Barcelona Restaurant Recommendations
Posted 11 December 2011 - 05:51 AM
Unfortunately our hotel always has to be central, and walkable to sights. For Barcelona, we'll be looking at the central old city (Barri Gòtic, El Born-La Ribera) neighborhoods; and for Madrid, maybe Los Austrias/Sol.
This means we'll be surrounded by overpriced, crappy tourist restaurants, but we ate well in Rome and Istanbul thanks to careful research, so I'm optimistic about Spain. We may stick to Eastern time so we can dine out as late as Madrileños, but then we'd have less daytime for sights, so maybe we'll end up living on tapas.
What puzzles me the most now is which cooking class to pick in Barcelona. We loved those in other travels. Tripadvisor favors one (http://www.tripadvis..._Catalonia.html ), but its lowest-star feedback complains that there's not much hand-on cooking and the recipes aren't great. I'm trusting Tripadvisor less over the years. When overwhelmingly uninformed people pick the best-rated venues, they tend to rate them well no matter what, and I see self-reinforcing feedback of less objective praise.
So I'm googling for other Barcelona cooking classes. http://www.catacuria...5_programs.html , despite its link, is current and looks like it has a variety of good choices. Of course, Google search results are victim to that self-reinforcing feedback too.
Posted 11 December 2011 - 06:14 PM
I can't help you with cooking classes in Barcelona, but I can recommend a hotel. Hotel Europark is in c/ Arago in the Eixample district. In one direction it's maybe 20 minutes' walk from the Sagrada Familia (fabulous, but book online to beat the queues), in another it's 10 minutes from Passeig de Gracia (and another 10 further on to Las Ramblas). There's one of Barcelona's wonderful markets just around the corner, and Gelonch (see other postings in this thread) is maybe two blocks away - we found it by accident!
We've stayed at the hotel twice now and would happily return. Inside it's modern and very comfortable; outside the buildings in the area are classic Barcelona. You're on a major road but the double glazing shuts the traffic noise out very effectively. We've found the staff very good on both visits (their English is great, if that's a consideration). The prices are fairly reasonable anyway, but have a look at the specials - there are usually discounts if you book early, or stay three nights or more. Some day we'll book into one of their penthouse suites for a treat, but in the meantime we've been happy in an 'average' room a couple of floors down.
Only one warning - the swimming pool is frigid!
Enjoy your trip.
My eG Foodblog
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Posted 03 March 2012 - 03:52 PM
As an alternative to the meh-looking top-rated TripAdvisor course at http://www.tripadvis..._Catalonia.html , I've found:
http://www.catacuria...king_class.html (or day trip at http://www.catacuria...5_programs.html
It makes me want to settle for room service. For instance, one of the five reviews of http://www.tripadvis..._Catalonia.html , begins "As the owners of a small, family-operated bakery/restaurant," which reminds me of the planted reviews as documented in the article