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Insider Guides

An Insider Guide To Barcelona With DeMellier Founder, Mireia Llusia-Lindh

Mireia Llusia-Lindh, founder of London-based luxury handbag brand DeMellier, has spent as much time in the British capital as Barcelona, and is lucky enough to call both home.

Hand-crafted in the south of Spain from the butteriest of leather and highest quality fabrics, DeMellier bags embody timeless luxury and effortless style for women on the go.

Here, Mireia shares her tips for an unforgettable trip to Barcelona.

Essential items to pack…

A thin knit, white T-Shirt, jeans, sunglasses, and an easy bag like our Los Angeles. If you are going in the summer, you’ll also want a swimming suit or bikini of course.

The best time to visit Barcelona is…

Spring or early summer – especially June, I would say.

Mireia on holiday

Our first pitstop should be…

Walking through Paseo de Gracia from top to bottom, and admiring the beautiful architecture from Gaudi and other Modernist architects.

For an early morning workout head to…

Either Paseo Maritimo by the sea, or Carretera de les Aigües on the north side of the city, to enjoy the city views.

Your favourite hotel to check-in at is…

So many great hotels have opened over the past few years, it’s hard to choose. But I would say El Palauet if money is not an issue, and Hotel Pulitzer if you are on a tighter budget.

Courtesy of El Palauet

Courtesy of El Palauet

Where should we go for breakfast?

For breakfast or brunch I like Federal Café. I’d recommend bread with tomatoes and Spanish ham, or a Spanish omelette.

How about for a long, lazy lunch?

I love Pez Vela by the Sant Sebastià beach. It has great food with views over the water, and the children can play in the sand when they are done.

And for dinner with friends?

Go to Fismuler. The atmosphere is nice but relaxed, and they play live music. They change the menu often, but their cheesecake is a must for dessert.

Your favourite restaurant in town?

My budget option is Cerveseria Catalana – it has some of the best tapas in town. Sadly, everyone knows its greatness and it’s always packed, so I suggest going early or late. For a blow-out option, either Moments, run by the top female chef in Spain, or Abac in the upper side of the city.

A must try spot for date night is…

La Torre de Alta Mar. It’s located at the top of a tower 75-meters high, with superb views of the city and the sea. It doesn’t get better than this!

Where should we head post-dinner?

When the Montjuïc light and fountain show is on, it’s very nice to see with children. For adults only, head to Paradiso, a cocktail bar in El Born. It looks like an old, small bar, but once you get through one of the interior doors, you discover an incredible cocktail bar full of surprises – hence the name!

The drink to order at the bar…

I am very boring when it comes to drinks, as I don’t like the taste of alcohol, but the locals would say you should go for a cold Spanish beer, like Estrella.

The best place to treat yourself?

THECOMB in Rambla de Catalunya. Alex, the owner, is brilliant and always does my hair when I go back to Barcelona.

The best place for people watching…

Rambla de Catalunya or Las Ramblas. Take a seat on one of the benches and let the hours pass by.

The cultural spot to rave about…

I love the Mies Van Der Rohe house in Montjuïc; I never get tired of it. La Pedrera (Casa Mila) and La Sagrada Familia by Antonio Gaudi are also a must.

For great shopping head to…

I like Paseo de Gracia and Via Diagonal.

The one place only locals know about… 

Café Dulcinea in the Gothic Quarter. I strongly recommend going there for an afternoon treat, they have the best suizo (a traditional Spanish thick hot chocolate topped with whipped cream) in town. For a chocolate lover like me, it’s heaven on earth.

Your favourite neighbourhood is…

Pedralbes for living, El Puerto Olimpico for beaches, and El Eixample to wander around.

For a change of pace try…

Chilling out in the sun and having some great food at one of the city beaches. Xiringuito Escriba in Puerto Olimpico is a good beach restaurant – the Arroz Negro is my favourite dish there.

Great day trips include…

Sitges, a nearby seaside village, that can be accessed by train or car with lovely beaches and restaurants. I love Cadaques, also by the coast but less spoilt, in Costa Brava.

For the best views head to…

Tibidabo, the rooftop terrace of La Pedrera in Paseo de Gracia.

A book to read before we go (or while we’re there)?

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and Barcelona Historical Atlas of Architecture by Alejandro Bahamon.

How should we spend the final day of our trip?

Wandering through its lovely streets, basking in the sun, and having a great lunch by the sea.

What’s your Barcelona secret?

That it will steal your heart if you stay too long; it has that kind of magnetism. It’s a very special city.

In a word, Barcelona is…


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