Exploring Europe: Bunker Del Carmel, Barcelona


Last weekend I went to Barcelona for a girls trip and wanted to do something that was new for all of us. Enter the civil war anti-aircraft bunkers aka Bunker Del Carmel. Located at the very top of Gaudi's Parc Guell, the bunkers are now pretty derelict and covered in graffiti. But you aren't visiting to see the bunkers, the reason everyone makes the trek is for the stunning vantage point at the top. You can literally see the whole of the city! Be sure to do a loop as you won't want to miss any of the views.

Make sure you wear some sensible shoes because the trek is pretty full on. Our Fitbit registered we walked up 42 flights of stairs. Flip flops just won't do! You can get a bus most of the way which leaves you with only a ten minute walk to endure. We got the bus from Sagrada Familla to the entrance of Park Guell and did the walk from there. Although at times it seems back-breaking, I'm really glad we did it as it was lovely to walk through the park. I'd recommend downloading the FREE NOW taxi app as Uber doesn't work. You can wait for a bus to take you back to the city centre but we opted for a taxi because it was pretty dark and we couldn't be bothered to navigate the public transport. Taxis are in short supply in the area which is why the app comes in handy.




We raided the supermarket before to put together a picnic and treated ourselves to a couple of bottles of cava to enjoy when we got to the top. We arrived around 5pm for the sunset which was happening around 6.30pm. It was pretty busy with people who had the same idea as us - lots of people were tucking into snacks and beer! We found a spot to lay down a blanket and set about making ourselves comfortable. It is pretty dusty up there so I'd recommend brining something to sit on. Don't forget to bring a bag to keep your rubbish in one place. Don't leave anything behind!

Sadly it was a cloudy day so the sunset wasn't the best but it was 100% worth it. I can only imagine how beautiful it would be if the clouds had played ball! We ended up sitting around chatting for over three hours until it got completely dark. It was such a lovely way to finish our trip and talk about everything we had done. It was still pretty busy by the time we left but I'd keep your wits about you as soon as it gets dark because it isn't very well lit.

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Five of my favourite food documentaries on Netflix


I am obsessed with making food, watching food and thinking about food. In short, I am always thinking about my stomach. I'm really interested to hear the about different cultures and thought process about food. I love how it has the ability to evoke certain emotions and bring people together. My favourite type of documentaries are the ones which pair food and travel together. Two of my ultimate passions! Netflix has some great food documentaries if you're on my wavelength. Here are five of my favourites on Netflix.

1. Ugly Delicious
Consisting of eight different episodes, Ugly Delicious focuses on iconic dishes sties into American culture. Presented by restauranteur David Chang, the show dives into the history of each food which defines the United States. You have pizza, fried chicken, Shrimp, tacos, home cooking, BBQ, fried rice and anything stuffed. It takes a step back into time and analyses the different waves of immigration over the years, detailing how it shaped existing dishes and what extras they bought to Americas with them. It absolutely fascinates me how closely food is tied to politics and this delves straight into it! Make sure you watch his second documentary series called Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner too.

2.  Street Food
If this show doesn't make you want to jump on a plane straight out of the UK then I am afraid there just might be something wrong with you... Since coming back from Malaysia last Feb I have become obsessed with street food and feel extremely sad it's not really much of a thing in Europe. Trying the different types of street food was the highlight of our trip to Malaysia. This series visit nine different cities all over Asia and focuses on one particular stall who is unbelievable at the dish they make. It informs you of the origin of their story and all their trials and tribulations. I love how it offers you an insight into the culture and history of each city, explaining why food is so important.

3. Salt Fat Acid Heat
This cooking documentary series is hosted by chef and food writer Samin Nosrat. Samin learnt her trade at Californian restaurant Chez Panisse before branching out and working in Italy before writing her own cookbook Salt Fat Acid Heat. Consisting of four different episodes, each named after one of the most important principles of cooking which help make it taste delicious. She goes to Italy to see how they work with olive oil and create the most delicious looking focaccia. Mexico is also on her list of places to visit as she learns about how they work with acid in their dishes. One episode takes her back to her roots as she heads to Chez Panisse. My favourite episode was when she headed to Japan to see how they cooked with miso which is now one of my favourite ingredients.


4. Rotten
Now two series in, Rotten focuses on the problems on supplying food. It looks at popular and on-trend food and investigates on how the popularity is affecting the world around us in terms of corruption, fraud and consequences. Each episode focuses one on type of food and interviews people who work in the trade, manufacturers and distributors. It really does make you think about the food you're consuming and encourages you to make better choices.

5. Chef's Table
If eating out is one of your passions then you will love this programme. Each episode does a profile on some of the most renowned chefs in the world. There are six series so lots of get stuck into, making it perfect for a lazy weekend at home. I loved hearing about what inspired their culinary journey and where their influences came from. My list of restaurants to try has grown even longer since watching their programme!
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#52recipes: recipes 42 - 46


Alison Roman's baked eggs with chickpeas and chorizo from Dining In
Chickpeas are my boyfriends nemesis so obviously I try to cook them in lots of different ways to try and make him come to his senses. I hit the jackpot with this recipe! Connor told me this was his favourite way of eating them. I think the crispness really helped, it gave them a lot of texture. We enjoyed it for dinner with lots of crusty bread. Baked eggs just aren't for breakfast!


Ottolenghi's aubergine and lamb koftas
These made me feel like a pro! It tasted just like a dinner I'd pay for in a restaurant. The end result of the koftas was juicy and flavoursome. The aubergine salsa was a fantastic finishing touch and really bought the dish together. I'd definitely make this again if I was looking to impress anyone!


Meera Sodha's Gardener's World pilau from Fresh India
We ended up just having this on it's own without any curries to accompaniment it. It was really filling and works just as well as a main meal as it would as a side. It tasted really fresh and was the perfect dish for a balmy summer's evening. The leftovers made a great packed lunch for the next day.


Ottolenghi's tahini and halva brownies
I cannot say enough about how delicious these were! They are up there as my favourite brownies I have ever made. Halva and chocolate are a match made in heaven. They were perfectly gooey and I loved the double nutty taste of the halva and tahini together. Why isn't tahini used more in baking? It's a revelation! 


Ottolenghi's chilli fish from Simple
It's not often I come across what I would class as a dud from the world of Ottolenghi but this chilli fish was disappointingly average. There was hardly any heat to it and it was just a bit bland. The overriding taste was of tomato and it just wasn't what I was expecting from this dish. Definitely not one I'll be in any rush to make again.
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A Essex based lifestyle blogger who lives a champagne life on a lemonade purse!

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