A trendsetter’s guide to Barcelona

Clara de Nadal Trias is a fashion journalist and cool hunter based in Barcelona. She knows where to hang out in the city, whether it is finding the best slow food, locating the best rooftop pool or tracking down the coolest concept stores right now.

You run Coolhunting lab, a fashion and trends laboratory based in Barcelona. What emerging trends do you see in the city right now?

Recently Barcelona offers New Leisure, a trend more focused on the experience. We can find examples such as Paradiso (a Pastrami bar with a secret tropical cocktail bar inside), or the flagship store of H&M with its top floor healthy bar Flax à Porter, the Cake shop Kessler Galimany that also has its own Scape Room or a real “food experience” in Tickets (owned by…Albert Adrià and his world famous brother and Chef Ferran Adrià).

There is also a Sporty Coolture buzzing in the city concerning yoga, pilates & SupPilates, balletfit, crossfit, running, surfing and more mindful experiences that impacts both clothing and behaviour. You see it in places such as Box Barcelona clothing & ice cream shop, Surf House restaurant… And as inspiration for many new local brands and Little surf stores like La Joya Surfing, Two Thirds, Wet Dreams surf shop and so on.

Last but not least Slow food is really showing up in Barcelona. Mediterranean flavours can now be tasted in many shapes like in Fismuler restaurant lead by three bunkmates at El Bulli, or at the restaurant of Rafa Zafra Estimar for fresh fish and seafood, a local family restaurant experience at Mari y Rufo, healthy and gluten free indulgencies at Flax & Kale Passage, vegan culinary experience at Rasoterra and a fast growing variety of food markets like Eat Street Barcelona, Cookfest Barcelona or All those things Market.

Where do you go for an everyday dinner in Barcelona?

Not far from my house there is this Showplate & tapas Little restaurant. His owner Sebas offers an amazing short menu with fresh food from the season cooked in a tiny kitchen almost next to you. Amazing food at a fair price.

Where do you go for the best tapas?

With no ödoubt… Xampanyet. Best anchovies, pincho de tortilla, cod omelette, marinated sardines, Secreto Ibérico if you like pork, the catalan dish butifarra amb mongetes… And its homemade cider!

And cocktails?

Cocktails are pretty spectacular at Paradiso, very fun at Casa Bonay or at Boca Chica with its Live disco cabine placed in the toilets.

Where do you go to socialise?

In the summer I would said Gallito, Martinez, along the bars of Tuset street, Feroz restaurant and Nightbar, 33/45 located at the city centre for a more hipster scene.

Where do you go for inspiration?

I like to walk and loose myself between people through the narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter or many times I just sit in a bank somewhere lost in Barcelona.

Do you have a favourite building?

Certainly La Pedrera from Gaudi, and I really like the modernity of the Contemporary Art Museum MACBA building.

What are the best concept fashion stores in the city?

Cool places change fast in Barcelona but in this very moment I would recommend you to go to Iluzione-Luzio concept store and restaurant near Turo Park, Wer Haus for menswear, Nuovum for accesories, La Condicional for womenswear, Wilde store for sunglasses, Miista Barcelona for shoes, La Comercial at el Borne neighbourhood for home deco, Jaime Beriestain studio, café and concept store and Fantastik or Grey Street located at the city center for little presents and gadgets.

What would you say makes Barcelona stand out?

That it has a beautiful balance between weather, culture and gastronomy. The mix of a Californian stylish and chilled lifestyle, the sun shining on Gaudi’s cultural sights, and its wide offer of food for all tastes and budgets makes it a must.

Do you have a favourite local designer?

Definitely Josep Abril. A well-known Catalan menswear fashion designer that has recently opened a concept store with other two great Catalan fashion designers called NU02.

Where do you go for a calm pause? Perhaps a garden, cafe or spa?

I like to go to a hidden terrace at Hotel Neri. Not many people know the place so I can find my silence in the middle of the city.

What rooftop pool and bar would you recommend?

In summer I really like to go the rooftop bar at Hotel Ohla and La Isabela terrace at the rooftop of Hotel 1898 it is always a good idea. The place to be with a nice pool bar and restaurant it is definitely Soho Hotel but you have to stay in the hotel or to be member to get in.

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