As the UK is in the midst of another cold snap I'm loving looking back over my photos and remembering spending time in warmer places. I like both autumn and winter - the changing leaves, bonfire night, Christmas, hot chocolate under a cosy blanket - but I think, at heart, I'm a spring kinda girl and spring in Barcelona is wonderful. I was there in April with my friends Carmen and Melanie and you can read about part one of our adventure here.
I knew before I hopped on the plane that I needed to try Gazpacho in Barcelona, what I hadn't considered is that it would be a little early in the year for this seasonal speciality. Eventually we spotted the elusive cold tomato soup on the set menu at Veggie Garden so of course I ordered it.
This was just as delicious as I'd expected, I'm not usually much of a soup person but something about this classic Spanish dish really stood out.
As the main part of this meal I chose the vegetable tart with a red wine salsa and beetroot & apple salad.
I'm a fairly new convert to beetroot but I love it now especially when paired with something sweet like these apples or a mix of carrot and raisins. The actual vegetable tart was simple and delicious and I loved the slightly meaty salsa.
Dessert was an apple crumble. I was slightly surprised upon tasting the first spoonful to find that this was served cold but it actually really worked and the next time I make a crumble at home I may not even bother re-heating the leftovers in the microwave!
I really loved the abundance of cheap set menus all over Barcelona. This meal was €8.25 for three courses, with a few options for the starter and the main, bread and a beer. Such amazing value and we loved every menu of this type that we tried.
I also loved checking out the vegan store, Veganoteca. Whenever I travel one of my favourite things to do is scope out the food stores, whether they're specifically vegan like this one, or not, you always find something new and exciting.
This store had a whole fridge full of mock meats, vegan cheeses and spreads...
...and a case full of some of the best looking baked goods I've ever seen.
We bought doughnuts and took them to the beach. It was such a beautiful day!
Melanie & Carmen dipping their toes in the ocean.
I also picked up some little pastries for breakfast the next day. When I was 14 or 15 I went on a Spanish exchange trip and lived with a family near Bilbao for a week, every morning we had these delicious individually wrapped pastries for breakfast and I remember thinking that cake for breakfast was the coolest thing ever!
I surprised myself by liking these lemoney ones more than the chocolate ones. They were perfect and they brought some wonderful memories flooding back.
To continue the cake in the morning tradition we headed around the corner from our apartment to buy Lujuria Vegana cakes from Pastarella de Estrella. These cakes were tiny and incredibly cute as well as tasty.
I also picked up a little package of cookies which turned out to be my favourite purchase that day. These were all melt in your mouth delicious and I wished I'd had more!
Lunch that day was at the branch of Juicy Jones at Cardinal. I was having wisdom tooth issues and looking back a sandwich probably wasn't the wisest of choices!
Melanie is a coffee connoisseur so when we smelt the beans roasting at Cafés el Magnífico we had to pop in.
I don't drink much coffee but when I noticed that they had decaf and soya milk I thought I should give their soya latte a whirl.
As I'm no regular coffee drinker the fact that I thought it was good is probably irrelevant but look how pretty it was!
I'll be back with the concluding chapter of my Barcelona trilogy later this week, it features some of the most beautiful cakes I've ever had the pleasure to eat!