48 hours in El Borne: dream and reality in women


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We knew what we knew. And we went further. The Barcelona neighborhood, halfway between sea breezes and avant-garde currents, assumes with great doses of stoicism the popularity that its streets brimming with history give it.

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Secrets of Barcelona to inspire a creative traveler

El Borne welcomes those who make a pilgrimage in search of the memories of the old Barcino, or those who, like us, come to the heat of the contemporary tide.

Barcelona, like other exemplary cities, has been illustrating a reality: feminism is not a passing lover . It is not a trend. Not to mention an ephemeral fashion. The visibility of women as citizens of the world is a matter of state: of the natural state of the human being.

The artist Lara Costafreda declares: "In Catalonia the feminist movement has been important this last year, but there is still a lot to do." Eva Sáez, soul of the 'friend bar' of the neighborhood, says: “The role of women is increasingly important in this city. I love to see that businesses run by women proliferate in El Borne. We can do it . ”

Los balcones del Borne, en Barcelona

The balconies of Borne, in Barcelona © iStock

We can and we do it with this two-day route: enough time to find out why this metamorphosis is as necessary as it is prodigious. Here you create, write, eat, dream… in feminine.


Always one step ahead, the Borne premieres more than 300 beds (where to dream of change or spend nights talking about dreams) disseminated in the first Motel One in Barcelona, the German hotel chain awarded for being exemplary in essential matters such as design, honesty and gender parity .

And as you do not live in dreams, Motel One Barcelona is already a reality available to all who want to sleep in Barcelona in front of the Parc de la Ciutadella, (Pg. Lluís Companys, 2), an urban lung where essential references of Barcelona's nature: the Parlament de Catalunya, the Zoo, the Museum of Natural Sciences, the Castle of the Three Dragons .

Motel One de Barcelona

Design, honesty and gender parity © Motel One in Barcelona

And in that desire to blend in with the park, the decoration of the hotel is an applause to its natural environment: many floors, a patio with Kettal furniture, colorful chairs by Moroso and B&B Italia, carpets from Nanimarquina, lamps from 100 glass balloons of colors … and a bar that recalls the industrial style of the Barcelona markets.

Whether contemplating the sea of ​​greens on the mural of Lara Costafreda from an XL bed lined with Egyptian cotton, or reading Lucia Berlin in a Freifrau armchair under an Artemide lamp, or realizing an assortment of Catalan delicacies, under the organic installation - on paper and metal sheets - by Anaïs Senli, and accommodated in one of Patricia Urquiola's armchairs.

Local references, such as those of Costafreda or Senli, illustrate this change with art. Senli, who lives and works in Berlin, received a call from her Sala Parés gallery to inform her that the artistic director of Motel One had been fascinated with her work.

Instalación de Anaïs Senli

Installation of Anaïs Senli © Motel One of Barcelona

For her part, Lara Costafreda - the first woman in her family dedicated to design - has traveled the world following her vocation: “Barcelona, ​​London, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and, again Barcelona, ​​to work with Hermès, Chanel, Fendi, Cartier … and Motel One. My work is a love letter to nature, it is an ode to its beauty and it is a desperate cry to take care of it ”.

A shared post by Lara Costafreda (@laracostafreda) on Feb 4, 2018 at 1:17 PST

And the feminine references do not cease . After consolidating his career in France, Italy and England, Noelia Miñarro returned to his native Barcelona: “I was proposed to run the first Motel One in Spain and the reception has been wonderful. It is a pleasure that a company values ​​the person ”. He says that his status as a woman has never been an obstacle: "I think our sector has made great strides on essential issues such as salary parity."

From Berlin, the artist Senli throws data to not sleep: “ In museums, female representation is still minimal . In Germany, most of them are directed by men and, according to a study by Deutschen Kultur, only one in three works in the museum collections is of a woman ”.

As an artist, Costafreda points out: “ Art is a mirror of society . They tell you about Picasso and Dalí, but not about Roser Bru, Ángeles Santos Torroella or Maruja Mallo . We lack references, women who lead. Between 2003 and 2013, only 9.4% of the individual exhibitions of top-level museums in Spain were female. While, in the faculties of Fine Arts of Spain, women represent 70 percent. ”

Recepción de Motel One Barcelona

The reception of the newcomer to the city © Motel One of Barcelona

PASTELERÍA HOFMANN (Carrer dels Flassaders, 44)

With or without diamonds, it is almost mandatory to try one of the best croissants in Spain - and biscuits, cakes, cookies - in this sanctuary of gastronomic excellence, opened in 2008.

Because biting those crunchy sheets of butter is a tribute to Miss Hofman, matriarch of the homonymous school, a family business born in 1983 with a vocation to what it is today : the reference in hospitality training in Europe where some of the best chefs from the national scene, like the Torres brothers .

A shared publication of Escuela Hofmann Barcelona (@hofmannbcn) on May 29, 2018 at 12:49 PDT

Maria Remei Hofmann (Mey) studied interior architecture, gemology, economics and jewelry design.

However, his precocious enthusiasm for cooking, fueled during his summers at the German boarding school in Wiesbaden, led Mey to found the prestigious hospitality school - the only one that boasts a Michelin star - and that, later, led to a business which combines several restaurants of different formats - Racó Hofmann also in the Borne - and the bakery that would have dreamed the Holly Golightly of Blake Edwards .

When, in 2016, Mey Hofmann took her talent to posterity, her daughter Silvia took the reins of the matriarchal business . So yes.

Hofmann Barcelona

A sanctuary of gastronomic excellence © Hofmann Barcelona


When Ildefonso Falcones dedicated his bestseller La Catedral del Mar to the temple that reveres the Gothic architecture of the 14th century, and bastion of this artistic period of Barcelona, ​​to Santa María del Mar, it was an infallible claim for travelers who swim every day in their inside.

Its history, umbilical cordon of the centenary Barcelona, ​​recalls the past of the ancient Roman village of Barcino in which a small Christian community near the sea was consolidated. This was where the martyr Santa Eulalia was buried in 303 .

It is said that here could be the first chapel that, at the beginning, was known as Santa María de las Arenas, and at the end of the 7th century it already responded to the name of Parroquia de Santa María del Mar (Plaça de Santa Maria, 1). If you want to know the rest, sign up for one of the cultural visits (Monday-Saturday, 1pm to 5pm) or take a walk here.

Parroquia de Santa María del Mar

Parish of Santa María del Mar © Getty Images

With some appetite you have to let yourself go to the Santa Caterina Market (Av. Francesc Cambó, 16). Its colorful deck of sinuous wood forms adds lyricism and architectural avant-garde to the Cathedral district and, under the ceramic mosaic of Toni Comella, a colorful network of stalls daily pumps the idiosyncrasies of a food market that used to be the convent of Santa Caterina

Since 2005, the work entrusted to the study and marriage couple formed by Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue, which was the first covered market in Barcelona, is a show for architecture and magic forofos of neighborhood markets.

At the end of the day, you can pay homage right there, among the kitchens of Cuines de Santa Caterina, in the hands of the Midas of the local restoration: Grupo Tragaluz . A fact for romantics: Caterina is the name of the daughter of Enric and Benedetta. Discover its history here.

A shared publication of Segredos de Viagem (@segredosdeviagem) on 2 Jun, 2015 at 8:57 PDT


Everything that can inspire his name has a lot to do with this design refuge: he is scholarly and conceptual, with a bohemian soul and a Parisian invoice.

Elsa Gateaux decided that El Borne was the perfect neighborhood to put at the service of the locals this impeccable compilation of handmade pieces that includes fashion accessories, decorative objects and books to read and exhibit.

This 31-year-old French woman was slightly shaken by the pulse when, after ten years as a lawyer and a flat in Paris, she considered it sensible to fulfill her dream. And today the showcase of L'Erudite Concept Store is a staging of its success: objects of emerging artists from his native country and attachment to a style far removed from removable trends .

Among its half-painted stone walls, you find wooden furniture such as exhibitors and scattered in a space of 75 m² where author's shoes, fashion and accessories live ; and art books of the best publishers in the sector.

A shared publication of L'Erudite Concept Store (@leruditeconceptstore) on 23 Mar, 2018 at 4:46 PDT

The most didactic is to enter the maison of Elsa and lose yourself in this feminine map of French sounds: Isadora Limare, Camille Roussel, Pied de Biche, Delphine Lopez (Maradji) and Coralie de Seynes .

To have, you have even the beautiful and illustrated chocolate tablets of Le Chocolat des Français. Of course, the class does not understand trends.

A shared publication of L'Erudite Concept Store (@leruditeconceptstore) on Jan. 4, 2018 at 4:22 p.m.


Located in the old market, the Born Center of Culture and Memòria dedicates its new era to culture and has become a transformative landmark of the neighborhood. Opened in 1876, the Born market is, in its own right, a bulwark of Barcelona's iron architecture of the late 19th century.

Today, what was the military fortress of the Ciutadella is devoted to the memory of its recent past as a market of Born and to the local culture with a large program of musical, literary and theatrical activities.

On this particular route, the culture center deserves a prominent position. The culmination of the feminine visibility of the Born CCM is not exactly in sight of everyone.

It is in the rear: an eminently feminine team watches over the memory of the old market: from the management, in the hands of Montserrat Iniesta, or the educational services, which Rosana Fibla supervises, through the control of the center's activities, where Anna, Lluisa and Neus have a lot to say.

Another Anna manages historical content and publications; and Dolors is responsible for administration and security. Eugenia guards the department of conservation and, Pilar and María, the administration department.

While Lourdes and Isabel are in charge of telling the press and the world what is happening in the Born CCM. And what happens here is that Eduard and Alfonso are a minority of an exemplary team .

A shared post by Gianni Zigante (@giannizigante) on Oct 19, 2017 at 4:39 p.m. PDT

PONY CAFÉ (23, Carrer del Portal Nou)

Upon entering the Pony you know it could be your favorite place in the world. With the humility granted by the honorable job of making others happy, Eva Sáez is driven by the art of serving a cane as the scriptures command .

This requires some experience being La Camarera ("I say it in capital letters to highlight that work that waiters do") and a lot of generosity : "In the Pony you can find people of all kinds. Here nobody feels out of place. ” Eva carries, with her brother, the reins of this friendly Borne bar: “12 years ago we opened it with the intention of offering a space where anyone felt comfortable with the treatment, music and reeds - they say they are well pulled - ”

In a few square meters, the conversation around a bar of 'the lifelong ones' . In Pony Café everything is exhibited without artifice: Mahou's reeds, the combination at a good price, the relaxed atmosphere and even the paisanaje that, with style, surprises you making you feel at home.

A shared publication of Miles (@milesmira) on Dec 2, 2016 at 10:12 PST

This is what Sergio Go does, an exceptional cicerone : “Here the reeds are well thrown. And know? The Catalans, from the third Mahou, we look like Madrid . ” While laughing, he asks for the first two, and adds: "Al Pony you can enter alone and, at the end, end up talking to the whole bar."

On the other extreme, Eva talks in English with two newcomers: “ When they return to Barcelona, ​​many remember us. We love it . I think that, apart from tourism, the Borne has evolved while still wasting life. I try to make people a little happier here in 'the friend bar', as many know us .

CAL BRUT (Princess 42)

"Possibly the dirtiest bar in the world." With that motto, any parishioner with a bit of judgment and sense of humor will be quick to see who is the genius after such (and a little suicidal) harangue .

In the heat of this sentence, his brief letter puts at our disposal a selection of local oddities, international references, vermouths and combined at exquisite prices (of appetizing) that pay with fermented its variety in tortillas and sausages imbued with payesa soul .

A post shared by @frankbrashaw on Jun 15, 2017 at 12:57 p.m. PDT

Although Marc runs this retreat of brief whims, Lía (as his colleague of the Pony) puts at the service of the collective good his presence and power in a tavern that, among his virtues, displays on his website a particular refranero perfect for bar professionals and of the business: Dites a Cal Brut . Greatness of the human condition: 'Pos'm a fifth that I'n vaig' (give me a fifth that I'm leaving), If you drink to forget, pay before you start or 'Sóc cambrer no psicòleg' (I'm a waiter, not a psychologist) .

A shared publication of Dominique? (@tinystiletto) on Apr 4, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. PDT

FISMULER BARCELONA (Carrer del Rec Comtal, 17)

Just a handful of months (and tables) have been enough for Nino Redruello, Patxi Zumárraga and Jaime Santianes to convince the most savory foodies in Barcelona.

After passing through the stove of elBulli in 2002, the three chefs have paraded through kitchens here and there always in parallel currents. Redruello and Zumárraga have left their recognizable imprint on Fismuler Madrid. And once the land has been paid, they have landed with their unbeatable proposal, and next to the Asturian Santianes, on the cobbled floor of the old Rec Comtal, in what are now the ground floor of the Hotel Rec de Nuñez i Navarro.

His weapons of mass creation support the essence of his brother from Madrid, heir to the Redruello family's know-how, among others, of La Ancha or La Gabinoteca -: honesty, a letter that is governed by kilometer zero and the market, apparent simplicity and impeccable execution between plaster and adobe walls, steel and concrete plates on the floor and light wicker lamps that illuminate the grandmother's dishes.

A shared publication of fismuler (@fismuler) on 30 Mar, 2018 at 11:30 PDT

In the letter, the most acclaimed recipes of Fismuler Madrid already add devotees in their new headquarters - tortilla de ortiguillas, golden semi-cured with almonds and grapes and orices filled with love -, which illuminate with other places such as sepia and butifarra meatballs. To the sound of the festival, they dance their homemade macerations on the bar: white almond whiskey, gin with roasted apple or with Jamaican pepper vodka.

However. Fismuler Barcelona is governed under the baton of a woman: Elena Morcillo : “It has been a beautiful experience. El Borne is the perfect place to develop this project in Barcelona . I came to stay. ” And he adds: “The hospitality industry is a wonderful and hard world, which requires great effort, sacrifice and teamwork. A team that meets gender parity in Madrid and goes the same way in Barcelona. ”

Elena applauds the opportunities of her host city: " The city offers many possibilities for a woman to reach the top of her career ." And he says goodbye with a dessert: “I love this neighborhood, it's pure history. It seems to be designed to get lost… sometimes it reminds me of La Latina . ”

Fismuler Barcelona

Just a handful of tables (and months) in the city © Fismuler Barcelona

The XAMPANYET (Carrer de Montcada, 22)

Two steps from the Picasso Museum - its artistic legacy would give for a monograph - and in search of the penultimate talk, there is nothing more therapeutic and healthy than a taverna meeting with fellow travelers: dissertations at one hundred decibels and black jokes at the blow of … champagne? in one of the places with more substance in a neighborhood that preserves (and what you can) some jewels like El Xampanyet.

And why close this route in a century-old tasca? For its collection of goodnesses declared of public interest : the radiance of the authentic - quality in danger of extinction in the era of franchises -, canned products of capital size (mussels, anchovies, anchovies), as are also the montaditos de Catalan sausage (slow applause), and, of course, for the concoction that gives its name to the canteen: the xampanyet, a soft homemade cava whose charm, also public, lies in the sorority caused by a toast in those glasses of French champagne that they flood Instagram.

Do not panic: here the 'chin chin' also tastes like delicious siphon vermouth, good foam rods and wine by the glass in a bar that since 1929 has been giving joy to a few generations. Of women, of course.

A shared post by beanie_e (@beanie_e) on 2 Jun, 2018 at 6:54 PDT
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Secrets of Barcelona to inspire a creative traveler