Honeymooning at Soho House Barcelona | UK WEDDING BLOG

facebook-profile-picture By Rebecca

City breaks aren’t perhaps the most obvious choice for a honeymoon, you often come back more tired than when you begin. Likewise, city hotels often aren’t anything to write home about, just somewhere to rest your tired feet after all the sightseeing. Yet Soho House Barcelona, where we’ve just returned from, isn’t just any city hotel {I mean, of course! Remember our stay at Soho Farmhouse by the same group last year? That set the boundaries v high} and Barcelona isn’t just any old city {there’s culture, great food and a beach!}. As a result Soho House Barcelona is a destination in itself which we couldn’t have loved more. Whether it’s for a minimoon straight after your wedding, a pre wedding trip with your fiance or a group of girls, this is the place to stay when in the Catalonian capital.

At just under two hours away from London, escaping to Barcelona is perfect almost all year round for a short break with guaranteed sunshine and flights are ridiculously cheap {£80 for both of us return with Easyjet, making our trip better value than staying in the UK and driving for a few hours somewhere!}. After an early start, by 9am English time we’d arrived in Spain to hot sunshine and were in a taxi whizzing the twenty minutes from the airport into the city passing cactus on the hills and feeling happy with our decision to escape an autumnal UK for a few days.

Soho House almost feels like a resort, all packaged in a beautiful traditional Spanish looking building painted pink with palm trees adorning it. The house is set in a square in the most perfect location in amongst the Gothic Quarter with all of it’s old streets and squares but bang opposite Port Vell’s marina and just a fifteen minute walk from the best parts of the beach. There are three levels of bedrooms, a level for the Cowshed gym {which was insanely well equipped and so beautiful in style with floor tile goals}, a screening room cinema that felt like something out of Gatsby’s era {the bar stools!}, a basement Cowshed spa {heaven, more on that later}, Cecconi’s Italian restaurant and then saving the best until last, the fifth floor member’s club and rooftop.  You don’t have to be a member to book and whilst the UK houses are notoriously hard to get into, Barcelona seems to have a lot more availability.

On checking in you’re reminded of the Soho House member’s rules, it is after all an exclusive private club. Phone calls are only permitted in certain areas, you must dress casually and photos are banned except for on the lower levels. It’s understandable, but don’t be expecting poolside selfies! It is, in part, to protect the privacy of other members but I think also partly to keep it as a secret kind of club. I quite like the fact that there are some surprises when you stay here rather than seeing absolutely everything on Instagram before you go.

Our room was a medium Marina plus, on the third floor that completely wowed us with both the decor and the view. Even just the corridor was ridiculously stylish, deep blue paneling topped with a William Morris like floral wallpaper print. Our bathroom was large, with both a bath and a shower {a rarity for a city room} as well as a beautiful double sink. You’re spoilt with the full Cowshed range of toiletries, and there’s really no need to bring anything with you {you’ll find a dental kit, cleanser, toner, deodorant, shaving gear and mouthwash in you room}. They’ve thought of everything for your stay. In the minibar you’ll find a cocktail making kit with fresh citrus fruit and glasses and China cups so beautiful I wanted to sneak them into my suitcase. 

I loved the bathroom so much. Along with that mustard headboard.

The rooftop pool area was the real highlight of our stay. Achingly cool and beautifully designed we watched the sunrise over the harbour from our striped sun loungers under a tassel adorned canopy and ordered breakfast each morning. Soho’s avocado toast with poached eggs is world famous, we also loved the traditional Spanish options on offer {give me all the iberico and manchego} as well as the House Press juices. At weekends, when members are more likely to visit, and on particularly hot days you might have to wait a while to get a spot next to the pool but it will be worth it. With views out across the city and all the comfy spaces to lounge around it’s the perfect place to spend some time when you’re not sightseeing. On the floor below you’ll find the club level, again styled to perfection with a grown up bar but also some fun quirks like a free photo booth and pick and mix. 

The Cowshed spa, set in the tiled basement is perhaps the greatest surprise. With a subtle Spanish inspired tiled pool under a brick roof, we truly unwound on our last day after we’d spent the previous days pounding the pavements. I tried out the bridal package, a relaxing massage followed by a refreshing facial that left my face looking brand new. Meanwhile my Bullock aka the groom was getting pampered in a more masculine way in the treatment room next door.    

Dinner at Cecconi’s, Soho’s chain of old school glamour proper Italian restaurant, was ridiculously good. My husband joked that there’s nothing that Soho House doesn’t do well. They just get it. The restaurant was glamorous in style yet also completely relaxed. You must order the aubergine parmiagana as an appetiser. We had lobster spaghetti and then pistachio profiteroles for dessert but the pizzas looked like something out of Naples. Suffice to say we needed a walk around the harbour afterwards! If you’re here on a Sunday look into their brunch buffet, it looked incredible. 

Our two magical nights felt like so much longer. It was the perfect break and with early flights out and evening flights home we had three full days.

// T H E   B A R C E L O N A   E D I T

I feel like Barcelona is the kind of city that can be whatever you want it to be. It can be romantic, with a wander through the gothic quarter and old streets stopping off at little hole in the wall type tapas bars. It can be beachy and feel like a proper holiday with seafood bars/restaurants overlooking the sand, marinas full of boats and too many palm trees to count. It can be adventurous, there’s a cable car that goes from the top of a hill steep above Barcelona travelling down with views for miles and football lovers will want to catch a game at Camp Nou. It will definitely be full of culture with Gaudi’s architecture dotted across the city, cathedrals, squares and museums, there’s tapas aplenty and paella everywhere you go. Rose wine, Sangria and cocktail stops. There’s Zara and Mango along with lots of other famous Spanish brands, to shop until your heart is content. Or of course, your Barcelona could be a mix of all of this. And that’s the beauty of it. Such a diverse city.

We were here during the Merce festival, Barcelona’s annual September celebrations with lots of music and culture happening across the city including people making human towers high up in the air! It was fun to see the performances as we explored but also pretty crazy with crowds and the two days of public holidays meant that all the shops were shut. Try to avoid this time if you can! Another caveat to note, Barcelona is notorious for pickpockets so in crowded areas especially be aware and hold onto your bag/camera as well as being aware of wallets in your pockets. We didn’t have any trouble but just made sure we were aware. There are lots of stories of scams across the city, e.g. in cafes people come up to you with a water spray to distract you – but we didn’t feel unsafe or worried at all during our stay and didn’t see any trouble. 

We only had two nights and three full days, so we decided from the outset that we couldn’t fit everything in, especially given that we wanted to spend time on the rooftop pool too! We still managed to see a fair chunk though and here’s how we spent our three days;

Day 1 – Arrived at Soho House around 9.30am. Got changed and went straight out {check in isn’t until 3pm but you can get showered/changed in the spa and use all the facilities until then}. We walked up Las Ramblas, just around the corner from the hotel. This is the main tourist street. There’s the worlds best market just off of here which unfortunately was shut during our visit but we would have visited if it was open. There are lots of side streets to wander and squares to discover around this area, all of it known as the Gothic quarter. We then took a right and walked to the Cituadella park, stopping at a little supermarket for picnic supplies. From here we walked down to the Olympic marina, getting a gelato and walking around looking at the boats and our across the beach and out to sea. There are lots of sections of beach, all clean with lifeguards and even wifi. 

We carried on walking the whole way down the boardwalk to then reach the hotel and relax there for the afternoon. Dinner at Soho’s Chicken Shop and Dirty Burger just round the corner, followed by a sunset walk on the beach. Total steps walked, 25,000! 

Day 2 – Breakfast on the roof then we jumped in a taxi {there’s no Uber but we used My taxi which is basically the same and v reasonable. Use this code rebecca.ste for a free 5 euros towards your first trip.} to go up to Park Guell in the north of the city. It’s home to lots of Gaudi work but book a ticket in advance, they’re sold in time slots. We didn’t have time on our trip so just walked around the rest of the free park, not as spectacular but a lovely walk and it felt v Spanish with views out across the city. We then walked down through some pretty residential areas to La Sagrada Familia. Again pre book this online if you want to go inside.

We then walked across the city to see Casa Battlo, another Gaudi masterpiece. We realised that this was the best shopping street and stumbled across El Nacional for lunch – a must visit! It’s a new type of institution in Barcelona and has about 4 different top eateries in there with tapas, proper restaurants and bars. We ate in the seafood part and had incredible paella. It’s worth visiting for the interiors alone. We then walked our paella off through the Gothic quarter and  spent the rest of the day on the roof at Soho House before dinner at Cecconi’s.

Our last day was lazily spent at the Cowshed Spa and we ordered lunch on the rooftop {the Poke bowls were amazing} before flying home.

Must eats and dos; Other places highly recommended to us  to eat at were; Tapas 24 {by the owner of El Bulli}, Flax & Kale, Brunch & Cake, Caravelle, Mar Salada for Paella and the bar at the top of the W hotel {the sail overlooking the beach}A lot of people recommended the hop on/hop off tourist buses as the city is fairly spread out. Football fans shouldn’t miss Camp Nou, you can book tours or buy tickets for a match. The produce market off of Las Ramblas is world famous. If you’re in the city for a few days and want something more beachy, take a train out to Sitches for the day. The cable car looked amazing but is meant to be very rickety. Book tickets in advance for Gaudi at Park Guell and the Sagrada Famila if you want to visit. Remember that on Sundays and public holidays all shops are shut.

When to go: Barcelona is pretty much a year round destination but the best times to visit are in the shoulder seasons, April-June and September-October for lower crowds but still warm sunny days. Peak summer, especially in August will see the hottest days and biggest crowds.

What to pack; Swimwear, sandals and a few day/evening outfits. It’s a relaxed city, plus you can always stop off at Zara, Barcelona’s mothership! Leave your toiletries at home {hello Cowshed} along with your flat irons as they’re provided in the room and maybe don’t pack your heels as lots of streets are cobbled. If you’re a gym bunny, there are lots of free classes in the Soho House gym. 

Have you been? Is there anywhere you’d add to this list? Such an amazing city.

You can find out more at Soho House here

R <3 xx

{We were guests of Soho House but as always we’d never promote anywhere we didn’t truly love. And trust me, we were head over heels with this place.}

No Comments

Leave a comment

You gotta do it so I know you\'re real! *