follow us on Twitter @bcnmetropolitan
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CLASSIFIEDS Hundreds more ads on our website www.barcelona-metropolitan.com For sale, for rent, personals, job vacancies, job search, classes and more.
ROOMS FOR RENT Room for rent (girl, non-smoking). Pretty flat, in front of the metro. (Yellow line - Via Júlia) €250 including bills. Call: 634 185 483/ 638 176 190 Room for a girl, with bookshelf, table, big closet. Excellent area, by Montjuïc (2 min from Magic Fountain). Clean, calm building with good neighbours. In the flat we have a kitchen with all utilities. The bathroom is shared with only with one other person. Clean and nice atmosphere. We need one person (non-smoker). €260, costs included, (security deposit €200). Send Whatsapp to Liene y Ivan – 644 255 416 Room for rent 8 minutes from Sants station. Rent per day, €25, per week €170 or per month €300. Exterior, internet, bathroom, kitchen. For more details please contact me. (Contact via our online Classifieds section). I have a rooms available in my flat on Gran Via, Exiample, below Sagrada Familia and less than 1000m from the Mediterranean sea and Port Olympic. The room has a 140x200 size bed, storage, table etc. bedlinen and towels included. Fully-equipped kitchen, living room, bathroom with bathtub/ shower, washing machine. Internet. Beautiful flat with authentic details, original brick floor. The flat has a good relaxed atmosphere, a great place to stay short-term or live long-term. At the moment we are two girls living here. We are working and the flat is very quiet. It is not a “party-flat”, it’s a place for living in and feeling good. (Contact via our online Classifieds section). Bright double room with very comfortable bed (135cm) & balcony in a two-bedroom flat in a quiet pasaje in the heart of the Eixample, close to all public transport. Renting from now until end of March to share with an easygoing, sporty, hardworking 40-something woman and two lovable cats. Ample living space, big kitchen & beautiful sunny patio/deck. €450/ month with utilities & wifi included. For further information & photos, please send me an email. (Contact via our online Classifieds section). Hello! Exterior room in Barceloneta to rent, located very close to the beach (available from December). The room is completely furnished and costs €330. Prices include telephone with national calls, internet-adsl, and all costs such as elecriticity, gas and water. Very close to the metro station Barceloneta. Bicing station next to the flat. 2 mins walk minutes
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to the beach. If interested, write to email@example.com or call 622 524 526 (from 6.30pm). Room to rent in new house for €325 (+ 1 month deposit). Looking for an open, clean and responsible person. The house is located in Santa Coloma and has two metro stations close to the house (L1 and L9). Contact for more information. (Contact via our online Classifieds section). Room for rent. Furnished, sunny room for rent with double or single bed and French windows in 100sqm attic flat in Horta, sharing with couple. Flat is fully equipped and has a very large terrace with views of the mountains and Tibidabo. Flat is located in a nice quiet neighborhood but is an easy 5 minute walk to Carmel or Horta metros and shops. Rent is €350 per month inclusive of all bills and wifi. Two week deposit and first month’s rent up front. Room is available immediately. Contacts: Mike and Florencia. (Contact via our online Classifieds section). APARTMENTS TO RENT Comfortable studio-flat for one or two people. Situated in the heart of Barcelona. Just beside Santa Maria del Mar, it’s very near the Picasso Museum, ‘Barri Gotic’ area, the Cathedral and 5 minutes from Barceloneta beach. Available from December 16th from €30 per night, kitchen, bathroom, WiFi. Contact on +34 627 273 347 or +34 619 580 562 Beautiful apartment in Born. Available January 2-May 24, 800 month. Ending date flexible. It has 2 bedrooms (double and single),living room, dining room, fully equipped kitchen. Large bathroom with tub/ shower and balcony. Top floor corner flat of 70 sq meters with views of the Santa Maria Del Mar church. Access to the roof terrace. Original and cork tile floors. Fully furnished. Look up Facebook page Sunny Borne Sublet for the album of photos. (Contact via our online Classifieds section). Studio for rent, furnished. 40 square metres, silent. Kitchen: cooker, oven, refrigerator, cabinets. Living room of 20 square metres. Bedroom. Renovated bathroom, washer and dryer. (Contact via our online Classifieds section). Yearly apartment rental in Poble Nou. Beautiful, fully-furnished and stylish 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom flat. Available for one year. €900 per month). Located on the third floor with a lift in a new and modern building with a fully-equipped kitchen
including dishwasher and washing machine. The large lounge also has a sunny terrace and free wifi and freeview tv and dvd. There are 2 bathrooms and 2 bedrooms. The master bedroom has a double bed. The second bedroom has 2 single beds. There is also central heating and air conditioning throughout the apartment. The Poble Nou metro is 2 mins walk away from the apartment and 10 mins away from the beach. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Nice flat near Pl. España. Perfect location; less than 5 minutes walking to Plaça España and Rocafort L1 metro and many bus lines; less than 10 minutes walking to Sants station. Many supermarkets around, a public park, a public library and a gym in less than 4 minutes. Easy walking everywhere! Fifth floor with elevator. Sunny. Kitchen fully-equipped with vitroceramic hob, oven-microwave, dishwasher, fridge, washing machine with dryer, etc.. One bathroom and another toilet with shower. One big living room with TV. One bedroom with a double bed, and another bedroom for double/ twin bed, both with big wardrobes. Heating and air conditioning. Balcony. Electricity and water at your charge, community expenses included. €1300/ month. Contact mail:bcn423@gmail. com Bright, airy attic flat (with lift) available in the heart of north Raval, five minutes walk from MACBA and Rambla de Raval. 90m2. Two double bedrooms both opening on to small terrace overlooking a quiet patio de manzanas. Recently renovated kitchen and bathroom. 25m2 living room with 2 small balconies giving on to quiet side street. Gas-fired heating. Unfurnished. €900 / month. Call Mark: 605 329 272 OFFICE 65 sqm interior studio-office Gràcia: Baro Barre 12. Metro Vallcarca. Call 693 726 111 Office for health professional. Well located, in Passeig de la Bonanova, near many schools. Preferably health professional related to children (psychologist, speech therapist, dietician...). Only €300/month. (Contact via our online Classifieds section). FOR SALE Car for sale. Silver-grey, Spanish registration Audi A4 2.0 TDI Avant (2006), in good condition with 125811 km on the clock. Please contact me on 618 933 737.
Ford Fusion 1.4 TDCI. Great car in excellent condition. Must sell, moving to the US. 2005. Km 110.000. Diesel. Black. I’m between Barcelona and Malgrat de Mar. (Contact via our online Classifieds section). LANGUAGE EXCHANGE Would you like to improve your Spanish by an intercambio? I am a 31 year old Catalan from Barcelona. I am a teacher of Spanish so I could be of some help to you if you have some doubts about Spanish grammar ;-) I have not a bad level of English (Proficiency), but I would like to improve my conversation.If you are interested, just let me know! Hasta pronto, Josep. Tel. 630 319 992. Hello! I’m a Spanish woman in my fifties and I live in Badalona (Barcelona). I’m studying the advanced English level and I am looking for a native English speaker woman to help me improve my spoken English and I will also happily help her with her Spanish or Català. We could meet once a week, preferably in the afternoon. (Contact via our online Classifieds section). Italian/Spanish for English. Buongiorno! Would you like to improve your italian or spanish? Would you like to help me to improve my english? Call me or write to me and we can organize weekly meetings just for a capuccino and nice chats together. (Contact via our online Classifieds section). My Spanish for your English. I am 35, a guy from Barcelona. I need to improve my English in exchange for my Spanish. (Contact via our online Classifieds section). SEEKING Interesting, unusual man ~ FIT, stylish, guapo, free-thinking artist/engineer 52 invites a shapely, bright-witted, n/s lady who’s seeking a soulmate/ playmate to make swift contact. Thank you. Grown up group An idea for English speaking couples over 50, with a story to tell. Making friends in a foreign city like Barcelona can be difficult. Let’s do something about it: Can you cook, sing, make things, play bridge............? Do you like wine tasting, social gatherings, cinema.............? There must be many who would like to meet others around their age,share a yarn and a glass. If you think it’s worth finding out more,phone/text John Ward 619 775 969. Who knows?
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50 BACK PAGE
Antonio Perez 56, Spanish OWNER of La Pernil i Teca
I give classes in how to cut ham in various catering colleges around Barcelona. Nowadays, a lot of catering colleges are only interested in the cooking. They learn about gastronomy and wines, but not really about our hams and cheeses. They don’t have any idea. The French are much more advanced in gastronomy than we are. When a student leaves catering college in France, they know French gastronomy in depth. They know what makes a good foie, they know their cheeses and how things are made and the textures and what makes it French. We need to train the teachers to know the value of what we have. Spain produces nine of the 20 best gastronomic products in the world! I was on a radio show here once talking about my ham. A young man phoned in and said, “I trust the man who sells my ham in my local market because my family have been going to him for years” So I said to him, “That’s fine, but does he go and see the pigs himself? Does he know what they eat and where they forage?” I bet he doesn’t. I don’t really switch off. Whenever I go on holiday for example and we pass a farm, I like to investigate. It annoys my wife a bit, but I really love talking to the farmers and you never know what you might find. La Pernil i Teca, Carrer de Milà i Fontanals 44, Tel. 93 188 0100 Interview by Nicola Thornton. Photo by Lee Woolcock
By Ben Rowdon
My father is from Extremadura so I grew up around pigs and have always had an interest in farming. At 13, I started working in El Corte Inglés in gentlemen’s tailoring but I didn’t like it. What I liked was food and produce. I liked speaking to the public and I liked Iberian products, the cheeses and gastronomy in general. I left there in 1971 to work for a gastronomic chain for 20 years, then for a small shop in Plaça de Francesc Macià that doesn’t exist now. After that I opened my own business in Carrer Valencia with a partner, but we had a disagreement and closed it after 10 years. I worked in another couple of places for a few years and then bought this shop. I’ve been open for two years. What makes a good ham? The first thing is the race of the animal—it must be pure iberico. The animals must also eat mostly acorns and have space of between four and six hectares per pig even though the legislation says they must have two. If an animal has eaten lots of good acorns, you can see that the percentage of oil to meat is 50 percent. The salt content is a lot lower. A lot of pigs nowadays are fed cereal and the ham is just not the same. The curing stage is also very important—the meat should always be salted with sea salt, never mineral or industrial salt and it should rest in natural drying conditions for 40 days for every kilo of meat. For the best results, a ham should be in the chamber for a minimum of two years. Those cured in refrigerated conditions lose their aroma after four days and dry out quickly. I really love natural produce. I work only with producers that look after the animal. This is really the most important thing; to know that the animals they have are the purest animals and that they are raised in the same way they have been raised for hundreds of years. Nowadays, there is a proliferation of brands taking advantage of the boom for Iberian ham. They buy inferior quality ham from Eastern countries and falsify the curing time, they don’t use sea salt and they inject it with oil. There are new regulations out this month to curb this, which I am very happy about. There is a real lack of knowledge in Spain about our gastronomic culture, especially in Iberian ham. No one is learning this trade anymore. The sellers start at 21 years which is too late to get a flavour of it all—they work for low wages and then of course, they are not interested in it. What I do is a vocation—it takes many hours of work and you need to really want to get the best product to your customers. I still have customers from 40 years ago. They know I will offer them a good product and although I have changed places many times, they have followed me. If a product isn’t good enough for me, it’s not good enough for my clients. I try to find and choose the produce that I would like and that is what I sell here.
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