Vintage Barcelona

We are back from a child free weekend away in Barcelona. It was lovely to have a rest, to spend time together and discover a few vintage finds on the way.

We both have been a few times before so the usual sight seeing wasnt the priority. Instead we wanted to chill, eat nice food, drink wine and maybe check out the odd vintage shop.

So we arrived on Friday an hour early to meet the lady we were renting an apartment from. What should we do? We jumped into the nearest bar (it was early evening after all!). Mr YVL chose El BonBon…a small, secluded bar opposite. Turns out he saw the retro lights from the street and had an inkling that it would be good. It wasnt good, it was great! Decked out in 70s wallpaper and retro glass lights, playing funky soul, we sat on low sofas alongside leather footstools and relaxed after the journey.

We loved the mis matched chairs including one we actually have for sale at the moment! For anyone wanting to pop in it is on Carrer De La Riera Alta in the El Raval district, they serve great mohitos and locals salsa the night away all weekend. You will be the only English here, but they are friendly and welcoming.

Our apartment was fantastic. Huge paintings adorned the walls and the roof terrace was an added extra.


As vegetarians, eating out in some parts of Europe can be hard. Spain is no exception with their love of sea food and rabbit. We literally stumbled upon the vegan restaurant/cafe serving great tapas. And what’s more it was like we had gone back 20 years and had fallen into a 1992 music video.

Handpainted, bright walls and ceilings reminded me of an old retro Jesus Jones T shirt I once owned. Coincidentally it was called Juicy Jones!

It’s fab for a juice or veggie fodder and it’s cheap! Check it out on Carrer De Hospital.

So we woke Saturday early. Instead of Kitty screaming we awoke to the local church bell! Up we got in search of sun, a bit of Gaudi and hopefully vintage shops!

After sleeping on the beach (the bells sure did wake us early) we stumbled across a mini festival all along the Arc De Triomf. Loads of vegan food, crystals, Indian tye dye pants…yes we had gone back again to the early 90s. We ate a huge plate of Tibetan food, sitting crossed legged on the Passeig De LLuis Comanys. A giant plastic windmill was hanging within the arc…no idea why but it looked cool.

We found bunting made from vintage magazine adverts and amazing handblown glass lights that looked like a Chance handkerchief vase upside down. (alas no piccies..they didnt allow me to!)

The for a bit of sight seeing, up to my favourite work by Gaudi. Casa Battlo has been a firm favourite since I studied History of Architecture A level back in the late 80s (yes I am also retro!).

The swirled balconies with mask like eyes, the circles of coloured glass reminiscent of bottles, and the fishtail like roof all add to its magical charm.

Forget Sagrada da Familia, this is by far his best work showing the world that he was a great artist as well as an architect.

Then for the vintage shopping. We discovered 4 shops locally to where we were staying, with the rest up in the Gracia district which we didn’t go to. First was Holala! They have 2 shops here in Tallers. The first is smaller and  full of American vintage from the 50s through to the early 90s. It has a cool vibe with rock n roll pumping from the stereo  and young funky staff.

They product blocked the clothing with a flat pricing structure that was very reasonable. More menswear really, it was full of baseball jackets, levis, with some great affordable dresses for the ladies too.

Round the corner was their main branch which was amazing. Again quite American, this time the clothing was mixed with retro furniture and lighting.

Industrial metal tables and chairs alongside pretty early 50s day dresses….gorgeous. I loved this bag best but at 35 euros it was not to be mine.

The wall of chairs looked great…we had the bottom yellow one in our kitchen in the 80s!

The windows were huge with real window dressing. This was a professional vintage store, money had clearly been spent and was being taken. Great clothes, great furniture…..not the cheapest but a great place to hang out all the same!

Next shop we found, also on Tallers was Retro City.

A small shop filled with European vintage, this was cheap and cheerful. The owner, originally from England has been  selling vintage for  years. Piles of retro belts, shoes and rails of product blocked clothing is crammed into the space. It was however, like vintage shops were 10 years ago…pile it high sell it cheap. We felt that Holala had styled their shop with a certain customer in mind, and this look was more for us!

The last shop was called Produit National Brut and was on Carrer Ramelleres.

You could easily miss this one as it looks like a nice ladies boutique from the outside. It was also like a boutique on the inside but thankfully not at boutique prices. The fixtures were modern and wooden, the clothing was washed and pressed and evenly spaced on the rails. They have fab dresses all at 25 euros…even the 1950s ones!!! We made some purchases: an early 1960s pink and brown day dress for me and a 50s top for Mr YVL.

Another vegan restaurant was discovered on Saturday night where I ate Japanese tofu…cant remember the address but it was just off Carrer De Peu De La Creu (maybe Carrer De Dou). It was  also a step back to the 90s…maybe owned by the same people as Juicy Jones as the menu was very similar.

Sunday we hopped on the train and went to gem that is Sitges. A lovely almost unspoilt seaside town where there is nothing to do but walk the promenade and eat! So we did exactly that!! Here I am in my 10p 50s dress (regular readers will remember how we found this in a 10p box). We have a similar photo of me standing here in 1992…I will have to dig it out next time I am at my Mum’s house.

We had a lovely time, have sun burnt faces, ate too much, drank too much and now it’s back to the world of mid century furniture and vintage clothing. It’s like we never left!





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  1. 25 April 2012 / 4:56 pm

    What a lovely blog post!

    Sounds like you had a fabulous time.

    Love the apartment and the vintage shops you found.

    I’ll be book marking this for when I might visit Barcelona.

    Lula Belle
    Glamour in the County

    • Your vintage life
      25 April 2012 / 5:42 pm

      Thanks, We do recomend it…although it does help to know where the vintage shops are!!! Kate

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