Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Flowers at Hotel Arts Barcelona


At 44-storeys high, the Hotel Arts Barcelona is one of the tallest buildings in Barcelona. The hotel is right by the mediterranean shore.

The two tallest buildings in Barcelona: Hotel Arts Barcelona and the MAPFRE building.



The view we had from the room was stunning.


When we first arrived early the morning, our room was not yet ready so the girls spent a good part of the morning enjoying the garden. It also had the spectacular view of Frank Gehry's fish sculpture




The room had enough space for the four of us. 







And as always, I spend the first few minutes taking pictures of all the interior details of the hotel room.



A short taxi ride brought us to the Ramblas and the old town, but we also enjoyed being by the water.



What really caught my attention though, day after day, were the fresh flower arrangements scattered all over the hotel.


We were here only for four nights but the arrangements seemed to be changing often.



Only after we left did I realize that the hotel is quite known for its celebrity florist, the Australian Donna Stain.


Had I been more clued in, I might've had a chat (and a selfie!) with her. I would've also taken pictures of each and every arrangement I saw.



I only took these pictures of the lobby on our last day.

If you happen to stay at the Hotel Arts Barcelona, stop and smell the flowers!




Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Cooking Lessons at the Boqueria in Barcelona



One of the things I like to do on a trip is to find a class or a workshop that fits into my schedule. If I can learn something in only half a day, so much the better.


Here is something fun to do in Barcelona.  This is a cooking class that takes place on the second floor of La Boqueria, the public market of Barcelona, located right along the Ramblas.



The class starts with a quick orientation and then a visit to the market downstairs to buy the main ingredients.

The Boqueria has some of the chicest-looking tinderas.


On the menu were tapas--small dishes of bite-sized portions. There was octopus, torta de patata, padron peppers, patatas bravas, spanish meatballs.



Back in the studio, the other ingredients are already prepared and organized so all we had to do was dump things together.



We were a fairly big group so it was a bit chaotic. One little group was prepping and another was cooking.  




Like every cooking class, the chefs explain in detail why we are using certain ingredients, and also the reason for some procedures. I noticed we were grating the tomatoes and not chopping them but I don't remember the reason.


And one of the most interesting part of the afternoon was when they decided to make sangrias. There was no recipe or measurements written down for us, and the chef did everything by approximating--  "Now pour 7 seconds of vodka..(pouring starts) 1..2..3..4..5..6..7..."


A lot of the women abandoned the cooking stations to watch the sangria prep (which was just a bonus part, so that we could have something with the food!)


Patatas bravas and patron peppers


The torta de patata is coming along nicely. We just have to turn it over, which for me is the hardest part of preparing it. Imagine doing all the steps only for the whole thing to splat on the floor?


I don't have a photo of the flipped omelet but it was successful..and delicious!


Here's our spread. It was a fun way to spend an afternoon!


With the chefs. Guapos no?

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