June 16, 2022

Barcelona Musing

By Rebekah Bellingham
Barcelona Musing

It already seems like forever ago when I quietly snuck away to a faraway place...

Stars aligned this spring when I was able to travel with my husband, a best friend and her little family of four to Barcelona, Spain. None of us had ever been to Spain before, and Barcelona felt like home as soon as we arrived, spring rain and all. We spent ten days exploring the city mostly by foot, with light crowds in all the hot tourist spots. I was mostly off Instagram and email for the length of my trip, which was really a pleasure. It made bumbling around the city feel like the good old days, when you just FOUND things. 

I did manage to get a few recommendations for shopping before the trip, and one of them came from my contact at the Valencia based company, The Nude Label, where we get our underwear for the shop. The day we set out to find their recommended shop, Colmado, proved to be our most serendipitous shopping adventure. It was a true vein of gold kind of day, where one small win led to another. 

We started our day with a perfect Nomad cappuccino from our favorite neighborhood newspaper and magazine kiosk, Odd Kiosk. Then, we began our walk. Colmado is in the Gothic Quarter close to the popular Picasso Museum, but down a tiny, empty, winding cobblestoned street that cars could not fit through. After thinking we were lost, we finally found Colmado at an intersection, with a little boutique on each of its four corners. It turned out that all the shop owners were hanging out at one of the shops, Ivori, so we went there first. Ivori carried only Spanish brands, including their own line of linen items, and records! While I lusted after a beautiful pair of leather sandals by Naguisa, I opted for a more weather appropriate cardigan from Rita Row. When we finally made it to Colmado, I was happy to chat with the shop owner and pick up The Nude Label bodysuit and socks to try out, as well as a perfect white button up shirt with a pointed collar from the shop's line.

After a pleasant visit, we wandered further down the street to a wine bar that the shop owner recommended called L'Anima del Vi (sadly, it was closed), but then popped into the shop across the street, which took our breath away. Après Ski had the most beautiful, handmade, vintage textile chore coats and bucket hats, all of which were unique, and wonderful. Their whimsical gold plated silver jewelry were in shapes reminiscent of ancient museum pieces, and hand made by artisans in a traditional way in Turkey. I was delighted to be gifted a charming necklace from Après Ski for my birthday. 

We left the Gothic Quarter that day feeling high on discovering beautiful things, and meeting cool locals, and definitely stopped at an outdoor cafe for a gin tonic and tapas on our walk home.

Once I returned home, I ordered a tiny collection of jewelry from Après Ski to share with you. And, I added a small selection of The Nude Label bodysuits (they are so good), a few bathing suit combosmen's undies, and their summer appropriate socks to our most recent underwear order! They have all landed in the shop, so we will celebrate.