Travel Spain. Barcelona: Som Nit Born & 7 Portes

Shortly after touch down in Barcelona I jump into a taxi and ask the driver to drop me off at guest house Som Nit Born. I am delighted when he says that it is in a very great area. Som Nit Born is a little guest house with only 11 rooms on one floor in a palace from the early 19th century which has been converted into apartments. The fantastic thing about Europe is that most certainly someone famous and artistic has been in that exact same spot before you, and in this case it was Pablo Picasso. The painter relocated from Malaga to Barcelona in 1895 and lived at this place with his family.

If it is good enough for Pablo Picasso …

The taxi driver drops me off and for a few very long minutes (you know how it feels) I have to search for Som Nit Born. There is no sign at all that there is a guest house, I ask around and a waiter of a nearby restaurant points me into the right direction. I ring the bell, a buzzer sounds and the door opens. I am in a semi-pitch-dark entrance hall and make my way up a staircase, only because there is no other way I could have taken. Et voilà, there is a door on the second landing, and it says Som Nit Born. Check-in is quick and, not dirty …, friendly. I truly admire everyone who is brave enough to open a business in the current economic situation

The unemployment rate in Spain was at 25.93 percent in the first quarter of 2014 and the country may need years and years to recover from the financial crisis. Rather than to stick the head in the sand, someone came up with this brilliant idea of opening a guest house on a floor in a historic building in the middle of the city. I love it for this trip, but it might not be the place for you if you are a fan of plush hotel lounges and lavish spa treatments (I am pretty sure they can recommend somewhere to have that done). 

My room at Som Nit Born and 45 seconds later at 7 Portes

I booked a street facing room with a floor to ceiling bay window, and when I open it, it feels like I am in an open air room in the very middle of Barcelona. For me, the Wi-Fi is super-fast, but I better say it is faster than what I have at home in Berlin, just in case yours is even faster than this connection. My room is light and airy. That sorted I head out for dinner, to the place my taxi driver was all excited about, a Restaurant with the name 7 Portes. After a very short walk of 45 seconds, it is in the same palace after all, I manage to get on a wait list for a table. I kill the wait of 45 minutes with people watching while having a glass of cava and olives (very popular in Spain). 

The restaurant opened in 1836, this is mind blowing, just imagine how it must have been back then. To give you an idea of how long ago this is, it is the same year that Charles Darwin returns to England after a 5-year journey collecting data he will later use to develop his theory of evolution.

45 minutes later - dinner before bedtime

When I sit down I have crusty bread with tomatoes, it is delicious and I make a mental note to cook this at home, I wonder how they prepare it. As a starter I go for spinach, pine nuts and raisins, lightly fried in olive oil and for a main I eat three different cannelloni, one with aubergine, one with spinach and one with artichokes. The atmosphere is lovely, someone plays the piano and the waitress and waiter couldn’t be more welcoming. How can people finish a meal without dessert? I order a rum and raisin flan and have a café with it. I love that you can eat out till 1am or so, but at 1.30am it is getting really late and I head back home to Som Nit Born where I sink into my comfy bed.

Good to know

Address: Som Nit Born, Calle Reina Cristina 13, Barcelona.

Walking distance to
-Restaurant 7 Portes, Passeig Isabel II: 70 meters
-Passeig del Born: 400 meters
-Playa de la Barceloneta: 1000 meters
-La Boqueria: 1300 meters
-El Corte Inglés, Portal de l'Àngel. 1700 meters

I paid EUR 180/night for my street facing room. Please note that I had to book a family room, it was the last one available at the time of my stay. Please check prices with Som Nit Born.

Would you open a guest house in the current economic climate? Where do you like to stay in the capital of Catalonia? Have you ever eaten at a 175 year old restaurant? Looking forward to hear from you. Thanks so very much in advance.

From Berlin with love