Where were you born?
Where do you live?
What’s best about your neighbourhood?
I live on Rambla Catalunya at the heart of the city. What I love about it is that it’s central, safe and there’s a great selection of shops and restaurants. It also has plenty of cafés for an afternoon coffee with friends.
If money was no object, where would you live?
I would still live on Rambla Catalunya, but perhaps in an attic flat with a rooftop pool!
What’s your favourite Barcelona neighbourhood?I love the Gótico. It’s a maze of narrow streets where you can easily spend a day getting lost and exploring all the nooks and crannies. It’s like stepping back in time.
Which are your favourite Barcelona stores?
My favourite shop in the city is Le Swing on Carrer Rec in the Born. It sells vintage designer clothes and accessories and everything is lovingly displayed. The Chanel and Dior handbags are wonderful, as is everything else in the shop. I also like Etxart & Panno on Carrer Girona as their clothes are fabulously flattering, elegant and understatedly sexy.
And your favourite restaurants?
My favourite restaurant is Alba on Carrer París. The atmosphere is intimate and the carne à la Pedra is the best steak I have ever had. It’s a very special place for me and I only share it with people I care about. Paco Meralgo on Carrer Muntaner is fantastic for tapas. Kibuka on Carrer Goya is very good for sushi. Kibuka has the added benefit of staying open throughout the day so it’s very convenient if you’re looking for somewhere to eat at 5pm.
Do you have a favourite local café or pub?
Zahara in Barceloneta on Passeig Don Joan Borbó. There’s always a lively international crowd and it’s right next to the beach.
Any recommendations for local dishes to try?
A good tapas bar is the best way to sample the local cuisine; order a varied selection to cover all bases.
Where do you take out-of-town friends?Tibidabo and Montjuic mountain as they both have amazing views of Barcelona and the sea. Montjuic especially is very peaceful but you can still sense the vibrancy and excitement of the city below.
Where do you like to celebrate on special occasions?
Bestial on the beach is a perfect place for a meal or drinks with friends. The white leather sofas facing the sea are ideal for watching the sun set.
Do you have a favourite walk in Barcelona?
On a sunny day I like to take a stroll in Ciutadella park; it’s the perfect place to unwind.
How do you like to travel around the city?
I always use Bicing, the city’s public bicycle scheme. My commute into work consists of a 20-minute ride along the beach. I can’t complain, I know I am very fortunate.
What’s Barcelona’s best attraction?
Parc Güell- it’s like stepping into an enchanted garden.
Which do you think is Barcelona’s best museum?
The Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) and the Museu Picasso are obviously good choices, but for something different you could visit the Museu de la Xocolata chocolate museum close to Ciutadella park.
Which person from Barcelona do you most admire?
Barcelona is full of interesting characters and it’s a very liberal city. There’s an older gentleman, a nudist, who likes to stroll around Barceloneta during the day. I admire the fact he is completely at ease doing this and the look on tourists’ faces when they see him is priceless!
Any secret spots you can reveal?
Hidden within the Gótico, there is a small square called Plaça de Sant Felip Neri. The plaça has a church and a few benches under the trees, and you can usually find a few people reading a book or simply enjoying the serenity. On the church walls you can still see the damage from when it was bombed during the Spanish civil war, killing 20 children who were hiding inside. It’s a special place to go to when you need time alone for reflection.
Where are the best bargains to be found?
It depends what you are looking for, but you can find plenty of interesting shops by strolling through the Gràcia neighbourhood.
Any advice for visitors?
Barcelona has very little violent crime but it is rife with pickpockets. Be very careful with your belongings, especially in the areas around Las Ramblas.
Anywhere you’d recommend visitors avoid?
The city doesn’t have any no-go areas as such, but at night, parts of the Raval and Gótico can be dangerous.
Can you recommend any good hotels in Barcelona?
Granados 83 on Carrer Enric Granados is a nice boutique hotel. It’s on a pedestrianised, tree-lined street and the location is very central.
What can’t you live without?
The sea. After living in Barcelona it would be heartbreaking to live somewhere away from the coast.
Tell us a secret.
People who visit Barcelona fall in love with the city but imagine that the reality of living here cannot match the experience of a holiday. In fact, living here is even better than they could imagine!