Barcelona – Tapas v.s. Yoga, Tapas won.

Who am I to tell you about this city, plenty of people have visited and more and more are going to enjoy a few days in the sun and run around in T-Shirts while autumn and frost kicks in at home. 

I did the same to visit my friend Juran in the heart of Raval to eat, drink and do yoga. I noted down my favorite spots to eat tapas and do yoga to share them with y’all here. And of course, I ended up eating more than doing yoga…I guess it’s just human temptation…nothing wrong with that, right? That’s why the score of my Barca best of ends up being tapas:yoga – 2:4

Quimet & Quimet

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A classic venue for wild creations and specialties in food and drinks. Oysters on roasted pepper with caviar and some crazy sauce, shredded cod on a tomato-rubbed crunchy bread and mushrooms with truffled honey. Together with a local amber brew…my god. 

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Also wild were the small peaches with Manchego cheese and Anchovies that give you an explosion of taste you extinguish with some of their excellent cava. IMG_0780My recommendation is to show balls and just ask the friendly people running the place for their recommendations and they have a lot of fun giving you a tour through their creations. The whole area around this place is filled with small joints that serve amazing pinchos (small bites on a toothpick).

El Jardi

Carrer de l’Hospital, 56, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

img_9151.jpgIn an inner courtyard, basically entirely outside, tucked into corners of an ancient building, they built a little paradise in the middle of town. 

A modern twist on tapas lets your taste buds jump for joy. 

Fresh, fruity and slightly sweet Gazpacho with watermelon…mind blown. Amazing tortilla with great roasted bread. Ricotta cheese on crunchy bread topped off with avocado, honey, and black sesame. And great Tinto de verano/summer wine aka red wine with lemonade…aaaahh. Besides the good food, the location and the garden are what makes this one an absolute winner. 

 

Marmalade

Brunch away in Spanish style or with the classic egg benedict of your choice and an amazing cocktail choice. 

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After a long Friday night a poached egg, with patatas bravas, spinach, and chorizo accompanied by a festive bloody marry saved Saturday. Kind of healthy, definitely local and a go-getter when it comes to good brunch during daytime and amazing cocktails during night time. 

 

 

 

Jivamukti Yoga Barcelona

Owner Olga warmly welcomed me arriving at her beautiful studio in the middle of the center, just between Ramblas and Sagrada Familia. On the 3rd floor of an office building a wall-sized window lets you gaze at the branches of trees, almost letting you forget the cars and hectic life happening on the streets below. 

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We practiced in traditional Jivamukti style (mantra chanting, ohm chanting and meditating before and after a clearly structured spicy flow of asanas). Especially nice was the round of tiger balm that was applied to our lower backs at some point while in downward dog. For me personally, this start of the day was just the right way to tune back into a deeper space after a weekend of not practicing and distraction. 

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu, “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all” the mantra that has been following me along my yogic path, was the first thing I heard coming onto the mat and feeling home right away. Asanas with some interesting, to me new alignment options working with the wall in shoulder-, hand and forearm stand against the wall also gave me new insights and was a lot of fun to practice. For beginners, it may be a bit challenging, but modifications are being offered so you can adjust the practice your way.

Garage by Veronica Blume

Last but definitely not least, what a place and what a vibe. Before flying out, I visited this hidden gem for a beautiful nighttime class. image-1.jpgAfter her time as top model, Veronica manifested her passion to yoga with this former garage. Raw brick walls, beautiful design furniture, carefully selected materials and a lot of love created a space that you enter and automatically breathe a bit deeper. Veronica and her host welcomed me with big smiles and invited me to join my first ever yoga class in Spanish!!! But Veronica smartly made sure that for the important parts, she would fiddle in some English cues so none got lost. We did a spicy vinyasa flow that was a bit more advanced, but beginners, fear not, right after that she also offered a beginners version that was much slower and restorative. I did enjoy the advanced class a lot as it playfully brought some new movements into my practice that looked very difficult but with the right guidance became quite light.

My favorite sequence had us floating from Half moon to standing split to pistol squat. Here’s a nice video I found…ignore the hand balancing hehe but give it a try, it’s a lot of fun.   And also give Garage a try, Veronica has such a caring and human approach that you will very quickly feel like family instead of just a customer. Also connected to the yoga studio is an amazing boutique Hotel of which I enjoyed a sweet short private tour with the owner who was practicing right next to me and who is actually a childhood friend of Veronica…family meets yoga, meets damn good taste and warm hearts. 

Barcelona, you won my heart again bringing passions together. Friends, sunshine, yoga, food and afternoons on inner courtyards between old buildings. Theres so much more good food and so much more interesting yoga so there will be another visit and another post like this one. 

Adéu, and see you later.

 

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