Girls' Weekend in Barcelona
I've just got back from the world's best weekend in Barcelona with two of my absolute bessies to celebrate our 30th birthdays. We wanted somewhere cheap and easy to get to, and where there would be almost guaranteed sun. Barcelona was our pick and it proved to be a total winner. I laughed more than I have done in years, lazed in the sunshine and sipped plenty of cava and tinto de verano. It was absolute bliss.
We found our apartment on airbnb and the selling point was its epic terrace with views of the Sagrada Familia (details at the end). After arriving very late (damn delays) on Friday night, we sipped wine and caught up in between the loud bangs of the San Juan festival fireworks. There was a huge party on the beach to celebrate the summer solstice which we sadly didn't get to but our terrace proved a great way to soak up the atmosphere without suffering the crowds.
We were up bright and early on Saturday morning and wandered down through the stunning Parc de la Ciutadella before stopping for some breakfast at Black Remedy (delish avocado and feta on toast) and mooching around the boutiques in the Gothic quarter and El Born. We'd all been to Barcelona before so we achieved absolutely zero cultural but so much of the joy of the city is in the windy streets and all the little spots that you happen upon.
By early afternoon we'd been drawn to the beach and had lunch at a great, local place in Barceloneta called Jai Ca. It was rammed but we devoured all the traditional tapas stood up at a barrel and bonded big time with the hilarious owner who ended up moving us to a breezy spot by the window and offering us ice cold shots. It was delish.
We then wandered along the front and hit up the W for some cava. Only guests can go out by the pool but we welcomed the air con inside bar, shunning the beach bar 'Salt' which is right on the water and does look really good fun. The giggles continued when Katie managed to walk right through a water feature, thinking it was a shiny floor. You can't take her anywhere!
All this excitement had exhausted us (or maybe it the previous night's fireworks that continued until about 4am?!) so we returned to the terrace for sunbathing, book reading, napping, more tinto de verano and sing alongs to Celine Dion and the Pop Tarts playlist. Heaven!
By 9pm the heat had calmed and we dolled ourselves up for drinks and tapas in El Born. We started off at the bar of Chic and Basic which, whilst it doesn't have the best ring to it, was lovely and the rooms seemed a great budget option right in the centre of the action (maybe a spot for next time?!). We then had dinner at Can Cisa on Carrer de la Princesa where we tucked into really original and different tapas and more cava before meeting up with some friends who live in the city for giant gin and tonics before bed.
We'd booked brunch at Cecconi's at Soho House for Sunday before Katie had to head back to the airport. It was a 40 euro deal with a stunning buffet - antipasti, seafood, roasted meats, a risotto in a hollowed out parmesan (the best idea ever?), stunning salads and a desert selection to die for - and either a bellini or a mimosa. Naturally we also added a bottle of fizz. It was a real treat and wasn't at all poser-y.
Katie whizzed off to the airport and Em and I ended up lazing on the beach for the rest of the afternoon before popping into Mr Robinson, an Instagram-perfect bar by Port Vell, to quench our sun-induced thirst.
By the time I'd landed on Sunday it felt like I'd had a week off. It's been so long since I've had a girls' holiday and I'd forgotten just how lovely it is to have proper quality time with your best girls. We are already planning our 40th trip (and considering whether we can justify making it a yearly event!).
Thanks Katie and Em, it was a dream x