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Hotel Praktik Bakery, Our Man on the Ground | 19-02-2016

When I heard that there was a new hotel cum bakery in the city, I knew I had to check it out. I mean, who doesn’t like waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread in the mornings? Barcelona loves its bakeries – you’ll find one around almost every street corner. A meal is not really considered a meal here unless there’s bread on the table too. Located just down the road from Antoni Gaudí’s quirky La Pedrera building, the Praktik Hotel Bakery occupies an ideal position in the city’s Eixample district, surrounded by designer boutiques and elegant architecture. From the outside it looks just like a bakery with its crimped yellow awning. Little belies that it’s a hotel apart from its name. When I arrived at the hotel I was met with the sight of shiny bread ovens and bakers surrounded by clouds of flour through the large glass windows. The smell of sweet dough filled the air and rows upon rows of baskets sat along the counter waiting to be filled. Besides creating a stylish place to stay, the Praktik hotel group also wanted to create a functional city bakery, where locals would come in to buy their bread each morning. And head baker – Anna Bellsolá’s traditional Baluard bakery does just this, with locals jostling for a place in line to snap up some of the best rolls and pastries around. A small sign painted onto a breadboard at the end of the counter indicated that I was now in the hotel’s reception area. My room on the sixth floor overlooked a small playground and although it was small, the style was clean and bright with a sleek and minimalistic finish. Its white wood panelled and ceramic tiled walls, made me almost think that I was inside an artisanal bread oven itself. The best part though was the oversized fluffy white bed – one of those that begs you to jump right in it and sink down into the soft duvet and feathery heap of pillows. In contrast, my bathroom was large and luxurious with pretty blue patterned tiles and deluxe rain shower – one of the best I’ve had in a long time. The highlight of any stay (including mine) at the Praktik Hotel Bakery is of course its buffet breakfast, comprising freshly baked items straight from the ovens. Heading downstairs in the morning, the enticing smell of warm yeasty bread did indeed fill the air, making breakfast seem all that more tempting. Inside the cosy café filled with potted plants and low hanging lighting, bakers twisted pastry and rolled puffy balls of dough from behind a glass window. One whole wall showcased an array of baskets filled with warm treats – there were small squares of sticky rhubarb cake, slices of fragrant olive bread, mini pain au chocolats and wholemeal croissants, as well as an array of fresh fruit, slices of ham, cheeses and fruity jams, all waiting to be sampled. The treats in the bakery section looked equally delectable and can be bought and eaten in the café too. I left the glossy, comfy confines of the Praktik Hotel Bakery happy and satisfied. I can’t wait until mid October, when the Praktik hotel group will open up their new wine-themed hotel in the city, to see what they come up with.

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