Posts Tagged ‘Barcelona’


As you know, travelling can be expensive. However by using Airbnb and staying in one of their properties instead of a hotel can save you a lot of money!! I had talked to a few other food bloggers who had used airbnb and everyone seemed to have had a positive experience.

Accoording to Wikepedia, As of 2012, the company had 250,000 listings in 34,000 cities and 192 countries. I also learned that it’s a privately held company based out of San Francisco. Interesting.

I downloaded the (free) app and then you search the city you are travelling to. (in my case, I was looking for a property in Barcelona).

Here’s what you need to do:

-read the reviews carefully

-read the details carefully

-look at the photos carefully too

I did this for HOURS and then finally selected Central Garden Entrance Suite. Here’s the description that sold me (ps the reviews and the price sold me too)

This Suite Apartment is recommended for couples, families and friends who value privacy and central location at an affordable price without compromising comfort.

At 35m² this suite resembles a small hotel room with the added benefits of a kitchen. It is located in a very clean and well maintained building with a unique “Garden Entrance” in a vibrant part of the city centre (7 minutes walk to Las Ramblas). 

This suite has a kitchen with everything you need to prepare simple meals using fresh ingredients from the Sant Antoni market at your doorstep (or the Boqueria market a 4 minute walk away), there is also a microwave to make a quick meal. It also has a private, modern bathroom with a spacious shower and a bathtub. There is also a washing machine in a seperate room shared with 4 other studio’s/suites where you also can hang up your clothes. Furthermore the suite is fortunate to come with a large balcony to enjoy people watching in the streets below..

Just steps away is the renowned meeting place Els Tres Tombs- an excellent spot for Tapas accompanied by a glass of locally brewed Moritz beer. With Ronda Sant Antoni at your doorstep, La Rambla a short walk away and the increasingly trendy and multicultural neighborhood of El Raval around the corner, Sant Antoni is a convenient and exciting place to stay.

I made a request to stay there and then heard that my request was accepted. WOOT.

I thought that having an entire apartment for $79 a night was a great deal!  I was also super excited to have a unit with a kitchen but only used it once. (can you believe?)



 My dream came true as I was able to shop for fresh shrimp  and garlic at the Boqueria market and then come home and make myself a little snack!!


Airbnb is so addictive that I find myself scrolling through photos DREAMING of my next travel adventure.

I would definitely be using Airbnb on future trips. My host answered all my questions (and there was more than one!!) and the property was spotless, in a great location and a price that I couldn’t beat.

PS for fun it’s even neat to put in the city you live in – to see what comes up!!

Happy Travelling!

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I bet you think I just ate my way thru Barcelona and didn’t see anything but restaurants and the Boqueria Market. WRONG. I actually did go sightseeing!!

I accomplished this by using Barcelona Bus Turistic Bus which allows visitors to see many of the attractions in Barcelona. There’s a blue line, a red line and a green line. It’s tremendous value and well worth the money. If anyone is visiting Barcelona and has limited amount time – this is the way to see Barcelona!!

I spent a full day on the blue line and a good chunk of the time on the red line too.

The Blue Line allowed me to see the following attractions: (please note, there are 14 stops)

The famous football stadium (um, can  you say MASSIVE?)

barcelona - stadium

A Chocolate Museum ( I’m a food blogger so of course this was of interest to me)

What a cute entrance ticket

What a cute entrance ticket

barcelona - park

The Red line allowed me to check out: (please note, there are 23 stops but I just didn’t have time to see everything)

The Barcelona Beach

barcelona - beach

The Aquarium

barcelona - aquarium

Of course, after a long day of touring I was thirsty and needed a drink. So I spent Saturday Night sipping some amazing cocktails courtesy of the W Hotel Barcelona. The Eclipse bar is located on the 26th Floor and was a spectacular location to watch the sunset and re-hydrate!

w hotel

The friendly bartenders were also skilled and knowledgeable about mixing the perfect cocktails. See this? 4 bottles – 2 hands.

w hotel - bartender

I enjoyed the following drinks (all of them..hee hee). To be honest – there were 2 more drinks!

barcelona - w drinks 2

Barcelona is truly a spectacular city with lots to offer. I didn’t stop moving for the entire 4 days that I was there.

For more information please visit Barcelona Tourism.

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I think I found out about Aborigens by googling these three key words “food tour Barcelona” and then of course I connected with them via twitter and email. I’ve now completed several food tours (two in New York), one in Israel and one in Barcelona. Each one offered me a unique experience.

Aborigens is run by three partners and one of those partners was the tour for the evening. We met at 545 pm and I swear the tour ended at 11: 45 pm even though it was suppose to be a FOUR hour tour. Our group was so dynamic and friendly that we kept shmoozing and eating and shmoozing and drinking. The fact that Alex didn’t mind, said volumes about their service.

Here’s a photo of our lovely group: there was a mother/son visiting from NY, a couple from South Africa, a mother/daughter from outside Philadelphia, a young women from Australia and moi.

food tour - group1

Our evening included SIX restaurants and at each restaurant we ate and DRANK. There was no shortage of food or booze. I can assure you that NO one left hungry. In fact I didn’t eat anything the next day till 330 pm.  (not even a coffee).

I took lots of photos and arranged them into a few collages to make it easier to show you exactly how much we ate and drank!! This is just a SAMPLE of what we ate. There was more but as always …I don’t want to bore you.

food tour - collage one And then we visited another restaurant and ate some more…..

food tour - collage 2 Plus we walked to another restaurant (that we would have never discovered on our own)

food tour - collage 4We are now getting full. ..but we manage!

food tour - collage 5

What made this food tour so memorable?

-the group itself was super fun.

-our tour guide Alex was accommodating, friendly and knowledgeable. He let the group have fun and we did!!

-the restaurants that were selected were NOT touristy at ALL. Very local. Very Authentic.

-I could have never done this by myself. Its a great way to try a lot of restaurants in a short period of time.

For more information:

Aborigens Food Tours  – please check out their website for further information about their tours and other services they offer to chefs or visiting food industry professionals.

Twitter: @aborigensBCN


The list of restaurants we visited included: Moritz, Koska Taverna, Els Sortidors Del Parlament, Gran Bodega Elkano, Amigo Cascaries, Rosal 34. However please note that the restaurant and what was served might change from tour to tour.


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About 6 years ago, my parents went to Barcelona. When they got home my mom showed me pictures of the Boqueria Market (or Mercat de la Boqueria) and I knew that I had to go there one day. Finally I made it happen! On my  back from Israel to Toronto, I made sure to book a few days in Barcelona.

Clearly visiting the Boqueria Market was high on my list of “things I wanted to do”. I hope the Picasso Museum forgives me!. I wandered up and down the aisles of this spectacular market – snapping photos with my iPhone 5. I also ate. (what else is new?)

barcelona - market 3

I had several friends tell me that I must( must) go to El Quim  and I was thrilled that was I able to find it amongst the hustle and bustle!! My neighbor at the bar was an American who now lives in Barcelona and visits El Quim every Saturday morning with his kids. He’s a “regular” and was all to happy to introduce me to the Chef.

barcelona - el quim

I ordered squid with eggs thanks to a few email exchanges with @DeliciousDishTO who told me it was the best …and she was RIGHT!!

barcelona - el quim squid:eggs

As you can see, I just couldn’t stop taking photos. Aren’t these gorgeous bundles of Bouquet Garni?
bouquet garnisThese zucchini blossoms are pretty gorgeous too.

zuchini blossomsThe Boqueria market is so spectacular that I’m going to return on my last day for one more visit to make sure that I saw EVERYTHING. I’m sure I will be taking more photos and enjoying some more food as well.

ps the coffee is from La Virreina and I’m definitely going back there for another cappuccino!!

For more information about Barcelona please visit their website.

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Let’s just say that there is no shortage of amazing food in Israel. Here’s a sample of what I’ve been enjoying.

1. Shakshuka (Full House, 198 Ahuza St, Ra’anana, Israel). This dish is made with tomatoes, eggs, onions, red peppers and a special blend of spices. I asked around for the best Shakshuka in Ra’anana and this restaurant came highly recommended. See the green vegetable in the bowl? I thought it was a green pepper. WRONG. It was jalepeno. Lesson learned.

food - shakshuka 2. Hummus. Sadly we just can’t get hummus like this in Toronto. This is the real deal. Again – it’s from Full House.

food - humus 3. Beer!! I discovered that a microbrewery does exist in Israel and it’s called Jem’s. The founder of this bar/restaurant had a dream and made it happen. Congratulations Jeremy!

food - jems  4. Root Salad. My cousin took me for a beautiful lunch in Herzilaya at a restaurant that overlooked the beach. We certainly did enjoy the atmosphere and the salald!!

food - root salad

6. Fatoush Salad: I ordered this salad from Bread Story, (86 Dizengoff, Tel Aviv). Again, many thanks to my cousin for the recommendation! Loved everything about this salad.

food - fatoush salad 7. Cheese:  Discovered an amazing gourmet food store in Ra’anana called Basher Fromagerie   (89 Ahuza). Naturally I gravitated towards the cheese that was not only colorful but flavorful too!


food - cheeseCan you tell that I’m having a great time in Israel? I only have a few days left before I continue my travels to Barcelona where I will continue my food adventures!! #happydance

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I  recently read a blog post by A Peek Inside the Fishbowl about apps that she is loving. I then decided it was a good idea to share the newest apps that I’m loving too. I hope you don’t mind @missfish!!

In a nutshell. There are four apps that I discovered lately and I must say – I’m loving them. Apps are fun and Apps are useful. Simple as that.

1. Vine: This is going to be the next biggest thing. Well so everyone says. I believe them though. It’s like a mini mini youtube. Have you tried it? What do you think?

vine - image

2. Flyer Flo: Most people like to save a buck but a lot of us don’t like collecting flyers! This app allows you put in your postal code and find flyers that’s in your hood!! My blue box is now void of paper flyers. LOVE IT. Happy Savings Everyone!!!


3. Checkout 51. Again, a cost saving app that allows you to save money on your groceries. I get an email from them every week and if those items are on my list, then I can SCAN the receipt, upload it and one day I will get a cheque in the mail. No need to bring coupons to the store. BRILLIANT.

check out 51 - image

4. Airbnb: Found out about this app while watching App Central. This  app shows properties from around the world that are for rent. For those of you who prefer not to stay in a hotel and love to have a kitchen when you travel…this is the app for you. I also just looking at the decor of each property.  I am certainly using this app when I travel to Barcelona. No doubt in my mind. Not to mention the properties are often way cheaper than a hotel.

airbnb image

What apps have you discovered? Please share.

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Would love to explore more food markets!!

Last week, I appeared on a Food Network Show called “Ice Cold Cash“.  Not only was it a fun experience to participate in this quiz show, but I also WON $1200!! It’s not every day that I win $$….infact I have never won any $$$ because I have never bought a lottery ticket or a raffle ticket. (Fact).

I have set this money aside so I can TRAVEL AND EAT (or should it be EAT AND TRAVEL?)….whatever…you know what I mean!! I am still in “the thinking stage” and have not done any research but here’s my list of where I would potentially spend my prize money. Note: this list is not in any particular order. Plus…Chicago, New York or Las Vegas are not on this list as I have been to these cities numerous times and would like to go somewhere I have never been to. Does that make sense?

1. Barcelona, Spain: I hear this city is spectacular if you are a foodie. I’ve seen photos of the markets and think I would make a b-line from the airport to the market.

2. East Coast of Canada: I have never been to the East Coast and dream of taking Via Rail so I could get on/off the train and explore different restaurants in a variety of different cities.

3.  San Francisco: I went years and years ago (pre-food-obsession) and know that there is some great markets and restaurants in this city.

4. The Far East: $1200 won’t cut it eh? Shame.

By the way, I know $1200 is not a tremendous amount of money but I would be travelling during the off season and would not be eating in 3 star Michelin restaurants. Plus I’m happy to hunt for internet deals that would offer air and hotel.

So what do you think of this list? Where would YOU go if you won $1200 and wanted to travel and eat?  All I know is that the money is just sitting there in the bank waiting to be used and my stomach is waiting to have new experiences.




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