Slow Barcelona City Guide // Edition 1
My preconceptions of Barcelona were of a Gaudi filled city with xurros (Catalan for churros) on every corner. And I wasn’t disappointed my thirst for Gaudi was quenched and by no means did I go hungry for there certainly was no lack of xurros. I left Barcelona knowing that it is much more than Gaudi and xurros. It is a vibrant, youthful city with centuries of history, stacks of gastronomical delights and days filled with sunshine.
One of my many discoveries in Barcelona and by far the most fascinating was the slow movement. Call me ignorant if you will but I really had no idea it was such a slow city. I’m not only talking about the slow food of course, because i’m sure we’re all aware Catalans are famous for that, but also the shopping and the general barcelona lifestyle. It’s a place where you feel that even if you were a local you would be living a more slow and wholesome life, filled with siestas, good food and long strolls on sunny days that seem to go on forever.
The first stop on the Slow Barcelona city guide is Salterio Tea House in the Ramblas. I found this precious little gem completely by accident while exploring the area. Thats exactly what I love about Barcelona how you can get completely lost and swept up in the city only to find yourself somewhere incredible. Saltiero is run by two brothers who incidentally speak a bit of Italian, which was great for me because my Spanish is shocking. The place is crammed full of interesting little objects, teas from all over as well as Saltiero’s own blends. I had a very savoury blend with cardamon, being a tea lover it’s rare for me to find something truly different in a cafe’s tea selection but Salitero definitely both surprised and delighted my tea palette. The fresh mint tea was also a winner at our table, and the healthy tappas of bread, tomato and tahini dressing made for a delicious snack.
Dinner time in Barcelona was never an easy task as there were so many great places to choose from. One night on a dinner hunt I stumbled upon Allium, the first thing that drew me to this charming little place was their kitchen which has an open window and faces the street so you can watch the fresh food being prepared like food theatre. Naturally this intrigued me, any restaurant bold enough to put their kitchen on show must have something good to serve up. Sure enough at the entrance I noticed the distinctive little snail and my decision was made, I had to experience a Catalan slow food restaurant. With a homey kitchen atmosphere Allium welcomes you into a gastronomic adventure of Catalan cuisine and tradition of fresh and local produce. Featured in the KM 0 Slow Food Catalunya Guide it does not disappoint on the slow food experience. The highlight from the menu for me was the duck liver with stake tartar which just melts in your mouth and the home made cottage cheese and honey desert. Most of the dishes on the menu are marked with KM 0 meaning most or all of the ingredients are locally sourced and produced which made the Allium experience all the more worthwhile for me due to my obvious love of slow food.
Hope you enjoyed the first edition of Slow Barcelona City Guide. Coming up in edition 2 is Gracia shopping district, Petritxol chocolaterie and Mirilla tapas bar. Stay tuned, until then enjoy life and travel slow.