(This is a post that just reflects who I am and some writing I shared with a friend while traveling in Spain a few months ago.)
I’m enjoying a vacation in Barcelona for 2 days and thought of you. I spent a week as the guest of Segura Viudas, owners of Freixenet Cava and added 2 days on my own in Barcelona. Today I hired a private tour guide, Marga, for 4 hours. Wonderful decision. I learned all about the eccentric, touched-by-God Antonio Gaudi.
I attended a Spanish guitar concert in a 15th century church that I booked online at home. Intimate and didn’t disappoint. I walked from my hotel down Las Ramblas, the promenade full of people at 9pm, past the Pt Catalunya square with a huge fountain into the Egleslias Santa Ana courtyard. Mass was being held in one of the buildings.
I had booked the concert and 3 course dinner. Ended up I was the only person to have purchased the dinner tonight. When you travel you imagine what it will be like. It is only a dream, when you are there it is usually different.
After the beautiful concert I met the musician who now lives in Slovenia. I asked why did you choose to live in Slovenia? He said love.
A producer walked me across a square to the restaurant. My dinner included a bottle of Vina Mantibre 2011 listed under young wines (Cosecha from Rioja) 7 Euros-cheapest on list. All for me. Thank goodness it was decent wine.
My first course was salad with goat cheese and apple compote served with warm bread. The goat cheese was the size of a mini frisbee. The salad could feed 4 people. It could easily have been my meal. How do the women here stay so slim? Healthy mediterrean food with wine.
The people In Catalonia are nice. Every time I smile a small smile at someone they smile back.
Eating at this restaurant alone, I feel a bit like Jane Austin observing and writing about what I see.
Table of six women, I’ve finished first course they have just wine (two different glasses each) white, I think they already ate. They are dressed like they are single, 4 of them went out for a smoke.
My second course is duck confit on scalloped potatoes. Devine smell. Large leg with sauce. Earthy not as sweet as I’m used to. I serve it with black cherry sauce. A little salty but good enough that I wanted to eat more than I had room for.
I am also surrounded by tables for 12 and 8, young people plus lots of couples. Interested new dates and older couples too. The table of 8 seem like blind dates.
The smokers returned and were given dessert menus.
Lively atmosphere. Fabulous. Staff scurries. Why?
The couple to my left, there is a rose on the table. They are falling in love. Would it be too intrusive to ask for a picture? Now or never they are leaving. I can not do it because they may be ready to spend their first night together. He’s carrying a motorcycle helmet. They kissed before walking out the door.
I ordered a dessert that has a liquor in it and it is 3Euro more. I have no euros with me. They will have to eat the profit tonight.
With such small wine glasses people drink slower. I’m on dessert and if I can drink 1/2 of this bottle…didn’t make it if I drink half a bottle I won’t make it down the Ramblas without someone noticing. I wonder if I order coffee if I have to pay for it?
It is 1120 and half the restaurant is empty. A previously loud table of 7 older men (40′s) is quieter now but they are still here.
The girls table of six are 1 talkative blonde and the rest dark. I think they know I’m writing about the restaurant and perhaps them.
Only 8 tables left, myself, the one behind me, the girls, the men, a not so in love couple who have been talking a lot but not smiling.
My 10 minute dessert was a lie. It feels much longer. Ah here it is! Oh wow. Amaretto ice cream, the pastry full of chocolate sauce not worth it. I am not in France.
No food came for the ladies. They were given menus and I notice dessert spoons but none of them ordered any I guess. Ah wait desserts were delivered to all of them. The empty wine bottles were removed and a large bottled water placed in the middle of the table.
My fresh red wine did not compliment my dessert.
I accepted the offer to have an expresso- it will help me walk back to the hotel 6 blocks. I hope I don’t get billed for it since I left the room without any money!
I just noticed the only table with a little lamp is where the lovers sat.
Also the couple who were talking and not smiling are holding hands across the table.
The table of beautiful skinny girls are licking their dessert spoons and seem happy. Another detail. The blonde is wearing white and all of the brunettes are wearing black.
The empty check plate arrived with 3 business cards.
Will I recommend them? Of course, especially if you are a married yet independent woman spending a weekend in Barcelona.