We’ve had a pretty beautiful fall this season with crisp air and gentle breezes, but knowing we are about to go into the deep freeze of winter has me longing for those summer Spanish nights in Menorca. Over the summer we went to a destination wedding in Menorca, one of the Balearic Islands near Barcelona off the coast of Spain. We also spent a few day in Barcelona to get our Catalyan fix in.
Our sweet, dear friends Toby and Will (Bright Bazaar) were married this summer and had a destination wedding in Menorca, Spain. You honestly couldn’t have asked for a more perfect setting for these two. The sky was a blue I have never experienced before, almost an unreal ombre from light to dark. The Island was almost sectioned off in these low narrow white stone walls that must have been there for centuries. In a few of these sectioned off fields by our hotel were goats and wild turkeys that just seemed to own the land as much as the humans did. This pace was truly a paradise and we know why Will and Toby chose such an amazing place to be married.
We chose to stay in Hotel Sant Joan de Binissaida a small hotel with 12 rooms. It was in a rural setting with grounds that you could explore and also had all the amenities one wants on a vacation. Other guests of the wedding were also staying there so it was great to meet in a relaxed environment around the pool with a few gin and tonics. By the way when in Spain, gin and tonics are the thing, just go with it! You do need a car on the island but it’s very easy to get around.
We went as a group to Will and Toby’s favorite swimming spot between to cliffs, but also explored the old port towns.
As for food there is a must try and you think I’m going to say paella but your wrong, it’s lobster casserole. The lobster casserole is insane, yes insane! They stew the whole lobster in a sauce with ground pine nuts and other goodness and they bring the whole thing to the table and crack the lobster in to pieces and serve everyone a bowl of broth with the pieces. Its a messy slurping communal type of meal and one to be never forgotten.
The wedding was at a vineyard with picturesque views and modeled light through the grapes which made everything look so majestic. If you haven’t realized yet these guys have incredible style and taste.
It was so wonderful to see how many people turned up for a destination wedding, it really shows you how many people they have touched with their hearts. We were really happy to be a part of their special day, I’m sure none of us will ever forget it, thanks Will and Toby!
Since we knew we may not be able to get away again for awhile, because we were in a new house, we really took advantage of the time and also went to Barcelona. We’d both never been to Spain before but it was on our list. So the first thing I do of course is look at the food culture. 🙂 Where is the best place to eat and what hotel can we be pampered at? We stayed at Hotel Omm just north of the city center. I don’t normally expect the hotel to have amazing food but this one did. The in house restaurant is the Michelin rated Roca Moo a gastronomic experience. Truly one for the lists! We also had some amazing suggestions from our friend Debra at EatquestNY. She happened to see we were in Barcelona and gave some amazing recommendations. After a day at the Egyptian Museum we had a laid back dinner on a rooftop at Federal, a great place to chill and have a beer and a burger. They have five different burgers with varying unexpected meats like rabbit and also a vegetarian version. Also the mixed cheese and meat board is incredible and over the top. You know we’re shoppers and the Jaime Beriestain Cafe was a favorite and we have to say was quite exceptional. It also became our morning coffee spot. I think if we lived there I couldn’t drag Susan away from this place. Where else can you get a coffee and a large felted Elephant head for a baby shower gift?
Another place for an afternoon snack after touring the Barcelona Cathedral and Gaudi’s church La Sagrada Familia was the restaurant Joséphine near our hotel. They have simple, elegant food with a relaxed atmosphere and kumquat gin and tonics. Need I say more?
3I will say your trip to Barcelona could not be complete without visiting the Picasso Museum and also the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, also know as simply La Boqueria. As all of our trips go, we are checking our email and social media in the hotel when we see on our Instagram someone says “Are you in Barcelona right now? So am I, lets meet up”. This happens almost everywhere we go, its kind of a laugh that you can get out of NY, but NY will always be there. So we made plans to have lunch in La Boqueria with Odette (who has an adorable kids company www.odettewilliams.com). Let me just say it’s kinda crazy La Boqueria, but it’s worth it. Even if you have to wait you must try El Quim in the center of the market. Don’t be fooled by the restaurants on the sides of the markets, they are tourist traps of the bad kind. El Quim is the real deal, everything was handmade on the spot from one of the five guys behind the counter. Every time a new dish came to us someone behind the counter would shout out I made that, so proudly. And proud they should be, because the food was that good and it made it worth it to stand and eat, and yes they have gin and tonics!
You never know what you will find in the markets abroad, so just roll with it, who know you might even like it.
I love looking back at those summer memories, they will be some I never forget and keep dear to my heart.