Since a few months I have the feeling that I will stay much longer in Barcelona, than that I actually thought. I start to build up my life here, starting to like it and it feels like home. I appreciate the city, the people and the culture much more. Maybe I am more open minded and happier here. That’s why I start to invest in getting to know more about the culture, starting with La Diada de Sant Jordi.
April 23 it’s the saint’s day of Sant Jordi, the patron saint of Catalonia. Although this isn’t a public holiday, the people celebrate it big time here. They also call it Valentine’s Day of this region. It’s all about lovers, poetry, authors, roses and books. And I am adding a little bit of coffee to this day ofcourse. You might think what does the coffee has to do with this. I will explain you later, but I got inspired to write this blogpost by a coffee place that I recently discovered.
What makes this day the Valentine’s Day of Barcelona? Let me explain you what happens to lovely cute couples (no offense). The thing is that the guys will buy a rose for the girls and on the other hand the girls will buy a book for guys. That’s the tradition. Luckily as a women you are aloud to read nowadays, so you can also expect a book on this day. Next to that why not surprise a guy with a rose. The tradition is getting more flexible, so as the people.
It’s easy to buy a book or a rose these days, because there are rose- and secondhand book stalls everywhere. Next to that book shops are already putting advertisement for Sant Jordi two weeks before the big day. That’s how I got inspired to write this piece. I walked in the bookshop La Central to visited the new location of Cosmo which is inside the bookshop. And you know I am a sucker for this kind of collaborations. Before I tell you more about this new hotspot, let’s get back to Sant Jordi.
This is one-of-the-most-traditional festivity you will experience in Barcelona. This celebration comes from different traditions. First of all that Sant Jordi was the patron saint since the 15th century. And it also comes from St George. You might know him from your childhood, George and his dragon. In short, the dragon died and from his blood a rose arise. Romantic George picks the flower and gives it to the princess. And that’s how the rose comes up. Since 1930 on this day it’s also the World Book Day. This day is carefully chosen, because two important writes died on this day: Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare. So, on this day there will be a lot of book signings and public book readings.
And that’s the story of Sant Jordi. Now let’s go the inspiration of this story: Cosmo La Central. A cafeteria in the bookshop La Central on C/ Mallorca number 237. This new place is part of the Cosmo family; Cosmo, Cometa and Orion came before. Café and gallery are well combined in these places. You can see the roots of the owner back in his cafés, Scandinavian design like I love it. Same for this new place. It’s minimalistic, lot’s of white, but with cosy details like wood, flowers, mixing different chairs and touches of colors. The place is full of light and you can even sit outside on their terrace.
This place is a great space to have breakfast or lunch, because there is a wide range of products. In every of their four stores you find the same menu, so if you liked something in their other café you will also find it at Cosmo La Central. I am always amazed by the freshness and quality of their products. The sandwiches and salads are big and tasty, the juices makes you feel healthy and the cakes are too yummy to make you feel guilty.
The coffee you get here comes from Nømad Coffee. They offer a wide range of espresso based drinks. There is also decaf, if you are into that. I just don’t do decaf. Than I prefer to take a tea of a yummy sweet chai latte. I can totally recommend the chai latte. On the coffee they have to work a bit more. The espresso was okay, but the milk wasn’t very textured. But the barista’s will get some training, so I hope that will help them improve their coffee. By the way for milk based drinks you can choose between normal full fat milk or oat milk.
So, this collaboration is perfect I think. Coffee & books. It just works. Sit down with your just bought book, sipping a coffee (or another drink), having something to eat. And ofcourse you don’t have to buy a book. It’s also a great spot to sit with your laptop, because there is wifi! You can enjoy this space the way you like. Best part of this space is the smell of the freshly ground coffee mixed with the smell of new books. What else do you need?