Monday, 21 August 2017

Parc Guell Barcelona

Parc Guell was my favourite place in Barcelona.

Built by Gaudi in the 1900's it's a park full of buildings and passageways that look as though they've been designed by someone who has never been constricted by what they thought a building should look like. It's amazing. Every single part of it is curved and colourful and I can't even imagine how 'out there' all of this must've been a hundred years ago. 

We wandered around taking it all in from the passageways to the princess style tower... my favourite building ever; I don't know the official name but to me it looks like a gingerbread house come to life.

We wandered around the gardens chatting and catching up on life. I don't see my friend very often but when I do it's like no time has passed. Definitely the best type of friendship with our hectic schedules and busy lives.  It was so nice spending whole days together rather than a quick coffee or film on a weeknight.

We spent the afternoon there before taking in one final view:

A little tip if you're planning on going (which I would really recommend) is that this part of the park is really hard to find so give yourself extra time. We left enough time to get there but no extra and were power walking in the sun at the end to make our timeslot. We went in the morning which I would really recommend because by the time we were leaving the heat was unreal. Also just be aware of the 'anti-tourist' feeling at the moment in Barcelona, we didn't have any trouble just saw a lot of 'go home tourist' type graffiti but I would just keep it in mind.

Let me know if you end up going, I'd love to hear about it. 



Saturday, 19 August 2017

Hangover-cure cheesy meatball subs (sorry Subway)

Jeez I had the hangover from hell the other weekend. On hindsight, probably having the flaming shots and the cocktails and the beer wasn't the best idea - still, it was so much fun at the time. These shots are swiftly becoming my favourite weekend drink for how exciting they are, but the next day is always a little terrible.

Clearly, I needed some recovery sustenance and quick. Cheesy-meatball subs were definitely on the cards.

If you want to make them you will need;
Meatballs (I used leftovers from a meal earlier in the week)
Cheddar cheese
Crusty bread

Dice up the chilli, finely cut the chorizo and add it to the passatta mix in a big pan. Let it cook on a low heat for about 20 minutes, before adding the meatballs and cumin. 

Once the meatballs have heated up add the basil and cover the entire thing with the ripped mozzarella and grated cheddar. You want an excessive amount of cheese but the amount is completely hangover dependant - don't be shy about adding more if you need it. There is a time and a place for salads, this is not it.

Put your creation under the grill until the cheese is browned and bubbling; then pile it up on the crusty bread and enjoy.

I ate mine watching beauty and the beast which I know isn't cool but I loved it. Definitely a perfect hangover combo.



Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Exploring Barcelona

I'm in love with Barcelona. 

There's just so much to do and see.  Our first stop was the Sagrada Familia and it really was as incredible as everyone makes out. There have been so many times I've gone away on someones recommendations only to find it really isn't that great -  Barcelona definitely lives up to the hype and more. Just look at it! 

The building of Sagrada Familia started in 1882 and wont be finished until 2026; it's a shame in way that we didn't get to see the finished thing but at the same time I love the idea of a building taking so long and no one giving up on it. Does that make sense? I just think it's such a really selfless thing to think of and be working on something that you are not necessarily going to see finished. I guess it just means I will have to come back when it's completed so at least it gives me an excuse to come back and drink more sangria haha. 

One thing that I really loved about the Sagrada was how different it was to what I was expecting. I thought it would be a dark hall with unnatural lighting (like most of the religious buildings we have in the UK) but it was so different, just full of colour and light. Such a beautiful place.
After wandering round the inside and outside twice (to make sure we didn't miss anything) we went for a walk around the city. 

Stopping for the all important snacks...Nutella and Straichella icecream <3

Taking in as many of the sights as we could...

...until, as a matter of survival, we stopped for Sangria at the harbour.

After a few drinks we headed for lunch which I loved because a) I'm greedy and spanish food = amazing food and b) there was an instagram husband outside taking photos of his lady for ages in lots of different poses and it was hilarious. He kept going over to show her the photos and she would just shake her head and start posing again. At one point a skateboard was brought in as an accessory and my friend and I just broke down into hysterics whilst simultaneously wishing we had instagram husbands to do that for us haha. It was just so fun to be drinking wine, taking in the view and watching this guy take approx 864868 photos at every conceivable angle. 

We ordered these amazing patatas bravas:

...with the red prawns and garlic.

...and more wine, because if you can't day drink on holiday then when can you?!

There's something so mischevous feeling about drinking in the day - it's just good fun every now and then isn't it?

Feeling a little tipsy we headed back to our hotel and spent some time relaxing and taking in the view from the rooftop pool. I say rooftop pool but it was actually tiny and nothing like the hotel had advertised. I have no idea the crazy angles they must've been leaning at to make it look so much bigger but it must've been really difficult so kudos to the photographer haha. 

After relaxing for a couple of hours we felt refreshed and ready to explore some more. We headed to Cuitadella Park for a wander.

Home of the prettiest parliament building I've ever seen...

...and this rather Game of Thrones themed water-feature...

...and this very beautiful University building...

...before heading for some more tapas. I can't remember the place that we ate at but it was opposite this building and is definitely worth finding. Good luck adventuring!

We had king prawns...

....a few more dishes which I would recommend but that didn't photograph well (the empadanas, the patatas bravas and the chorizo with the chilli sauce) and my favourite, the sundried tomatoes and anchovies on crusty bread with olive oil. Delicious.

We drank lots of sangria for the rest of the evening before an early start the next day to Parc Guell. I can't wait to show you,


Ultimate fish-tacos

In a bid to recreate the swedish tacos of heaven from Branno island I ordered everything I thought I would need online...apart from the salmon. I forgot the salmon. *slow clap*
I tried to get more but all my shop had left was these fish tacos were created and my god, they turned out to be amazing. Hot spicy fish sauce, cooling guac, crunchy salad, soft tacos and spiced fish - amazing.

I've put the recipe together so you can have a go:

For the fish:
2 haddock portions
1tbsp of cumin
2 tbsp of paprika
Glug of olive oil

-mix in a dish and coat the fish (flesh side only). Put in a hot oiled pan for about 4 minutes each side - you want the skin to be crispy. While it cooks prep everything else.

1/2 red onion
glug of olive oil
1 chilli (optional but recommended)
fistful of coriander
2 ripes avos
dash of lemon juice

-blend and put in a dish to the side. Put a stone in the middle to stop it going brown if you're prepping in advance.

1 tsp of garlic
3 tbsp of natural yoghurt
2 chillies (large)
1/2 tbsp of paprika
1 handful of cherry tomatos
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
salt and pep

- blend, put in a little dish and dust with paprika since pink sauce does look a little odd on its own...

Serve the fish and sauces with:
Pack of small tortillas (microwave for 30 seconds)
2 baby lettuce (tear these up)
An ungodly amount of coriander (I can't get enough of it)

Serve alfresco; preferably with wine although not for me sadly as I was off to an exercise class after scoffing these *sob*

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