Tag Archives: Barcelona

Coure – Barcelona, Spain

coure-bcn-004above photo © Coure

Coure

(34) 93 – 200 7532
PJ Marimon 20,
08001 Barcelona, Spain

www.restaurantcoure.es

Open Hours:
13:00 – 16:00     Lunch  Tuesday – Saturday
20:00 – 24:30    Dinner  Tuesday – Saturday

With its discreet entrance and residential location, Coure is there for those that who are looking for it; it is not the grand tourist attraction that it should be! Chef Albert Ventura and pastry chef Joan Grimal have conceived a wonderful station for the modern creative delights of Catalan cuisine.

We had lunch in the lower level of the restaurant, which is smaller and more formal.  Later we learned that the ground level has a small bar and its own spirited menu.  Next to our table was a book shelf, filled with amazing cook books; there to entertain and prompt the palate, while the kitchen prepared your marvelous meal.

Our lunch began with clams and Escopinyes (cockles), which are always fun. Next up was a tasty Cantabrian Anchovy salad – each sided with an incredibly delicious warm bread.

Something new to us was the Mojama, who’s name is derived from the Arabic word musama, meaning dry.  Mojama is a sea salt cured tuna, and is considered a Mediterranean delicacy; with origins dating from the time of the Phoenician settlements on the Catalan coast.  The best approximation is the tuna version of a thinly sliced, dry jamon serrano.

Also new to us were the Santiaguiños  –  (scyllarus arctus); a Klingon-esque creature in both looks and flavour – we just had to try it!  However, like everything at Coure, it is refined and delicious.

The Amanida de verat (Mackerel salad), was not only exquisite, but beautifully plated as well.  We followed the salad with the Sea Bas a la sous vide – perfect and delicate in every way.

We finished with a moist excellent Torrija (think French Toast, but instead of egg, custard). This quickly became our go-to Spanish dessert; and a barometer of our love for the restaurant.  The Torrija at Coure was the second favorite in our Barcelona food adventure!

Coure_008amanida de verat (mackerel salad)
Coure_010mojama  (salt cured tuna)
Coure_011mojama  (salt cured tuna)
Coure_007Cantabrian anchovies salad
Coure_012sous vide sea bass
Coure_001Santiaguiños  –  (scyllarus arctus)
Coure_003cescopinyes (cockles)
Coure_014torrija
coure-bcn-003above photo © Coure
coure-bcn-015above photo © Coure

 

La Garroxta – Girona, Spain

La-Garrotxa_004

La Garroxta

Girona, Spain

www.ca.turismegarrotxa.com

La Garroxta is an absurdly lush and lovley county in the province of Girona – just north of Barcelona-  by northern Cataluña.   While it is very small, there are many places to explore and all within close distance to each other!

We explored some of the volcanic region around the town of Olot, where we stayed at “Les Cols Pavilions”

There are about 40 volcanoes in the region, with Croscat and Santa Magarida being the more impressive ones.

gabriel-monsaabove photo Castellfollit de la Roca © Gabriel Monsa
RichardAlonsoabove photo Castellfollit de la Roca © Richard Alonso

Castellfollit de la Roca: This beautiful thin town, dating from the 13th century, is situated on the edge of a fifty meter basalt cliff, almost a kilometer long. The cliff  is the  result of the erosive action of the rivers Fluvià and Toronell.

Laureaabove photo Volcà de Santa Margarida © Laureà

AlainMullerabove photo Besalú © Alain Muller

Besalú:  another lovely town with a 12th-century Romanesque bridge that goes over the Fluvià river. The town is also famous for the restored “Miqvé” Jewish Purification Baths.

fageda-den-Jorda_003Fageda d’en Jordà

Fageda d’en Jordà, a cute birch forrest

51ecb531e8e44e67170000b5_parque-de-piedra-tosca-rcr-arquitectes_i18-986-02-1000x792above photo Parc de Pedra Tosca © Hisao Suzuki –  RCR Architects
Portadaabove photo Parc de Pedra Tosca  © Hisao Suzuki –  RCR Architects

Parc de Pedra Tosca:  This rough rock park  was a monumental project.  Constructed  by  RCR Architects, it involves volcanic rock mounts constrained by rusted steel plates creating a pathway to Les Preses Volcano Park.

Sant-Pau__008Nucli antic de Santa Pau

Nucli antic de Santa Pau: yet another tiny Jewish settlement built  between 13th and 14th centuries, with an abandoned castle in the middle

Sant-Pau__002view from Nucli antic de Santa Pau

Barceló Raval Hotel – Barcelona, Spain

lobby-hotel-barcelo-raval-6-121-50288above photo © Barceló Raval

Barceló Raval Hotel

(34) 93 – 320 1490
Rambla del Raval, 17-21
Raval   District
08001 Barcelona, Spain

www.barcelo.com

 

CmvArchitectsabove photo ©  CMV Architects

 

When we first booked our hotels for our Barcelona trip, we decided to stay in a different area of town due to the proximity of the tourist circus , a previous bad experience at a Barcelo hotel in Turkey and the bad reputation of the Raval district.  However, we decided to stay there  for a couple of nights after our Garrotxa excursion (lovely!).

To our surprise Raval was the most enjoyable and energetic area for us in Barcelona,  it felt more happening, and having libraries, schools and the CCCB (Barcelona Center for Contemporary Culture) a couple of blocks from the hotel certainly helped. Located about three blocks away from the main Ramblas ultra touristic area, the Hotel itself is comfortable and the rooms compact and practical.  While the service was average, the overall package proved a good value in terms of location, design and ease.

A friend looking for a nice, yet not over the top expensive hotel, stayed for a week in April 2015 and found it about the same as we did.  A ‘Blog-Worthy’ home base in a wonderful part of the world!

room-deluxe-97-hotel-barcelo-raval21-50293above photo © Barceló Raval
room-superior-hotel-barcelo-raval-521-29965above photo © Barceló Raval
junior-suite-9-bathroom-hotel-barcelo-raval21-65793above photo © Barceló Raval
room-barcelo-9-hotel-raval21-82169above photo © Barceló Raval
junior-suite-room-9-hotel-barcelo-raval21-50281above photo © Barceló Raval
lobby-5-hotel-barcelo-raval21-67504 above photo © Barceló Raval
   restaurant-3-hotel-barcelo-raval21-67374above photo © Barceló Raval
bar-hotel-barcelo-raval21-1827above photo © Barceló Raval

lobby-2-hotel-barcelo-raval21-50284above photo © Barceló Raval