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Category Archives: Barcelona

EUROTRIP: LOEWE NAPPA LEATHER ALA TOTE

Many of my shopaholic girl friends had already told me that Loewe is much cheaper in Spain, since it’s a Spanish brand. By the way, you pronounce it “loh-eh-veh”, said super duper quickly. Anyway, Loewe is, in my opinion, the #1 brand with the softest leather. Other brands just don’t come close. A close second is Balenciaga, but that was mainly for their first few seasons – now the leather is a lot firmer/stiffer and requires helluvalot of wear-in before it softens.

Considering my rabid obsession with super soft, smooshy leather.. you’re probably wondering why I haven’t bought a Loewe leather bag before. Simply put – the styles didn’t suit me perfectly, and they are freakin’ expensive! You pay for the quality and suppleness of the leather, despite the styles themselves being fairly basic with not a lot of bells and whistles. So for years, I always just wandered their boutiques, touching and stroking and lusting over the leather.. but never buying anything.

Until we were in Barcelona :P

As luck would have it, they had a new style in stock: the Loewe nappa leather Ala tote. I ran to the bags like a crazy woman and started stroking them in delight. The style was PERFECT. Utterly simple and basic, it’s just a plain ‘ol tote. Specifically, I loved the perfect medium size and the way it sits on me, and I love the drop length of the handles, and I love how the handles are thin (I don’t like thick straps as they fall off my narrow shoulders). Most of all……….. the smell and feel of the leather.

Napa leather is one of the lightest and thinnest in the world, measuring at 0.7mm. These bags are made with lambskin with organic dye, and the smell of the bag is INTOXICATING. I just keep leaning over to breathe it in, and giving it a stroke with my fingers, resembling just the kind of lady you quickly pull your kids away from.

It smells soooo goooooood! And most of all, it is ultra, super duper light-weight. After all, it’s just really thin nappa leather with some lining on the inside and that’s it. Oh, did I mention it’s also the cheapest of their bags? Their only style I like, and it’s the cheapest one… SCORE :D I was a very good girl though and put it back on the shelf so I could “think about it over the next few days”, to Chris’ surprise. He’s the perfect bag shopping partner – patiently stands there (albeit looking a little bit lost) whilst I swoon over the bags, gives his opinion on all the bags I try on, touches and inspects the bags, then urges me to buy it if I like it – perfect husband material :P

4 days later, I was still loving the bag, so we went back and picked it up!

LOEWE!

Happy shopping bag :P

Loewe nappa leather Ala tote

Ridiculously buttery soft

Love the shiny gold tag

A really nice size on my frame IMHO!
 

The bag on display in the Loewe boutique window

Stock photo

 
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Posted by on 11 September 2010 (Sat) in Barcelona, Fashion, Loewe, Shopping, Uncategorized

 

EUROTRIP: CABLECAR IN BARCELONA

For a fabulous view of Barcelona city and beaches, a trip on their cable car is a must. It’s not dirt-cheap, but the views are beautiful. I should warn though that there is an extended waiting period during the summer months, we had to wait about 30-40 minutes before we got on the cable car. It’s a 15 minute or so trip, with birds-eye views of the city and the pretty beaches.

It’s particularly nice having a stroll around the park area after you get off the cable car. Beautiful views high above the city and it’s so relaxing chilling out in the shade under the tree. The fab thing is that there are regular buses that go from this park area down back into the city, so you don’t have to catch the cable car back again if 1) you’re cheap like us or 2) you don’t want to wait if there’s a queue.

Nice way to kill time and kick back and relax, especially after powering around the streets of Barcelona the previous few days!

A movie I took of the view, and me babbling away like craaaaaazy!

Getting into the cablecar

Off we go!

Wheeeee… A view of Barceloneta Beach on the right

The harbour from up high

Heading towards Montjuïc

Relaxing and enjoying the views at Montjuïc

Lush greenery

Such pretty, delicate lil flowers

We sat on the grass in the park and just bummed..

So pretty

 
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Posted by on 11 September 2010 (Sat) in Barcelona, Uncategorized

 

EUROTRIP: BABY CLOTHING IN BARCELONA

We went a wee bit wild buying baby clothing in Barcelona. OK, I plead the fifth. It wasn’t me that went wild. IT WAS CHRIS!! So there.

See, there was this small little baby boutique stocking Begoña Isus (a Spanish baby clothing brand) that we came across whilst wandering around Barcelona. They sell the most luscious, gorgeous knits for infants! Both of us went a little nutty in there… picking up all these mini clothes and going batshit insane at their cuteness. They’re different from the regular cotton clothing because these are thicker knits and so soft with amazing quality. That said, I won’t buy any more clothing like that because babies outgrow ’em so easily and I think plain cotton is a lot more affordable and normal to buy. Gotta love retrospective common sense, eh ;)

Anyway, a little white outfit Chris insisted on getting was priced at…… wait for ittttt………. ~US$100. Hello, have you fainted yet? I nearly did when we found out the price! And yep, he bought it, PLUS others!!! Some were on sale, but still, the savings weren’t exactly huge and instead we were left with a huge hole in our wallet. Oh, and very very cute clothes to show for it :P

And THAT was our mad baby clothing spree (though can’t really call it that cos not as if we bought a ton of stuff). From now on, we won’t buy any more ridiculously-priced baby clothing. The world must return to normal!!!!! Anyway, photos below. They don’t look that great in the pics…. couldn’t capture the feel or quality of the material unfortunately. But, we love ’em and though they were absurdly priced, we’re happy we have a wee little few pieces of super-nice clothing :)

2 most expensive baby outfits I have ever seen or bought *faint*
Chris adored the “B” one cos it stands for Burgess, hehe..

Chris loved this soft silver blanket, so we got that too..

Wee lil booties and a super-soft infant clothing set

The booties…. *squeal*!!

Stock pic of more Begoña Isus stuff

A “bebe” onesie and an adorable spaceship blue one, that Chris wanted “in case we have a boy”, LOL!
These were from Petit Bateau, so they were brilliantly priced (ie. cheap)

 
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Posted by on 10 September 2010 (Fri) in Barcelona, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

 

EUROTRIP: CERVECERIA CATALANA TAPAS

This was our favourite tapas restaurant in Barcelona, called Cerveceria Catalana (Mallorca, 23608013 Barcelona). But be warned – it’s everyone else’s favourite too ;) Rock up by 7PM or you’ll be left standing there for yonks waiting for a seat, as it gets totally packed to the rafters! We were lucky to score a seat immediately as we came a few minutes before the mad rush… thankfully. It’s considered one of the best places in the city for tapas, and it’s certainly true. Even more delightful is the fact that their staff are excellent. I found service in Barcelona so-so in general – not rude, but not ultra polite or friendly.. more like they were just there to slog through their job. So we really enjoyed the funny and amiable staff at Cerveceria Catalana.

Their food was delish! Lovely seafood and meats, very well cooked and delivered to you within minutes. It was a fantastic experience – highly recommended as one of the must-visit restaurants in Barcelona!

Chris looking exceedingly pleased at Cerveceria Catalana

Total food eye-candy

Anchovies, stuffed olives, tomatoes, bread. Chris’ dream food.

Patatas Bravas time!!! *salivates*

A simple but tasty pasta salad

ADORED this. Mini fish deep-fried with a squeeze of lemon. You eat the whole thing!
They were soooo tasty and not too salty at all, mmm…..

Wagyu beef :)

Cod fish – beautiful texture but too salty

Crema catalana – a custard pudding sealed with a coating of burnt caramel. Better
than a creme caramel.. and it was so creamy and custardy… ohhhhh!!!!

My ultra rich Spanish hot chocolate and Chris’ espresso

 
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Posted by on 9 September 2010 (Thu) in Barcelona, Food, Food reviews, Uncategorized

 

EUROTRIP: PARK GUELL

Park Güell is a popular park in Barcelona and a hot tourist spot. Designed by Antoni Gaudí, the structures in the park echo natural forms, very fluid and smooth. It’s not so much a park as it is a sight-seeing destination, with the buildings looking like fairytale Hansel and Gretel houses – very cute! The area isn’t very big, but has a lot of up-and-down slopes.. difficult to climb in summertime ;) We spent most of the time chilling out on the benches and people-watching instead, since it was way more fun than traipsing around the park ;)

Very very very long escalators leading up to the park entrance

Park Güell

Mosaic art all over the park

At the top of the stairs, with a half-naked man (with a nice back!) near me, haha

Enjoying ourselves at the summit

They say the architecture looks like Hansel and Gretel houses :P

Did you know? Gaudí used the shape of buttocks left by a naked workman sitting in wet clay
to design the curvature of the bench surface… LOL..

 
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Posted by on 9 September 2010 (Thu) in Barcelona, Uncategorized

 

EUROTRIP: SHOPPING IN BARCELONA

The shopping in Barcelona was….. irresistible! I thought that I’d go mental shopping in Paris, but not so. I did buy those comfy French Repetto heels and my lovely souvenir Longchamp eiffel tower tote and Chris bought me those Chanel earrings for our 1st year anniversary present, as well as those cute baby clothes…. errrr.. now that I type it all down I guess we DID end up buying stuff in France! OK, nevermind :P

The point is…. I didn’t feel like I was tempted to buy lots of stuff, and frankly I thought I’d spend a small fortune. So anyway, was pretty happy we didn’t drain our bank account or anything in France.

But in Barcelona… oh my! I could’ve easily bought just about everything in sight. Most of all, the CLOTHES. For some reason, the fashion, styles and fit really suited me… exactly what I like, and they had my size too. I loved it. Just about every little cheap chain store, every expensive boutique, I adored. If I was uber rich and not pregnant, I probably would’ve tried to buy entire stores worth of merchandise ;)

Luckily, I am pregnant, and I also have this liiiiiittle weird idiosyncrasy where if I am faced with TOO many things I want to buy, I end up buying… NOTHING. I know, go figure. I just find that when I am exposed to too many nice things I want, something in me shuts down – my brain tells me “Erm, you want everything and you can’t decide on just 1 thing to buy. You don’t want to waste money buying everything. So step away slowly.”

So yes, I ended up coming away with not a huge loads of clothes, which I was happy with… and it even surprised Chris, heh. He kept saying “You sure you don’t want to see more? You’re not gonna buy that?” etc. I was happy. I saved money!

This shop was so cute, had tons of Hello Kitty, Disney, etc etc clothing

Two little pieces I bought

Big-ish Mango tops that I can wear when I’m bigger…

A shopping-time snack – yummy waffle *smothered* in Nutella :)~

In one of the (many) little shops of the Barri Gòtic area

An old school coffee roasting machine that they also roast nuts in, we bought a bunch!

OKAY there is actually a really REALLY big purchase I made in Barcelona (though if you watched the video below you’ll hear Chris mention it!)………. but I will save that for the very end since it deserves it’s own special post :P

 
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Posted by on 8 September 2010 (Wed) in Barcelona, Uncategorized

 

EUROTRIP: FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD IN BARCELONA!

Here are some more random photos of local food in Barcelona. Boy, it’s a good thing we don’t live in Barcelona. I’d be the size of a freakin’ HOUSE. And then some. I found it absolutely impossible to “cut back”, the food was just too amazing. A lot of it uses the simplest of ingredients, so we couldn’t understand how it could taste THAT good. But that’s Barcelona for you – the food is simple and basic, yet packs such a amazing taste it leaves you scrambling for me.

Plus, the tapas style dining meant we could order lots and lots of little plates and try out many dishes. However, we ended up with so many dishes we liked that we kept re-ordering them at various restaurants ;) Surprisingly, food in Barcelona is cheaper than in Paris. Fantastic, because we could eat lots and not hurt our wallets. How does it compare to the food we had in France? Hard to say which one’s better! I like the richness and buttery-ness of French food, but I like the small tapas-style of Spanish food. I think I’ll just have both, thanks :P

Just a little movie Chris took of a tapas restaurant we were in,
and me chomping away in a very un-ladylike fashion (OOPS!!)

Chris enjoying his ice cold Spanish beer

Another version of Pa amb Tomàquet (tomato & garlic-rubbed bread)

Delicious mushrooms

A whole plate of ham, none of which I could eat :(

Pork loin

Little cheese croquettes

A simple sliced tomato and mozzarella salad

Anchovies and tomato on bread

Spanish paella! Ohhhhh luscious…..

Another yummy Paella

Of course, Patatas Bravas!!!!

Yet another Patatas Bravas :)~

Chipirones, those delicious deep-fried mini squid I adore

Yet another favourite dish (yes, we had a LOT of favourites, I know… I TOLD you food in Barcelona was freakin’ awesome and riiiight up our alley!!) was the Bikini. It’s basically a toasted ham & cheese sandwich. Yes, we have ’em in Australia as kids, but they completely suck in comparison. Perhaps it’s because they use their local Spanish ham and cheese that makes all the difference? Then again, you can’t really go wrong with carbs, fat and meat, can you? ;)

Bikini – a toasted Spanish ham and cheese sandwich. We ate this at almost every meal too ;)

Another Bikini! This one we stuffed with some garlic mushrooms

This Bikini was stellar ‘cos we added grilled onions!

YUMMY!

 
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Posted by on 8 September 2010 (Wed) in Barcelona, Food, Uncategorized