My Bumper Barcelona Guide!

1 April 2015

Paolo Alto flea market Barcelona

Every time I put together one of my city guides, it's the kind of thing I wish I could have read myself before I travel.  No one tells you that you'll have to face a confusing Argos-like queue at Vodafone, in the hope of buying a data-only sim (this is the one I used up within four days, oops).  There's also things like knowing where to catch the airport bus on your way back (stick to Plaça Catalunya and you can't go wrong), that cava is often cheaper than a soft drink and most shopping can't be done on a Sunday.  I'll add in a few of these handy tips with each of the places I discovered during my recent trip.  There's a nice little mixture of haunts I stumbled across myself (I did a lot of walking), recommendations from friends and friends and those all important Instagram comments and tweets.  This is how I like to travel!   

Paolo Alto flea market Barcelona
Paolo Alto flea market Barcelona
Paolo Alto flea market Barcelona
Paolo Alto flea market Barcelona

Palo Alto Market


It's just typical I'm sending you to a random part of the city with my first suggestion, but if the flea market wont come to Kristabel then...well, you get the gist.  This is probably the closet thing to Brooklyn Flea I've experienced in a while, Palo Alto Market may only happen on the first weekend of every month (please check as my Spanish is pretty non-existent) but it's a great mix of the independent brands, vintage, crafts and street food combination that goes down a treat.  Whenever I visit a city, I've realised that if you choose anywhere boasting hipster-style typography, you won't be disappointedSave space in your luggage for all of the purchases you never knew you needed (I bought myself a letter 'K' to customise...eventually).



My Barcelona city guide
Bar Lobo cheap lunch deal Barcelona
Bar Lobo cheap lunch deal Barcelona
Bar Lobo cheap lunch deal Barcelona

Bar Lobo


They love a lunch deal in Barcelona.  After realising that the place I wanted to check out in the market was closed on Mondays, I quickly remembered another place I'd spotted in a random guide.  Bar Lobo is pretty close to La Ramblas but with none of the chaos and boasts a handy little three-course-lunch that will tide you over until a late dinner.  I did have to use Google Translate to understand the menu but lamb is a pretty safe bet wherever you go and everything was just the right amount.  My days of excess are over!


MACBA modern art museum Barcelona
MACBA modern art museum Barcelona
MACBA modern art museum Barcelona
MACBA modern art museum Barcelona
MACBA modern art museum Barcelona

MACBA (Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art)


I always try and visit a modern art gallery if I have time during a trip, I just find that I can relate to it better than the traditional stuff and you're bound to find something thought provoking.  MACBA is nestled in the Ravel district and a calming yet productive place to wile away an hour or two, thanks to the stark white architecture.  I learnt about 80s Spanish indie music and attempted to understand more about the political situation, whilst also discovering an amazing display of match boxes by Matt Mullican.


Flax & Kale healthy food Barcelona
Flax & Kale healthy food Barcelona
Flax & Kale healthy food Barcelona

Flax&Kale


I did a fair amount of walking in Barcelona so I could have very well treated myself to a crazy unhealthy brunch.  It'd be pretty hard to do that at Flax&Kale, health is their point of difference  so even my Eggs Benedict came with carrots and artichoke (this was also the moment I realised that I didn't actually like the latter).  Despite this, I wouldn't rule out another visit, if you're a fan of a Barcelona-style night out then this is the perfect place for recovery the following day.  There's nutrients wherever you look and the menu clearly signals gluten-free, raw and numerous other options.  I've only just realised there wasn't any meat on the menu, just oily fish and plenty of inventive plant-based options.


Vintage shopping in Barcelona
Vintage shopping in Barcelona
Vintage shopping in Barcelona
Vintage shopping in Barcelona
Vintage shopping in Barcelona

PNB Vintage


It wouldn't be a city guide without a spot of vintage, would it?  I always like the idea of browsing the colourful arrangements more than the actual purchase though, I'm fussy and a piece would have to be pretty special for me to buy it.  That's not to say that there's no potential at PNB Vintage, there were rails of leather and patched suede for days.  I'm sure you could pick up a right gem, provided you're in the right frame of mind.


 jaime berestain homeware lifestyle concept store Barcelona
jaime berestain homeware lifestyle concept store Barcelona
jaime berestain homeware lifestyle concept store Barcelona

Jaime Beriestain


There also needed to be a concept store on the list too, it's just a rule.  Jaime Beriestain may just stick to homeware, but there's no need to want for anything else with this selection.  This is where I would pick up a few nice accent pieces, most of us renters won't be able to splash out on a full set but it's nice to pick up a bowl or tea towel here and there.  You'll also be spoilt for choice giftwise and I noticed a few different ranges that I hadn't seen anywhere else, notably the branded candles in perfect geometric packaging.


Brunch & Cake places to eat in Barcelona
Brunch & Cake places to eat in Barcelona
Brunch & Cake places to eat in Barcelona

Brunch & Cake


Last but not least, we have Brunch & Cake.  Everyone in here seemed to be a tourist but that's no bad thing, there's plenty of tasty classics with a slight twist and the waiters speak with perfect English (I promise I'll learn more than three words next time).  Pop your name down beforehand as there's often a queue.


So that's everything covered I think?  The main thing is to walk everywhere if you're able, know that their Boris bikes concept is completely not for tourists and to always check the opening times.  let me know if you've been to Barcelona recently and any other discoveries you've found!

A Whirlwind Escape

29 March 2015

retro spring outfit post

When Pandora invite you to spend a few days in the New Forest, you say yes of course.  Never mind that I'd confused it with the Lake District (Geography lessons were a long time ago, okay) and assumed it was up north.  The area is actually a few hours away from London and our hotel was the perfect place to get back to nature.  This was pretty literal in our case, we stayed in the epic treehouses at Chewton Glen and had a panoramic view of the forest as well as our own private hot tubs!  Can you imagine my face when I realised?  I try to always stay grounded when experiencing this kind of thing.  I don't often write about luxury but see it as a special treat that I can tell any grandchildren about, should they want to listen.  It was bad enough me giving my Mum a guided tour via Facetime! 

The Pig Restaurant & Hotel Brockenhurst
how to wear gingham trousers
& Other Stories Super Jumper
how to wear gingham trousers
leather Orla Kiely boxy bag
The Pig Restaurant & Hotel Brockenhurst
retro spring outfit post

Bag - Orla Kiely

I think I jinxed myself by saying I wasn't shopping so much earlier this month.  I've since gone a bit overboard this month, picking up this amazing jumper after seeing it on Carrie during my Barcelona trip, as well as numerous bits of jewellery.  Add to this a sweet Orla Kiely sample sale purchase (I've always wanted one of her boxy bags) and you have a blogger who has to eat her words.  It seemed fitting to go for a slightly retro look when in the countryside, mixing 50s gingham with my 70s style Orla Kiely heelsI borrowed a few of the Pandora stacking rings for the snaps, the customisation element really appeals to me especially when you put quite a few otherwise dainty pieces together.  There's also a way to make the bracelets look a little chunkier if you use the same charm over and over, one of the PRs had a style that was right up my street! 

The Pig Restaurant & Hotel Brockenhurst
The Pig Restaurant & Hotel Brockenhurst
The Pig Restaurant & Hotel Brockenhurst
The Pig Restaurant & Hotel Brockenhurst
The Pig Restaurant & Hotel Brockenhurst
Chewton Glen hotel & spa New Forest
view of Isle Of Wight from a helicopter
Chewton Glen hotel & spa New Forest
view of Isle Of Wight from a helicopter


I can't thank Pandora enough for an amazing few days away from London, it was like a dream!  They surprised us with a helicopter ride on the last day as it linked to one of their Appreciation charms from the Essence collection.  Once I'd taken all of the necessary snaps, I spent a few moments in awe at the view of the Isle Of Wight.  It's just so peaceful to see everything from above.  My vlog that includes bits of the trip plus I've also made my Snapchat public for any future sneak peeks, I'm 'fashionknitsta' as always!

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All In One!

27 March 2015

How to wear a printed jumpsuit
El Born district Barcelona
The Whitepepper Dinosaur Print Jumpsuit Monochrome
uk travel bloggers
what to wear in april
visiting Barcelona for a long weekend
How to wear a printed jumpsuit

For my second Barcelona outfit, I was brought right back down to earth thanks to the deceptive temperatures.  Although the locals don't seem to have the same obsession with the weather as we do back in Blighty, it still plays a major part in their lives, with the city apparently really coming alive during the warmer months.  There's festivals and all sorts.  That's not to say that things were totally doom and gloom, even though I went back to last year's duster coat, it was still pleasant enough to wander round the El Born district and sit outside for coffee and chats.  You never really get the chance to enjoy wearing all-in-ones as a youngster, so I'm glad I now have this style by The Whitepepper, it's so much fun (apart from the obvious bathroom troubles)!  I'd been looking for a casual jumpsuit as they're good for those neither-here-nor-there days that we're going to have to start getting used to pretty soon.  Hurry up Summer! 

Expect a city guide in the near future as per usual, I discovered some amazing places and gorged on all the tapas!

Necklace - Me & Zena
Trainers - Nike

Arc De Triomf Barcelona
bubo barcelona patisserie

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