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Le Fortune Boutique is located in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, on a street occupied by independent stores, charming bars and restaurants. Beautifully-dressed, the store has the feel of a dream fashion closet filled with pieces from little-known clothing, accessory and jewellery designers. If only the retro furniture and trinkets were also for sale!
Opened in Autumn 2013, Cyan Gallery holds a precious location looking out onto the renovated Born Centre Cultural, a 19th century market hall featuring 17th century ruins beneath it's tiled roof. Cyan displays collections of fresh new art in contrast to it's old neighbour, in a district full of similar contrasts. Open Tuesday through to Saturday or by prior appointment.
The Raval district of Barcelona is where to go in search of a unique vintage piece, and Flamingo is the best of the Raval stores in which to find a bargain. Weighed by the kilo, here you are sure to walk away with a timeless item or two to add to your closet. The sister store can be found on nearby Calle Tallers.
Found in the Eixample area of the city, Cosmo is a delightfully relaxed café with art-lined walls and vibrant furnishings. Perfect for early-evening beers and snacks or Sunday afternoon coffee and cake (try the Pastel de zanahoria - the best!). Busy but less tourist-filled than other areas of the city centre, arrive early to sit in the entrance and watch the people of Barcelona breeze by. Find N2 art gallery a few minutes walk up the street.
Gallery, bookshop and occasional event space - Mutt has a strong following of local designers and design-lovers passing through it's doors. Not only a space to discover new art, design and publications, the people-watching opportunities are distracting and a strong suggestion of the local crowd's distinctive style. Catch an opening night event if you happen to be in town - often held on Thursdays.
Mudanzas can be found on one of the many charismatic back streets of the Born area. A traditional Catalan bar, marble-topped, back-lit and brimming with spirits - the original tiled floor and vaulted ceiling add to it's strong character. It has the feeling of being night when it is day - dimly lit and intimate - and a wonderful spot for a Vermouth after viewing the nearby Mutt and Cyan galleries.
With over 800 pieces of 2D and 3D work from emerging artists, Galeria Artevistas in the Gothic Quarter should be a significant stop in a design lover's stroll around Barcelona. Frequently changing collections are housed in a location steeped in art history (Joan Miró was born in the building), and can be enjoyed peacefully by day or at one of the raucous launch nights.
Located on Calle Argenteria in an 18th century house, Banys Orientals is a thoughtfully renovated concept hotel. It's Born-district street runs down to the imposing 14th century pure Gothic church of Santa Maria del Mar, and nearby you will find locales Mutt & Cyan for art, Mudanzas for drinks and Mosquito for dinner. It's difficult to imagine a better location or a more stylish sleepover.
To eat the popular homemade dumplings at Mosquito by night it's advisable to arrive 30 minutes earlier than hunger sets in. Put your name on the busy chalkboard and await your table at nearby sister bar Ale & Hop. Daytime is quieter but the atmosphere is just as magnetic. Mosquito has 40 bottled and draft beers on it's menu, as well as dim sum, noodle soups and sticky asiatic puddings. Try the Langoustine Guotie parcels. Open past midnight daily.
Chic but definitely not basic, this design hotel found in the centre of the Born area is perfectly located for the Cyan and Mutt galleries as well as the contagious nightlife of the Passeig del Born (a bar-filled street with a buzz, running through the middle of this district). With 7-metre high ceilings, intriguing corridors and the option to change the lighting colour depending on your mood, Chic & Basic Born reflects both modernity and it's 100-year history. Eat at Mosquito, drink at Mudanzas and then roll into your plush sheets just a few minutes stroll away.
Colourful Soda Siphon fill the window of Sifó, and as you enter through the velvet curtain you are greeted with more colour by way of the eclectic furnishings (all for sale and ever-changing therefore). This locale in the Raval area of the city underwent a recent refurbishment which has accentuated it's charm & traditional features. Call in for breakfast, tapas or a night cap depending on the hour. Be sure to view the art on display at nearby Miscelanea Gallery.
Found in a shabby backstreet of the Raval area, this small independent gallery displays a contrastingly fresh collection of 2D art, regularly changing every 3 weeks. Largely selected through an annual open call, Miscelanea not only shows the latest of Barcelona and International creative work, but the basement store stocks past-exhibit originals and prints. Relax with a beer in the bar found upstairs, or on launch nights spill out into the street with the crowd and absorb the atmosphere.