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Ferran Adria to hang up his whites

El Bulli, the 3 Michelin starred restaurant in Catalonia that has received the accolade of World’s best restaurant on numerous occasions, is to close.  The announcement from El Bulli’s owner and eccentric mastermind, Ferran Adria, shocked the world of gastronomy but was said to be a personal decision based on how the workload had affected his personal life.

Ferran Adria: Owner of El Bulli restaurant in Spain Photo: GETTY

Ferran Adria: Owner of El Bulli restaurant in Spain Photo: GETTY

Although El Bulli will close down for at least 2 years following the 2011 season, Ferran Adria left the door open to the possibility of reopening the restaurant after that period.  He also stated that he has no intention of taking it easy, just that after 25 years he deserved to live a more normal life.  There will be plenty of offers on the table for the Catalan chef including a possible research role in gastronomy at Harvard.  Full story…

Barcelona going for Olympic Gold

Barcelona’s mayor Jordi Hereu has thrown the city’s hat into the ring as the venue for the 2022 winter Olympics.  It’s a long shot for the Catalan capital, but if the bid is successful it would be the second time the city will have hosted the Games, after the summer Olympics of 1992, and the only city ever to have hosted both winter and summer games.
The announcement was made at Barcelona’s Olympic Museum where the mayor said, ‘We want to relive the Olympic dream’ and that events would be divided between the city and the ski stations in the Catalan Pyrenees.  The bid still has to be approved by the Spanish Olympic Committee who have the final decision as to which city is put forward as Spain’s bid with the other main contender being Zaragoza.

Barça out of Copa del Rey

FC Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola said he felt he had let the players down after the team were put out of the Copa del Rey.  Despite an excellent second half performance that had Sevilla against the ropes and a goal from Xavi Hernandez in the 64th minute, Sevilla keeper Andres Palop stopped everything else and the match ended 1-0 to Barça. It meant the Catalans went out on away goals following their 2-1 defeat at the Nou Camp in the first leg.

Barça got some sort of revenge in La Liga yesterday when they won their third clash with Sevilla in less than 3 weeks by a resounding 4 goals to nil with FIFA World Player of the Year Lionel Messi scoring the last two.  The result left them five points clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.

Davis Cup Final, Spain vs Czech Republic

The 2009 Davis Cup Final sees Spain take on the Czech Republic in Barcelona between 4-6 December 2009.  The Spanish team has yet to be announced but is likely to include the likes of David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal.  The Palau Sant Jordi hosts the 3 days of finals with play starting at 4pm on the 4th and 5th and 12pm on the 6th.  See our tickets section for more details of prices and availability.

Barcelona…it’s a Marathon not a sprint…

The Barcelona Marathon has been gaining in popularity over the last few years and, although not quite up there with London and New York, is increasingly being seen as a world event with foreign entries almost equal to Spanish nationals in 2009.  And if you can take your mind off the aching legs and sore nipples for more than a few minutes it’s not hard to see why, as the route takes you through all the best bits of one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

Marató de Barcelona takes place on March 7th 2010 and starts with a jog up towards Plaça Espanya and takes runners on a quick loop including the Nou Camp stadium before heading east along Gran Via and onwards past La Sagrada Familia.  The route then heads south towards the sea and comes back into the centre via Parc de la Ciutadella, Plaça Catalunya and La Rambla before a last dash for the finish line back where it all began 26 miles and 385 yards ago!

Those up for the challenge can register at Barcelona Marathon for a cost of €45 which not only includes the most exhausting days sightseeing of your life but the pre-race pasta party held on the evening before the race.

Depeche Mode in Barcelona

Depeche Mode play the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona on November 20th & 21st with support from Soulsavers – tickets available at Barcelona Gigs

Simple Minds, Barcelona

80’s legends Simple Minds play the Razzmatazz in Barcelona on November 17th – tickets are still available at Barcelona Concerts and Gigs.

IN-EDIT Film Festival, Barcelona

If you love film and Music then the IN-EDIT film festival in Barcelona from October 29 – November 8 is for you.  The festival features documentaries and films on many international artists, this year including Johnny Cash, Marc Bolan, Madness, Neil Young, Paul Weller, R.E.M. and many more.

Mushroom picking in Catalonia

When Autumn arrives in Catalonia it heralds the start of the mushroom picking season and every weekend thousands of people ramble through the countryside looking for wild mushrooms (setas in Spanish and bolets in Catalan).  But care must be taken as edible mushrooms often look very similar to poisonous ones – take a look at this guide to mushrooms for more information.

ArtFutura, Barcelona

ArtFutura is an annual event that travels all over Spain and is in Barcelona from October 30th – November 1st with a plethora of new media, interactive design, videogames and animation.  It takes place at the Auditorio IMAGINA on Avenida Diagonal.