Monthly Archives: March 2012

Barcelona Boat Party

If I was a politically-minded blogger I’d probably be writing something about strikes, workers’ rights and Mariano Rajoy right now. But that stuff is kinda boring. And when you think that it’s possible in Spain to quit your job and still get paid 80% of your salary by the government for another couple of years, whilst you go swanning off adventuring in South East Asia (I know because more than one of my amigos has done it!) then you have to say, a little bit of reform here and there might be good for the country’s majorly troubled economy. Workers’ rights are nice, but if it means all the companies are ground into the, err, ground by having to pay off cr@p staff who already cost them a tonne in salaries and benefits, then who’s going to be left to employ the workers? It’s the whole chicken and the egg thing really isn’t it…

Well unlucky if you, poor unsuspecting tourist, has some how been caught up in a riot, or simply been a victim of non-existent public transport etc., but I’m writing a quick note to let you know about a little something this weekend that might cheer you up… the launch of the Barcelona booze cruise – ie. the best, and possibly the only regular, boat party in Barcelona!!! Setting sail from the modern marina that is the Port Olimpic, this soiree on the high seas will run every Sunday over summer (or possibly more often, I’m told, if the demand is there) and involves a three hour cruise on the Mediterranean underneath the setting sun, and an open bar offering guests unlimited free beer and sangria. And you won’t here anyone protesting about that! The tickets for the boat party are a fraction pricey at 40 euros, but that includes all of the above plus free nightclub entry to one of the swanky joints on the Port Olimpic, like CDLC, Shoko, Sotavento or Opium Mar Beach Club.

Sounds like summer 2012 is going to be another great one for lovers of nightlife and parties in Barcelona! No doubt I’ll be updating this blog with some more festival reviews (last year I dropped in on Sonar and Primavera Sound!), beach parties and random nights out!

Meanwhile, if it’s water sports that rock your boat (that pun is so bad I nearly deleted it… but since I had to read it back to myself you can suffer too) then check out this handy guide to sailing in Barcelona which features a list of yacht charter companies. Hire a boat and head down to Sitges why not!

Ok sea dogs… see you on Sunday hopefully! In the mean time try not to get hit by a rubber bullet.

Cocktail Bars: Shake It Up Baby!

Well I did say that you could expect a quiet year from me, what with trying to earn a living one way or another and all that… it does stand in the way of rambling on about random Barcelona-related experiences. But here’s a new post for y’all.

I think it’s about time I shared my knowledge of the Barcelona cocktail scene on these pages, as, having written an article about mixology for Easyjet Magazine not so long ago, I’m now quite au fait with the best places in town to sip a Margarita or two.

First up I’d definitely recommend Banker’s Bar… the rather swanky lounge of the 5 star Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The head barman, a lovely gent by the name of Jordi Otero is considered one of the best mixologists in Spain/the world and the service here is first rate. Obviously there are a lot of tasty beverages to choose from, but above all I’d suggest the Banker’s Martini is a sound investment. It certainly has earned lots of interest from cocktail aficionados. Cheque it out. (Sorry just enjoying a pun-down with myself).

After that I’d try popping into Slow Barcelona. A gorgeous cocteleria in Eixample, I swung by not so long ago and sampled something I can’t remember the name of, but it definitely had Cava in it – and chocolate bubbles. Delicious. It was like drinking Champagne and eating a Terry’s Orange chocolate at once. Plus Slow also has a funky disco upstairs!

Thirdly, fans of all thing Adria would be stupid to miss out on a trip to 41 Degrees. Adjoining their new tapas bar, Tickets, it’s actually a lot easier to get into 41 Degrees and, hush hush, but according to what Albert himself told me, here is where they make the extra effort to engage your emotions… by pairing their El Bulli-style snacks with cocktails that mirror and complement the food.

Finally fans of nostalgia should check out Boadas. It was the original cocktail bar in the city, established in 1933 I believe, and still has the old-school vibe, with waiters wearing tuxedos and old fashioned elegance. Amazingly, considering it’s right on La Rambla, it’s not too touristy.

Other great bars I’ve checked out, all in the name of research, are Coppelia in El Born, where allegedly Shakira’s hips have been shaking along with the cocktails. And sister venues, Marmalade and Milk, where you can always rely on a good crowd and more ‘democratic’ prices. Most coctelerias in BCN are unfortunately aimed at the way-richer-than-me clientele.

As usual my amigos over at Barcelona Life have the full skivvy on cocktails and cocktail bars in Barcelona so for more info head over.

Meanwhile I promise to be back a bit sooner next time. Got a Calcotada planned for later this month, and if you don’t know what that is then you’ve been missing out on one of my fave Catalan traditions! Full report soon:)