Roncero’s creations are a fascinating combination of traditional Spanish foods and radically modern preparation techniques. At one of his Ibiza restaurants, Estado Puro in the newly-opened Hard Rock Hotel, he reimagines the Spanish tavern experience. Modern décor is dotted with endearing signs defining fun Spanish colloquialisms. (One such sign declares that “comer por la patilla,” meaning ‘eat for free,’ literally translates as ‘eat because of your sideburn,’ though a more accurate translation may be ‘eat for a pin.’)
Exploring Avant-Garde Cuisine in Ibiza (Slideshow)
Estado Puro serves up traditional dishes and tapas made with very fresh ingredients, love, and passion — and often with cool twists. The ham croquetas are completely and delectably classic, while the tortilla de patatas, or Spanish omelette, is served as a liquid. This sounds like a disaster, but tastes like heaven in a martini glass. With layers of sautéed onions, egg foam, and potato foam, the unexpected beverage is warm and comforting. The onions provide depth and texture, nicely balancing the airy foam. By keeping the flavors as expected and altering only the consistency, Roncero demonstrates his deep love of tradition.
Moving further from tradition — and completely leaving the realm of a normal person’s wallet — is Paco Roncero’s other Ibiza restaurant, Sublimotion. Sublimotion is said to be the most expensive restaurant in the world at $2000 per person. Absurd? Absolutely. Worth it? If your wallet is overflowing, absolutely. For the price it would cost to feed a family of four for three months, you don’t just get a nice meal. You get a carefully curated, multi-sensory dining experience with twenty imaginative, innovative courses. Everything from the playlist to the wait staff’s vintage-inspired attire to the detailed images projected onto the table and walls are designed to complement and integrate with each course.
Just as Ibiza is a playground for partiers, Sublimotion is a playground for foodies. The avant-garde restaurant is the definition of surprise and delight, with wonders like drinks that magically stir themselves, plates that float in mid-air above the table, and hyper-realistic images that make you feel like you’re deep underground or picnicking in a beautiful forest. The multi-sensory experience is an adventure in itself, but ultimately it serves to supplement Roncero’s similarly intrepid gastronomical creations. A particularly memorable course was Olive Oil Three Ways, which included powdered olive oil presented in a small cracker boat, liquid olive oil served in a small, clear, plastic-looking pouch which was actually an edible sugar wrapper, and a fabulously melty soft cheese in which the natural cheese fat had been removed and replaced with olive oil. This course encapsulates Roncero’s modus operandi: fresh, traditional ingredients served up in a fun, unpredictable fashion. The love and care that goes into planning each course at Sublimotion is clear: every bite is both interesting and divine; every sense is catered to thoughtfully.
“Dining is an experience that goes beyond the plate,” Roncero decrees. “It’s an all-encompassing experience — eating, sharing, socializing.” When he puts it like that, all of his wacky preparation and presentation techniques truly make sense. Avant-garde gastronomy draws people together in a shared experience and encourages diners to discuss their food, their environment, and their related emotions, allowing everyone to be immersed in the present.
With the arrival of Estado Puro and Sublimotion on the island, Ibiza is ripe to become a foodie destination. For now, you’ll still want to have a club-ready attitude to get the most out of your trip, but Estado Puro is a must for the travelling gourmand. And for the extremely well-heeled among us, you’ll definitely want to take your private helicopter to Ibiza for a magical evening at Sublimotion.
One of the Most Expensive Restaurants in the World
At $2,000 per person, an evening at Sublimotion is well worth eating ramen for the rest of the year to save up for the experience. The restaurant serves only 12 guests per night, allowing the chef and servers to focus on making the 20-course meal absolutely perfect.
A Multi-sensory Experience
Each course at Sublimotion is accompanied by a carefully curated soundtrack and hyper-real images projected on the table and walls. Your journey can take you all over the world, from a secluded forest, to a club, to the center of the earth, and beyond.
Learn more about Exploring Avant-Garde Cuisine in Ibiza.
Welcome to Ibiza
Ibiza, a name synonymous with raucous nightlife, avant-garde electronic music and endless summer clubbing. The greatest DJs in the world fly to the White Isle as soon as the season starts to host their weekly residencies at the island's superclubs. Places like Pacha, Amnesia, DC10 or Ushuaïa that are true meccas for revellers from all around the globe.
There is also a quiet and relaxed Ibiza. It can be found on its white sandy beaches from where legendary sunsets can be witnessed, as well as its inland villages made up of immaculate whitewashed buildings surrounded by olive and citrus groves. The White Isle's very vivid hippie heritage has undoubtedly contributed to this laidback atmosphere.
Every visitor will find their own Ibiza. Whether you picture yourself dancing in a crowded superclub to the latest house rhythms, on a sunbed in a beach club enjoying a glass of champagne to some lounge music or on a beach watching the sunset to the sound of the drums, while museums, galleries, boutiques and gourmet restaurants will fascinate the culture vultures.
Ibiza — Food and Restaurants
Ibiza has a multitude of restaurants, bars and nightclubs aimed to please international guests. The local food is Mediterranean Spanish, but almost every cuisine is represented somewhere on the island, particularly in the main resort areas. Seafood is a natural specialty, although many would argue that Ibiza’s real claim to fame is its massive dance parties. The mega-clubs, which can hold thousands of revelers, boast internationally-renowned DJs and state-of-the-art sound, light, bars, and facilities.
Bars and Pubbing in Ibiza
San Antonio and Ibiza Town boast a majority of the nightclubs, frequented mainly by young European holidaymakers. Dance enthusiasts will find Ibiza Town has several world famous clubs, including Pacha (Passeig de Joan Carles I, Ibiza Town) and Privilege (Urbanización San Rafael, San Rafael, Ibiza). Alternatively, high rollers can try their luck at the Casino de Ibiza (Paseo Juan Carlos I, s/n, Ibiza), while those who prefer live music should head to the quirky old-world glamour of Teatro Pereya (Carrer del Comte de Rosselló, Ibiza Town), a bar and café set in a converted theater. A little farther out, Amnesia (San Antonio Road Km. 5, San Rafael, Ibiza) is a well-known super-club with a free late night bus shuttle back to town.
However, San Antonio is where the nightlife gets truly hectic. Most of the bars, pubs, and clubs, including Eden (Calle Salvador Espriu, 07820, San Antonio, Ibiza), are clustered along the waterfront. Farther afield, the award-winning Space nightclub (Platja d´en Bossa, Sant Josep de sa Talaia region) promises visitors a stellar night out.
Seaside resorts, such as Santa Eul√†ria and Portinaxt, have calmer entertainment scenes, usually focused around the bars and restaurants lining the waterfront. Guarana Music Bar (Puerto Deportivo Santa Eulalia) hosts live DJs and bands in a pleasant atmosphere, while Delboy’s English Bar (Playa Portinatx, San Juan) is more of a traditional pub. Those who like to stay up late will enjoy Bar La Barca (Portinaxt, Sant Joan de Labritja).
Dining and Cuisine in Ibiza
Cuisine in Ibiza is Mediterranean with a strong Catalan influence. Dishes are generally healthy and often feature local seafood, vegetables, olive oil, and almonds. A typical meal tends to comprise of an appetizer, a main course, and coffee and dessert accompanied by salad, bread and wine or sangria. The Balearics are well known for las sopes mallorquines, bread and vegetable soup, which is a starter, while el guisat de peix, seafood stew and Spanish chicken or seafood and rice paellas, are common dishes.
Right by the sea, La Fontana (Paseo Maritimo esquina calle Juan Tur, Juan Tur 13) is one of Ibiza’s most highly rated restaurants for local cuisine, as is Ibiza town’s Restaurante S’Ametller (Calle Pere Frances, 12, 07800 Ibiza Town), which offers elegantly presented seafood and island favorites in a simple red-walled, white-tablecloth dining room.
Restaurants such as El Viejo Gallo (Valencia 2, Port des Torrent, Sant Josep) specialize in one of the Balearic cuisine’s most famous dishes, Caldereta de Langosta lobster, garlic, onion and tomato stew. However, being a major holiday destination, Ibiza has a huge selection of international restaurants so those who prefer Chinese, Indian or vegetarian food will be catered to.
The Most Exclusive Culinary Experiences in Spain
SPONSORED: Seek out the most exclusive culinary experiences on your next trip to Spain.
By Lauren Hill | January 2 2019
Seek out the most exclusive culinary experiences on your next trip to Spain, from the country’s three-Michelin-starred restaurants and a curated food tour to farm-to-table dining in Ibiza and Mallorca.
SLOW Food at Amante Ibiza
Embracing the SLOW food movement—an acronym of Sustainable, Local, Organic and Wellness—the celebrated beach club, Amante Ibiza, is championing wellness through gastronomy. To connect diners with their surroundings, the beach club is sourcing ingredients for the kitchen from its own organic vegetable garden, along with local farmers and fishermen. As well as dining on the beach club’s modern Mediterranean cuisine, you can join morning meditation, yoga and pilates sessions overlooking Sol d’en Serra and Cala Nova, before re-energizing with freshly squeezed juices.
When the 2018 Michelin Guide to Spain and Portugal was released, the inclusion of two new three-Michelin-starred restaurants was announced with Aponiente in Cadiz and ABaC in Barcelona joining the elite three-star club. Akelarre, DiverXO with David Munoz, Arzak with Elena Arzak, Azurmendi with Eneko Atxa, El Celler de Can Roca, Lasarte, Martin Berasategui, Quique Dacosta and Sant Pau retained their three-Michelin-star status. With each place offering an entirely unique culinary experience, a meal at one of these restaurants is without doubt worth the journey alone. As well as dining at Akelarre, you can stay in the adjoining luxury boutique hotel, which opened July 2017.
Cooking Classes at Belmond La Residencia
As well as being known for its natural beauty, Mallorca is renowned for its unique cuisine. You can delve into this distinct gastronomy while staying at Belmond La Residencia, which lies at the foot of Mallorca’s green mountains on the peaceful north-west coast. With its olive and citrus groves, fine dining restaurant El Olivo and relaxed dining spot Café Miró, the island’s gastronomy naturally becomes a part of the experience here. During your stay, take a cooking class with the hotel’s chef to learn how to prepare authentically Mallorcan cuisine and join an olive oil class in which local smoked meats and cheeses are paired with olive oils to give them a distinctly local flavor.
Gastronomic Tours by Naya Traveler
The ultra-exclusive travel specialist, Naya Traveler, creates bespoke journeys to a few select destinations around the world, the first European destination of which is Spain. Curated journeys can focus on art and architecture, the nation’s history, folklore and traditions, or its rich culinary identity. The Tapa a Tapa tour takes a close look at Spanish gastronomy, from the avant-garde cuisine of world-renowned three-Michelin-starred restaurants and legendary tapas bars to long lunches at a local’s home, cookery classes and visits to local markets, not to forget the country’s flourishing vineyards.
A Farmhouse Stay at La Granja Ibiza
This rustic chic farmstead in Ibiza’s verdant landscape combines 10 hectares of farmland and a centuries-old stone farmhouse with a Farmer’s Table approach to dining and series of workshops covering topics such as sustainability. The simple but stylish farmhouse, which comes with nine bedrooms, a free-standing, two-bedroom guesthouse, a pool and kitchen, is the setting for farm-fresh organic meals of biodynamic, homegrown fruits, vegetables and herbs combined with other artisanal, small-batch products.
For more culinary inspiration ahead of a trip to Spain, see our articles on where to taste sherry in Jerez, finding the best restaurants in Seville, and Michelin starred restaurants in Madrid.
Images: Andalucia © Naya Traveler Oranges © Naya Traveler DiverXO Belmond La Residencia Paella © Naya Traveler
Maymanta Pisco Bar
Our cocktail bar is located on the hotel’s rooftop and open daily from 10.30 am to 1.30 am, with a design that merges styles from innovative features such as pergolas boat rope to more local items such as Huguet ceramics floor. Our suggestion to end the day is to taste one of our delicious cocktails while enjoying the sea breeze. An extensive menu that leaves no one indifferent for cocktails and piscos as special as the La Linda or the Santa Sarita. In addition, we have a wine menu chosen by our sommelier, with the best references on the island.
A tribute to island specialties, with a modern twist can be enjoyed in this restaurant in Santa Eulalia. Avant-garde cuisine with traditional textures and tastes like no other luxury restaurants in the island.
THE ADRIÀ-SOLER GALAXY
The Galaxy is the business model of Juli Soler, Ferran Adrià and Albert Adrià concerning elBullirestaurante. In 1998, a key decision was taken as to how the business model should be, making a conceptual change based on the following premise: keeping elBullirestaurante at the cutting-edge. To give us the necessary freedom to do this, a business model for elBullirestaurante was created, based on consultancy and image work, and the formation of our own business lines.
Myung Eun Cha’s Avant-Garde Loungewear
Stuck in her apartment, the designer found inspiration in her surroundings, conceiving of a highly conceptual collection that provides literal support.
A look from the designer Myung Eun Cha’s latest collection for her brand, Cha Myung. For this shoot, she imagined “a girl who looks bored of being at home.” Credit. Boram Yun
In March of last year, the fashion designer Myung Eun Cha had her friends fill out a survey on the nature of rest. She’d paused her graduate studies at London’s Central Saint Martins, opting instead, like so many of her peers, to wait out the pandemic’s spikes and dips back home in her apartment in Seoul. “My friends defined rest as a ‘free state of being alone, unconscious of anyone’s gaze,’” says Cha, 30. “Yet even if they were by themselves, they didn’t feel that because they were forced to stay at home with anxiety and worries about the near future.”
Cha could relate all too well. But, after spending long hours reading on the sofa or snacking in bed, she noticed that interacting more intentionally with her surroundings alleviated her nervous boredom and even brought about, she says, “a great sense of tranquillity.” She began twisting and manipulating pillows, cushions and rugs to create an enveloping barrier between her body and the hard surfaces of walls, floors and chairs. “I experimented with these things to find out how they draped and covered me,” she says. Eventually, her observations led to the 22 pieces that make up the fall 2021 collection of her fashion label, Cha Myung, which the designer has titled A Journey of Seeking Comfort.
Despite the collection’s origins and name, however, its contents are a far cry from what people mean when they use the term “loungewear.” Rather, the pieces are highly conceptual, with voluminous protrusions reminiscent of ’90s Comme des Garçons or the sculptures of Barbara Hepworth. A matching caramel brown top and tapered trouser, both constructed from heavy polyester that might otherwise have been used for curtains, recall a La-Z-Boy come to life. The squelchy bounce of a synthetic bathmat appears here as bandeau top. And an Ikea sheepskin throw rug adorns the backside of an ankle-length skirt, serving as a built-in cushion for sitting. In their materiality and reimagining of standard silhouettes, the designs pose a central question about presentation and purpose: What if, rather than aspiring to a pleasant sort of unobtrusiveness, we chose garments that provided literal support?
In a way, the query builds on those Cha has been posing to herself for decades. Growing up just outside of Seoul in Anyang, South Korea, she developed an early fascination with the interplay between form and space. Her father worked as an engineer at an architecture firm, and she has fond memories of poring over blueprints and touring newly built museums with him. She was sure she’d become either an architect or a product designer, and still cites Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid as major influences but, when she was 17, issues of Elle Girl and street-style magazines piqued her interest. She left to study at Parsons School of Design in New York the following year.
As she began to design clothes, Cha mined postmodern architectural theory, particularly deconstructivism, to make pieces that “break away from tradition,” she says, and that change shape depending on the angle from which they’re viewed. For her thesis show, she took the jumble of clothes on her bedroom floor as her starting point: The “wrinkled and distorted shapes,” in materials including denim, pinstriped wool and crisp white poplin, helped her break down the elements of a classic New York wardrobe and reconstitute them with exaggerated proportions. Since graduating in 2017, she has moved from “looking at my surroundings in my dorm room, which was the only private space for me as an international student in New York,” to exploring other kinds of environments.
At the beginning of each collection, after she’s worked out the basic idea, Cha turns to photography, hand drawing and 3-D design to help her arrive at a visual vocabulary. For A Journey of Seeking Comfort, in addition to relying on her own interiors, she looked to those featured in vintage issues of the Gio Ponti-founded design magazine Domus. The pointy arms of Mario Bellini’s 1970s Le Bambole chairs for B&B Italia — which emerge like bull’s horns from a soft and friendly body — became epaulet-like details on Cha’s wry take on a work-from-home button-down, complete with a sewn-on tie. “It looks formal, but it’s very comfy,” she says. Also included in the collection are bulbous, beanbag-inspired bottoms made from four-way-stretch jersey and stuffed with cotton filling, and a cushiony green jersey top with a single button tuft inspired by her sofa and meant to evoke the “feeling of fluffy forms.”
“The meaning and spirit inside the garments are very important,” says Cha, who worked with a neutral color palette, chosen for its mellowing effect, accented with pops of creamy yellow, pale blue and teal. Here, the meaning seems to be about being kind to oneself and engendering ease amid discomfort. But the clothes might also be armor for re-entering the larger world, as with a top made from soft, overstuffed black jersey that recalls a neck pillow for a long-haul flight. For her part, the designer is very much looking forward to returning to London in the fall. “I want to meet friends, talk in person and go to the library,” says Cha, who has already received her share of buzz but is also planning to officially launch her line after graduation. In the end, she didn’t find working on this latest collection especially relaxing, but hopes it inspires others to get some rest, adding, “It’s a very necessary thing.”
Four Can’t-Miss Spanish Destinations for Off-Season Travel
Festive, colorful, and rich in history, Spain has been one of the top European destinations for years, with its breathtaking natural scenery, amazing architectural feats, incredible local arts, and a vibrant local cuisine that has captured the taste buds of food lovers and travelers from all over the world.
Spain has re-opened for tourism and offers endless possibilities for your next adventure. Here are four cities to consider:
Bursting with artistic influences from famous Spanish artists like Gaudi and Picasso, Barcelona teems with passion for the arts that is evident throughout the Catalan capital – from the grandiose Basílica de la Sagrada Família and the enchanting Casa Batlló to the historic Montjuïc and the UNESCO-listed Palau de la Música Catalana.
Discover the undeniable charm of Barcelona from a fresh perspective with a private helicopter tour or take in the beauty of its distinctive skyline from the deck of a private yacht. Need a dose of adrenaline? Take the sportscar of your choice – Ferrari, Lamborghini or McLaren – and speed down the city highways in style. Even better, take it for a spin at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the official track of the Spanish Grand Prix.
Taste the finest Catalan cuisine at Lasarte, the first restaurant in Barcelona to earn three stars, or indulge in haute cuisine at ABaC Restaurant, the second Barcelona restaurant to be awarded three stars. Barcelona also offers a wide range of five-star hotels, including Hotel Arts and W Hotel, both offering stunning beachfront views, and the elegantly imposing Mandarin Oriental and the grand Majestic Hotel and Spa.
With celebrities, top models and socialites flocking to Ibiza, it is no wonder the beautiful island has become the hottest summer destination in Spain. Enjoy the best views of the sea and the finest hospitality on the island with its array of premier beach clubs, including the stylish and cozy Nikki Beach and the laidback and Boho Chic Aiyanna beach restaurant.
Explore the picturesque coastlines of Ibiza in the luxurious comfort and privacy of a private yacht and discover the island’s widely popular beaches, Las Salinas, Benirrás and Ses Salines, for instance, as well as more secluded gems like Cala Olivera and Sol D’en Serra.
With plenty of fresh seafood and local ingredients around, Ibiza offers sublime flavors and superb culinary creations by some of the world’s renowned chefs. Enjoy sumptuous Mediterranean fare served in a contemporary elegant setting at It Ibiza, headed by two-Michelin-starred executive chef Gennaro Esposito. Located at the five-star Mirador de Dalt Vila hotel, Es Mirador restaurant serves a concoction of “avant-garde Mediterranean cuisine” and a first-class wine selection.
When it comes to lavish hotels and resorts, Ibiza sets the bar high with its elite range of luxury accommodations, including the serene and secluded 7Pines Kempinski, the vibrant retro cool Paradiso Ibiza, the Mediterranean contemporary chic Aguas de Ibiza and the exclusive Hacienda Na Xamena, the first five-star resort in Ibiza and features breathtaking cliff-top views of the sea.
Madrid, the vivacious and colorful capital of Spain, is a European destination famed for its historic and prominent art scene, strikingly beautiful architecture, rich culinary experiences and thriving urban life.
One of the most popular attractions in Madrid is its “Golden Triangle of Art”, referring to three important museums located close to one another on the Paseo del Prado: the Museo Nacional del Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, and Reina Sofia Museum. For guests who wish to appreciate the creations of some of history’s greatest artists in a quiet and intimate setting, private viewings can be arranged before and after peak hours.
Experience the crème de la crème of Madrid hospitality at its most exceptional hotels, including the five-star Hotel Wellington located in the prestigious Salamanca neighborhood and the Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques, a 19th century palace and a member of “The Leading Hotels of the World”.
Savor the richest flavors and most innovative culinary creations in Madrid’s world-class gastronomic scene. For a revolutionary and unforgettable fine dining experience, visit DiverXo, the city’s only three-starred Michelin restaurant renowned for its unorthodox culinary techniques.
For those who prefer a cozier gourmet experience, the two-starred Santceloni restaurant in Hyatt Regency Hesperia Madrid curates a medley of flavors and sensations drawn from a harmony of fresh local ingredients and cutting-edge culinary techniques. Led by chef Óscar Velasco, Santceloni evolves and recreates gourmet food with respect to traditional origins.
Málaga—the birthplace of Pablo Picasso– is a quaint seaside city in the center of the Costa del Sol. Warm, welcoming, and colorful, Malaga’s easy-going pace makes it a perfect summer destination for travelers who want to unwind and relish in the beauty of the countryside.
With new art galleries popping up around the more established museums, Málaga is quick to establish itself as a budding destination for the arts. The most popular attraction for art lovers is Museo Picasso Málaga, featuring paintings that span Picasso’s 80 years of work and his diverse artistic styles. Meanwhile, the eye-catching Centre Pompidou exhibits immersive modern and contemporary art from noted artists such as Frida Kahlo, Wassily Kandinsky and Max Ernst.
Standing proudly in the heart of the city is the Alcazaba, a Moorish fortress palace built in the 11th century. Guests can explore its serenely beautiful gardens and intricate labyrinthine walls while savoring impressive views of the port and the city from Alcazaba’s strategic viewpoint.
Treat your palate to exquisite flavors concocted by native chef Jose Carlos Garcia at his eponymous restaurant, the one-starred Restaurante Jose Carlos Garcia at Muelle Uno in the Port of Málaga. Indulge in sumptuous international cuisine at the Restaurante Principe de Asturias, an elegant fine dining restaurant located at the splendidly magnificent Gran Hotel Miramar & Spa, the only five-star hotel in Málaga city.
Travel to Spain
Spain is open to travelers coming from EU and Schengen countries, as well as some third countries that are part of the EU-approved list. Travelers must go through temperature scans and fill in a public health form which must be presented upon arrival. Your Jetex team is an excellent resource for the latest information and requirements regarding your trip to Spain or to any country you wish to visit.
Ah, Barcelona—easily gay Spain’s most coveted destination, a cultural playground of architectural masterpieces, world-class Catalan cuisine and sweeping white sand beaches. A cosmopolitan city with distinct, laid-back Mediterranean vibes, Barcelona promotes an atmosphere of tolerance and diversity, of which perhaps the best example is Catalonia’s landmark Anti-Homophobia Act. A gorgeous gay Barcelona getaway can be had anywhere in the city, but the ever-popular Eixample neighbourhood—also known as Gayxample—is the epicentre of the city’s most sought-after gay-popular establishments.
Barcelona promotes an atmosphere of tolerance and diversity, of which perhaps the best example is Catalonia’s landmark Anti-Homophobia Act
We wouldn’t blame you for making a beeline straight to Barcelona’s 4.5km of scenic coastline. Start at Sant Miquel or Sant Sebastia Beach, both located near the iconic W Hotel (and just a stone’s throw from downtown Barcelona.) Due to their central location, these gay Barcelona beaches always attract a crowd, but that also means there are plenty of handsome, sun-kissed men around, too. For something a little quieter, Mar Bella is Barcelona’s clothing-optional gay beach. Be sure to stop by Chiringuito BeGay while you’re there, a gay Barcelona institution serving up delicious drinks and beach bites.
For a gay party not soon forgotten, time your visit to Barcelona over one of its world-renowned festivals. The Circuit Festival is a gay Spain classic and Barcelona must-do. Every August, some 100,000 people descend on Barcelona for Europe’s largest gay festival and ten days of riotous good times punctuated by themed dance parties and epic DJs. Don’t miss Circuit’s “Water Park Day,” always a crowd pleaser. Barcelona also hosts one of Spain’s largest Pride Festivals, a fabulous celebration of diversity with a myriad of epic parties across the city. Of course, Barcelona offers plenty of action any time of year, with a vibrant gay nightlife scene to rival any European capital. One of our favourite Barcelona gay bars is Plata Bar, a stylish cocktail bar with a sunny terrace, handsome staff, and expertly crafted drinks. Another icon for gay Barcelona nightlife is El Cangrejo, best known for its weekend drag performances and kitschy, colourful decor.
Gayxample’s central location makes it an excellent base from which to explore Barcelona’s highlights (the best of which we’ve outlined in our gay Barcelona Travel Guide). Here you’ll find Alma Barcelona, a sophisticated boutique hotel with a contemporary design and minimalist decor. We love the leafy garden, an intimate spot to leisurely start any morning. Then there’s TWO Hotel and Axel Hotel, both sleek gay accommodations that promise a warm, welcoming atmosphere with plenty of opportunities for mingling with like-minded travellers.
As a result of this visit, Adrià began applying different techniques to coffee that have made him famous in the world of gastronomy, including “spherification” – which he used to create amazing gourmet products like Coffeesphere and Caviar Café. The first is liquid coffee wrapped in a transparent membrane that explodes on contact with the palate. Meanwhile, the caviar is obtained with the same technique for creating small balls from a liquid using two agents: alginate and calcium. The result is a mini-explosion of coffee flavor in the mouth. This product has a newer version: caviar made with brandy or amaretto to add alcohol to your espresso and to give a sophisticated touch to the caffè corretto.
“Together, from Barcelona and Turin, we have revolutionized coffee-based products, a sector that had always been very cautious in regards to innovation,” says Adrià about his collaboration with Lavazza, the Italian company with over one hundred years of history.
Ferran Adrià’s first product for Lavazza was Èspesso, the first solid coffee in history. That happened in 2002, and since then, several cocktails with fruit juice, ice cream, mousses or slush have been created. These include hot egg yolk, coffee raisins (dried using reverse spherification) and the Cappuccino Lio cookie, whose crunchy texture is obtained through a freeze-drying process applied to coffee, milk, sugar and gelatin mousse.
Another proposal of Ferran Adrià is the Cappuccino Nito a mi-cuit made with liquid nitrogen at -196 ° C, a process that is also used for the molten chocolate coffee with chocolate frosting.
The Spanish chef has just announced the opening of a new restaurant in Ibiza, Spain, in 2015, which will mark his return to avant-garde cuisine after closing El Bulli in 2011. Meanwhile he continues to collaborate in research techniques to transform any everyday product, such as coffee, into a stunning show. ■