The other weekend we bolted out of London and headed for Barcelona.
It was to celebrate Ed’s 30th (a surprise, marvellously pulled off by Emma). We rented an apartment and, after Ed recovered from shock, spent our days soaking up Gaudi and sunshine, and enjoying some seriously wonderful food.
It really is a beautiful city.
Culture is in the air nearly everywhere you go in Barcelona. It’s absolutely packed with art and beautiful architecture, and most of it with a real focus on modernism (not to mention a hell of a lot of Gaudi everywhere). Like the Picasso Museum and the Sagrada Familia – both absolute must sees if you’re in town.
The artistic side of the place has rubbed off on its youth too. They’re so cool. All short hair and nose rings and stonking fashion sense. And not a topshop scalloped vest in sight.
On our first night we headed for a birthday meal for Ed to Roca Moo, an amazing Michelin starred restaurant on the ground floor of the uber cool Omm Hotel.
Our table was next to a huge floor to ceiling window space looking out onto what (I think) was an indoor aviary installation. Every so often you heard chirping and little birds flew in and out of view.
We ordered the classic tasting menu – six courses of signature Roca dishes – and opted for the paired wine flight too. It started with some incredible amuse bouches (although please don’t ask me to remember what was in them, because I can’t…) and a brisk talk through the wines we were going to be served.
And then, first course, which looked like it had come straight out of a fairy tale…
A giant golden egg on a bed of barnyard crumbs.
Inside the gold shell was a perfectly poached, gooey egg. The bed of crumbs had a distinctly sweet and smoky taste – we all thought it was definitely bacon-y but were told by our waiter that it was in fact smoked cod… (Although honestly, my money is still on bacon.)
Next came smoked pigeon carpaccio…
Then chicken and rice… Which is a very unassuming name but packed a lot of intense flavour…
Hake with vegetables…
And then lamb with charred onion..
(Oh, and a different glass of wine with each, I should add…)
After the lamb came a plate of oozing cheese, just the way I like it, with blobs of very intricately flavoured jellies and jams.
Finally (and by this point we really couldn’t fit any more in – I mean we really couldn’t), a mind bogglingly sweet strawberry and cream concoction, which had at its centre a strawberry cream sweet.
We rolled out, stuffed and full of wine, and headed out into the night for more drinks…
… ending up at a bar called “Ginger” in honour of Le Ginge (!)
A wonderful start to the weekend.
Hotel Omm, Rosselló 265, Barcelona, Spain
+34 93 445 40 00