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Author: Claire Sturzaker

Where to Eat in Barcelona: Las Empas

Where to Eat in Barcelona: Las Empas

The perfect stop off for an afternoon snack, or a mid-session refuelling, Las Empas offers delicious empanadas to eat in or take away. Owned by an affable Belgian chap who spent several years in Argentina, Las Empas also boasts an impressive selection of craft beers; fusing Argentinian tastiness with continental flair. All the empanadas I’ve tried are delicious, and I have worked my way through most of the menu. My personal favourite is the Empa Siciliana; stuffed with succulent beef,…

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Where to Eat in Barcelona: La Taberna Griega

Where to Eat in Barcelona: La Taberna Griega

When you’ve had enough tapas to last a lifetime, try out this fabulous Greek restaurant in Gracia.  We were looking for a place to eat one Friday night and something caught our eye as we wandered along the street.  Greek dancing and plate smashing!  We were sold.  Rushing inside to catch the last few plates crashing to the ground, we had sadly missed the weekly performance, but were still rewarded with delicious food.  We chose a starter of mixed dips,…

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An Expat in Barcelona: 10 Things I Miss About the UK

An Expat in Barcelona: 10 Things I Miss About the UK

I wasn’t born to live in Britain.  I have always yearned for travel and adventure, for more excitement than the usual kids’ activities of girl guides and piano lessons.  From ice-skating to horse-riding and considering jumping out of a plane at 15 (as I was underage I needed a parent to jump with me, which strangely wasn’t met with enthusiasm from my mum & dad, so I haven’t yet ticked that off the list) I always knew there was more beyond…

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Exploring Catalunya: Roman Ruins in Tarragona

Exploring Catalunya: Roman Ruins in Tarragona

The Romans certainly left their mark on Catalunya; and nowhere more so than in Tarragona, the Roman capital of Catalunya.  Within easy reach of Barcelona, about an hour by train, Tarragona, or Tarraco as it was called then, is well worth a visit.  Smaller & less hectic than the big city, it makes a pleasant day trip or weekend visit. I took the train from Barcelona down to Tarragona, but be careful which train you take.   The high speed Ave…

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Activities in Barcelona: Las Festes de Santa Eulàlia

Activities in Barcelona: Las Festes de Santa Eulàlia

The story of Santa Eulàlia is not a happy one.  With this weekend hosting the festival celebrations in her name I thought it was high time to learn more about her. One of the two patron saints of Barcelona, (along with our Lady of Mercy), Eulàlia was the young martyr who suffered horrific torture at the hands of the Romans when she refused to renounce her Christian faith.  As the legend goes, During the persecution of the Christians during the…

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Where to Eat in Barcelona: La Paradeta

Where to Eat in Barcelona: La Paradeta

The best fish restaurant in Barcelona.  Another no-frills joint, my kind of place!  Known affectionately by my friends as the ‘pointy fish place’ this restaurant behind the old Born market is a must for seafood lovers. On entering you are greeted by a fresh fish stall, packed with delights from clams, crabs & oysters to calamari and lobster, and what will become the best tuna steak you’ve ever eaten. The fishmonger behind the counter asks how many are in your…

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Activities in Barcelona: EatWith Marta & Cook Paella

Activities in Barcelona: EatWith Marta & Cook Paella

You’ve gawped at Gaudi’s works, peeked in the Picasso Museum & rambled down La Rambla. And now you’re hungry. But perhaps you are hoping for something a little more authentic than the pre-packed, frozen paellas offered in many tourist traps. How about learning to cook paella for yourself, in the home of a local teacher? I am a big fan of EatWith; and a big fan of paella, so I have been waiting for a chance to combine the two,…

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Where to drink in Barcelona: The Lime House

Where to drink in Barcelona: The Lime House

The Lime House is the younger, bigger sister of the awesome Rubi. Opened in May 2014, and run by the same team, they keep the best things about Rubi the same, simply on a larger scale. The same playlist & friendly service; with a bigger food menu, more homemade gins, more flavours of Mojito to choose from (Sake Mojito anyone?) and more room to sit. For me it loses some of the charm of Rubi as I prefer my drinking establishments intimate…

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Keep Looking Back at 2014? Look Forward to 2015!

Keep Looking Back at 2014? Look Forward to 2015!

As we usher in a new year, shake off the inevitable hangovers, grimace at our waistlines and look ahead at the year to come, many of us also look back on the previous year.  We assess our achievements, successes, adventures and the missed opportunities.   2014 was my second full year living in Barcelona.  I had some definite highs and some real ‘kick you in the crotch’ lows, all of which I have learned from.  I am older, hopefully wiser (or…

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Where to drink in Barcelona: Tasca el Corral

Where to drink in Barcelona: Tasca el Corral

Carrer de la Mercè is a fantastic street for bars & tapas restaurants; and if you fancy some cider and cheap & cheerful service then this is your place. Another no-frills bar with simple rustic & delicious food, to be washed down with a bottle of cider or the local speciality ‘leche de pantera’ (panther milk). The staff are friendly, and patient, posing for photos as they pour the cider as should be done – from a height! Then cheerfully…

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