When Karl and I travel, we always try and get the balance right. We don't want to spend a lot but we don't want to end up staying somewhere we hate or not enjoying our food. That means we spend a lot of time looking for the right hotel and also deciding where to eat and we usually get the balance just right, maybe having one or two "blow out" meals and saving on the rest without compromising our trip at all. The hotel we stayed in in Barcelona was one of the nicest hotels we've stayed in for that price so I couldn't get away without posting it on my blog!
HOTEL SILKEN DIAGONAL BARCELONA
So we stayed in Hotel Silken Diagonal Barcelona, a rather large hotel in a quiet area of Barcelona. The hotels in the Gothic Quarter etc. were quite pricey and not as nice as the ones just outside looked and I loved how modern the Silken Diagonal appeared to be on the photos. When we arrived we weren't disappointed. The hotel smells amazing when you walk in and the lobby is decked out in bronze, white and silver decor - yup, it's a blogger's dream! Our room was equally as lovely with bright decor, glass doors and electric shutters for the window and we had so much space to chill after exploring the city too!
The location of the hotel was out of the way like I said but it was still perfect for a visit to Barcelona. Glories metro station is literally two minutes down the road with a direct train straight to Catalunya Plaza and fab connections to many of the main attractions. It was also just a 20 minute walk down to Marbella Beach and although there weren't that many restaurants around the metro being so close meant that didn't matter at all.
The hotel also has a really cute rooftop pool and bar and as you can see, the views from the roof are amazing. The pool was really small but was enough for a city break and it was just uber modern with real luxurious feel! We were out exploring most of the time so didn't spend a lot of time up there but we did go up to relax a couple of times after we were done - it was just really handy to know that it was there.
This was the first place we ate when we arrived and it's situated right on the beach. I love little beach restaurants like this so knew it was going to be up my street before we even sat down! I ordered seafood paella while Karl went for the burger and chips and it was so lovely. The seafood was so fresh and probably the best paella I've ever tasted while Karl raved about his burger and I stole a sneaky chip! It was really well priced too with my paella costing just over €16 and the burger costing around €12 and for the quality of the food that was amazing. Plus, the views out onto the beach were perfecto!
I think this was what it was called! This was a lovely little place just off of Catalunya Plaza serving totally organic food with a huge amount of options for veggies and vegans! I went for spinach pasta with organic cheese sauce while Karl went for the pizza (obv, does he ever go for anything else?!) They were both absolutely delicious but I must give the drinks a mention too! I ordered lemonade but when it came it was totally fresh. It was literally just lemon juice squeezed from the fruit with no added sugar or flavours or anything and it was so refreshing and cleansing (even if I did have to add a few sachets of sugar!) Karl got a Coke and we were pleasantly surprised when we found out even that was organic and tasted even better than a regular coke. Seriously, everything was great and you could also buy some of the organic ingredients and foods at the front of the shop. The price point was really good too and we paid around €15 each for the food and drinks together.
HARD ROCK CAFE BARCELONA
This is a very obvious and very tourist-y one but we couldn't go to Barca without going to the Hard Rock Cafe. I've only been to the one in New York before and Karl hadn't been at all so we got ourselves booked in for our second night. I would definitely recommend booking if you plan to go here as some people had been waiting for a table for over an hour and a half and this was on a Wednesday night so book book book! The food was lovely - I went for salmon and Karl the burger and we shared a mammoth cookie dessert afterwards but my favourite part was my blue cocktail. I can't remember the name of it but it was coconut-y with rum (it wasn't Malibu!) and I could have probably drank a bucket load of them if my lightweight self would have allowed it! The food here is really nice and the service is great but as it is a big chain restaurant I think it's mainly the experience we went for and it is really expensive. The cocktails are around €10 each and the beer around €6 with each main course being between €18 and €30 and desserts €10 so you can imagine how easily the bill racks up. This was what we counted as one of our blow out meals for sure!
Corches was definitely one of my favourite places to eat and it was actually one of the cheapest places we went to. It's a small, modern restaurant with a real rustic interior just in one of the streets off Catalunya Plaza and it was such a lucky gem that we came across almost by accident! I ordered a few nibbles and got a plate of cheeses with chutney and some fresh tomato bread and a cup of tea while Karl opted for one of the thickest steaks I've ever seen in my life. Naturally I stole some of his chips (this happens everywhere we go) and I enjoyed this more than anything. I also had a fruit salad for dessert and Karl had a brownie pudding (can you tell he's a lil bit stuck in his way?!) It was around €12 for a main course here and the tapas varied in price, ranging from €4 to €7 and for what we got, our bill wasn't too big at all! Out of all of the restaurants, Corches is the one I would recommend the most.
THE FRESH FOOD
It wasn't only the variety of restaurants that make the food in Barcelona so good but also the stalls that are jam-packed full of fresh fruits and juices. I drank so much fresh fruit juice over the course of our trip and at €2 per pot, these were such a perfect way to cool down and have a bit of a snack in the heat without paying a lot for a proper meal. These stalls were literally everywhere so you can't miss 'em - just don't overlook them because you just cannot get fresh fruit like this in England!
We did eat in a couple more places but silly me forgot to note down their names (doh!) so I'll just leave you with my favs! Have you ever tried the food in Barcelona?