Olympic disappointment and bubbles in a basement

The sun is out, there’s not a cloud in the sky, I’m in Barcelona, and I’m flipping freezing! Its apparently 16 degrees which, if I was in the UK would feel positively tropical, I’m sure. Yet here, I’m wearing a tshirt, cardi, scarf and a blazer, with skinny jeans and high boots, and I’m chilly billy! I blame the drafty bus that brought us up the mountain. So once at the top, it’d be rude not to take refreshment at Miramar, right? Just to sit in the sun out of the breeze and thaw out.

It’s actually 2pm, so I shouldn’t be surprised to see people enjoying a cerveza or vino tinto. But I’m not quite there yet, so I’m helping my thawing efforts by having a Te con leche instead.

Now it feels like I’ve only been up about an hour, but I’m clearly acclimatised to the local way of life. The restauranteurs we passed on route were putting out the chairs & tables, rolling out the token wine keg to sit outside their door, and straightening their menu stands, just that extra inch, as they do, because it makes all the difference, even though the breeze will blow it over in a second… Yep there it goes… Olé!

One scoop or two?

Meanwhile, a group of Brits have just arrived at the bar… They’ve got to be British; who else would show up wrapped in ski jackets, hats, gloves and scarves, contemplating ice cream?! Ah well, they’re in Spain so it’s summer, right? But when Ringo asks (in his most Spanish sounding Scouse accent) for “two 99s por flavour love… *shouts back wife* …Oi Debs, what’s 99 in Spanish?” I choke on my Te con leche and quietly erupt into giggles. Luckily, my strategic chair adjustment makes enough noise on the wooden floor, to cover up any obvious amusement, leaving Ringo & Debs to select their flavours from the rainbow of options… This should be fun…

What’s an Olympic park like 21years after the rings have gone?

Eerie. I was expecting to be blown away by this. Having seen the extent to which the Olympic additions have had a lasting effect on Barceloneta, the harbour and Port Olympic, I thought there’d be more going on up here… Clearly not. It feels like something out of Terminator but on a sunny day. Lots of concrete, an eerie silence, and nowhere near as huge as I thought it’d be.

So after a mere 15 minutes, I’m back on the bus down into town. Disappointed, but in a sad way, hoping that London’s Olympic park won’t feel like this in 20 years’ time.

Cava @ Tapaç24

Every time I go away, I get a Rough Guide – they’re generally good and I like them as a reminder of places I’ve been. I bought one when I came to Barca last year, but then spent most of my time at Circuit de Catalunya, so hardly used it. This time, I’m trying to see more of the city and just having one day at the track (tomorrow).

So, like the city, my guide is split into 17 sections/districts. Each section provides an overview and list of good shops, cafes, bars/restaurants and clubs. And I’m trying to tick off something in each district I visit. Yesterday I did a few but in section 10 (Dreta de l’Eixample or right hand side) there was one I missed. So I hopped off the fun bus a stop early today and have come to find it.

Tapaç24 is a basement tapas bar, run by Carles Abellan, owner of the designer restaurant Comerç24… Ok I’m a rubbish food writer, so I’ll dispense with the cutlery. I’m just glad I came back to find this place. The menu is simple but the food’s so tasty. And I’ve never had a glass of bubbles with a toastie before, but it works really well, as does a hot fresh scotch egg with a meatball instead of egg inside, and a drop of aioli on top – amazing. If anyone reading this comes to Barca, around lunchtime (or any time to be fair), you have to try this place – no frills but clean, lively and simple tapas to die for. http://www.carlesabellan.com/tapac24/

At this point, I’ve eaten enough but have ordered another cava – enjoying the atmosphere too much to leave just yet; if I’m not found by this time tomorrow, first check Lewis Hamilton’s motorhome (a girl can dream?) then try here…

Brindis xx

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One thought on “Olympic disappointment and bubbles in a basement

  1. Andrea says:

    Greatly enjoying your blog! And already looking forward to your next adventure!

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