With little windy streets of cafes, bars and shops and open squares of lush greenery and outdoor bars, El Raval definitely has a laid back and local vibe to it. It is one of the lesser known areas of Barcelona for tourists but we were immediately fond of it and liked the fact it was less touristy and busy.
We were really excited about where we were staying for the night on the fourth day of our Barcelona trip as we were booked into the infamous Hotel Arts. Situated on the beach front at Port Olimpic, Hotel Arts is a tall white skyscraper with a big gold fish sculpture at the front of the hotel, which can't be missed.
We arrived in Barcelona for five nights last month on a sunny Monday afternoon, after spending three days in Girona at a friends wedding. The drive was around an hour and a half and we dropped the rental car at Barcelona-El Prat airport before catching the Airport Bus into one of the main squares, Placa de Catalunya.
The history and culture of a place is best told through its cuisine. So, what better way to get to know Barcelona inside and out, than with a long weekend of food-based adventures? From Willy Wonka style treats, to a neighbourhood tour with a difference, to the most exciting, theatrical meal of my life... these are my top tips to satisfy your inner foodie!
We've all heard of those grand Chinese banquets with innumerable courses including delicacies like sea slugs and bird's nests, but at Madrid Fusion this year I caught a glimpse of the future. Goods from China dominate our shops but my suspicion is that Chinese food is going to take over our restaurant menus - and I don't mean chop suey and egg fried rice.
Considering myself to be a reasonably well-read connoisseur of Spanish literature, I looked forward to "Q is for Quixote: Great classic writers." With good reason, as it turned out. Yet I discovered that I didn't know quite as much about Spain's literary world as I thought with Orti introducing me to some authors I'd never heard of.