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Posts Tagged ‘tapas’

I was in Barcelona for a very important purpose. My friends Chan (Sri Lankan) and Neasa (Irish) – both New Zealand residents – were getting married in the obvious Kiwi-Asian-Gaelic location. Barcelona.

Chan waiting

Waiting for Neasa

NeasaandChan

Neasa and Chan - the bride and groom

The wedding ceremony - outside

The outside venue for the wedding ceremony

The wedding music courtesy of Neasa's friends

Neasa's Irish friends play the wedding music

The wedding venue - inside

The wedding venue - inside

The musical bride

The musical bride

Strictly speaking this was a blessing only as the legalising ceremony was in New Zealand before I left. Their wedding deserves special mention in a foodie blog due to the quality (and quantity) of the food. Two words. Lavish. Delicious.

One of my pet gripes with weddings is that guests are often abandonned for hours after the ceremony with nothing but glasses of bubbles for sustenance. The bride and groom scarper for photos while friends and family get hammered thanks to drinking on an empty stomach. Well prepared bridal couples sometimes ensure canapes are passed around at this time. Given that canapes are priced per piece the general ratio is 3 to 4 per guest. Or several mouthfuls for the more Survivor-like guests; and nothing for the rest.

Not at this wedding. Copious quantities of tapas were served with Cava (Spanish bubbles). Tapas ranged from tortilla (like a Spanish frittata with eggs and potatoes) to fish croquettes to small Spanish meatballs with caramelised onions.  When the formal ceremonies recommenced the troupe of guests were relaxed and with the edge taken off.

Tapas were followed with a buffet featuring paella, confit duck braised in port wine with pears, and a luscious salad with grilled goats cheese. And this was just a corner.

Things really got out of hand with the desserts. Neasa and Chan were obviously unable to shortlist out of the mouthwatering options of classic Spanish desserts, pastries, chocolates and more. So we got everything in tiny pieces in multiple courses. My table had the inspired thought to each have one of everything. And were floored when we discovered that the options kept being refreshed. Completely done in we were faced with the daunting prospect of the wedding cake. A chocolate, truffle, mousse cake. Each.  I feel slightly queasy remembering choking down a corner. Because I had to. Because it was so delicious.

The dessert - second course

Second round of the dessert

The above is a compliment to the bride and groom. It takes a lot to out cater me and I officially concede to being done-in by the wedding feast. Viva Barcelona. And all my love and best wishes to Neasa and Chan. Should you choose to reconfirm your vows in Barcelona anytime. Count me in.

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I had an absolutely superb few days in Barcelona which is now officially one of my Favourite Places to go in the world. For a total foodie, Barcelona is paradise. And ridiculously gorgeous and quirky and interesting and historic.

It is testament to Barcelona’s charms that I was able to recover from an attempted theft of my wallet by a pickpocket on the metro when arriving from the airport. Fortunately an old lady witnessed the theft and grabbed the pickpocket by one arm and belted him over the head with her handbag using her other hand. I got my wallet back. Feeling somewhat shaken I dragged Andrew off for a tapa and glass of red wine at La Vinya del Senyor, a bijoux little wine bar overlooking the church of Santa Maria del Mar.

La Vinya del Senyor

La Vinya del Senyor opposite Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona

This place came well recommended by our usual arsenal of paper and online guides. And was located by Andrew’s iPhone.  It has a comprehensive and astonishingly good value wine list include a fair number by glass. Wine is so cheap in Spain that most places tend to offer a house wine only or no more than one or two wines by the glass. People just order a bottle and leave what they don’t drink.

We had a Gago 2007, from Toro; and a Gran Caus Negre 2002, from Penedes. Both were very lush however we both preferred the former.

For tapas we had a few olives; patates al oli fumat amb pimenton de la vera; and canalons de rostit amb oli ceps. The second was pretty straight forward. New potatoes in some form of smoked olive oil with smoked paprika dusted over. Simple and delicious. Lord knows what the second was. I have tried several online translators all of which drew a blank. The closest description is:

  • kind of a pate-ish mixture (very tasty) in a sort of sausage skin but open on each end
  • looked like pate in a Vietnamese spring roll wet rice paper wrap.

I shall ask Sergio. My sister in law asked if this was the online Spanish version of “Ask Jeeves”. It is not. Sergio is a Spaniard who used to work as part of my team!

Andrew enjoying a tapa

Andrew enjoying a tapa

We were joined at the bar by the Prebble-Markwells en famille from Stockholm. Super to catch up with friends in fabulous places. And enough to drive the purse snatcher from front of mind.

And finally a photo of the church…

Santa Maria del Mar

Santa Maria del Mar

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