Barcelona beach break?

I never thought of Barcelona having beaches before. Yes I knew of a beach resort outside the city called Sitges but in the two times I have visited the city of Barcelona I never realised they also had beautiful sandy beaches.

My hubby was invited to attend a conference in the city for work and so I decided that baby and me would tag along for a few days to get some much needed vitamin D.

His conference was on the outskirts of the city centre in a residential area close to the port and opposite the museum of natural history. It was also virtually on the beach.

The weather in early December was 18 or 19 degrees which if you’re Mediterranean is Baltic but for a British person that’s summer! As most Spaniards thought it was cold the beaches and yes there are more than one were virtually empty on what we’d class in England as a gloriously sunny day.  They also have beaches that are well kitted out with showers, toilets & play equipment so great for families.

The plus point of Barcelona over a more traditional beach place in Spain such as the Costa del Sol or one of the islands is the fact it’s Barcelona! So you have lovely beaches but in the evening you have all the delights of a big cosmopolitan city and if you’re bored of the beach you can look around the sights of the city.

Having been to Barcelona a few times before I’d been around the city to the usual tourist places like Las Ramblas, the Gothic Quarter and the Park Guell – Gaudi’s fantastical Park but even though I’d seen the Basilica de la Sagrada Família from the outside I’d never been in as the queues were always hours long. The beauty of visiting in December is there were no queues for any of the big tourist attractions- brilliant!

IMG_8208

I think it’s fair to say the cathedral blew us away once we got into it. I can only describe it as Star Wars like as it was so other worldly but the stand out thing for me were the stain glass windows that had Picasso style artwork in their design and a unique blend of colours and shades that perfectly made use of the light coming into the building. I would love to spend a full day in the cathedral watching how the windows react to the different light in the day. So beautiful I highly recommend a visit and to think at the moment it isn’t even finished.

After visiting this extremely famous Goudi place of worship we then went and visited another more ancient place.  The original Barcelona Cathedral, or Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, to give it its official name, in the Gothic quarter, again a place I hadn’t visited before because the queues were far too long. This one was built in the 13thand 14thcenturies.  We lit 10 candles here to remember Violet, Arthur, my Nan, friend Alethea and other friends who are going through a bad time. Amazing architecture and a huge achievement when you think when it was built without modern day technology; the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia will probably take as long to be built (currently scheduled for completion in 2026) and the builders now have every bit of technology.

Aurora loved both buildings and gazed amazed at the beautiful ceilings and windows.  It was so peaceful and although I’m not religious I love the calming atmosphere in these buildings as though they have absorbed the love they have witnessed over the years.

I also need to mention how amazing Jet2 are when travelling with babies. The cabin crew were brilliant helping us with bags onto the plane and then taking baby for cuddles while we got our luggage into the overhead lockers.  They were 100% better than when I’ve flown with EasyJet and Ryanair who I’ve listed in order of horrendousness with Ryanair being the worst offender.

IMG_8104.JPG
Aurora enjoying her first flight experience

In short I’d highly endorse a winter sun break to Barcelona so get looking at those Jet2 flight deals now.

Happy flying

 

Love Sarah x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design Inspiration – Modern Morocco

This is the first of hopefully many design inspiration blog posts I plan to write, as for those that don’t know me I adore architecture and interior design. I take a lot of photos of it especially when we travel.

We are also about to begin a home extension and remodel so I’m collecting lots of lovely design ideas to give me inspiration about what we’d like for our new home.

When we visited Morocco last month I took about a thousand photos of architecture and interior design, both modern contemporary and ancient traditional, so this is my first post where I look at modern eclectic Moroccan design.

I was honoured to be given a guided tour of one of the newest and chicest boutique hotels in Morocco; the fabulous Salut Maroc in Essaouira.

Each of the 11 bedrooms are individual and have been personally designed by the owner, who also designed all the fabrics especially for the hotel, having them handmade in Morocco. Anyway I will let the photos speak for themselves…

Don’t be scared of patterns & colours even if you think they may clash.  Love the overall effects here.

Why not embrace a feature wall and create a beautiful mural as artwork?

Bathroom inspiration why stick to cream and white – cheer things up go for vibrant blues, yellows and embrace patterned tiles!

Even lounge, dining and entrance spaces can be cheerfully designed fusing modern and classical design touches with colour and pattern.  Don’t think I’ve ever seen the Mona Lisa in such an eclectic setting!

Garden or patio inspiration

I’m someone who is guilty of sticking to neutral colours or black and white when it comes to interiors but I think a pop of colour from a nice rug, cushions or even a burst of wallpaper on one wall could help to lift the dreariest of UK winter days!

To get this type of look from the UK high street check out

Next and their Brighton or Studio by Next range 

John Lewis fusion range for furniture & cushions

For tiles check out Tile Giant’s Moroccan Bizarre range  or Geometric range

There are lots of others out there on the high street and smaller homewares stores that are embracing the Moroccan influence for this coming summer season.  Feel free to share any finds or your own photos with me.

My next design inspiration post will look at traditional Moroccan design.

Love, Sarah xx