Could we have some tomato sauce (ketchup) please?! How about “CHUCK THE SAUCE!”

Lets be honest here girls, we love burgers! And any girl who doesn’t admit that is lying (especially when we can get some street cred with a huge meat patty!) However, I won’t eat just any burger. I touched on my food ‘snobbery’ a little in my last post and I’ll elaborate on this in relation to the newest gourmet burger joint in London – Bobo Social, the gorgeous charcoal exterior on the quiet end of Charlotte street in W1.

For the new readers – a small insight; I’m a stickler (a person who insist on a certain quality or type of behaviour) for the small business. I am driven by the story of the beginning, the connection between the restauranteur and the clientele, the passion between the dream and the reality.  I want an experience! I don’t want to be a number.

So when I stumbled across, Bobo Social, the first venture of babin’ duo twenty six year old marketing executive Jacinta Madison and experienced restauranteur under Jamie Oliver, Mike Benson, I was dying to be involved. They have perfected the art of dining – from my perspective anyway. Bobo displays a small, intimate and personalised space, quality staff and, of course, exceptional food.  For a first go they have nailed it – and their sell out mid-weekly sittings are evidence of that.

HOT TIP 1 : “Debauchery” will actually be the best 20 quid you’ll spend a on burger… EVER.. you have my word!
Their wine list is specifically selected but my
HOT TIP 2:  is the Malbec! TO DIE FOR… (I could be bias because of my love for Argentinean wines!)
HOT TIP 3: The Salted Chocolate Mousse – I hear some have complained because it “isn’t ‘moussey’ enough” I say “Let’s flick the haters and grab a spoon!!”

Raise you glass to welcome the fabulous team of Bobo Social! I’m so happy to have been involved in the beginnings!

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A food lovers guide to Barcelona

Hello FOOD! Some call me an absolute food snob and I’d agree, I guess. To me, eating isn’t just about the food it’s about the; company, space, vibe, the wine and of course, the food (duh!).

So, I’ve collated a few of my ‘not to miss’ restaurants in Barcelona that, I think, offer the full experience! Your mouth will be salivating at the site, and it should be. Use this guide and you won’t step wrong on the BCN food scene (click on the name for their website/directions).

 Can Paixano 

Unfortunately, I have no photos of my experience here. It’s buzzing and super cheap! Serving the typical tapas and cava, Can Paixano is a place you should schedule for a late afternoon (although the crowds were a little much for mum, it’s an experience you dare not miss!).

Brunch and Cake 

A reinvented menu with bagels, strawberry & camembert sandwiches and killer banana bread – what compliments their food is their outfits, decor and terrace; a perfect position for a long weekend Brunch – be there early, lines start around 11.

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Cerveceria Catalana 

An essential stop when in Barcelona. You will have to wait a while to be seated, but trust me IT’S WORTH IT! With all the tapas you can dream of, this place is ridiculously good. HOT TIP: Wait for a bar seat, it’s first come first serve and right in the middle of the action.

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Cosmo

Healthy, hip and hidden Cosmo is a cafe-cum-exhibition space. Great supporter of local artists and the server of the best mocha frappe I’ve ever had!

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Dela Crem

Needing an afternoon pick me up? How about a Baileys cocktail and brownie? Mum’s eyes lit up as soon as she saw that on the menu. Also featuring 20 plus favours of ice-cream – you can’t make a bad selection here!

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El Ville

Tucked away on Career Doctor Dou in Raval (FYI my favourite suburb of Barcelona!) you’ll find El Ville serving modern spinoffs of typical Catalan favourites – their pan con tomato is exceptional. Well actually everything is bloody delicious!

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More ins and outs of BCN here! But for now I’m back in little ole London town!

Watch this space on Wednesday for two of the hottest’s new stores in London!

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Vibes without the Tribes – A guide to avoiding the summer crowds in Barcelona

Kicking off with breakfast at Federal you know the day is going to be a good day! You can find out more about these guys on a post I featured a while back. It was a fav place for mum (when mum’s happy, errrebody’s happy!) More pics here.

Try and get here before 11 – it fills up quickly.

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 Bikes are the BEST form of transport in BCN! If you want trendy turquoise wheels, we hired them from BiciRent (10E for 4hrs). Ride along the beach to Poble Nou which isn’t a usual stop, but Rambla de Poble Nou is spawling with cafes, restaurants and fresh produce. Super quiet and local vibes! We gathered our traditional picnic favs, parked the bikes and enjoyed the sunshine on a local green.

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Ok, I know I did day avoid the crowds but it’s hard to deter your eyes from Borne-  the hottest tourist destinations, and for good reason. And well, it is off the main strip! One of my fav stores is Camino. Anyone who has been shopping with me in BCN would have come with me to this store! All stock produced in Barcelona, Camino is passionate about sustainability and a fabulous supporter of independent and local brands like Maians . They also have a store in Raval. 😉

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HOT TIP: Mango and Zara are essential stops but to avoid the droves of teens, and tourist stores head up to Av Diagonal – it’s a little way up but you avoid the gigantic queues, get a taste of slightly more ‘real’ Barcelona (and remember you can take the stroll up Eric Granados and stop for a cup cake ;))

To reward your a day of activity,  swing by Numero Nueve for THE BEST ESPRESSO MARTINI – huge call I know but I can’t tell you how essential is it for you to try them! If coffee isn’t your thing try the Brambles, you won’t regret it!

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Crazy about fabulous dining experiences?  It’s so hard to pick from the millions of culinary options BCN has to offer BUT fear not, on Friday I’ve got you covered with a food lovers guide to BCN..

Now go and do – JS style!

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Barcelona – A JoySusanna Guide 1 (the places; to eat, to see and to do)

I LOVE Barcelona and being lucky enough to have lived here for six months earlier this year I’ve had some time to wander the streets and create a list of favourite spots. The amount of times I’ve been asked by friends and family visiting Barcelona to provide a list of places to go, to do, and see I thought I’d better whip up an official list. My; mum, the lovely Sue, and sister, lush looker, Beth, touched down on Monday for a 10 day Woods’ girl trip and I get show these two babes Barcelona through my eyes.

Take note, bookmark and click on my suggestions and I guarantee you an amazing experience of Barcelona!

For starters, the practicalities; airport transport is simple AeroBus leaves the airport to Placa Catalunya every 5 mins, takes approx 25 mins, costs 5.90 EURO and from Placa Catalunya every where is super easy to access.

Fun stuff; after greeting these two fabulous women at the airport (felt like a dud not having a sign) I took them out for a Cup of Tea and Cupcake at Cup and Cake along my favourite street in Barcelona Eric Granados (map here). This street is lined with; cafes, restaurants, florists and bars and only one lane of traffic so alfresco dining is uninterrupted by noise – it also gives you a break from the tourists hotspots and a real taste of local Barcelona.

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It was then essential to have Tapas and Sangria ASAP, we are in Spain after all. Typical tourist fall into taking a seat on La Rambla. To say you’ve had tapas on La Rambla is cool, no doubt (I did it when I first arrived), but its over priced (duh!). I took mum and Beth to a small plaza next to the MACBA. The streets are less crowded with foreigners, full of skaters and super funky bars and cafes – get lost  in RAVAL and you’re sure to find something delicious for half the price of everywhere else.

HOT STREETS TIP: Carrer Angels, Rambla de Raval, Carrer Tallers and actually the whole lot!

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 Down then to the beach, Barceloneta is crazy packed and you won’t find any sizeable spaces to catch those rays (safely, always use sunscreen kids!). We set up just under Hotel W, where there’s stylish cafes and delicious modern Spanish cuisine.

HOT TIP 1: if you eat or drink at Gallito they allow you to use their stand-up paddle board (I realise I’m not standing on the board in the photo – it was super windy yesterday, please forgive me!)! Do it yo, although perhaps on a slightly calmer day or before the wind picks up at around 2pm.

HOT TIP 2 : Watch the sunset from Barceloneta and see the sky colour change- stunning.

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Beth and I then dropped mum off  home for a siesta, and we took this op to go to the Cram l’Hotel’s terrace for a lux gin and tonic (G’Vine, if you haven’t tried it before it’s a MUST!)

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Over the coming days I’ll fill you in on a few local secrets.

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