It’s that time of the year again when residents of Barcelona have to share their city with swells of people who don’t seem capable of applying sunscreen and choose to walk on the sunny side of the street.
Along this time too, we start to get those giant tour groups – the ones that make us avoid taking C/ Montcada outside the Picasso museum because the throng of people makes walking there impossible.
The new Wanderbeak gourmet tour: Gourmet Gaudi, is nothing like that.
Firstly it’s in Eixample on the Modernist route. There are also throngs of tourists in font of those buildings but the avenues are larger and can take their bulk.
The tour starts off with a glass of Cava and two oysters in the shell. One long and thin and the other with a shell shaped more like that of a scallop. It’s easy to linger in the space but Marwa (the tour’s creator) ushers us out on to the street to show us some of the special buildings on Passeo de Gracia and tell us some stories.
We hear of Jordi and the dragon, whose spilled blood turned into a rose. She regales us with stories of the second mascot of Barcelona, the bat and encourages us to look for them. We surprise ourselves finding a handful in places we have always known but never “saw”.
“Seeing” things for the first time after living here for 4 years is a neat trick to pull off. Casa Amatller, truthfully I had dismissed them as for-tourists-kitsch without much thought but when Marwa shares its history and after we’ve tasted a fair few chocolates I am converted to their tin boxes.
There are only two of us on this tour. Ben (Driftwood Journals) and I interrupt Marwa often with exclamations of “Really?! I did not know that.”
“How did you learn all this stuff?” I ask.
“I spent 1 week at the architectural library” she grins.
Just when our brains are getting full up with facts. She whisks us off to our next stop – a four course meal at a Michelin starred restaurant.
With Marwa as our host, we get a 5 star treatment. Everyone greets us warmly and we are seated in a light filled room with the upper echelons of Barcelona society out for an elegant lunch. I’ve been to the more famous sister restaurant of the one we are in and surprisingly, the meal I have here is better. There are plenty of extras to begin with and sweet surprises to end with.
Being foodies – we find much to talk about. Before I know it, it’s time for me to leave the land of starched white tablecloths . The 4 hours have been a high end treat and the next time I walk the Modernist route of Eixample I will linger over the details that I’ve seen for the first time on Marwa’s Gourmet Gaudi Food Tour.
€165 for a 4 hour tour including Cava and wine and a 4 course meal (and some delightful small surprises from the kitchen) at a Michelin starred restaurant.