Last week, fed up of wet windy days in London, I jumped on a flight to one of the most beautiful cities in the world; Barcelona. Here I shopped till I dropped, gorged myself on enough Tapas to feed a small army and soaked up the gorgeous works of Spain's architect genius, Gaudi.
Day one, walking through the streets of Barcelona with my eyes directed towards the skies in awe of the unbelievable architecture and buildings, this was my first time in the city and I was blown away by it in around 5 minutes! Not only were the buildings designed to the highest level, even our well known high street stores were designed one step or five ahead of the others, chain stores such as Desigual and H&M were more like concept stores than high-street.
Desigual the Spanish high street chain, designs it's stores in this city to the highest visual standards. As you walk in your eye is drawn upwards to the ceiling where vibrantly coloured glass bottle hang, shoes as well as hanging over the stairs on different coloured ropes, are also presented deliciously on china plates. The iron work on the rails and stairs is beautifully intricate and true to the nature of this beautiful artistic city. As I walked around this store, one I would never normally enter I was amazed that it felt more like an art exhibition than a high-street clothing store.
This was also a similar case of another high street chain we all know so well and love – H&M! Near Passeig de Gracia the store here, which I can only imagine to be their Barcelona flagship, is situated in the most beautiful building with an entrance to impress any passing shopper. Contrasting with the traditionally historical exterior, music is pumped out with an LED lighting installation in the entrance, inside marble columns flank a very grand staircase with a light shaft at the top, in true Gaudi style letting in beautiful natural light. The stairs lead up to different rooms, for example a shoe room and an accessory room; enormous vibrant orange leather doors open up into the rooms to show beautiful old furniture on display with chandeliers hanging over head, giving the place a richer feeling far away from what we see in our H&M store over here.
This high level of store design and visual merchandising blew me away and I was totally not expecting to be blogging about high street stores but I simply had to share this! After a long morning of shopping we hit a well-known Tapas bar within the city called Tapas 24, I have written all about this little gem in Gastro StreetStalker.
Awesome first day in this amazing city!