So this isn’t going to be one of my usual ‘fashion’ posts per se, rather it’s an attempt at the other type of styling that I have a thing for, interiors.

As you know, I’m pretty new to blogging, and this is my first attempt at blogging about Interiors: I don’t know any fancy terminology and suchlike but I do know what floats my boat and this restaurant in Barcelona definitely hit the spot for me.

If you only have a couple of nights in Barcelona, the chances are you will head to Passeig de Gracia for a bit of designer store shopping (or in my case, window shopping only) and if not for that, then for a visit to one of the hotel roof top bars for a cocktail or two…

In which case, it would be sheer madness to not drop into the bar/restaurant, El Nacional: “Some of the best of what’s cooking in Barcelona” it says on their main webpage, and they’re not wrong.

We were introduced to this place by Mr T’s Spanish friends (who moved back to Barcelona after a stint in London) and would probably have never discovered it had it not been for their insider knowledge…

It is set back from the main street down a narrow-ish alleyway, and as you approach, there’s not too much in the courtyard which gives away just how spectacular the interiors will be:

El Nacional Restaurant Entrance

Now, again, referencing the El Nacional website, they describe the restaurant as:

“The first restaurant with different areas where you can try traditional recipes from around the Iberian Peninsula, prepared with high quality produce in unique surroundings, reflecting the social and cultural life of Barcelona.”

And to be honest, although we ended up visiting and eating in the restaurant twice, both times were in the Tapas zone and… well, this post is really more of a review of the spectacular 1930s/40s inspired interiors rather than a ‘food review’ although it would be daft to not mention the amazing Tapas at all!

So, once you’ve entered through the main door & plant filled porch area, this is the sight that will hit you:

Ticket Booth

Yes, its an old ticket booth.

Now I don’t know how true this is, but our friends told us that the original building interior was designed by the same guy who designed Grand Central Station in New York and whilst I can’t find anything online on this here with my sketchy wi-fi in my hotel room in Tossa De Mar (Costa Brava Spain), I can see why our friend said this as there are certainly echo’s of Grand Central Station.

Grand being the operative word.

Here’s the main bar:

El Nacional Main Bar

As well as the four eating ‘zones’ and 3 separate bars, the interiors of this are just dazzling and something new hits you with every turn of the head.

This rather grand open-plan eatery is divided into four main eating zones: The tea & cake area; the Tapas zone; The Fish restaurant and a Brasserie, all of which are styled in a similar themed fashion; however each has its own interiors flourish to set it apart from the other zones.

Here is the Brasserie “La Braseria”:

La Braseria

We didn’t eat here but were seated next to a couple in the Tapas area who had tried it the night before: they said the food was spot on which is why they came back to try a different zone of the restaurant…

Opposite the brasserie is the tea & cake area:

La Paradera: anyone for tea & cake?

Again, untried by us, but those plates, all together like that make for a stunning display.  I also loved these ‘birdcage” lightshades which added a touch of “victorians’s” to the zone.

Tapas zone:

So this is where we ate twice, and loved it.

And yet, this is the one zone I didn’t photograph from afar!

Tapas zone - look at those lights & titles!

The Tapas were on point, with special favourites being the Andalucian Calamari and the boys all loved the ‘Pork Cheek’ meatball-kind of stew.

Did I manage any photos of the food?  Fat chance with my boys around…

The way the Tapas restaurant works is that there are sections of the menu which you can order from, however, the main specials are just sent out by the kitchen and the waiting staff carry the small tasty dishes around on trays, walking around the tables, shouting out what they are carrying and you have to put your hand up and grab the dish whilst its there, or you miss it.

Kind of fun, though I can imagine its frustrating if you keep missing what you want… we didn’t miss a thing though and the boys were spearing food onto their plates way too fast for me to get any photos!

Tapas bar/serving area

The Fish restaurant, “La Llotja”:

The fish zone

I really would have loved to try this fish restaurant… perhaps another time, when Mr T and I return  #kidfree… in my dreams!

And now, just some more gratuitous photos of #thedetails:

The sight that greets you if you enter the restaurant from the opposite end to the courtyard entrance we came in through:

A grand entrance

Given how grand this entrance is, I get the feeling this is really the main way in and we came in through the back!

Lights… so many beautiful ceiling lights:


I love this light so much.

I want this light!

I want this light!

More lights, above the Cocktail Bar:

Cocktail bar

And then these shelving areas, full of bottles and “objet” to separate the zones:

Take a closer look:

I know, I know – am thin on the ground here on history and interiors details… other than fawning over the place I’ve not said much about it… last few pics, I promise:



Now that is a plate display!!

Now that is a plate display!!

I was more than a little in love with these palm-pillars:

Palm Tree Pillar

Palm Tree Pillar

This place accounted for our 2 best meals/nights out in Barcelona, and so I wanted to give it a shout-out and share my photos which I hope, speak volumes.

I also realise that having moved out of London 6 years ago, places like this are perhaps a dime a dozen in the big smoke…

But for me, now a small town girl, I was totally in awe of the scale of this place and loved every inch and sparkly art deco influenced detail!

More to come from me on my 2 weeks in Barcelona with young children, as well as how our first week being beachside in Tossa De Mar went, though these posts might have to wait until I am home.

Tomorrow we travel up the coast to Llafranc for our final week: #itsbeenintense!!

Til next time – I’ll leave you with a final snap of me & the boys on the “disco steps” at the restaurant:


Little Moon always has to pull a face, huh?!

Have you been to this place?  Would love to hear your thoughts