Josep Abril: My Barcelona

Josep Abril is one of Spain’s premier menswear designers and presents his work at the Barcelona 080 fashion show. He shares his Barcelona hints with SHOP

City Guide

Thursday, 11 August, 2011 by Ana Valls

Josep Abril

Josep Abril

Where were you born?
Barcelona.

Where do you live?
The Gràcia neighbourhood.

What’s best about your neighbourhood?
It is a whole world in itself, a little village in the middle of the city.

If money was no object, where would you live?
In an island with an easy access to the continent, like Lanzarote in Las Canarias.

Which is your favourite Barcelona store?
Pons, a shirtmaker on Gran de Gràcia, one of the little multibrand shops that still remains in Barcelona and is managed with passion.

And which are your favourite restaurants?
Santa on Avinguda Meridiana, close to Parc de la Ciutadella, for the best croquetas ever and a simple menu. For desserts, Ochiai on Carrer Comte d’Urgell, truly experts in Japanese and Catalonian fusion food. I recommend the typical Spanish turrón made with green tea.

Any recommendations for local dishes to try?
Spanish and Catalonian gastronomies are so delicious and rich in history that it’s hard to recommend just a couple of dishes but I would ask for some pa amb tomàquet (bread with tomato) – it’s a part of our DNA – and any rice dish like paella or fideuá.

Where do you go out in the evening?
Cabaret Berlín on Bailén has music, theatre, circus, humour, performance, fashion … everything has its own place in this fantastic club.

Where do you take out-of-town friends?
To the Boquería, the most famous market in Barcelona, close to Las Ramblas; the perfect place to buy everything from fresh fish to delicious smoothies and specialised ingredients you can’t find in other places.

Where are best views of Barcelona to be found?
W Hotel, where you can see all the city from the sea.

How do you like to travel around Barcelona?
By motorbike, on foot, by bus or underground.

Which is the city’s best attraction?
I love the Barrio Gótico.

Which do you think is Barcelona’s best museum?
I very much like the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) on Plaça dels Angels, when it’s not crowded so I can look around in silence.

Which Catalonian artists do you most admire?
Sculptor Antoni Tàpies and painter Miquel Barceló, a Majorcan linked to the city.

Any advice for visitors?
Please don’t buy the enormous straw hats you see in the shops. They are Mexican, not Catalonian! And try not to get the tourist bus, it’s not the best way to discover the city and locals – like me – really disapprove of it.

Can you recommend any good hotels?
Hostal Gat on Carrer Joaquín Costa for small budgets and Hotel Omm, modern, trendy and located by the elegant Passeig de Gràcia.

Where do you escape for a break?
To the mountains.

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