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Barcelona is one of my favourite cities in the world – at least, it’s probably my favourite out of all those I have visited.  It is somewhere that I would happily go back to over and over again.  I don’t really enjoy spending time in cities, having lived most of my life in the countryside I find them very claustrophobic, but Barcelona is different.  It has an underlying calmness that runs through it streets, despite the hustle and bustle of city life.  I would recommend it to anyone.

Peaceful park :: Barcelona ::

It has a fantastically rich food landscape, with beautiful cafes, tapas bars, patisseries and markets on every street.  There are small bakeries selling baguettes, simply filled with a smear of fresh tomato and Serrano ham, ideal for the weary tourist.  There are so many tapas bars to choose from that it’s hard to recommend one.  We found one we liked in the Barri Gothic area and went back more than once – it was nice to go in the second time and for the waitress to recognise us.  One of my favourite dishes were garlicky haricot beans. 

selection of tapas :: Barcelona ::

There are stalls at ‘La Boqueria’ market with tables piled high with exotic magenta pink fruits with a cluster of black seeds, halved and sold with a spoon for a healthy snack on the move. 

Fruit stall :: La Merchat Boqueria, Barcelona ::

Then there is the Christian Escriba Pastisseria on La Rambla. 

Christian Escriba Pastisseria :: La Rambla, Barcelona ::

 It is a stunning (much of Barcelona is stunning) small bakery – described on their website as a cake shop (www.escriba.es) – which has a small cafe, and tempting displays of pastries, cakes, chocolates, tarts, and other tasty things. 

chocolate display :: Christian Escriba Pastisseria, Barcelona ::

Last time we visited we had brekfast here everyday. 

Pastries and Spanish hot chocolate :: Christian Escriba Pastisseria ::

Should I ever live in Barcelona, my life would be happy but somewhat short lived if I breakfasted here everyday.

*I am going to try making my own Spanish style hot chocolate – I will post a recipe once it has been tried and tested!

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