After my earlier post about Biblioteca, here is a summary of the other things we did/ate in Barcelona. Of course I did some philosophy — gave a talk at the PERSP seminar, which was very helpful (and I had some good conversations with Stephan about the open future and about Balashov’s Persistence and Spacetime), and also worked on my paper on method and evidence in metaphysics. I’m not usually a big one for working in cafes, but I got a good amount done in the several pleasant hours I spent in Cosmo (though the coffee was average).
On the weekend we grilled out at Stephan and Jess’ place. The one Catalan feature was grilled calçots — oversized spring onions grilled until charred, then peeled and eaten dipped in a Romesco sauce (based on ground almonds and small red peppers). They were messy but delicious!
The rest of the time I did a little work but Lizzie and I also wandered around the city. We visited Gaudí’s hideous Sagrada Família (my poor eyes), and wandered up Montjuïc at sunset for views over the city:
After walking around Montjuïc until it got dark, ending up at the inoperative Font Màgica, we headed across to El Born for dinner. We ended up, purely by chance, at La Candela (Plaça Sant Pere) — a great find. The retro 70s decor was nice, and the food was great. I started with a tasty little burger, cut with foie gras, resting on a bed of the tiniest little fries imaginable (see below); the cheese-based dishes the others had seemed good too but hardly comparable.
The pork cheek I had for the main was tender and rustic; Lizzie’s risotto looked a little more refined.
The next day was unfortunately our last. We spend the morning hanging out at Federal, a great little Aussie-style cafe just around the corner from Steph and Jess’ place. We aren’t so homesick as to need the vegemite toast, but the whole place reminded me of some of my favourites back home. If only Oxford had such a place… Lizzie had hummus and tomato on toast — it’s a diagnostic dish for her, given her firm hummus opinions, and I think it scored highly:
I opted for the baked eggs with pancetta and crème fraîche, which were great.
We walked brunch off with a quick trip to the Fundació Joan Miró. I’ve never been a big fan, but was actually quite impressed with some of this work, particularly the later stuff. I liked very much the subtle and weird variations in the texture of his backgrounds.
I’m grateful to PERSP for inviting me, and Stephan and Jess for welcoming us and making our stay so enjoyable!