Barcelona Balconies & Brummel

Jun 22 - 2017

Back to the hotel, 15 mins on the balcony catching breath and looking at white fire escapes and green balconies.

Shower and out again, to dinner at Hotel Brummel. A compact building in a residential district five minutes from the Miró Foundation somehow packing in masses of milling chilling space, an airy double height volume, restaurant, bar, micro pool, herb garden, and the rooms. This and that, some international cool design and masses of proper oddities and Barcelona character in materials especially. Best bit of dinner? maybe cherry gazpacho, the colour of beetroot with pale salmon pink fishy mouse in the middle, looked & tasted gorgeous, confused eyes and taste buds. And this wine, Sexto Elemento, organic Bobal, hard but not impossible to track down in the UK.

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Hotel Brummel Barcelona white fire escape Barcelona green balcony

Marset Barcelona

Jun 22 - 2017

This is how much you can pack into 24 hours in Barcelona if Montse is in charge:

Marset showroom to see the lights, and an introduction by Javier to the the business heritage and philosophy over lunch. Soon becomes clear that food and stories will be an important part of the trip. Loved the skinny Miro-like Copérnica floor lamps, surprised by the range of materials – veneer and resin, ceramic (see below) – and impressed by the versatility of these designs which go anywhere, which is not to say that they are bland, far from it.

Pick up bags, jump into cab and off to the beautiful huge white-dusted box that is the Apparatu workshop for a speed-demo by designer-ceramicist-proprietor Xavier Mañosa of the process from clay in bags through casting, polishing, firing, glazing, firing again, a labour of love indeed.

In a couple of hours I have met 2 family businesses that have survived by evolving, successive generations adding different layers of skill and sensibility and finding new markets - a nice way to work. Interesting also that Barcelona has a thriving manufacturing culture fuelled by centrally located viable production space plus locally-sourced materials and people to design, make and support. As usual I'm wondering why we don't seem very good at this in the UK, and I'd be interested to know to what extent Spanish central and local government and maybe EU policy drives this.

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Apparatu front door Apparatu workshop Apparatu Scotch Club Marset Scotch Club Marset Ginger lamp Marset Copernica lamp