Life Swaps Timberland trendsetters exchange lives for a weekend featured
TWOTHIRDS Ocean licks featured

Water covers roughly two thirds of the world (hence the name) so it’s about time there was a fashion brand dedicated to it. Based in Barcelona, TWOTHIRDS is inspired by the oceans, surfing and all life that dwells in the deep blue. And it’s for this reason that most of their wares are either recycled or organic—and also produced in Europe so as to further reduce their impact on the planet.

Not only is their apparel flipper-friendly, it’s easy on the eye too. The Cali surfer look has been a mainstay for decades now but TWOTHIRDS has taken it to a more mature, even urban level. Of course there are blissed-out beach tees and shorts by the barrelful. However, these hang alongside some darker tones suitable for evening wear too where the Maritime theme is evidenced only in say the imprint on a shirt button or the espadrille sole of a shoe.

That said, if you love the wild open sea, why not say it loud and proud? This is the store for you. So come on down to the Barri Gotic, pick up your waterproof jacket made from recycled plastics, throw in a Breton striped sweater, and swipe a ‘50s-style board for your next surf trip. All this and more awaits…

KER Club Welcome to the big league

Whispers of a new party spot had been circulating for a while until a riotous opening bash shredded any semblance of underground cred. Nevertheless, while it may be no secret, KER is still hands-down (or should that be hands in air) one of the most exhilarating clubs in the city.

Those in control of the sound streams are at the top of the game. Let’s name drop the likes of Seth Troxler and Levon Vincent, alongside electro royalty in the shapes of Laurent Garnier and DJ Harvey. Music-wise, you get the picture already, but what about the bricks and mortar? Taking their cues from the iconic Spanish interior designer, Javier Regas, it’s a pretty sleek affair that pulls off the trick of being both intense and intimate.

That’s not to say there aren’t a couple blots on their scoresheet. The old ‘buy a bottle and be a VIP for the night’ policy is just not what we call a party. And the marauding official photographer doesn’t do anything for the vibe either. Needless to say, you won’t notice such nuisances when the dancefloor starts to throb.

Tickets El mejor de los mejores featured

There’s a simple reason why the minimum wait for reservations at Tickets is two months: They serve some of the best tapas in the world (no hyperbole, promise). The fact that Ferran Adrià—the former head chef of El Bulli, widely regarded as the best eatery in the world before it closed in 2011—is at the helm probably helps a bit too.

The menu oozes insane levels of quality and invention, with dishes such as avocado cannelloni stuffed with crab, razor clams with refried sauce and lemon air, and a Catalonian reboot of surf ‘n’ turf—sauteed bean, iberian sausages and baby squid—zipping out of the open kitchen from open ‘til close. Liquid refreshment comes in the form of Catalan wines, Champagne from across the border and beer served straight from barrels set atop the bar.

In a nutshell? It’s a hell of a wait for a table, but the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow would put Midas to shame.

Barraca A xiringuito like you've never seen featured

Barraca has more than a few things in its favor. Sitting pretty on the sandy edge of Barceloneta, it is a mere croqueta’s throw away from the Mediterranean. Quite literally. You’ll therefore be perhaps unsurprised that the seafood here is wriggling fresh. Not literally this time, though nevertheless exceptionally fresh.

But the reason that this restaurant’s opening was the worst kept secret of summer 2013 had nothing to do with the location nor the fresh fish. The buzz in the air was all to do with the hype-worthy, Michelin-studded record of head chef Xavier Pellicer – a gastronomic wizard who has decided to put down his haute cuisine conjuring spoon for a while and instead go back to doing real people’s food, for real people’s prices.

The all-time peasant favorite paella has taken pride of place here—a deep sticky concoction that is crisped briefly in the oven before serving. Beneath the rich rice crust lurks a near anthology of the ocean, as can be seen in the arroz bomba—complete with squid, rock fish, mussels and clams. Barraca is also organically-minded and kitted out in a modern, nautical manner. But need we really say more…

Negroni Catalan kicks right through the night featured

Been looking for a cocktail place that moulds its extensive mixology expertise to you, and then to each of your friends in turn? Then let Negroni sweep you into its low-lit minimalist black and red surrounds.

The menu isn’t the law here, it’s a mere suggestions board. After the rum-based kick of a Mai-Tai but not so keen on the sweetness, or like the idea of something minty but bored of Mojitos? No problem. Just tell the black-clad bar staff what you like, and what you don’t, and they’ll set to work on mixing and melding a bespoke cocktail tailored to your taste buds—no matter what you’re in the mood for.

Be sure you don’t overlook the eponymous Negroni though. They’ve taken this Florentine classic and given it a contemporary Catalan twist, and once you’ve taken a sip you’ll be in no doubt as to why they named their bar after it.

Hotel Cram Anything but crammed featured

This four star hotel features 67 rooms, each decorated with designer fabrics, mattresses, pillows, showerheads, flat screen televisions and partitioned lighting arrangements. Beatriz Cosials’ interior design compliments architect Joseph Rui’s vision for the hotel on the whole, orienting functionality foremost, while incorporating historic elements such as the building’s original 1892 facade with creative modern installments of light, water and color moving through the common areas.

The hotel’s restaurant, GAIG (honored with one Michelin star), offers guests excellent Mediterranean fusion cuisine from renowned chef Carles Gaig. The Mareva Lobby Cocktail Bar is a serene setting to relax with a drink, or consider the humidor for a fine selection of cigars. If it’s fresh air you prefer instead, lounge by the hotel’s outdoor swimming pool.

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