I’ve just spent the last 13 days in sunny Barcelona and I’ve had a brilliant time. It was my first visit so there was much to do… museums, beaches, bars, restaurants and shops. Despite having been warned at least a hundred times before we left “beware of pick-pockets” my father was robbed within 48 hours of us arriving, which rather took the shine off the place somewhat but after a hilarious/terrifying trip to the police station, which was almost the busiest place in town – we decided to forget about it and embrace Barcelona for all its worth. Wow, Barca as it’s often referred to by the locals really was a fab place, even though it got somewhat “dubious after” dark… One evening on the way back to our hotel my father who was accompanied I might add in close proximity by myself, sister and mother was scarily propositioned by someone on “Las Ramblas” and I have to say that we weren’t exactly sure whether they were a man or a woman!
Of course in-between multifarious robbings, propositioning and general sight-seeing I had to look around the shops a bit and it was summer all the way. The sales hadn’t really started unlike here at home, but then with temperatures in the late twenties and thirties, who needs to discount summer clothes! I have to say that I found their Department Stores somewhat disappointing – they certainly don’t have a Harrods or Selfridges equivalent, nor do they have the choice of High Street that we do. One of their main shopping streets Passeig de Gràcia was quite mixed up brand-wise having Kookai next door to YSL, which I couldn’t get my head round, but what they do have is some lovely boutiques and Desigual was literally on every street corner. You don’t see Desigual very much in the UK but I was very impressed with what I saw – the clothes were fun, colourful and very well priced (www.desigual.com).
Custo Barcelona was looking pretty cool too (another very common store in Barca) – they had some fun cotton jumpsuits in different prints, not for the faint hearted though – they were a bit Katie Perry, covered in lipsticks and crazy things! And at £200 ish I wasn’t sure just how many times I could wear a lipstick-covered jumpsuit (www.custo-barcelona-store.com)!!
This t-shirt is from the Danish brand Numph (www.numph.dk), I loved the giraffe and sequined glasses and at only 22 EUROs it was a bit of a bargain! I found it in a great shop off Las Ramblas called Rag Shop (http://barcelona.salir.com/rag_shop). They also sold the brand Sugarhill Boutique, which is featured in Look magazine (12th July issue) – they have very cute dresses in amazing colours (www.sugarhillboutique.com).
Barcelona had lots of funky shops down the side streets and my sister bought some amazing floral printed light-weight cotton harem trousers for £13 albeit from a fairly weird-looking place with scented joss sticks hanging heavily in the air (they’re the kind of trousers your girl friends would say “Oh wow they’re amazing”, but boys would say they looked terrible!)… My mother picked up multi-coloured bum-bag and asked could she get away with it for holidays – I said no, as it looked like something my bohemian piano teacher from the 80s would have worn!! However, if you wanted to buy a pair of sunglasses for £5 it was the place to be, they were everywhere. My sister bought 2 pairs of “lookey-likey” ray-bans one bright green and the other hot pink for £10!
So when you’re off on your hols over the next couple of weeks to somewhere in the Euro zone, nip down the side streets and grab yourself some fashion bargains and if you can’t find any then don’t be tempted into buying just for the sake of it. Personally, with the EURO being as it is I’d rather spend my money at home, as it goes further… plus, if I’m being honest, I’m done with summer shopping. Now I’m saving for my Autumn 10 wardrobe!
A couple of my Barca tips…
Eat – Monk (www.monkbarcelona.com), Pau Claris, 92 (Reserve for after 10pm as it’s dead before hand)
Drink – CDLC (www.cdlcbarcelona.com), Passeig Marítim, 32 (right on the beach, perfect for people watching)
See – La Pedrera de Gaudi, Paseo de Gracia, 92 (a must see from the famous architect Antoni Gaudi) and of course it goes without saying the Sagrada Familia. We nearly passed on this one having been told it was empty inside… er… I don’t think so.
Plus a photo of my favourite shop window (www.louisvuitton.com)…