One of the great redeeming features of Barcelona’s new Mandarin Oriental is that for those of us who don’t have €500 to splash on a room for the night, we can at least head up there for a drink. When it first opened I got stuck into the cocktails at the Bankers Bar (I can’t recommend the lemon, ginger and cardamom martini highly enough by the way), but it was winter and I was left to imagine what the first floor terrace might become come spring. Then, like so many of these things I promptly forgot about it, until recently when I received a polite reminder from the press dept: we’re open it said.
Hurray I say, because it really is one of the most delightful terraces in a city, that, let’s face it curiously lacking them. It’s a terrace yes, but so much more. As the olive trees and cypresses brush their youthful branches over your shoulder as you sip on your “Mimosa” fizz of cava and fresh peach juice, and recline in an armchair that could easily double as a small child’s Wendy House, you could easily become convinced you’re anywhere but the Eixample. A dream perhaps?
Unfortunately reality kicks in when you get the bill. A menu that spans Asia to the Caribbean with some taken Spanish snacks scattered in between is unlikely to fill you up on less than about €30. Add another €14 for a cocktail and lunch is racking up.
But for those special occasions, hazy, lazy days of summer, well… you only live once.