Planning a family trip to Barcelona

This is a sponsored post in association with Avis Car Hire UK.

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Barcelona is a place we can’t wait to take our daughter too.

Like many Brits, I have taken our close proximity to continental Europe a bit for granted. It wasn’t until I got together with my Kiwi wife that I started to take trips there more often. New Zealand is a fairly isolated country, and Kiwis often come to live in London just to take advantage of having all these countries on their doorstep.

But Barcelona (as well as Spain) is still a place I have never been to. I don’t know why – I love the food & what I know of the culture, and I even have a soft spot for the football team. So I can’t wait for us all to head there for a family trip.

City breaks are my favoured kind of holiday. I find the beach too boring (and sandy!) – I would much rather be eating terrific food, admiring the architecture, checking out local attractions, and the like. But I guess one of the great things about Barcelona is that you can have both.

City guides are vital for a newcomer to make the most of their trip, whether it’s for a matter of weeks, days, or even hours. While helping you out with the headline attractions, the best ones will also alert you to hidden gems – to enable you to have an experience to cherish.

Avis have put together a handy & informative Barcelona Guide, and here are some of the recommendations that caught my eye.

1. Tibidabo Amusement Park

This place sounds great, a vintage theme park – over 100 years old – located on the outskirts of the city (so hiring a car probably the best option). Many of the rides are still the original ones, and it also offers great views of the city.

2. Parc de la Ciutadella

Font de la Cascada – photo by Charlie Dave (click for more)

Barcelona is blessed with many parks and open spaces. The Parc de la Ciutadella opened 140 years ago, and includes the beautiful Font de la Cascada (pictured).

3. La Monroe tapas

I couldn’t possibly imagine a trip to Spain without indulging in some Tapas. La Monroe is less rustic more hipster, but the food looks delicious.

4. Churros at Xurreria Trebol

More food, the guide recommends indulging in churros (or ‘xurros’ in Catalan) at Xurreria Trebol. These sweet treats are essentially Spain’s doughnuts that you dip into melted chocolate sauce. There are available all over the city but this is their top pick. I know, I want one right now too…!

5. Kiss of Freedom street art

Located in the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is this vibrant piece of street art. From a distance it’s a large (8m x 4m) close up of two mouths kissing – but on closer inspection you see it’s a photomosaic mural – individual images of people enjoying a self-defined moment of freedom.

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For lots more on the above and other great Barcelona travel tips, check out the Avis  Barcelona Guide. Avis also offer car hire in Barcelona.

 

 

Geek clothes for girls (and boys) from Character.com

Finding geek clothes for girls is something that’s always been an ongoing quest of mine.  As our daughter wears a lot character/graphic clothing, I was keen to check out the Character.com clothing website. They’re an online shop that sell – you guessed it – character clothes, for both kids and adults. Continue reading Geek clothes for girls (and boys) from Character.com

Mattel’s ‘Dads Who Play Barbie’ campaign

Mattel approached me to be part of their ‘Dads Who Play Barbie’ campaign, and I was happy to do so. As the stay-at-home dad of a little girl, I am well versed in playing dolls with my daughter (though only a couple of them are actual Barbies). Continue reading Mattel’s ‘Dads Who Play Barbie’ campaign

LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Batgirl’s Batjet (41230)

As far as I’m concerned, this Batgirl’s Batjet LEGO set justifies the entire existence of the DC Super Hero Girls brand. Continue reading LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Batgirl’s Batjet (41230)

Taking the #DinnerTimeChallenge with HelloFresh

Since becoming a stay-at-home dad 5 years ago, I have been cooking the majority of our dinners. Generally, I’ll feed out daughter first, and after my wife comes home from work I’ll get on with our dinner, while she does bath & bedtime. We will then have our dinner (and wine) while watching TV.

This also happens in a similar fashion on weekends. So we very rarely eat together as a family.

Frankly, now our daughter is 5-years-old, there is no excuse for us not eating together as a family more often.  We can’t even blame having a fussy eater child, who we need to make another meal for, as she likes most things we do – probably even more. We’ve just gotten into this habit. One could even call it a rut.

HelloFresh asked us to undertake the #DinnerTimeChallenge – to eat as many meals together as possible. They made this a lot easier by giving us 4 family meals a week, as part of their weekly recipe box delivery service.

They also provided us with some interesting stats – some of which applied to us. We are one of those 73% of UK families who don’t get together round the table to eat meals together, and 69% of adults who eat dinner watching TV (or similar). We also feed our child first, like half the population.

This is all a great shame, as we love food in our house, and our daughter sees it as a real treat for us to eat together as a family. Having a family dinner is guaranteed to put a smile on her face.

So we undertook the challenge, with HelloFresh’s family meals for us to cook. Frankly, it is a brilliant service. You get the ingredients to create each meal, including individual portions of herbs & spices – as well as the recipes created by their team of chefs.

HelloFresh recipe cards

The meals are imaginative, healthy, straightforward to make, and most importantly (to me) delicious. It’s really reignited our own interest in trying out new dishes, and given us great kick up the behind to have more family meals.

One of our family meals was this Butternut Squash & Pancetta pie.

And it’s not just me doing the cooking. My wife has made as many as me, and our daughter is keen to help us in the kitchen – and she’s at the age when she is actually helpful (especially in washing up!)

The 5-year-old helping out in the kitchen (she really was a help!)

I’m really glad we undertook this challenge, as it’s inspired me to help us act more like the family we want to be – in this case, one that shares their love of food together.

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We have been provided with a 3 month Hello Fresh subscription for the purposes of this review. To get a £25 discount from your first Hello Fresh delivery, click here.