Saturday, 16 September 2017

Barcelona City Guide Part Two - Breakfast, Lunch & little treats

Following on from the first guide to Barcelona that I put together, here is my guide to places to go for breakfast nibbles and little cafe stops for much-needed middle of the day refuelling! Believe me, when you read part three of this series about all the places we visited in little over 3 days you will appreciate the need for a good list of potential refuelling stops...

Again, with some great planning as featured in part one, we had identified the places we wanted to visit that were able to offer great food, atmosphere and stylish, authentic decor as well as being logistically suitable to the chosen attractions of each day.  Admittedly, there was one occasion where we simply hopped into the nearest patisserie and collected a couple of croissants and coffees to go -this is the beauty of cities like Barcelona though, there are so many lovely & quaint cafes with their own bakeries where you can simply take the load off and enjoy a simple but delicious pastry. You really are spoilt for choice.

One place that was top of our list was the absolute must-visit, Brunch & Cake

Barcelona boasts four of the these dotted around the city with a fifth due very soon. We decided to visit 'Brunch & Cake By The Sea', which is the newest of the four. Its popularity was clear to see. At around 13.30pm we arrived and there was queue of around 4 or 5 other couples, most were simply waiting for a table outside. If I'm honest I wasn't too concerned with that - despite the title of being by the sea you are actually facing the road next to the port, which does provide some very nice boats and yachts too see, but not the beach or sea water, so being inside we didn't feel we were missing out on anything. In fact, the decor inside is just perfect - laid-back, beach-side vibes with splashes of marble, brass and rustic wood (even some hay-bale seats).

For anyone health conscious, there is a great combination of fruit, organic, vegan and nutritional based dishes then this ticks every box. That was evident from the variety of cereals, pancakes, egg based dishes, salads & smoothies on offer.

There really wasn't anything on the menu I wouldn't of happily devoured, however after much deliberation we both ended up choosing the Signature Blueberry Cheesecake Pancakes with banana, granola and seasonal fruits, accompanied with a tiramisu smoothie full of natural cocao,dates, banana, coconut milk, coffee and vegan protein. Beth opted for the Blueberry Bomb made up of  blueberries (obviously), banana, coconut milk and raw mango chia jam.

While waiting we couldn't help but head turn at every dish that came out from the kitchen. Every single one uniquely presented, in great portion size as well as being bright and eye catching. We didn't have long to wait despite how busy they were, and even if we had of been kept waiting I can assure you it would of been worth the wait.

Two bright platefuls of pancakes came our way and we both wowed at what was in front of us.. a stack of 3 chunky pancakes each, a pineapple top sat aloft of them, with scattered fruit and granola around the edges of the plates, sat alongside our freshly made smoothies, mine a deep brown colour but topped off with a bright pink topping and sprig of mint.

If I wasn't mindful of needing to get some photos for this very blog then I would of tucked straight in, but they certainly got the visual appreciation that they deserved. However that palled in to insignificance once I got a taste, apart from a lot of mmmmmm's and wide eye glances, there was barely a word spoken. Honestly everything was so delicious and refreshing. All of the fresh and natural ingredients combined to make such a filling meal, as someone who can quite confidently put away any size dish, I found myself really struggling. I can also safely say that this kept us going right the way through the rest of the day into the night so really offered great value for money too.

Another not to miss place was Flax & Kale. My word Barcelona has such a wealth of trendy, healthy based places to eat and this place was just the perfect choice for our last breakfast before departing this amazing city.

Flax & Kale prides itself on a menu that is 80% plant based, with the remaining 20% made up of oily fish. I make no denial of my love for meat but I am always on the look out for good quality food however that may come about, and it is always good to see various ways that dishes can be made with such quality and taste, with ingredients you may not expect or know of particularly well.

We were here purely for breakfast but they do offer lunch and dinner menus too. We both opted for a variety of the breakfast bowls, mine the Acaitella Bowl ( Raw Cacao, homemade hazelnut cream, gluten free crumble, kiwi strawberries, banana & tumeric dressing) and Beth for the Royal coconut milk parfait ( coconut milk yogurt, housemade granola, seasonal fruits & berries) alongside this a coffee for me and Beth opted for one their huge range of juices. There are several fridges full of the freshly made juices to cater for your every need.

These dishes were both beautifully presented, perhaps not as unique as Brunch & Cake, but that doesn't take anything away from the experience. The ingredients combined to make bright and presentable bowls which were matched by the filling and extremely tasty ingredients.

This is a unique restaurant with such a heavy emphasis on the healthy produce I urge you to make this one if your eating destinations, and would love to know what the other times of day have to offer.

One place we didn't actually sit down at to eat or drink but just had to see was inside, was El Nacional, it was on our list but we simply ran out of time. But after what we had read about it we had to take a peek. This electric establishment boasts four different restaurants in one place, with tapas and bars running through the centre. It is a large building that just catches the eye with it's unique interior (and array of beautiful botanics outside), all of which combine without looking gaudy. What perhaps was even more amazing was that this wasn't in a prominent position easy to find, its tucked down a little side street of the main strip of retail shops.

You almost wouldn't know it's even there. This place really is both a blogger's and instagrammer's dream - plenty of large plants outside, a very art deco feel about the decor and interior furnishings, and the added touch of having its own newspaper, offering insights into the history of the building and its renovation alongside information on the people behind it all and the local and varied produce they use.

My sweet tooth and coffee needs were satisfied by Chok & Nomad Coffee. Chok was amazing! Had we arrived earlier in the day we would of had even more choice than we had, but there was still a huge variety of hand crafted donuts ( over 30 varieties to choose from) , biscuits, brownies and various other naughty treats on offer. Do I dare confess how much we had?..We felt we had earned our right to pig out here... I highly recommend sampling the chocolate truffles and maybe a couple of donuts - the lemon meringue was my favourite.

At Nomad Coffee you are greeted, literally, with a lab of coffee. The lady who served us was an absolute expert on her products, educating many a customer on the beans, their origin how they are roasted to create the best possible coffee you could experience. A couple of espressos later and I was super-charged to resume the seemingly endless meandering around the city.

So there we have it. The second instalment of my Guide to Barcelona. Be prepared, you need to of had had all of this fuel of great food, drink & naughty treats to prepare and get you through all of the places you need to visit and explore throughout Barcelona which are coming in part three.

Missed part one? You can read it here. 


1 comment

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