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I met Nuria and Margherita, readers of this blog and owners of Food Lovers Company, last week. They kindly invited me to join them on one of their Barcelona tapas tours around the Ciutat Vella (old town). Their walking tours take in the Barri Gòtic, Sant Pere, Santa Catarina, la Ribera, el Born and sometimes Barceloneta too.
Nuria was born in Castile and León but has spent most of her life living in the Ciutat Vella. As a result, she knows it intimitely and is able to give a real insider’s view into life there.
The tour focuses mainly on traditional tapas, in the kinds of independently owned establishments that used to be ubiquitous but are gradually disappearing as owners retire and chains take over. The itinerary changes according to the sometimes-erratic opening hours of the bars, but everywhere chosen is a bona fide classic. It’s very, very close to the route I’d choose myself for a tapeo. Everyone knows Nuria and you’ll get a warm welcome when you taste cheeses in my favourite formatgería (but for god’s sake, don’t try to take photos lest you incur the Caledonian “wrath of Kath”…), and as you will later when sitting down later to fresh anchovies and vermut; outstanding bellota (acorn-fed) ham and embutidos with fino sherry; patatas bravas, croquetas, calamares a la andaluza with excellent wines and craft beers; or horchata de chufa (tiger nut milk), ice cream and turrón (nougat)…
Tours cost €90 and last around four hours, including short detours to some of the area’s most interesting sights. Group sizes are always limited to a maximum of eight people.