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Lifestyle: 5 Little Things I Look Forward To In Spring

yellow stone houses cotswolds spring
the newlyweds mini-moon
the fish hotel farncombe estate
the fish hotel in the cotswolds mini moon
countryside walk from the fish hotel to broadway
broadway village cotswolds
beautiful houses in the cotswolds
cotswolds architecture
looking for a pub in broadway, cotswolds
autumnal leaves in october
broadway cotswolds travel blogger
fish hotel to broadway walk
exploring the cotswolds 
the new mr and mrs stocker

5 Things I look Forward to Most In Spring


Because for the first time, it felt like Spring was officially on its way, with temperatures reaching highs of 10 degrees it made me smile inside and out. It's funny thinking that only two weekends ago we were in Munich experiencing bitterly cold -10 temperatures. 

On the way home from work I even contemplated taking the roof down on my convertible. Don't worry, I didn't, but even so, on my route home, I started to make a mental list of all the things I love about this special season. 

Longer days, warmer temperatures and that distinct spring smell - what's not to love about spring season? 

So what am I looking forward to most about Spring? Here's my top five little things...

(1) The lighter, longer evenings and the "spring air"

A couple of things that everyone loves about spring; rejoicing because it's still light when you arrive home from work. Being able to eat outside. That distinct sweet smell of the season - fresh grass and sickly sweet spring air. Arranging to go to a beer garden to enjoy an after-work bevvie - blissful. Who doesn't love spring? 

(2) Driving with the roof down

This is still rather a new excitement for me as I only picked up my convertible last Spring, in April. Hands down, the best time of the year to appreciate all the things that are great about a convertible is spring and summer. I'll never forget that feeling when we first drove my MX-5 with our heads bobbing and exposed down a windy countryside lane making our way towards our favourite beer garden. 

We felt empowered. Feeling the spring air on our faces, sunshine peeping through the clouds and the wind in our hair (well mostly my hair - Alex doesn't have much ha) it really is something I look forward to and makes road trips even more exciting! 

A little nip in the air? No worries, I'll turn on the heated seats - what's that I hear you say, the first bit of sunshine has appeared in the UK? Yes, that's me flocking to the nearest pub garden or beach, how very British of me! Without sounding snobby, dropping the roof really does expose you to a whole new world of sights, smells and sounds. And it really makes such a difference after spending a day stuck inside a stuffy office!

(3) Spring flowers

Tulips here there and everywhere! In spring, flowers are blooming wherever you look from left to right and the sun is usually right behind, beaming a dewy glow. Daffodils and daises are popping up in meadows and fields all over the place. Its a colorful affair of pastel yellow and I'm feeling mellow. Bliss. I tend to fill my house with tulips too so I can appreciate spring inside and out. 

I'm also looking forward to the warmer weekends where we can get outside and sort out our otherwise miserable garden. Spring is an ideal month for re-planting and injecting some colour and life back into the garden!

(4) Open windows

There's no better feeling that flinging the bedroom windows open on a warm, sweet spring Saturday or falling asleep to the night-time sounds of birds chattering and chirping. There's something about the fresh, clean air, it does wonders for my mood, and is especially great for airing out our home which has otherwise been suffocated for the last three months of cold winter!

It's a pleasure to see because in Spring everyone has their windows open, which makes the indoor air become as fresh as the outside. You can hear the birds chirping in celebration of the warmer weather, you can hear people in their gardens laughing and chatting over a glass of wine and most importantly, people begin to mow their lawns - how bloody satisfying is that sound?

(5) Injecting life and colour back into my outfits

When the weather's warm but still a little chilly? My favourite. Warm enough to warrant bringing out your favourite selection of spring dresses paired down with a gorgeous chunky knitted cardi, enough to keep the breezy spring chill at bay. 

For the last couple of months, my everyday outfit has felt very un-inspiring, at times I've felt like I might just end up turning into a thick grey blanket scarf because I'm wearing it so much! I'm excited to dress up an outfit again and project some personality into the colours I wear. Don't you find yourself very much dressing for the season? If it's cold and wet you'll likely find me head to toe in black and grey. When spring is here it's floral tea dresses galore! Roll on the spring! 

How excited are you at the prospect of spring? What are you most looking forward to? Let me know in the comments below. 

The pictures above are from our mini-moon to the Cotswolds. Although it was a late October in Autumn at the time, we had the most wonderful spring-like weather and spent the weekend exploring, walking and appreciating nature in all its beauty. See that huge smile on my face? That's the effect the weather has on me, oh... and being a newlywed probably helps. 


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Lifestyle: Why Do Cats Meow? In Collaboration With Whiskas*

Everything you need to know about cats | Why do cats meow?

All You Need To Know About Cats

If you're a cat owner, you'll be familiar with the idea that cats can sometimes be the weirdest and most adorable pets around. 

If you follow my Instagram and Instastories, you'll know that I'm totally smitten with our Persian cat Mia (she's still a kitten in my eyes as she's still SO tiny!). I'm quite obsessed with posting pictures and videos of Mia's adorable poses and capturing her hilarious personality on camera, which comes to life on a daily basis. 

Quite fittingly, Whiskas* reached out and asked me to participate in their Everything You Wanted to Know about Cats campaign, in particular, exploring why do cat's meow. Whiskas has developed a series of informative videos designed to educate and entertain. They want to encourage knowledge sharing and education about proper cat care between cat owners and cat lovers alike. 

So Why Do Cats Meow?

If you're a cat owner yourself, you'll be aware that cats all have their individual character traits and unique personalities, however, as a feline species, some behaviours they will always do in unity, like meowing. 

Cats meow for a variety of reasons. In short, it's their way of communicating with the humans. I find it quite interesting that cat's don't meow at each other, it is a pure communication bridge between cat and owner. Although, when small kittens, they will meow in order to let their mum know they are cold or hungry. 

Your cat could be meowing for a multitude of reasons; whether she/he is hungry, attention seeking (we experience this far too often!), is feeling ill, stressed, aging or maybe even just greeting you hello. 

From our personal experience, since we brought Mia home two years ago, she has always been a very quiet and timid cat. She rarely meows... much to our dismay... as we always assumed our / any cat would be the loudest chatterbox. 

But seriously, we wouldn't change her for the world, hands down she is the prettiest cat I have ever since and quite frankly has never grown out of her "kitten mode". Friends and family frequently comment on how small she is. When we picked her out her mother was always petite so we always knew our little Mia would be a petite grown-up too. 

She has the tiniest of button noses, the biggest googly eyes, the fluffiest rear and generally, radiates the loveliest and warmest nature towards me and Alex. Did I mention she's utterly hilarious too? She has us both in stitches on a daily basis with her unique personality. 

Oh, and when she does happen to meow, she quite literally melts our hearts. 

When Mia does meow, there tends to be quite a routine meow structure that follows in our house, either... 

I've reached for her water bowl, turned on the tap and shes figured its freshwater time - trigger cute meow meaning "I'd like to have my water now please"

I've just pulled into the driveway after a stressful at work and I'm making my way towards the door. Cue meowing and persistent scratching at the front door. This is the "Hello. Hello. YAY your home. Open the door. Hello." meow - the cutest greeting after a long day work. 

Its 6.30am, cue loud, long meows and scratching on the living room door downstairs - this means "Oi, let me upstairs I want to jump on the bed, rub against everything and want you to tickle behind my ears please"

Meep. Meep. Meep! There's a bird, cat, pigeon, person outside or we are teasing her with the laser pen. Cue short chattering meep sounds - the cutest. 

I shake the Dreamies bag followed by... "DREAMIES. DREAMIES. DREAMIES" or I start opening a tin of tuna... cue uncontrollable meowing. 

We love our little bundle of fluff and wouldn't change her for the world. Minimal meows and all. 

What's your favourite cat trait? Are there any unanswered questions you have about your fluffy feline friend? I'd love to hear - let me know in the comments. 

(*) This post is a collaboration with Whiskas, but all thoughts are my own. Check out their website and their KIT hub for more information on why do cats meow and their Youtube video for fantastic KIT videos. (*)
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Travel: My 5 Top Tips For Finding Last Minute Holiday Deals in 2018

5 Top Tips For Grabbing A Last Minute Holiday Blog

Have you ever booked a holiday last-minute?

For me, there is rarely something more satisfying than bagging a last-minute travel bargain on flights. The excitement kicks in straight away and you can start planning your mini-break. If you're willing/able to be flexible and leave at the drop of a hat, late deals are a super way to save yourself some extra pennies with upfront costs - plus, just think of all the extra funds you'll have for future trips away!

For me and Alex, this 2o18 is all about short trips, little and often, basically, trying to pack in as many fund-friendly city-breaks and short weekend trips around our holiday leave and busy schedules as we can! We've just done Munich this February, and have Lisbon booked for April, where will we go next? 

Take a look at my 5 useful tips for ensuring you get your mitts on the best travel deals this 2018 and you could be exploring your favourite city or lying on the beach with a Pina Colada in hand in a matter of days!


If you’re able to be flexible with your flying schedule in regards to time and dates it’s always going to prove helpful in your quest for cheaper holidays! When recently booking flights for our city break to Munich and Lisbon we didn’t really have any specific dates we needed to fly; just an ideal month we wanted to go in mind. Ideally, the flights would fall over a weekend to minimise the number of annual leave days we needed to take from work i.e. Friday to Sunday or Saturday to Monday. 

Typically if you can find flights Friday - Sunday without taking any leave this is the ideal scenario for any budding travelistas, however, these slots are so popular they tend to be quite expensive nowadays. In my experience, I've found Saturday - Monday, and Sunday to Tuesday breaks work out much more affordable. 

I’ve always found that super-early morning flights or late night flights always work out the cheapest per person. For our Munich trip, for example, I managed to bag £50 return tickets from Gatwick to Munich with EasyJet for a 2-night stay with 3 whole days, with only one leave day required from work. 

Our outbound flight was early at 6.20am in the morning and our return flight was 9.20pm on Monday evening. It worked out perfectly because it meant we had 3 full days to explore Munich, albeit a little bleary-eyed on Saturday morning, but nonetheless, with only an hour and a half in the air we quickly recovered on the ground in Munich after a large stein of Radler or two, plus, when we arrived at the hotel to check-in at 11am to our delight the room was ready early which granted us a quick power nap before heading out to explore the city.  

If you're able to fly out early, come back late or can afford the odd day or two leave either side of the weekend, I'd definitely recommend exploring your options, as it could significantly lower the cost of your flights.  


Although all inclusive can immediately seem like the most expensive option for a cheap last minute break, it’s not always the case! All inclusive deals can sometimes work out better value for money when your luggage, airport transfers and food and drink are already included in the upfront costs. Plus, booking an all-inclusive deal can prove much less hassle on the day and on the run-up as there is very little you need to think about organising yourself!

For example - this weekend we had our city-break in Munich. On the day we were due to fly home we paid for x 2 train tickets from central Munich to the airport, however, we (actually this was very much Alex's fault) stupidly managed to board us onto the wrong train and only figured out we were going in the wrong direction 8 stops later. Another €80 later in a panicked taxi ride to the airport, we had already spent over €100 on our return trip to the airport. Pre-arranged airport transfers can sometimes be a godsend if you haven’t spent time doing your train travel research (shamefully like us!).


If you're not fussed about where you want to go, it’s worth browsing through less popular destinations for cheaper travel deals. If you are open to suggestions, Sky Scanner is always a good place to start by selecting the “any destination” function to see what destinations pop up.

As I write about travel I'm always looking for inspiration from other travel lovers so regularly read blogs about up-and-coming travel hot-spots and seek out hotel inspiration and reviews from the Guardian and the Telegraph

When it comes to accommodation, I tend to look at hotels as a last resort as the overall cost can quickly add up. Recently, I've been spending more time researching boutique holiday apartment providers. I recently discovered Sweet Inn - an apartment provider with hotel services, dreamy interiors, and central locations - basically the best of both worlds at a much lower cost per night. Their destination list is growing but it's worth checking out their apartments in Barcelona, Lisbon, Brussels, Milan, and Madrid. 


It’s always a good idea to keep a look out for discount codes or special offers before you book a last minute break. For example, Lastminute.com hotels regularly offer a “top-secret hotel” option where you can save up to 40% off great city-center hotels. You are given some overview information about the hotel, however, the name is not revealed until you have confirmed the booking. 

I have tried the top-secret hotel option a couple of times, in particular, when seeking out a city-center hotel for a Saturday night stay in London. With elevated weekend prices in London, it’s very easy to spend between £150-200 a night for a room in a 3/4 star hotel or for your regular Holiday Inn or Travelodge chain. 

Recently I booked one of their secret hotels for a weekend stays in March for Alex’s birthday. As it was a special occasion I was willing to part ways with a little more money, however, managed to find a 5-star boutique hotel in the central St Paul’s area for £114 for the night. The room was usually £179 for a night! As mentioned above, before booking I also did a quick google search for “last minute discount codes” and managed to save a further £20 on our booking by applying a discount code at checkout. 

It’s worth keeping your eyes peeled on social media too for any discount code mentions from bloggers or the brands themselves, plus, it's worth signing up to a couple of newsletters because some companies may even send you a discount code as a welcome offer. 

If you're lucky enough to still benefit from student discount sites like UNiDAYS, don’t forget to also explore their holidays & hotels category. They offer discounts on websites like virgin experience days, hotels.com, expedia.com and train travel via National Express etc. Don’t forget to check your credit card provider too - American Express offers additional discounts for members of certain hotel and transport providers, worth seeing if you can save a few extra pennies. 


When flying, Gatwick airport is always our airport of choice because it’s a mere 20 minutes drive from our house. However, sometimes going that little bit further afield can really help save the pennies. If you don’t mind traveling further afield, sometimes you can save yourself a small fortune, take it from me; when flying to the Maldives for our honeymoon back in November, believe it or not, it worked out around £300-400 cheaper flying out from Heathrow airport as opposed to Gatwick airport. 

Luckily, Alex’s parents live closer to Heathrow than us and were more than happy to help us out with a lift to the airport on the day. We stayed at their house the night before and even ended up saving money on petrol too! 

What are you're top tips for finding last-minute holiday bargains? I'd love to add to my list!

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Travel: Our Luxury Mini-Moon At The Fish Hotel In The Cotswolds

champagne by the fire mini-moon
the fish hotel estate in the cotswolds
the lancaster suite at the fish hotel
entrance to our spacious room and plenty of wood for the fire
countryside walks at the fish hotel cotswolds
spacious room with in-room log burner
spacious room at the fish hotel in the cotswolds
honey couple champagne on arrival
luxury travel in the cotswolds
newlyweds honeymooning in the cotswolds
mini-moon in the cotswolds at the fish hotel
bathroom spacious room the fish hotel
blue sunset in the cotswolds
outdoor dining and BBQ at fish hotel
spending a weekend in october at the fish hotel
bar area at the fish hotel
communal area fish hotel

Honeymoon Plans

I apologise in advance that it has taken me three months to write up and publish our mini-moon post. Blog posts featuring our wedding details and inspiration are still to come as well as a couple of posts about our actual honeymoon in the Maldives - gosh, so much content, so little time in the day! 

On that note, somehow, we still haven't written our thank-you cards - it feels shameful admitting to that, but time really does run away with itself! 

Did anyone else find it a slow process catching up with general life admin after their wedding?

Anyway, writing and re-living this post has brought all those special memories back and has reminded me that I still need to upload our gorgeous wedding photos to Facebook and Instagram and get some big versions printed to hang up around the house :)

So Why Did We Decide to "Mini-Moon"?

We had always been smitten with the idea of honeymooning in the Maldives - escaping from reality to a secluded, exotic island in the middle of the Indian Ocean was the perfect antidote for us. We married on 26th October, however, we booked our honeymoon for 4 weeks later in November, mainly because we didn't want to exhaust all of our annual leave in one sitting, plus, it gave us something to look forward to after the initial wedding madness. 

As we married on a Thursday, we thought that a couple of days away from it all, to reflect on one of the biggest moments of our lives together, in a luxurious hideaway suite would be the most sensible thing to do - obviously!

Our Luxury Mini-Moon In The Cotswolds

One of mine and Alex's favourite places to visit in the UK is The Cotswolds, with its small, characterful villages dotted around Gloucestershire and it's enviable honeysuckle cottages. We required somewhere close to home as we had Friday and Saturday night, before heading back to the reality of life and work on Monday morning. 

We decided upon The Fish Hotel for our short honeymoon break in the CotswoldsThe Fish Hotel is part of the exclusive Farncombe estate, which also includes luxurious sister hotels, Dormy House and Foxhill Manor. It's a unique place to visit and stay with its ultra-charming hillside location just outside the charming Cotswolds village of Broadway. A unique village-style retreat, with accommodation and amenities, spread out over the hillside. 

As it was a special occasion we opted for one of the Fish Hotel's "Big Suites" - said to be the largest (*& best) rooms in the estate. Our suite was at the end of a wing with its very own front door and porch area filled with plenty of logs for our in-room wood-burner! The room itself was stunning, super spacious & oozed luxury

It had Mr. and Mrs. Stocker written all over it! 

There was a super king-size bed, a separate bathroom with walk-in shower and free-standing bathtub and to top it all off, within our suite was a cosy sitting area with scandi-style armchairs and footstool draped in faux sheepskin rugs, and we had our very own in-room wood-burning stove. We also arrived to find a bottle of bubbly on ice - nice touch!

I believe only two of the big suites (Lancaster and Barnes-Wallis) contain wood-burning stoves, the other two have outdoor seating areas with tables and chairs. I guess it depends what season you visit if you're making a pit-stop in summer you may prefer an outdoor seating area, but on a chilly and autumnal October evening, you really can't beat drinking champagne, wrapped up and cosy by the log-fire. 

Unfortunately, we only had two nights in this lustful enclosure. We arrived quite late in the evening on Friday night after a day at my parents, hosting and reminiscing with friends, family and other wedding guests about our beautiful wedding, the day before. 

On Saturday we slept in late, grabbed a late brunch, & mid-afternoon we layered up in our warmest attire, pulled on our muddy wellington boots and took a leisurely stroll from the hotel down the hill into Broadway village, which took about 15 minutes. We found a warm and cosy pub, filled our bellies with some gourmet grub and gin cocktails. Later we headed back, chatted with the cows and spent about three hours before dinner sitting by the fire, drinking champagne, listening to music and loading up the wood-burner with logs. Short and sweet but a perfectly memorable break. 

We spent most of the weekend laughing and smiling in each other's company while reminiscing about every tiny detail and cheerful memory from our wedding day. It was the perfect mini-moon retreat - we felt completely blissful in each other's company, tucked away from reality, cosy in the countryside.

If you're looking for a romantic break in the Cotswolds and an affordable hotel with stylish and cosy rooms I strongly recommend you check out The Fish Hotel near Broadway. 

I believe The Fish Hotel is currently undergoing a large scale makeover and expanding its Scandi-clad accommodation offering with a treehouse, hideaway huts and refurbished farmhouse for 2018.

Where's your favourite place to visit in The Cotswolds?

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Travel: My Top 5 Food & Drink Hotspots To Visit in Barcelona

trendy rooftop bar on top of Museu d’Història de Catalunya
best rooftop bars in barcelona
pina colada cocktail at Restaurante 1881 per Sagardi terrace
rooftop bar barcelona with marina and skyline views

1) Sophisticated Rooftop Bar: Restaurante 1881 per Sagardi

If you're looking for a rooftop bar in Barcelona you are very spoilt for choice, with lots of luxury hotels in the city already boasting their own enviable cosmopolitan outdoor terrace overlooking Barcelona’s gorgeous skyline. However, the terrace of Restaurante 1881 per Sagardi is one of the city’s better-kept secrets.

It's actually quite hard to find, take it from us, we nearly gave up after 15 minutes of scaling the building. In order to reach the restaurant and rooftop terrace, you must enter via the Museu d’Història de Catalunya and take the lifts all the way to the top floor where the restaurant is located.

Once you are at the top, walk through the restaurant and you'll immediately see why it was worth finding; with incredible views overlooking Barcelona's skyline and blue marina. It really is a unique place to sit back, enjoy the view (and thankfully a breeze every now and again!) and indulge in the extensive and creative cocktail menu. 

The outdoor terrace is adorned with white marble table tops and lush greenery, & it felt utterly tropical being high up in the 30-degree heat and in fact, an absolute necessity to order a Pina Colada, which was delicious by the way!

Location: Plaça de Pau Vila, 3, 08003 (on top of the Museu D'historia de Catalunya)
Best for: Cocktail with a view overlooking the Barcelona skyline
Recommended Cocktail: Pina Colada!

best paella restaurants in barcelona near the beachfront
eating at barraca in barcelona
meat paella and red wine at barraca 
barraca beachfront restaurant in barcelona

2) Best Beachfront Paella: La Barraca

I'll be honest, before my trip to Barraca, I was extremely misinformed about Paella and what exactly it was. I had always assumed that Paella was only ever a rice dish full of fish, basically prawns, clams, mussels etc. Don't get me wrong, I really like fish, in particular, white fish, but I'm really not keen on prawns or mussels at all, so Paella has typically been something I've steered away from. 

Little did I know, paella is a Valencian rice dish that typically includes different combinations of vegetables, meats, and fish or pretty much any kind of ingredient that bodes well with rice. So, it's completely normal that you would be able to experience paella without the seafood *does a little dance*

& that’s when I discovered, hands down - the best (and only) paella I've ever had! The meat-based paella at Barraca was for 2 people to share, served in a large shallow pan and the dish featured mixed rice with chicken, rib, tender bean, artichoke and sausage paired with a bottle of Spanish red wine - ahh blissful! Every bite was delicious, flavoursome with smoky notes throughout. 

It’s worth noting, we spent most of our time walking everywhere in Barcelona, not once did we catch a taxi (apart from when traveling to and from the airport) and on this particular evening we decided it would be a good idea to walk from our hotel to the restaurant - it was later at night so the heat was definitely more bearable, however the walk did take us around 45 minutes, which is fine - I love strolling around Barcelona, especially at night, but by the time we arrived we were suuuuper hungry and starting to get a bit agitated. 

The best thing about dinner in Spain? You can rock up at 10.30pm at night to be seated for dinner, and that's exactly what we did and when we arrived, the atmosphere was absolutely buzzing. The food is fabulous, but what’s more, the restaurant is situated right in front of the sea so you can enjoy the views of the beach of Sant Sebastia in Barceloneta while you dine and sip on red wine. Late at night, they still have the windows and doors open on the terrace so it feels like your dining in the open air. 

Location: Passeig Maritim Barceloneta, 1, 08003 
Best for: Late night wining and dining! The restaurant is inside but with a beachfront breeze - basically it's undercover but all the windows and doors are open while you dine, amazing experience when you rock up at 10.30pm in the evening. 
Recommended Dish: The meat-based paella was absolutely amazing. Me and Alex reminisce about this restaurant and the paella dish all the time! 

tapas and cava at la taperia in el nacional
El nacional 4 restaurants and bars all under one roof

3) Traditional Tapas Tasters: El Nacional 

El Nacional is a unique place to visit because you have 4 gastronomical spaces and 4 specialised bars at your disposal, all under one roof. It is the first restaurant in Barcelona that has different spaces for you to enjoy traditional recipes of the Peninsula, made with high-quality products in a unique atmosphere. If you’re feeling fancy, there’s even an oyster and champagne bar on site!

Located in the heart of Passeig de Gràcia, it is a reflection of the social and cultural life of Barcelona.

On our visit to El Nacional, we visited La Taperia - an informal tapas restaurant where you can try delicious tapas and rice dishes, auctioned “Malaga-style” by the waiters. There’s a wide variety of cold tapas, hot tapas, rice and paella dishes to choose from and of course glasses of Cava by the tap!

Selfie queens take note - the toilets were seriously instagramable and reminded me of the floor to ceiling tiled toilets you find in Iberica restaurants in the UK. 

Location: Passeig de Gràcia, 24 bis 08007 
Best for: Sampling the best cuisines of Barcelona all in one building
Recommended Dish: You need to try all the usual tapas - ham croquettes, Padron peppers, tomato bread, tortilla!

popular square in Barcelona gothic quarter with palm trees
Ocana barcelona cafe restaurant and cocktail by day club by night
trendy public plaza Placa Reial
cocktails at ocana in barcelona
cocktail hotspot in barcelona
tapas restaurants in placa reial

4) Tapas & Cocktails Combo: Ocaña, Plaça Reial

Ocana is a vibrant cafe, restaurant and cocktail bar by day and club by night. Located in the trendy public plaza, Placa Reial in Barcelona's popular Gothic Quarter

The plaza itself is one of Barcelona's most famous and beautiful squares, where a fountain takes center stage and the enviable square is scaled with luscious tall, green palm trees with a collection of restaurants and nightclubs scattered around the outside. The essence of the Real Plaza is flowers, colours, and people - it is just a very vibrant place to be and well worth a visit if pottering around the Gothic Quarter and looking for a food and drinks pit-stop. 

All the restaurants and cafes have their own outdoor seating so there's plenty of other trendy eateries to choose from if Ocana happens to be full. We choose Ocana because a work colleague of Alex's who lived in Barcelona recommended, as well as our Lonely Planet guide. We had been walking around in the super hot 32-degree sunshine for quite a while so paused for cocktails and some traditional tapas; Iberico ham and cheese croquettes, tomato bread and crispily fried mackerel of course!

If you're sitting in the outdoor terrace, don't neglect to take a sneak peek inside; it's super spacious, with high, never-ending ceilings and a moody and romantic vibe with red and pink-washed walls and dim lighting - very suitable for the Gothic quarter!

Great place to visit by day, or by night!

Location: Ocaña, Plaça Reial, 13-15, 08002
Best for: Local buzz and atmosphere
Recommended Dish: Iberico ham croquettes of course!

El pacifico - cheap beachside tapas in Barceloneta

5) Cheap Beachfront Eat: El Pacifico

El Pacifico is one of many beach-side restaurants where you can eat traditional food from Catalonia and Spain and drink fresh and friendly cocktails or a good glass of honest wine. 

There is a small seating area indoors, however, the terrace is the place to be seated, between the palm trees you have a direct view of the beach and the boardwalk of Barceloneta

It's the ideal place to sit and watch the world pass by - a great spot for people watching!

Location: Carrer de la Vila Joiosa, 52, 08003
Best for: Beachfront tapas and a glass of wine in the sunshine
Recommended Snack: Patatas bravas and tomato bread!

Looking For Barcelona Hotels?

& if you're looking for places to stay in central Barcelona look no further than NH Collection Barcelona Podium Hotel located near the Plaza de Cataluna - we loved staying here, with close links to plenty of trendy restaurants & bars. 

Where are your top restaurants and bars to visit in Barcelona? 

I'd love to hear your recommendations, please share them below so I have more places to explore when we next visit!

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