Sant Carles, 36
11am – 3am
Oscar Wilde loved a bit of absinthe, so he did. One of Barcelona’s main selling points is that its bars and cafes have managed to retain a delicious authenticity that is all but missing from London’s more tediously fashionable bars.
Just a couple of minutes walk from the beach of La Barceloneta you will find Bar Absenta – probably so named because by the time you leave most of your cunning and a substantial percentage of your brain cells will indeed be absent. Not to mention items of clothing.
This is typically Spanish in its small and crowded down-to-earthness and attracts a crowd of thoughtfully elegant bohemians who like to make like Oscar Wilde of an evening, savouring a noxious looking green liquid enhanced by a flaming sugar cube. Unlike the English, who as a race, will down the stuff in one and wake up several hours later embalmed in (what they assume is) their own vomit, with half an ear missing and a bite missing from their legs, the Spanish crowd generally take their tipples slowly, gathering together for eachothers company rather than just to imbibe as much alcohol as they possibly can. Like I did when I went there.
Anyway, Absenta is worth the visit, even if you aren’t a dipsomaniac, the atmosphere is undeniably Barcelonan and you won’t be met with a perplexed stare for ordering a herbal tea or coffee, when all around you are indulging in liquidy hallucinogenics.
Inside it is effortlessly chaotic, with bric-a-brac and odds and sods providing an interminable intrigue in every direction. It’s a great place to mop up the very essence of Barcelona in all its tawdriness.
What’s more – it has wi-fi. This tickles me. Absinthe and wi-fi. I think it’s the perfect combination. It’s a shame I don’t drink any more.
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