Melissa Jolly Garden Design

Melissa Jolly Garden Design
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Monday, 6 February 2012

Senses indulged - Barcelona Style!

I just got back from a very rare weekend away with my husband. We went to Barcelona. It was the first time either of us had been there and we loved it. Good design, art and sculpture were around every corner. The shops, restaurants and hotels all seemed to give design high priority so at every turn there was something to delight us. On top of that my husband and I talked, walked, drank coffee and cocktails, ate cake and tapas, read books and slept - we rarely get to do even one of these things what with work, kids, pets and family to contend with, and all in a balmy 5 degrees whilst the UK froze.

The Port

Apparently, Barcelona pretty much ignored the sea front until the late 20th C when it realised that it could capitalise on the stunning sea front that is now one of the world's top urban beaches. From winding old town streets we strolled down to the beach where a few people were surfing in front of great art installations that appeared to be there just for Art's sake.

Beached Boxes

We visited Park Guell where Gaudi lived for a while and had designed many of the features there. The planting (even in the depths of winter) looked fab and must look superb in flower. Gaudi is not going to be everyone's cup of tea - I'm not totally sure he's mine - but you can't deny that what he designed was truly original, courageous and it was awe inspiring to see it in person. Makes you want to push the boundaries!

Planting at Park Guell

Some of Gaudi's Buildings with Barcelona City Centre and then the Mediterranean in the background.

We spotted Ash Mair, winner of Professional Masterchef 2011, on both the flight over and the flight back. I only managed to watch the final of this series, but was captivated by it. I'm no good at going up to people I don't know but I wish I had told him how much I admired his cooking. Or I could have asked him to recommend somewhere to eat...or at least a second place as we did find a gem of a place for coffee and cake - Bubo - sublime cake and with decor most high end Jewellers would be envious of!

For me, design, art, gardening and food all go hand in hand and I'm feeling like I want to do it all at once - starting tonight with making 'Chachouka' from River Cottage Veg - Everyday! Tomorrow, back to normality, construction drawings for a new deck and outdoor kitchen - Wednesday, a trip to Brighton to look at a new project, Thursday, in the garden to cut down all the grasses -Friday - no idea yet!



  1. Glad you had such a lovely weekend! Coffee, cocktails, design and art on the beach, all with no kids for a couple of nights, sounds idyllic. Bubo looks amazing, too! Your photos - as always - are beautiful.

    1. Thank you about the photos - just taken one of the finished Chachouka I made tonight - posted on twitter!