Tag Archives: shops

Papabubble Interview

arecipeforgluttony

After writing about the very fabulous Papabubble sweetshop in Barcelona I thought I would email them to see whether they would answer a few questions for our little blog. I sent off the email, thinking they may be a bit too busy, but hoping I’d hear back from them. In a few days I had a lovely message back from Alejandro who answered my questions while in Shanghai, spreading the word about his delicious business.

Sweetshop barcelona

So, here is some inside info on the ideas, inspirations and tastes behind gourmet sweet makers Papabubble:

1 – Who started Papabubble and what sparked the idea?

TWO AUSTRALIANS STARTED THE IDEA, BUT I AM THE ONE WHO SPARKED IT ALL AROUND THE WORLD BECAUSE I AM COMING FROM THE CANDY INDUSTRY (CADBURY, CHUPA CHUPS, HARIBO, PVM) ALWAYS MANAGING INTERNATIONAL POSITIONS

2 – Where did the name come from?

NO STRANGE STORY BEHIND, SORRY, IT…

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Muntaner

The street with an exotic treat

As you move deeper into the left Eixample, the character of the streets gradually changes as the modernista influences of the early 20th century are replaced with less flamboyant styles of later periods.

Muntaner

Muntaner

However, finely carved stonework, colourful façades and richly decorated balconies and galerias still grace the streets as you progress away from the Quadrat d’Or (Golden Square) centred around Passeig de Gràcia and bordered by Aribau and reach carrer Muntaner.

Starting out on the edge of Ciutat Vella, Muntaner heads mountainward, cutting across the Gran Vía and Diagonal, into the upper reaches of Sant Gervasi. Along its way the typical Eixample cityscape is interspersed with modernista architecture, pavement cafés, more classical buildings and a smattering of unprepossessing 70s rectilinear edifices. But for me, a must-see of lesser-known Barcelona architecture is La Casa China, or Casa Ferrán to give it its official name, at the lower end of the street on the corner of Consell de Cent, an exotic art deco mélange of classical and Oriental styles, unveiled to mixed acclaim in 1930.

Sightseeing

The Eixample section of Muntaner has some other fine buildings at its upper end off the Diagonal and at the lower end Gran Vía. Starting from the Diagonal:

La Casa China

La Casa China

Casa Parés de Plet (off Diagonal – behind Hotel Presidente) – A striking modernist house with a twin column of highly decorative stained glass oriel windows, stone parapets and ironwork balconies.

down at the lower end towards Gran Vía:

Casa Ferrán La Casa China (Corner of Consell de Cent) – An exotic fusion of art deco architecture with Ionic columns and a pagoda-like central turret incorporating Moorish designs. More…

and 5 buildings down towards Diputaciò on the same side of the street:

Muntaner 44 – A classic Eixample house with decorative façade and fine stonework, particularly on its upper level.

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Séneca

A street that’s short but sweet

Tucked away behind the Diagonal between Vía Augusta and the Jardinets at the top of Passeig de Grácia is this small

Séneca

Séneca

unassuming street with a charm all of its own. Named after the Roman orator, who people here will remind you is their favourite Spanish celebrity from antiquity, hailing as he did from Córdoba, carrer Séneca derives its charm, not from any significant architectural gem along its short stretch, but from a mix of design shops and galleries and a small theatre, as well as the nobodinoz kid art design shop and a small cosy restaurant offering tapas and light home-made dishes.

So, if you’re heading from the left Eixample towards Gràcia, you could do worse than to cut across from the bottom end of Vía Augusta along Séneca and stroll, away from the traffic, experiencing these visual offerings of contemporary Barcelona design, or even a bite to eat or a coffee, before coming out at its other end at the Jardinets in front of the modernista Casa Fuster.

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Aribau

A hub of Eixample life

As a main artery from the city centre to its upper reaches in Sant Gervasi, ending at Vía Augusta, Aribau is a busy – and

carrer Aribau

carrer Aribau

diverse – throughfare with several bus routes running up it. Between Plaça Universitat – where it starts – and the Diagonal, it has multiple personalities: at its lower end, a variety of shops, bazaars, cinemas and cafés offering cheap and cheerful consumption to the students at the university round the corner, including the famed traditional orxatería La Valenciana that has been drawing in customers for its refreshing orxatas (tiger-nut milk) and ice-creams from far and wide for the best part of a century.

As you progress up through an array of blocks mixing street cafés with modernista buildings, cuisine from around the world, a specialist wine restaurant-shop, art galleries, antique shops and boutiques, you experience that certain something that gives Eixample living its distinctive character.

Sightseeing

There are several worthwhile buildings to see along Aribau in the section between Plaça Universitat and the Diagonal, combining a mix of classical and modernista styles.

Aribau 48

Aribau 48

Aribau 46,48,50 (between Consell de Cent and Aragó) Three adjoining buildings with classical features and carved stonework at no. 48 probably inspired by Central American pagan iconography.

Aribau 54 (corner of Aragó) Now home to the Cram hotel, this broad-fronted xanfrà building has fine stone carvings on its façade and handsome galerías.

Aribau 61 (between Aragó and Valencia) A classic Eixample house with fine stonework on the ground floor and ironwork balconies.

Aribau 91 (corner of Mallorca) A decorative façade with 4 richly carved stone columns on its upper level. A classic Eixample xanfrà building from 1901.

Aribau 146, 148, 150 (between Rosselló and Còrsega) A trio of fine carved stonework façades with decorative ironwork balconies.

Aribau 175, 177 (between Còrsega and París) Blending clasical with modernist, two fine houses with imposing entrances and stone carving on lower level and galería on first floor in stone.

Aribau 179 (corner of París) This building sports a decorative turret on its upper level with colourful ceramic work in the Spanish style.

Aribau 182 (corner of París)  A classic xanfrà corner building flanked by two smaller modernista houses with carved stone façades and ironwork balconies

 

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Còrsega

A classic Eixample street

Named after the island of Corsica which was briefly under the Catalan sphere of influence, this street, intersected by the Diagonal at Passeig de Gràcia,

Còrsega

Còrsega

cuts across the Eixample, running along the lower part of Gràcia towards the Sagrada Familia. A bustling thoroughfare, it offers a plethora of shops, delicatessens, cafés and restaurants, as well as some further fine examples of Barcelona architecture.

Sightseeing

Còrsega 237, 239 (between Aribau and Muntaner) – two adjoining buildings from 1901 with impressive carved stonework entrance doorways, balconies and galerías.

look across the street and to the upper levels to view

Còrsega 224, 226 crowned with intricate stone-carved parapet decoration

Còrsega 241 (corner of Aribau) – a handsome wide-fronted xamfrà building displaying all the finest characteristics of elegant Eixample stonework architecture.

Casa Comalat

Casa Comalat

Còrsega 236 (between Aribau and Enric Granados) –

Diputació de Barcelona (corner of Rambla Catalunya) – baroque stone architecture with modernist touches – colourful ceramic tiling on balconies, roof and pinnacle.

across the Rambla is a pedestrianised section where you will find

Còrsega 298 (between Rambla Catalunya and Diagonal) – richly decorated stonework and columns

Casa Comalat (corner of the top part of Pau Claris) – a Gaudí inspired building with a chocolate box exuberance of colour and forms, finely decorated glass windows, ceramic mosaics and curved stone parapet. It is the rear of the building with the main entrance on Diagonal 442.

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Enric Granados

Running parallel to Passeig de Gràcia and down from the Diagonal to the old University, this is one of the most relaxed, leafy streets of the Eixample,  largely pedestrianised with a huge variety of pavement cafés and restaurants, interesting shops and, if you´re using a bike, a pleasant and safe ride between the Diagonal and the Gran Vía with a dedicated cycle lane in both directions, free from the fumes and noise of busy traffic.

Enric Granados

Enric Granados

Motor-free squares and gardens with children’s play areas at both top and bottom of the street and plenty of stopping opportunities along the way make Enric Granados the ideal way – especially for families – to walk or cycle between the town centre and the Diagonal.

Sightseeing

  • Casa Sayrach (Diagonal 423, Corner of Enric Granados) – a must see! One of the last modernist houses to be built, its elegant stone-carved façade and richly decorated entrance lobby will charm you. It houses the classy La Dama restaurant. While you´re there, the adjoining house at Enric Granados 153 is worth having a look, especially for its lobby.

this block of the street is fully pedestrianised with benches, street cafés and a children’s play area

  • Enric Granados 106 (between París and Còrsega) – this building sports some intricate stonework on its façade with a riotous overhanging stained-glass galeria.
  • Enric Granados 119 (corner of Còrsega) – awarded the 1907 diploma of honour for urban buildings, this wide-fronted xanfrá edifice has impressive columns and beautifully-crafted oriel windows and galeria.
  • Enric Granados 32, 34 (betweenValencia and Mallorca) – these two adjoining houses display the attractive features of decorated façades and Catalan ironwork balconies typical of the less flamboyant bourgeois buildings of the Eixample.
  • Enric Granados 26, 24, 22  (betweenValencia and corner of Mallorca). In their own way, each of these houses represent the diverse creativity of Barcelonese architectural design, with exuberant stone-carved entrance doorways, balconies, oriel windows façades crowned with designs inspired by the modernista movement.

at the next block down you will find a small park with children’s play areas and benches.

Across the street (Aragó) you will reach the bottom section of Enric Granados with a pedestrianised area popular with local dogwalkers, with more benches and fenced-off children’s play areas, pavement cafés and a variety of restaurants.

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Paris

A relatively tranquil street during the day, carrer París boasts a host of Barcelona’s best restaurants, bars and cocktail bars to spend the evening among the residents of the Eixample and further afield, who choose it as one of their favourite meeting points.

Carrer París

Carrer París

Running obliquely to the Diagonal and meeting it at the junction of carrer Balmes, the street is an alternative route between the upper part of the Left Eixample and Rambla Catalunya and Passeig de Gràcia, with some elegant modernista and classical buildings along the way and some excellent gastronomic experiences.

Sightseeing

The main buildings of interest are located close to the Diagonal.

  • París 202, 204 (between Balmes and Enric Granados) – two adjoining residential buildings with imposing
    París 182

    París 182

    carved stone doorways and façades and inticate ironwork balconies. París 202 has a particularly colourful entrance lobby.

  • París 182 (between Enric Granados and Aribau) – richly decorated stonework and carved wood entrance door with Gothic windows and parapets on its upper levels

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