I’m back! Firstly, I wanted to wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year and all the very best for 2019. The end of last year was very busy, as I had started a new role as PR Manager for Couverture and The Garbstore – London’s leading life & style destination for globally sourced emerging talent, independent labels and exclusive collaborations across men’s & women’s and homeware.

Together with planning and prepping for Christmas in Bath, and then two weeks over New Year and Three Kings Day in Barcelona, this year got off to both a relaxing yet hectic start. I flew back on Tuesday to mixed reviews of LFWM and the start of Pitti however; my mind has been on one consistently pleasing topic – food.

Whilst the Spanish are well known for their tapas – commonly thought of as ham, croquettes and patatas bravas – what is often overlooked is their simple yet hugely fulfilling plates that revolve around the mountains and sea. As Barcelona is sandwiched between the rugged hills of Sol I Aire and the wondrous Mediterranean, inspiration for delectable yet honest food is never far away.

It was this December that I had two of my favourite meals in the Catalan capital; the first presented the second best steak I have ever eaten, and the second plays host to the best small plates in the city.

5 Hermanos – or 5 Brothers – is in Canyelles, north of the city center, which is largely residential bar two strips of shops and cafes. It is here that the busiest bar and restaurant can be found serving fresh seafood, melt-in-your-mouth steak and a tantalising selection of cheeses. This is of course aside from the hugely popular tapas of which their croquettes are ever popular. From the outside, the place looks like any typical, local bar yet upstairs is a large restaurant that has to be booked any day of the week. The steak has been treated by the best butcher in Spain (located in Madrid) and is served and cooked on a grilled ceramic plate, only seasoned by simple sea salt. This is worth a trip on the metro for a good lunch, that for 5 people with wine and three courses was £120.

Bodega La Puntua is situated in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, and being around the corner from the Picasso Museum is oddly quiet during the late afternoons. This is the perfect time to go. This is my second visit here for beer and tapas. This time, we opted for the hamon e queso board that offered chewy, aromatic meat and soft, creamy goats cheese. I was really in the mood for patas bravas – here their spicy tomato sauce is levelled by the garlic mayonnaise that is not for the feint hearted. Their croquettes are a conversation stopper; destined to please the most traditional of pallets whilst a visit is not complete without the dish that mixes egg, ham and mushroom to form a deconstructed omelet.

Do let me know if you have been to either of these restaurants or want to know more – I can’t sing their praises enough.

Written by Danhasbyoliver

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