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I was racking my brains trying to think of something to get my boyfriend for his 25th birthday. We love travelling but instead of taking him away for a weekend, I thought why not opt for a little night away in the city we live in. That’s the beauty of Barcelona after all. I’ve lived here for over a year now and I’m still discovering new places. Dedicated to the world of wine, Praktik Vinoteca Barcelona is well and truly the most unique hotel I’ve ever stayed at.The gorgeous boutique building, located modestly on Carrer Balmes in the trendy Eixample area, is part of the innovative hotel brand Prakitk and a concept I’ve completely fallen in love with. A wine hotel. What is there NOT to love? You enter the hotel and feel like you’ve just stepped into a chic wine bar. Yes, the reception is designed like a bar. All guests are offered a complimentary glass of wine or cava on arrival. For the first time ever, we did not feel inclined to rush away to our room to freshen up. We sat in the reception area chatting to the friendly receptionist whilst enjoying our wine and the music. Guess what was playing? The proclaimers! Any Scot will understand our excitement. Our room, whilst small, was the perfect size for two. The minimalist yet comfortable design made it feel like a home away from home. We were welcomed with a chilled bottle of cava and chocolates with a lovely note wishing Sean a Happy Birthday. The hotel manager kindly helped me arrange some special touches since it was a special occasion. Early evening, the four of us (our two friends were also staying in the hotel), enjoyed a private wine tasting courtesy of the hotel’s very own sommelier Mathilde. She was extremely knowledge and friendly making it a really fun experience for us all. To be honest, I really I don’t know what I loved the most, the welcoming lounge/reception designed like a cosy traditional wine bar, the complimentary glass of red on arrival or the private wine tasting! What’s even better, is that this luxury boutique hotel is extremely well priced, making it a perfect place to stay when visiting Barcelona. I’m desperate for people to come and visit so I can send them to the Prakitk Vinoteca. After an extremely educational (for wine lovers like us) hour with Mathilde, it was time for some dinner! We walked a few blocks to one of the most popular streets in Eixample, Carrer Enric Granados. There we dined at Cu-Cut, hands down one of the best restaurants in the city. I was introduced to Cu-Cut by my friend, however we only had a glass of wine at the bar and ever since, I’ve been dying to try the menu. It didn’t disappoint. From garlic prawns to venison stew, this gourmet tapas menu is to die for. There wasn’t one dish we didn’t enjoy. The menu is fairly large, but I actually wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing in this case, its just made me want to go back this weekend to try more. Our lovely waiter Santyago gave us complete 5-star service making sure we had fresh plates after eating our fish dishes (major thumbs up from me). The timing of the meal was just right, we ordered quite a lot between four of us, and the food was brought out at a real gradual pace, allowing us to enjoy our Cava, wine and cocktails (thanks Santyago) as well as our food. We all thought it was the perfect meal. I’ve said it so many times before but it is far too easy for visitors to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the city centre and end up eating at a total average, overpriced, tapas chain whilst being led to believe they are eating ‘fresh authentic tapas’. The thing I love most about Cu-Cut is the ambience, it’s just cool. It’s a relaxed, stylish environment for a nice meal with friends and its definitely somewhere I’ll be visiting more often. R x

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