Baluard – Praktik Bakery Hotel- Barcelona

pratikpastriesWhat a concept! A boutique hotel with its own bakery! What else do you need? Absosulety nothing. Every morning, the smell of freshly baked goods will entice you to have a delicious breakfast of warm bread and flaky pastries  that are an absolutely delightful sample of  Catalonian baked goodness.pratikbaker

You can choose from an endless variety of breads that go from wholewheat baguettes, spelt rolls to rustic loaves made with  black olives. As far as the pastries go, thin apple and berry tarts, cupcakes and the ever so delightful ensaimadas, a light and airy Danish of sorts will make your mouth water.  I had the ensaimada de cabello de ángel, light and fluffy dough filled with  threaded pumpkin jam,  exquisite!


I had my breakfast with a cup of truly *”relaxing” café con leche and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. A delightful meal that would get me ready for another day of exploring enchanting Barcelona. A good night’s sleep and an even better breakfast, what else do I need? Oh, yes, my bike to burn off all those calories!bikex


Praktik Bakery Hotel

Carrer de Provença, 279

Tel: 34 934 88 00 61

Barcelona, Spain




*quote from the awkward 2020 Olympic Ganes pitch given by Madrid’s mayor Ana Botella in 2013


Suquet de rape y almejas – Boca Grande, Barcelona

suquetxSuquet is a typical  stew that was originally made with leftovers from the local fish markets along Costa Brava.  Fishermen took home all the beaten up fish they couldn’t sell and came up with their own casserole. For a long time, Suquet a term that in catalá means juice, was considered a poor man’s meal but soon after, it  became a staple of Catalunya’s cuisine.  Nothing compares to it! It’s not a soupy dish like bouillabaisse or cataplana, but  more like a  Catalonian “tease”of a seafood delicacy that will leave you wanting more.

At Boca Grande, it’s one of its specialties and for good reason: they make some of the best in town! Although pricey  for €27,   it’s well worth it.  Among the varieties offered, I picked the suquet de rape y almejas – made with perfectly cooked morsels of meaty monkfish and tender clams served over a creamy mix of potato foam and seafood broth sprinkled with pine nuts. Light yet succulent, absolutely delicious! I could’ve easily ordered seconds but I had to contain myself. After all, I am in trendy Barcelona, not Disney World!

bocagrande3Boca Grande

Passatge da la Concepció 12

Barcelona, 08008

Phone: 93/467–5149





Ensalada de Ventresca- Café Emma, Barcelona

ventrescaI took an early flight to Barcelona and  was starving by the time I arrived. As soon as I dropped off my stuff off at the hotel, I went anxiously searching for a good place to eat but I knew it wouldn’t be easy. In Spain, most people have lunch around  2 pm so  at noon, I knew  the options would be few and far between. Luckily, I spotted an older woman who looked liked a local and asked her where to go.  She kindly recommended a small brasserie called Cafe Emma down the street on Career de Pau Claris. So, I followed her suggestion and headed for what  happened to be a  very cute eatery named just like my daughter. It was bound to be good!

As I ordered a small caña ( glass of draft beer), I was served some toast and sardine mousse made with mustard and tarragon, slightly pungent yet smooth enough to pair well with the ice cold  beer. On the menu,  I chose one of my favorite salads – ensalada de ventresca which could easily be compared to a Niçoise but, in this Spanish version, the key element is the tuna belly or ventresca. This salad is served with black olives, onions,tomatoes, sliced boiled potatoes,  hard boiled egg and scallions. All dressed with a mild combination of white wine mustard, olive oil and tarragon. Trust me, once you try ventresca, you’ll never want any other kind of tuna. 

Cafe Emma

Carrer de Pau Claris, 142,

08009 Barcelona

Phone:932 15 12 16

Hours · 8:00 am – 12:30 am