We arrived in Barcelona bright and early, the warm, sweet air wrapping around us the moment we stepped off the plane
The city was wide awake and unlike London, those drinking coffee at local corner shops were enjoying it lazily, laughing and chatting with their companions (not a business meeting in sight!)
When we got to our hotel it was with dropped jaws, Hotel El Palace Barcelona was stunning and it was evident that their website really didn’t do them justice (it has since been updated!)
The doormen leapt to aid us in getting out of the taxi and in a flash had disappeared inside with our cases. We hurried after them and discovered our bags, neat as you please all tagged with our names and room number. We were then escorted into the reception room to check in
Yes – ROOM!
When we booked our Mini-Moon, we knew El Palace didn’t have a pool, we accepted this and decided we’d spend some time at the beach instead. However! Two weeks before our arrival, we heard the fantastic news that El Palace had just opened their brand-spanking new roof top pool along with an all day menu!
So, once our bags had been brought up to the Suite and we’d had a quick look around, we threw on some togs (swimwear to my non Irish readers) and before we knew it we heard the ping of the lift welcoming us to the top floor.
The doors hadn’t even fully opened yet and we were being met by an exuberant staff (who hadn’t seen a soul all morning – bless them!)
They’ve done a gorgeous job and I’m sure once word gets out properly, it’ll be a ‘standing room only’ situation!
They guided us to the pool and we parked ourselves smack bang infront of it, switched off thoroughly, forgetting that our day started at 3:45am.
Rest and relaxation – accompanied by a few beverages, naturally!
There was something incredibly relaxing about lying by the pool and being able to hear the gentle hubbub of the city far below us.
We had lunch on the roof, it was tasty, but it was just normal “clubhouse” food, so not the authentic tapas that we had hoped for.
Desperate to see our surroundings by now, we decided to head back to the room, grab a few necessities and head out to see what we could see.
When we got back to the room, it was to find that a bottle of Cava (arranged by Himself) had been delivered to the room – I was thrilled! Himself suggested we save it until later, rather than knocking it back now and stumbling out into a city we didn’t know (no sense of adventure that fella…! 😉 )
The buildings are gorgeous, so intricate and interesting to look at. There were lots of little features you were only privy too if you were really paying attention
But it was the various doors that won me over, they were all tall and massive but completely individual in style
The architecture in Barcelona is instantly recognisable, many nods to Antoni Gaudí alongside many actual Antoni Gaudí buildings!
Back at the hotel, we got all gussied up and headed downstairs to 19/NINETEEN, the hotels “relaxed” dining experience…
(relaxed my eye!)
We walked through the amazing -> AH-mazing <- foyer
and were swooped upon by a very smiley “hustle & bustle” type lady, who showed us to our table. She was suited and booted and clearly ran a tight ship, the first tip off that the evening was going to be seamlessly wonderful!
At our wedding, a couple of polaroid cameras were put through their paces. To get the most out of them I decided to bring one with us – the novelty has most certainly, not worn off!
The Outfit Bit
Just before heading to Barcelona, I made a very special visit to Mulberry to purchase the muchly coveted Mini Lily for our Mini-Moon (see what I did there?!). It’s my very first Mulberry and I absolutely love it!
We began with a mini bruschetta for me (incredibly moreish) and a crab equivalent for Himself which included rolled avocado.
Next, we moved onto their croquettes with ham and melty cheese (yes, we did die a little bit when we bit into them, they were absolutely that good!)
Their gazpacho was a lovely smooth tomato with melon and strawberries which made an unexpected, but tasty grouping
For mains, Himself went with the ‘Cantabrian Hake served with concassé tomato and asparagus’
While I enjoyed ‘Poached eggs on a bed of the softest and creamiest mashed potatoes known to man, topped with sumptuous truffle shavings and black pepper’ (perhaps not exactly what was written on the menu)
We hardly spoke until the mains were fully consumed, apart from some yummy noises and a bit of “you HAVE to try this!” thrown in for good measure
Apparently you’re meant to change your drink with each course, who knew?! Ms. Hustle & Bustle was very confused when we weren’t taking her up on the drinks she was offering with each course, so, the fourth time this happened, I caved and heard myself saying “yes I’d love a glass of red wine!”
Now just to be clear – I do not drink red wine.
Sure I’ve tried it, but it’s just never been for me and yet there I was, ordering a glass. After she left, I noticed that Himself’s eyebrows had disappeared, on closer inspection I discovered them hanging out up by his hair line. But none-the-less, the words were out there and I couldn’t very well take them back!
I drank it….ish – ok I sipped it, several times and then gave up – not great I know, but lesson learned -> I still don’t like red wine
Anyway! Next up was ‘Coated duck breast with caramelised onion, berries and brie cheese wrapped in pastry’
Two synchronised swimmers, moonlighting as waiters, delivered our desserts with a perfectly timed flourish and announced it simply as ‘Palace Cup’
From what we could tell, it was smooth strawberry sauce wrapped around ice cream, sorbet and fresh cream and hidden below were balls of melon, more strawberries and meringue. The cup was finished off with a wafer of hardened caramel – yum!
^ Another glass of Cava was ordered following my failed attempt at broadening my red wine pallet
We were quite full by now but once we clapped eyes on the Petit Fours “dessert tummy” assured us we could manage a bit more
We were advised that the best order in which to consume them was, Marshmallows – Macarons – Chocolate truffles, so we did just that
Each one added and enhanced the previous ones flavour, they were truly delicious!
With only a few crumbs left behind, we trundled up to our room awash with sugary goodness and delighted that our first day in Barcelona had been so utterly fantastic.