It’s Friday, and the weekend is upon us. To celebrate, I’m going to show you what has been my favourite square to hang out in for almost eight years. Let’s go! Plaça del Bonsuccès is the destination. All aboard!
Tucked in between La Rambla and the Macba, down a busy pedestrian side street, (and very close to the Cute Suite) you can find a pretty, rectangular square in dappled shade from those ever-fresh-looking acacia trees. There is a lot of human traffic, and a couple of cafés with spacious terraces, so it’s a great place to do some people watching. Just so you recognise it when you get there, I’m going to show you the four sides of the square – here goes…
On the mountain side, what draws your attention is the beautiful building that houses the formal building of the local city hall (we have one in most neighborhoods). Its classical, clean lines are interrupted by the very ornate doorway, creating a stunning contrast. Next door, a couple of columns support what has to be the prettiest private terrace in town. It lies between Plaça del Bonsuccès and Plaça de Vicenç Martorell and is a good size – can you imagine turning that into your outdoor living room? Oh the envy!
Moving along to La Rambla, you’ll find a traditional bakery, that sells bottled water and bocadillos, as well as sticks of bread and the pastries that are the usual elements of a Spanish breakfast (for those that actually DO breakfast, that is). And beside the bakery a very pink residential building, that also houses a bag and luggage shop and a pretty decent bar, where the tortilla is good (as are their other tapas), but the wine isn’t. Just saying.
Having reached the Eastern most side of the square, we find ourselves facing Carrer de les Sitges, with a sharp corner and picturesque balconies full of plants…
… and Carrer del Bonsuccès, where the tobacconist and lottery shop are located, as well as a world music shop, a good Italian deli, a couple of restaurants and cafés, a shop selling musical instruments, and of course, Vaho Gallery on the other corner. Remember this shop?
Bar Castells’ terrace occupies part of the square here and is almost always full, except in the early morning (when these photos were taken) which, between you and me, is the best time to enjoy this terrace anyway.
Behind the terrace, on the seaward side of the square, is a bazaar shop with cheap trinkets and all sorts of other inexpensive, useful items and Crème, a nicely styled skate shop, as well as a council office that offers assistance to those looking to undertake university courses.
In the middle of the square stands a much used drinking fountain, next to a set of bicycle racks and the terrace of Buenas Migas. For years this has been one of my favourite spots to enjoy a mid-morning coffee and at times I will also treat myself to a yummie scone. They also do good pastas and salads for lunch, or delicious cakes for tea, as well as the large selection of focaccias that they are famous for. The terrace is right opposite the envy-inducing terrace I mentioned earlier, so the view from it is superb.
The buildings on this side of the square are also residential. One a very plain one, with stone rims decorating doorways to balconies and windows. The other (on the Western side) is rather pretty, with red, shuttered doors on every balcony.
Coming full circle (or should I say, square) we arrive at Carrer d’en Xuclà and Carrer Elisabets, with one one corner the shop where I buy paint, and on the other Bar Elisabets, a quaint bar that boasts an impressive collection of old radios. On this side of the square, Café Escac (which was renovated not so long ago) has a spacious and vibrant terrace.
So, what do you think of ‘my’ square? Fancy joining me there every now and then? You’ll be more than welcome! Just let me know when you’ll be around, and we can arrange to meet…
Have a great weekend all, and see you again, here, on Monday!