Sunday by the beach..no bums, just tums..

Things you should avoid in Barcelona: crowds; hot and sticky days and the beach. Especially on a Sunday when the world and his wife flock, lemming like down to Barceloneta to eat sea front fast food, slap on a layer of sun cream and bake slowly for a couple of hours.

Did we try to avoid all of the above? Not really, though you can forget about the fast food, sun cream and baking slowly. Last year I was a little disappointed not to go down to the beach. I don’t really have a desire to strip off and lie immobile on the sand or play energetic volleyball with people who wear thongs and have toned and tanned bodies. No, it was just a desire to see the Mediterranean.  I think I’m a little like a train spotter, though with me it’s oceans and seas. Now I can tick the Med off my list..

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It really wasn’t nice and our lunch reservation couldn’t arrive quickly enough. There’s a saying often attributed to Napoleon, that ‘an army marches on it’s stomach’. With the amount we’ve eaten we must be halfway back from Moscow by now…

So obviously it’s impossible for us to have an outing without searching for a ‘posh’ restaurant. Arola fitted the bill this time. Attached to the Hotel Arts, this rooftop venue is very light, modern, chic and classy. The clientele looked young and trendy….so, right up our street. Our waiter introduced himself as Artur and turned out to be from St.Malo, only 90 minutes drive from our house…

The food was exceptional. Perhaps the portions were a little on the large size for a tasting menu. This sea bass for two people…

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Last time I saw a fish that drooped over the plate like that, it was battered and had loads of chips on the plate too. Oh well, you can only dream… It was perhaps a meal too far after last nights multi course extravaganza but we struggled on right up to the desserts. Strange how you always have room for pudding, isn’t it? This cheesecake dish was really clever..

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The cheesecake is hidden in the ‘fake’ strawberries. We left ‘Arola’ with an hour to spare before our planned visit to see Reuben (the shopowner from whom Susie had bought her posh bag), his partner and their month old baby girl, plus his English partners parents. We passed a pleasant hour or so, chatting, cooing over the baby and admiring the stunning view from their apartment.

We’d decided to walk back to the apartment. It took us longer than we thought but it was pleasant enough to stroll along ‘Diagonal’. Despite our efforts to avoid the sunbed look we’ve managed to both get tans…be thankful I didn’t buy a thong.

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