Pa de Sant Jordi Recipe

Sant Jordi is one of the most eagerly awaited days on the Catalan calendar. This year the great literary event has officially been postponed to 23rdJuly, yet as we explain in our article here, you can still celebrate this much-loved event from home on 23rdApril.

So whilst at home this Thursday why not try your hand at baking one of our favourite Sant Jordi recipes? What better way to enjoy your favourite books than with the smell of freshly baked bread floating through your home?

We’d like to share with you the recipe for Pa de Sant Jordi (Sant Jordi bread), which was first made 25 years ago by a baker in Barcelona. Normally sold in bakeries across the region, with this traditional yet simple recipe that even the youngest members of the family can help with, you can recreate the colours of the senyera (the Catalan flag) at home. Enjoy!

Ingredients

500 g of strong flour
– 80 g of grated emmental or Parmesan cheese
– 80 g of Mallorcan sobrasada sausage 

– 40 g of walnuts or mixed nuts
– 8 g of yeast
350 ml of lukewarm water
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter
– 1 teaspoon of salt
– 1 teaspoon of sugar

Method

Please note: Remember to wash your hands thoroughly and any work surfaces before starting to bake.

Finely chop the nuts and put them to one side. Take the Mallorcan sobrasada out of the fridge.

Next measure out 350 ml of lukewarm water. Add the yeast and stir making sure there are no lumps.

Measure out the flour and add it to a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the water and yeast, the salt and the olive oil.

Mix together and knead slowly until the dough no longer sticks to your hands or to the side of the bowl. If necessary add more flour. Cover the dough with a cloth and put it aside for 30 minutes. 

Next, divide the dough into three equal parts – one for each of the flavours.

Add the room temperature Mallorcan sobrasada sausage to one, the cheese to another and the chopped nuts to the final part. Mix each section of the dough together with its ingredient and knead well for ten minutes. Cover with a cloth and leave them to rest for one hour.

Now it’s time to shape the bread. Shape four strips of sobrasada mix and five of strips of cheese mix. With the nuts mix make one longer and thicker strip, which will act as the frame of the flag. Stick the strips together in the form of the Catalan flag using wet fingers if necessary.

In a pre-heated oven at 190 degrees, cook the bread for around 45 minutes. It’s really important not to open the oven during this time to ensure the bread rises properly

Once the bread is golden brown, take it out of the oven and let cool on a rack.

Serve with your favourite book!

We hope you enjoy your Pa de Sant Jordi from home this year!

PA-DE-SANT-JORDI RECIPE

Pa amb tomàquet recipe step by step

Here is a really easy recipe to make “Pa amb tomàquet” (Catalan tomato bread), one of Catalonia’s most typical dishes!

How to do pà amb tomàquet

Ingredients:

  • Bread (If you can order Pà de Pagès (farmhouse loaf) even better)
  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Peeled garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

1) Cut the bread into slices.
2) Toast the slices
3) Rub the toast with the garlic
4) Cut the tomato in half down the middle
5) Rub the tomato into the bread

Season with oil and salt and eat immediately so that it does not soften.

It can be accompanied by cold cuts, cheese, anchovies, omelette, etc.

6 ways to enjoy the culture of Barcelona from your home

Although life as we know it has changed these past two weeks, you don’t have to forgo the wonderful cultural proposals that Barcelona has on offer.

From virtual museum visits, talks, shows, concerts and more, we’ve put together this list that will lift your spirits and ensure Barcelona’s cultural soul stays strong during this time.

So, this evening instead of watching another Netflix series, why not gather together with your family or housemates, and check out some of the Catalan’s capitals brilliant cultural experiences from the comfort of your sofa. 

Virtual visits to museums

Despite the city’s museums having closed their doors during this period of confinement, you can still explore their corners with these virtual visits. From the Picasso Museum, the Barcelona Museum of Design, the Catalonia National Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and much more, pick your favourite and get lost in their diverse collections. Here you’ll find a list we’ve put together with links to access the virtual visits.

Barcelona e-library

The libraries of Barcelona have opened their shelves to the public during this extraordinary time to share their collections online. There are more than 100,000 titles available in Catalan, Spanish, English, French and German that you can lend virtually. Enjoy e-books, magazines, films, audiobook, documentaries and much more with your Catalan library card. Find out more here.

VIDA Festival live

If you’re like us, you’re already thinking about those long summer nights and outdoor festivals. We recommend checking out the “Vida at Home” cycle of concerts. The festival – which is scheduled to be held in Vilanova i la Geltrú this July – will be streaming live performances every day this week at 19h on their Instagram page. Enjoy acts from Ferran Palau, Enric Montefusco, The New Raemon, Núria Graham, and many more. 

Virtual Gaudí

If you were planning a trip to Barcelona and are craving the city’s masterpieces, here we have your Gaudí pick me up. Check out these virtual visits of La Pedrera and Casa Battló. These 360º tours are almost as good as the real thing! Get up and close to two of Gaudí’s masterpieces and discover the history of modernism in Barcelona from your home.

Opera in your living room

The Liceu theatre has launched a special initiative to bring its latest opera extravaganzas straight to your living room. Normally you have to get dressed up to go to the opera, but not any more! Don your favourite pyjamas and get ready for an evening of Madam Butterfly, Aida, Normaor Rigoletto. All you need to do is register at this link and enter the code ‘OperaEnCasa’ (OperaAtHome).

Science, art and technology

The Open University of Catalonia and the libraries of Barcelona have come together to offer a series of five videos that explore the relationship between art, science and technology. Put together by the OUC professor, Pau Alsina, this conference raises questions that have been explored throughout history to help us to understand more about the world around us and how we, as humans, create within it. Discover the conference here.

Find more exciting ways to spend your time at home with this programmeof cultural initiatives you can enjoy from home, put together by Barcelona City Council’s Institute of Culture.

Let us know, how have you been spending your time at home? 

Latest coronavirus measures in place in Barcelona

Two days ago, the Barcelona Local Government in coordination with the Government of Spain, announced a lockdown that applies to the whole of Catalonia.

This article will explain exactly what this means and how it will affect you if you are in Barcelona. These measures have been put into place to stop the spreading of the virus and to protect, above all, the most at-risk populations.

The following measure have been implemented immediately as of 14 March for two weeks:

  • Public transport will be operating only one third of services.
  • The following establishments will be closed immediately:
    • large shopping centres, gyms, leisure centres, ski slopes and other establishments that do not offer basic services or serve food
    • bars, coffee shops, restaurants and other catering facilities
    • libraries and museums in Catalonia
  • All hunting expeditions are suspended.
  • Wakes for individuals who have died from COVID-19 are suspended.
  • With regard to social services:
    • all public social services and centres are closed
    • all activities at occupational centres are closed
    • all visits to Meeting Point Technical Services are suspended
  • All individuals located in Barcelona are advised to stay indoors unless necessary (see information below regarding confinement).

The Barcelona Zoo, Park Güell and the Gaudí House Museum, the Tibidabo Theme Park, Casa Battló and La Pedrera, Barcelona’s 184 parks and gardens, the Sagrada Familia , all museums, art centres and libraries have been closed. Schools and universities are also closed.

You will find the following establishments, among others, currently open in Barcelona. However, the local government advises only to leave the house if necessary:

  • Public health services, such as hospitals, health centres and pharmacies
  • Basic social services
  • Waste collection and cleaning services
  • The Barcelona Urban Guard
  • Public transport (adapted metro and bus service)
  • Cemeteries and funeral services
  • Civil, Properly and Commercial Registries
  • Water, electricity and gas supplies are guaranteed

Also open are shops/supermarkets that sell food and drinks, pharmacies, doctor’s surgeries, opticians and shops that sell orthopaedic products and hygiene products, hairdressers, newsagents, petrol stations, tobacconists, IT and telecommunications equipment stores, pet food stores, internet, telephone and postal service, and laundry services.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions with answers from the Local Government of Catalonia. (The document in Spanish can be found here.)

What does “lockdown” mean?

  • You can only leave the house to buy essentials.
  • Maintain the safety distance of 1.5–2 metres with other people when you do leave the house.
  • Avoid visiting friends and family unless they are dependent on your care.
  • Postpone medical visits and other appointments unless urgent.

Who should I call if I need help?

For information call 012, if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 call 061. Please remember, call 112 only in the case of emergency.

We imagine that more information will become available in the upcoming days. We recommend you check travel advice from your country’s foreign office regarding travel to high-risk areas and with airlines before travelling.

The following websites provide information in English and are updated regularly with official information: https://www.barcelona.cat/en/  and http://canalsalut.gencat.cat/ca/inici/

6 great reasons to visit the neighbourhood of Gràcia

The neighbourhood of Gràcia has become synonymous with Barcelona and it’s most likely that if this is your second or third trip to Barcelona, you’ve already fallen under its spell.

Located in the northern part of the city, a 20-minute walk from Plaça Catalunya along the city’s famous Passeig de Gràcia will take you into the heart of this charismatic district.

For those of you that are yet to discover its charm, we’ve put together this article explaining just why we love the neighbourhood of Gràcia area of Barcelona so much. From things to see and do, to its history and local traditions, this small guide will ensure that you won’t miss out on a thing.

A plaza in the Barcelona neighbourhood of Gràcia

Its village charm

Gràcia first emerged as a small rural community with three convents and a small population. It wasn’t until around the 19thcentury that Gràcia began to grow, becoming the most important village in the area thanks to its agricultural production.

In 1850 it was established as a municipality with 13,000 habitants, but it wasn’t until 1897, with almost 67,000 habitants, that it became part of Barcelona itself. Gràcia was flourishing yet it still lacked basic services and facilities. Over the years it has become the thriving hub it is today, boasting markets, cultural, sports and historical centres, medical services and schools.

Its cobbled streets and enchanting squares

Despite being located a stone’s throw away from the centre of Barcelona, the streets of the neighbourhood of Gràcia still conserve that charming allure often only found in small villages. 

Stroll along its streets lined with flowering trees, take a break in one of its many squares with a freshly brewed cup of coffee, or explore the Plaça de la Vila square with its 19th-century bell tower and Plaça de la Virreina with its beautiful stone church.

The Festes de Gràcia

Every August the streets of the neighbourhood of Gràcia come alive with locals and tourists alike. The Festa Major de Gràcia constitutes a weeklong celebration in which the streets of this charming area are decorated with recycled materials in every colour.

The residents of many streets and squares in the neighbourhood come together as a community to choose a theme of their own for their respective streets in a fun-filled family-friendly event that cannot be missed. Read more about this tradition in one of our past articles here.

Neighbourhood of Gràcia, a street decorated to look like Moscow Red Square

Alternative stores and independent boutiques

Gràcia is home to a plethora of shops that sell locally made products, ethical goods and gifts galore. With something for everyone, after exploring its streets, why not browse its second-hand book stores with faded armchairs, discover its designer boutiques with clothes designed in Barcelona or choose a custom-made piece of jewellery at one of its many workshops.

Casa Vicens

Opened to the public only a few years ago, many still don’t know that Gràcia boasts its very own piece of Gaudí. Constituting great architect’s first project, Gaudí was commissioned to build Casa Vicens as a summerhouse for the family of the same name. 

This wonderful building will surprise you with its range of influences from far and wide, its varied palette of colours and its spectacular design.

Neighbourhood of Gràcia - Casa Vicens

The history beneath your feet at Plaça del Diamant

On first glance, Plaça del Diamant may appear to be just your normal square, however if you look a little closer you’ll discover the history it houses. 

Underneath the square is a bomb shelter that was built during the Spanish Civil War with a capacity for 200 people. Tickets are only €3 and must be booked in advance. 

Plaça del Diamant - Neighbourhood of Gràcia

We hope you love the area as much as us! Let us know, what’s your favourite thing to do in Gràcia?

How is Easter Week celebrated in Barcelona?

Just like many places around the world, Easter Week in Barcelona is an important time of year at which locals get together with friends and families to celebrate many a festivity.

Easter Week is celebrated across the country, from the largest cities to the smallest villages, yet in Barcelona you’re sure to experience celebrations like no other with a long line of typical Catalan traditions.

So if you’re thinking of spending Easter in Barcelona, here are a few useful tips to make sure you don’t miss out on the most typical events and cultural traditions.

This year Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday, 5thApril, 2020 ending with Easter Sunday on 12thApril and Easter Monday on 13thApril. Restaurants and bars tend to be open to cater for family meals, but don’t forget that shops and museums will be closed over Easter weekend.

Palm Sunday is most likely the most important of all Holy Week in Barcelona. We recommend you head to the Gothic quarter and catch the “La Burreta” (donkey) procession that commemorates Jesus’s arrival in Jerusalem. 

Keep an eye out for the olive and palm branches carried by children to the local churches to be blessed. You’ll also see them hanging from doors and balconies to ward off evil spirits.

Good Friday is another important date in the liturgical calendar. The Cathedral of Barcelona, and many other local churches, will commemorate this day and the Stations of the Cross with a Via Crucis mass.

When it comes to food, Easter wouldn’t be Easter without its sweet and savoury delicacies. In between exploring the city and its Easter customs, we recommend taking a break and recharging your batteries with the best of Catalan cuisine.

“La Mona” is a local Easter cake typically made from chocolate and decorated with small figures and animals, chocolate eggs and other sweet treats. Today these cakes are true works of art, but they were originally made from a round sweet brioche and topped with hard-boiled eggs with its tradition dating back to Roman times.

Be sure to drop in to a local bakery to marvel at these fantastic creations or pick one up and try it for yourself!

What’s more, as it is Christian tradition not to eat meat on Good Friday, make sure you also try the typical cod dishes served at local restaurants. Our favourite is the salted codfish in a vegetable sauce, bacalao con sanfaina.

If you’re spending the whole week in Barcelona, we’d also recommend day trips to the villages of Cervera or Verges with processions that you won’t see anywhere else in the world. From Cervera’s skeletons that dance the “Dance of Death” to the Verges Procession in which the entire village takes part, be prepared to be amazed.

So however you decide to spend Easter Week in Barcelona, why not stay at one of our centrally located flats to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

The Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Barcelona

Whether you’re a supporter of veganuary or a long-time vegan or vegetarian, or simply a lover of everything nutritious and green, Barcelona has a plethora of options for you.

We’ve compiled a list of Barcelona’s best veggie spots where you can care for your body inside and out. 

vegetarian restaurants in barcelona

The Green Spot – Carrer de la Reina Cristina, 12

Located in the neighbourhood of La Barceloneta, the interior design of this vegetarian restaurant is almost as beautiful as its imaginative dishes. Boasting creative and fusion cuisine that will make even a non-vegetarian’s mouth water, everything is made with fresh and natural ingredients. 

Teresa Carles – Carrer de Jovellanos, 2

It is no wonder that the Teresa Carles restaurant is one of the most popular veggie spots in the cultural hub that is Barcelona. Be prepared to be blown away by contemporary, innovative dishes that take inspiration from Catalan cuisine. We think it will completely change the way you think about the plant-based approach.

Flax & Kale – Carrer dels Tallers, 74b

Just around the corner from Teresa Carles is its sister restaurant, Flax & Kale. Created with the same innovative spirit, this flexitarian restaurant offers something for everyone. Think raw food, super food, gluten-free and vegan. Drop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner or grab a freshly squeezed juice to take away – you won’t regret it.

Sésamo  – Carrer de Sant Antoni Abat, 52

This quaint and cosy vegetarian restaurant is located in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Sant Antoni. Although the menu is not that extensive, you’ll find roasted vegetables, stuffed pasta and homemade desserts. We’d recommend booking a table to avoid disappointment.

Veggie Garden – Carrer dels Àngels, 3 and Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 60

This vibrant and colourful space is perfect for those on a budget and with a hearty appetite. The daily set menu is extremely affordable and boasts delicious Indian- and Nepalese-inspired options, including dahl, thalis, curries and spiced vegetable dishes. Tuck in!

L’Hortet – Carrer del Pintor Fortuny, 32

A family-run restaurant located in the area of Raval, l’Hortet offers a feast for body and soul. The restaurant opens only at lunchtime during the week and for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. Get there early to enjoy their delicious daily three-course set menu, with hearty vegetarian creations–from veggie meatballs, soups and stews–and a colourful salad bar. What’s not to love?

Café Camelia – Carrer de Verdi, 79

This light-filled café-come-restaurant serves vegetarian and vegan delights all day long. Choose from curries, burgers, a range of tasty snacks and sweet treats. Located in the quaint neighbourhood of Gracia, Café Camelia is a cosy spot to enjoy a peaceful coffee or tasty meal after a long day sightseeing. 

We hope you enjoy this selection of colourful, innovative plant-based alternatives.

6 parks in Barcelona you will love to visit

We’ve put together a list of 6 parks in Barcelona where you can reconnect with yourself and nature without leaving the city.

When it comes to parks and Barcelona, many of us immediately think of Parc Güell, however, Barcelona has much more to offer. From secret mazes to charming parks with sea views, you can visit them all, it’s worth it!

Parks in Barcelona that you will love

1. Laberint d’Horta

This historical garden is perfect for young and old alike. Get lost in its enchanting cypress-tree maze or wander its romantic gardens with hidden ponds, pavilions and sculptures. The oldest park in Barcelona can be visited at any time of year, but is especially magical in the autumn.

Note: It’s a very good plan for a romantic date or also for a photo shooting day.

Labertin d’Horta: Passeig dels Castanyers, 1

2. Parc de la Creueta del Coll

This expansive park offers three hectares of green space, flora and fauna to explore. Located in Gràcia, it is particularly popular in the summer thanks to its large family-friendly outdoor swimming pool. What’s more, with picnic areas, play parks, toilets and locker rooms, it makes for the perfect family day out.

Parc de la Creueta del Coll: Passeig de la Mare de Déu del Coll, 77

3. Turó Park

One of Barcelona’s most emblematic parks, discover art, architecture and nature all in one place. Unwind and relax on a Sunday afternoon with a book under one of its shady trees or go for a stroll around its many peaceful trails and paths.

Turó Park: Avinguda de Pau Casals, 19

4. Jardins de Joan Brossa

Named after the renowned Catalan Poet, Joan Brossa, this park was once home to the Montjüic theme park. This now expansive green area boasts beautiful gardens that bloom in spring and summer and three play areas for children. Don’t miss the fantastic views over Barcelona and its coastline.

Jardins de Joan Brossa: Plaça Dante – Avinguda Miramar

5. Parc de la Ciutadella

Another of Barcelona’s most popular green spaces, the Ciutadella park is located in the old quarter of the city. To get there, take a walk through the magnificent Arc de Triomf and inside the park discover its cascading waterfall, artificial lake with rowing boats, the “Three-dragon” Castle, the city zoo and much more.

Due to its location very close to the center of Barcelona, ​​robberies are common in Parc de la Ciutadella. Pay close attention and also check our article 10 Barcelona safety tips to avoid pickpockets.

Parc de la Ciutadella: Passeig de Picasso 21

6. Parc de Cervantes

If you’re looking to escape the crowds and discover a side of Barcelona that even many locals don’t know about, head to Parc de Cervantes. You’ll fall in love with its over 2,000 kinds of roses scattered around the park and adorning trellises. It makes for the perfect plan on a lazy Sunday afternoon. 

Parc de Cervantes: Avinguda Diagonal, 706

Parks in Barcelona - Parc de Cervantes

Theses are our 6 favorite parks in Barcelona, but there are 90! Check here the official website from the Barcelona City Council to locate all the parks in Barcelona and the closest to you.

What better way to welcome the end of lockdown than with a breath of fresh air. Unwind, stroll, relax or play in the heart of the city. 

We hope this list of 6 parks in Barcelona has helped you to build your route through the city. If you need more ideas you can check here our Top 10 places to visit in Barcelona article.

What’s your favourite park in Barcelona to relax and reconnect with nature? Let us know!