Vibes without the Tribes – A guide to avoiding the summer crowds in Barcelona

Kicking off with breakfast at Federal you know the day is going to be a good day! You can find out more about these guys on a post I featured a while back. It was a fav place for mum (when mum’s happy, errrebody’s happy!) More pics here.

Try and get here before 11 – it fills up quickly.

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 Bikes are the BEST form of transport in BCN! If you want trendy turquoise wheels, we hired them from BiciRent (10E for 4hrs). Ride along the beach to Poble Nou which isn’t a usual stop, but Rambla de Poble Nou is spawling with cafes, restaurants and fresh produce. Super quiet and local vibes! We gathered our traditional picnic favs, parked the bikes and enjoyed the sunshine on a local green.

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Ok, I know I did day avoid the crowds but it’s hard to deter your eyes from Borne-  the hottest tourist destinations, and for good reason. And well, it is off the main strip! One of my fav stores is Camino. Anyone who has been shopping with me in BCN would have come with me to this store! All stock produced in Barcelona, Camino is passionate about sustainability and a fabulous supporter of independent and local brands like Maians . They also have a store in Raval. 😉

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HOT TIP: Mango and Zara are essential stops but to avoid the droves of teens, and tourist stores head up to Av Diagonal – it’s a little way up but you avoid the gigantic queues, get a taste of slightly more ‘real’ Barcelona (and remember you can take the stroll up Eric Granados and stop for a cup cake ;))

To reward your a day of activity,  swing by Numero Nueve for THE BEST ESPRESSO MARTINI – huge call I know but I can’t tell you how essential is it for you to try them! If coffee isn’t your thing try the Brambles, you won’t regret it!

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COCKTAIL 2

Crazy about fabulous dining experiences?  It’s so hard to pick from the millions of culinary options BCN has to offer BUT fear not, on Friday I’ve got you covered with a food lovers guide to BCN..

Now go and do – JS style!

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Barcelona – A JoySusanna Guide 1 (the places; to eat, to see and to do)

I LOVE Barcelona and being lucky enough to have lived here for six months earlier this year I’ve had some time to wander the streets and create a list of favourite spots. The amount of times I’ve been asked by friends and family visiting Barcelona to provide a list of places to go, to do, and see I thought I’d better whip up an official list. My; mum, the lovely Sue, and sister, lush looker, Beth, touched down on Monday for a 10 day Woods’ girl trip and I get show these two babes Barcelona through my eyes.

Take note, bookmark and click on my suggestions and I guarantee you an amazing experience of Barcelona!

For starters, the practicalities; airport transport is simple AeroBus leaves the airport to Placa Catalunya every 5 mins, takes approx 25 mins, costs 5.90 EURO and from Placa Catalunya every where is super easy to access.

Fun stuff; after greeting these two fabulous women at the airport (felt like a dud not having a sign) I took them out for a Cup of Tea and Cupcake at Cup and Cake along my favourite street in Barcelona Eric Granados (map here). This street is lined with; cafes, restaurants, florists and bars and only one lane of traffic so alfresco dining is uninterrupted by noise – it also gives you a break from the tourists hotspots and a real taste of local Barcelona.

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It was then essential to have Tapas and Sangria ASAP, we are in Spain after all. Typical tourist fall into taking a seat on La Rambla. To say you’ve had tapas on La Rambla is cool, no doubt (I did it when I first arrived), but its over priced (duh!). I took mum and Beth to a small plaza next to the MACBA. The streets are less crowded with foreigners, full of skaters and super funky bars and cafes – get lost  in RAVAL and you’re sure to find something delicious for half the price of everywhere else.

HOT STREETS TIP: Carrer Angels, Rambla de Raval, Carrer Tallers and actually the whole lot!

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 Down then to the beach, Barceloneta is crazy packed and you won’t find any sizeable spaces to catch those rays (safely, always use sunscreen kids!). We set up just under Hotel W, where there’s stylish cafes and delicious modern Spanish cuisine.

HOT TIP 1: if you eat or drink at Gallito they allow you to use their stand-up paddle board (I realise I’m not standing on the board in the photo – it was super windy yesterday, please forgive me!)! Do it yo, although perhaps on a slightly calmer day or before the wind picks up at around 2pm.

HOT TIP 2 : Watch the sunset from Barceloneta and see the sky colour change- stunning.

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Beth and I then dropped mum off  home for a siesta, and we took this op to go to the Cram l’Hotel’s terrace for a lux gin and tonic (G’Vine, if you haven’t tried it before it’s a MUST!)

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Over the coming days I’ll fill you in on a few local secrets.

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Jagged Edge

 Federal takes its name from a small town of country New South Wales in Australia, and has a sister cafe in Madrid.
The interior is a designers dream; jagged edges throughout, large communal dining and simplicity pedant lighting – felt like I was sipping my skinny latte on Swan Street.

My recommendation –  the yoghurt & granola ❤

Thank you Federal Cafe – you are my home away from home!

Enjoy – Joy Susanna

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Pastels & Patterns

Nothing signifies the coming of spring more than; fresh juice, sunshine and flowers reaching to catch the first light of the season.  Cafe Cometa is that definition of spring! Patterned cushions, a parcel and bold colour pallet, drop lights and freshly picked flowers presented for each table; I could comfortably spend all day sipping my Adàn juice (strongly recommended!) or nibbling on one of their delectable homemade dulces (sweets).

Enjoy – spring is in full bloom here in Barcelona!

JS

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Photos: JoySusanna  | Cafe Cometa  | C/ Parlament 20 08015

http://www.cafecometa.com/about

VINÇON

Purely photos today, enjoy. JS x

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20-50’s heaven

If you are a lover of restored early to mid 1900’s art deco, you have to take a look at the pieces in Fins de Siecles. Nicholas Vanderbeck and Michele Van Hove curate pieces to sell in their Eixample show room from mostly France and Italy. Find your special piece here – http://www.finsdesiecles-artdeco.com/es/

Enjoy

JoySusanna

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Oh My Gaudi!

It’s hard to come to terms with one man’s ability to imagine concepts as Gaudi did. I was overwhelmed by his eye for intricate details on a such grand scale as I immersed myself at Park Güell and Sagrada Familia. This man is a true inspiration for style, design and architecture and I’m not surprised that Barcelona is the style of the world being surrounded with streets covered in Gaudi’s work.

Enjoy and I hope I can do his work justice (there’s no way, but enjoy anyway!)

JoySusanna

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Muebles con soul

It has been an whirlwind first week in Barcelona soaking up the sun with sangria, tapas and paella- of course tons of work too! I spent my first day weaving through the streets surrounding La Rambla and ‘Happy’ by Pharrell because this city exudes life, overwhelming beauty and opportunities.

Yesterday I met with Annamaria Amato and Ramon Sole of Amato Sole to see their work in the flesh and learn the genius partnership. Annamaria and Ramon create individualised calibre wooden and metal with craftsmanship and love, add personalisation to reclaimed vintage and also create quality decor with fabrics sourced locally.

You are both gorgeous- thanks for the coffee and your time!

JoySusanna

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For more information
Website: http://www.amatosole.com
Address: Perfill 39 Barcelona
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmatoSole

EL RECIBIDOR – Fine Vintage!

When a place celebrates ‘Mad Men Day’ my mind automatically wanders into a room of dense cigar smoke, wooden sideboards,  the splash colour of the ticking orange or emerald clock! Allow your mind to go there.  El Recibidor (The Hall in English) is all this, minus the cigar smoke.

The vintage specialist store extend passion for antique finds to sharing individual stories of their collections. A house should be a story map of life whether it your own or others and I love that George, Antonio and Jorge, the founders of El Recibidor, invite us to learn and appreciate the history of each individualised piece.

There is such incredible styling genius behind this work it’s hard to pick a few but here are favourites – for more http://www.elrecibidor.com/es/home or follow on Instagram @elrecibidor

JoySusanna

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Tocador de Austinsuite

Photo: El Recibidor |  Vintage  | Tocador de Austinsuite

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Photo: El Recibidor |  Vintage  | Conjunto de 4 Sillas Tulip de Eero Saarinen

Rejo Verdes

Photo: El Recibidor |  Vintage  | Despertador Five Rams

Sofia Sofia

Photo: El Recibidor |  Vintage  | Sofa Cama Rojo Años 50

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Photo: El Recibidor |  Vintage  | Jarrón Kaiser #3

EL RECIBIDOR STUDIO | Carrer de Viladomat, 9 | Barcelona