Moonraker Morsels

A Barcelona food blog

Las Arenas de Barcelona

Bullfighting may be banned in Catalonia from New Year’s Day 2012 but a toro hasn’t lost its life at Las Arenas de Barcelona bullring since I was a twinkle in my parents’ eyes in 1977. Between then and 25th March this year the bullring sat idle and in a growing state of disrepair until it was finally decided a few years ago to make use of it. Lo and behold what else could it possibly be turned into these days other than another temple to consumerism? Thus where crowds once cheered, bulls died and toreros pranced and taunted in their elaborate costumes and red capes there are now high street stores, chain restaurants and cafes, a multi-screen cinema and a rock and roll museum. Las Arenas de Barcelona former bullring now shopping centreBy the way ‘Arenas’ does not mean ‘arena’  but rather ‘sands’, one of the many false friends to fool us between Spanish and English. The bullring’s façade, which is heavily moorish in style although it was designed by Catalan architect Domènech i Montaner, has been kept and elevated, but inside nothing aside from it’s circular shape remains to hint at its former usage. Las Arenas de Barcelona shopping centre

Inside Las Arenas de Barcelona shopping centre

Inside Las Arenas de Barcelona shopping centre

Inside Las Arenas de Barcelona shopping centreIt has always completely escaped me why anyone would choose to have a meal in a shopping centre cafe or restaurant, it escapes me even more why you’d want to do this in Barcelona given all the other amazing eating options available to you. However, it seems there are plenty people willing to do just this and as such there are a selection of chain fast food eateries and restaurants, although not the usual suspects of Burger King or McDonald’s. None of what follows are on my list to visit anytime soon. Cafe at Las Arenas shopping centre in Barcelona

Cafe at Las Arenas shopping centre in Barcelona

Restaurant in Las Arenas shopping centre in Barcelona

Restaurant in Las Arenas shopping centre in BarcelonaI procrastinate about going shopping in the same way some people put off a visit to the dentist so I’m not really best placed to comment on the stores available, all I’ll say is nowhere particularly grabbed my attention and lured me in.

What I was most looking forward to was climbing up to the open-air, domed roof and catching a glimpse of the city below. From the side facing Plaça d’Espanya towards Montjuïc the view was every bit as good as I imagined and I spent a few minutes looking down trying to grasp how exactly everyone knows how to navigate the crazy roundabout in the plaça.Plaça d'Espanya from roof of Las Arenas shopping centre in Barcelona

Plaça d'Espanya from roof of Las Arenas shopping centre in BarcelonaThe following rooftop restaurant would have been a lovely setting for an outdoor meal had it looked onto the view above. Instead some genius must’ve decided a staircase and rooftop view was a bigger selling point. Thoughtless planning in my opinion.Restaurant on the roof of Las Arenas shopping centre in Barcelona

View from restaurant on the roof of Las Arenas shopping centre in Barcelona I left Las Arenas feeling very disappointed. Its magnificent and historic gift wrapped façade, once torn away reveals a bland, uninspiring present to the visitor. I will stick to admiring its exterior on my daily commute and leave the rest for others to savour.

Arenas de Barcelona, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 373-385

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5 comments on “Las Arenas de Barcelona

  1. Sharmila
    April 28, 2011

    I’m generally with you on the “why would you want to eat in a shopping mall”, except when it comes to Asia. Have had many a fab meal in a shopping mall or department store in Singapore and Japan.

    They know how to it right though!

    • butterytoast
      April 28, 2011

      Do you have any photos or anything on your blog about them Milly? I’d be interested to see what they’re like.
      It’s not just the food that puts me off eating in a mall, also the environment, so souless.

  2. Doug Thompson
    June 9, 2012

    It takes all kinds! We thoroughly enjoyed eating and dining on the roof. The night view is fantastic.

    • butterytoast
      June 13, 2012

      Thanks for your comment Doug, I must go up and take in the view, especially at dusk. I’m sure it’s amazing.

  3. Alessandra
    November 17, 2012

    This is amazing! I saw an exhibition at caixa Forum about the Arena’s remodellarion architect Richard Rogers. It’s a good thing to reuse and not to waste..
    Alessandra
    http://livecitiesbarcelona.wordpress.com/

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This entry was posted on April 26, 2011 by in Non food morsels, Shops and tagged , , , , , .
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