Kosher restaurants in Barcelona

Oy Vey! Where are the Kosher Restaurants in Barcelona?!

kosher restaurants in barcelona

Welcome back, SuiteLife gang, to my newest blog in which I’ll be talking about Kosher Restaurants in Barcelona and where to grab a bite either out and about the city. As a bonus we’ll also tell you where you can buy Kosher meat to cook in the comfort of your own home.

A bit of a WARNING: Kosher restaurants in Barcelona are very few and far between and tend to be a bit (read: quite) overpriced due to a marked lack of competition. Another reason for this is the very small Jewish population in Barcelona. Hence, Kosher restaurants in Barcelona do not have a big target market. They Cater to the tiny Jewish population that actually eats Kosher, tourists, and religious expats. So yeah, get ready to get our your wallet, but hey, we gotta eat, right?

Maccabi Restaurant

Kosher restaurants in Barcelona

Maccabi is probably the most famous Kosher restaurant in Barcelona. With a great location right on La Ramblas, cozy decor and atmosphere and a delicious menu, Maccabi is considered the best Kosher restaurant in Barcelona by locals and tourists alike. The restaurant occupies a former bakery from the seventeenth century called Montserrat. This restaurant just screams vintage and culture.

Kosher restaurants in Barcelona

Apart from their extensive menu of delicious dishes, Maccabi also offers tapas for when you just want something quick and delicious to enjoy over a cup of coffee or a nice and cold pint of beer. Unlike other Kosher restaurants Maccabi is a full service dining joint with fast and friendly service. The menu is a mixture of traditional Israeli dishes and Catalan cuisine and it successfully combines the best of both worlds. The staff knows a little Hebrew and English so language barrier in Maccabi is not an issue. So, ladies and gentlemen, if you are looking for an excellent dining experience, Maccabi is one of the best Kosher restaurants in Bacelona that will meet your every requirement. Address: Las Ramblas 79 / Web

Delicias Kosher

Kosher restaurants in Barcelona

 

Delicias Kosher is a great dinning experience.  Its located in one of the ‘posh’ areas in Barcelona – Sant Gervasi – Galvany, and the food is really delicious and they have above average service for Spain as well, which is always appreciated.  As a common theme with foreign cuisine restaurants in Barcelona, Delicias Kosher incorporates a lot of Catalan dishes and cooking techniques in its Israeli menu. Nevertheless, a pinch of Catalan is all that takes to make their Kosher dishes exquisite.

Kosher restaurants in BarcelonaThe service in Delicias Kosher is what really closes the deal. The staff is very open and motivated to do everything it takes to make you feel like home. No matter if you’re dining alone or with company you will always feel like you are in the comfort of your own dining room. Address: c/ Santalo 125 / Web

Well folks, that’s kinda it for Kosher restaurants in Barcelona. New ones haven sprung up but tend to die quickly because of a lack of customers. Now for our Bonus, where to find a Kosher butcher in Barcelona and where to buy a Challah in Barcelona!

Isamar Kosher

Kosher restaurants in Barcelona

If you’re looking for Kosher food in Barcelona, it is one on the few places you can buy Israeli foods and kosher meat. Isamar Kosher is not just a Kosher supermarket. From noon until 5 pm every Monday through Thursday you can enjoy some of their delicious food in their deli. What you can also find in Isamar Kosher is a bakery with freshly baked pastries offered throughout the whole day, a butcher with all sorts of meats to ‘meet’ all of your cravings, prepared dishes and take away.

Kosher restaurants in Barcelona

Whether it is for Shabat, Hanukah, Passover or any Jewish holiday or even on a regular day, Isamar Kosher is your best choice for stocking up on some delicious Kosher meals and stocking your fridge at home. It is actually the only Kosher butcher in Barcelona, and by having a virtual monopoly, it also has some scary prices. A bag of chicken schnitzels with about 8 or 9 pieces, at the time of this blog, is about 17 €. Address: c/ Avenir 29 / Web

The only other location we know where you can buy Kosher meat in Barcelona is at the Cortes Inglés  department store located on Avenida Diagonal 617. Enter the department store and go down one flight to the basement where the supermarket is, and on aisle 13 you’ll find a small freezer with a small assortment of Kosher food. Don’t get too excited though, it’s a bit underwhelming to say the least.

I hope you enjoyed this blog, folks, if you know of any other Kosher restaurants in the city or hear of one that has sprung up, please let us know in the comments and we’ll add it to the blog!

 

Weekly joke:

Customer:  Waiter, waiter, there’s a bee in my soup.

Waiter:  Yes Sir, it’s the fly’s day off.

 

Sincerely,

 

Chris

Economic Crisis in Spain: What You Need to Know About the Housing Bubble

Economic Crisis in Spain: The Story of the Popping Housing Bubble

housing bubble

The 2007 economic crisis is no secret for anyone anymore. As you probably know, the real estate sector has been victim of its own success and resulted in finding itself stuck in a bubble of speculation that ultimately burst and brought the whole world’s economy to its knees. Many parties were responsible for the disaster, including governments, media, property owners and most of all the banks.

 

Housing Bubble crash: How and Why?

In Spain, the housing bubble started cracking and the prices falling in 2007 after the government, through its 1998 “Ley del Suelo” (Law on Ground) allowed the land market to be privatised and thus sold to be built on. By 2005, the construction plan went a little crazy when Spain found its building rate surpassed those of France, Germany and Italy put together. The plan was to increase the offer in the real estate sector by booming the number of investments and therefore allow the Spanish youth to access ownership easily and for a fair price as the cost was supposed to be lowered significantly thanks to a large offer.

Between 1998 and 2002, everything seemed perfect and the Ley del Suelo seemed very effective, boosting the construction sector to a whole new level. Indeed, it has been so stimulated that it offered many young working people as well as immigrants jobs for all. As a result, Spain unemployment dropped to an all-time low – 9,2% in 2005 compared to 22,9% in 1995 – and the country’s GDP kept on growing every year. With the help of media advertising on how Spain is the perfect place to access ownership or buy a secondary residence for foreign investors, the building market was going great.

 

housing bubble

 

But…

Unfortunately, the Ley was a complete travesty as the demand for housing skyrocketed, outdistancing the offer and increasing the housing cost drastically – from €915/m2 in 1990 to €1,667/m2 in 2002, reaching €2,516/m2 in 2005. Moreover, the average wage did not increase accordingly and Spaniards found themselves even more unable to buy accommodations as their salaries did not increase simultaneously with the housing prices, which had at this point doubled.

That’s when the banks came in and offered extremely attractive mortgages for people. In other words, you could get a credit and have 40 to 50 years to repay for it, what a win. They were giving mortgages often for up to 110-120% of the sale price. Once again, with the help of the media and the politics of course, the idea that the housing market was so good and so profitable led everyone to think that housing prices would never fall and that it was the best investment possible. That is why the banks gave debt so easily while the housing prices increased steadily until 2007. As a consequence, Spaniards had to take on about 40 years of debt just to buy a modest property.

When the whole financial system exploded, due mostly to the fact that most wealth created by Spain came from debt, the country and its people suddenly found out that the situation was dire and that pretty much every one was broke. In other words, the real estate sector crashed and no one was willing to invest in it anymore. Also, after prices started falling, there were thousands of people paying now ridiculous mortgage payments for properties that all of a sudden had lost a lot of their value.

 

housing bubble

 

Housing Bubble: Spain is Recovering

But the good news is, after a dramatic period, everything seems to have very slowly gotten a bit better because even though the housing prices in Spain have kept decreasing since 2008, they appear to be falling more slowly each year. Rumour has it, and by that I mean the experts of some remarkable institutions such as the Societe Generale bank or the Instituto Nacional de Estadestica (INE), that the housing market is forecasted to improve by 2016. In fact, although prices are dropping on a national scale, it is not the case in every part of Spain. Some of them are actually experiencing some improvements such as the metropolitan areas, the big cities and the Mediterranean coast – basically the housing market is improving in Barcelona! Plus, it has to be noted that foreign investments are largely coming back to Spain and are sustaining the market greatly, especially those from other European countries such as the UK, Sweden, Germany and France. For more information about this, check out this article from spanishpropertyinsight.com according to an article from the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

Lucy Culpepper, editor for overseaspropertyalert.com, writes “According to the latest price index from the Registradores de la Propiedad (Association of Registrars), property prices in Spain rose almost 1% in Q2 2014 compared to the same quarter in 2013. This is the first time that prices have risen in six years”. And she adds that in 2014 the statistics proved those predictions on Spain’s housing market recovery :

“And for the first time in years, we’ve got collaborating statistics attesting to the market turnaround.

  • At the beginning of September, the National Institute of Statistics published its Housing Price Index for the whole of Spain, indicating a rise of 0.8% in Q2 2014—the first increase since the property crisis kicked off in 2008.
  • In the same report, prices of new homes rose by 1.9% compared to the previous quarter.
  • Out of the 19 autonomous regions in Spain, 14 showed an increase, according to the Housing Price Index, with Catalonia (where Barcelona is located) rising by 1.8%.
  • The latest data (released Sept. 26) from the Ministry of Development (Moncloa) show that property sales for the whole country rose by 12% in the second quarter of this year. And Barcelona city registered an annual increase in property sales of an amazing 23% year over year through July 2014. (That’s property sales, not property prices.)”

You can find this very interesting article on overseaspropertyalert.com. Signs seem to point out that Spain is on a good path to recover from its wounds but it appears to being happening faster in regions such as Catalonia and cities like Barcelona according to last year’s figures. Just like Culpepper says in her article, now is a good time to buy in Barcelona!

 

 

housing bubble

As so, everything is not lost yet! The Spanish housing market has suffered greatly from the 2008 economic crisis which hit it and crushed the bubble of speculation the country had created for itself. Seven years have passed and Spain’s real estate sector is slowly recovering from the crash and already shows some signs of improvement. Do not despair readers, everything is getting better!

If you want more information about the economic crisis in Spain and the reasons that led the country to its demise please check out this amazing satirical and funny video clip from the comic drawer Aleix Salo that will make you understand pretty much everything in a really short time. Plus, it is only available in Spanish so that you can practice your language skills!

For more information on the recovering of Spain, do not hesitate to read this article from glogbalpropertyguide.com which is extremely detailed, perfect for the economics freaks like me!

And if you’re looking to buy a property in Barcelona don’t hesitate to contact us!

See you!

- Aurélien

 

Best Home Stores in Barcelona: Part 2

Best Home Stores in Barcelona : Part 2, let’s continue

Hola a todos ! There are so many home stores in Barcelona that I couldn’t list all of them on my first blog! So, here is another selection of the finest decoration and furniture stores that you can find in Barcelona !

Home Stores in Barcelona

1. Maisons du Monde

This is one of the most complete home stores in Barcelona. As a matter of fact, you can find pretty much everything, wardrobes, armchairs, TV, bookcases, beautiful furniture, sofas… At the beginning it was meant to promote an exotic style and atmosphere with objects from all around the world (Maisons du monde means Houses of the world in French), but they expanded their style and now offer different styles and inspirations : exotic, romantic, baroque, vintage, classic, contemporary… So basically you should find what you want, no matter what you are looking for. Good to know : they also have an outdoor and a junior collection. Also, you can shop online on their website. There is only one store of this french brand in Barcelona, located on Avenida Diagonal, 405. Looking for more info ? Check Maisons du Monde website.

Home Stores in Barcelona

2. Zara Home

Of course, we can’t not to talk about Zara Home in a blog dedicated to home stores in Barcelona ! The spanish brand Inditex decided to launch a new kind of store in 2003 and the first Zara Home opened in Zaragoza in 2003. Since then, it has been a huge success and there are now more than 400 Zara Home stores all around the world. They offer 4 different styles of decoration : ethnic, contemporary, the “white line” and classic. Their products are very elegant and quite affordable. They provide a wide range of products : tablewear (napkins, bowls, mugs…), lamps, occasional furniture… There are seven Zara Home stores in Barcelona, you can check their exact locations on Zara Home website.

Home Stores in Barcelona

3. Vinçon

Vinçon is one of the oldest home stores in Barcelona, and they first opened their doors to the public in 1941 on Passeig de Gracia. The first main business of the store was the wholesale of porcelain, fine china and glassware. What they sell is defined by their emblematic quote : “Extensive range of objects of all kinds in general”. The concept of this store is to display the work of artists from varying disciplines and backgrounds. The atmosphere of the store is very unique, they sell contemporary designed objects and furniture in a very classic and old decor, Barcelona’s architecture heritage. You’ll also find an art gallery in the store : La Sala Vinçon. It is actually really difficult to define the atmosphere of Vinçon, you should go and see for yourself on passeig de Gracia, 96. You’ll be falling in love for sure ! Check for more info on Vinçon website.

home stores in barcelona

 

4. Deko Palace

Of all of the home stores in Barcelona, you won’t find a cheaper one than Deko Palace ! This one sells a lot of gadgets and garden stuff such as flowers or fake plants, garden tools and so on. Their clients are mostly professionals : decorators, people who organize events, florists etc.. but you can shop at Deko Palace even if you are a private individual. They are on a spririt to bring new objects all the time, that’s why they often offer limited-edition decoration objects. The DekoPalace store in Barcelona is located on Avenida Diagonal, 458. You can check DekoPalace website if you’re looking for more info.

Home Stores in Barcelona

 

5. Natura

Even though this one is not just about decoration, it provides a quite interesting home collection if you like an uncluttered style. This is for you if you like very classic and elegant furniture, and wood ! Their quote is “Articles to feel good, to share, to have fun, relax…” and you’ll understand why when you go to their store. Even looking at their objects is relaxing ! Their mentality is to have a positive attitude and they provide a strong environmental policy, trying to create the least amount of environmental impact. You’ll find all kind of prices from very cheap to expensive. Have a look at Natura website to find the closest store from your house !

Home Stores in Barcelona

I hope that you’ve enjoyed my blog and that it gave you a lot of ideas for your house ! Let us know if you know some other home stores in Barcelona that you’de like us to write about!

Mathilde

English Speaking Locksmiths in Barcelona

English speaking locksmiths in Barcelona – quick, reliable, emergency 24h service

Good day Señoras & Señores! Let me tell you a story. A very unpleasant story that happened to our beloved boss Benny alomost 10 years ago. In a nuthsell, he got locked out his flat at 3am in the morning and the next day he had to fly to Canada. Wanna know what he did? He called an English speaking locksmith in Barcelona who charged him 300 bucks, as he called him for an emergency. Now everyone would like to avoid that situation, right? That’s why we’ve put together a list of the English speaking locksmiths in Barcelona that could help you out of a bind. So save these contacts in the memory of your phone NOW!

 

1. CERRAJERIA BCN

English speaking locksmiths Barcelona

  • CONTACT NUMBERS: + 34 93 752 54 10 / + 34 659 536 536
  • WEBSITE: http://www.cerrajeriabcn.es/en/
  • EMAIL: info@cerrajeriabcn.es
  • DESCRIPTION: With a call centre open 24/7 that can assist you in English, Cerrajeria BCN operates throughout all Barcelona and also in the cities located in close proximity (Terrassa, Badalona, Barbera, Sitges, Castelldefells, Cornellá, etc.). With proficiency in emergencies, residential or commercial locksmith services and also high security systems, they will make sure you get in asap.

 

2. OPENDOOR LOCKSMITH

English speaking Locksmiths Barcelona

  • CONTACT NUMBER: +34 658 668 478
  • WEBSITE: http://www.opendoors24h.com/english/
  • EMAIL: mail.opendoorv@gmail.com
  • DESCRIPTION: Targeted specifically at tourists, Opendoor Locksmith provide a reliable and fast service, not charging a preferential fee for foreigners (like other locksmiths in the city). They can be employed both from inside Barcelona and from the cities around, such as El Baix Llobregat, Garraf, Maresme, etc. In addition to opening closed doors, Opendoor Locksmith sells locks, safes, domestic rolling shutters, bars, security blinds, and anti-shatter glass for businesses.

 

3. CERRAJEROS BARCELONA EAC

English speaking locksmiths Barcelona

  • CONTACT DETAILS: +34 670 774 733
  • DESCRIPTION: Cerrajeros Barcelona EAC is another locksmith company operating 24/7 as well as during holidays (and for the love of God, Spaniards do have loads!), with professional English speaking workers that open people’s door locks in the city centre and nearby. Besides from opening property doors and changing locks, they also do lock repairs and even car doors. They offer people discounts on each operation, so make sure you don’t forget to ask for yours!

Tips

We wouldn’t be anywhere without our dear SuiteLifers and we’d like you to always keep safe, so that’s why our friends from Cerrajeria BCN have provided us with a guide on how to make burglars’ attempts harder. Here are their pieces of advice:

  1. Do not let anyone into your house that you don’t know. If they claim to be a service worker of some sort, make sure to ask for the proper identification prior to you letting them in!
  2. Make sure to always lock all your doors and windows!
  3. Install dead bolt locks on all of the external doors!
  4. Always change all the locks when you first move in!
  5. Never give your keys to any service workers, gardeners, cleaning crews or anyone else not you do not know well!
  6. Never have an ID tag with personal information and home address attached to your keys!
  7. Install keyed window locks and locks on your garage!
  8. Make sure to have the outside of your home well lighted as a deterrent!
  9. What should you do when you are away!
  10. Always leave your outside lights on, so that it appears as though someone is at home!
  11. Ask some you know and trust to check up on your home periodically!
  12. Have your mail held at the post office while you are away or have you know and trust pick up your mail every day or every other day!
  13. Make sure all windows and doors are shut and locked. Don’t forget about your garage door and shed!
  14. Tell neighbors and the security patrol in your neighborhood (if you have one) that you will be out of town and for them to keep a look out for any unusual behavior!

Till next time, stay safe SuiteLifers!

Muchisimas gracias,

Dragosh (El Dragon)

 

International schools in Barcelona

Hello, SuiteLife gang.

Last week we talked about the best International Day Care Centers In Barcelona where your toddlers can be trained to be multilingual. On a similar note, I decided to write a post on the best International Schools in Barcelona for those of you whose children are all grown up now.

You’ll be surprised at the number of International schools Barcelona has to offer and their variety. But, of course, I want only the best for my SuiteLife peeps, therefore in this post I will list only the finer ones.

The Benjamin Franklin International School

International schools in Barcelona

Truly International is what this school is aiming for. With a mix of approximately 1/3 American, 1/3 Spanish and 1/3 Foreign students, be sure that your child will have a lot of cultural exchange and appreciation (a bit too much maybe). There are 608 students enrolled in Benjamin Franklin International School as of 2015 forming a global community consisting of 48 nationalities.

The school opened doors in Barcelona in 1986 and while relatively new it came along with the new standards, new requirements and new passion the modern education system expects. So don’t be thrown off by the fact that the school has been running only for three decades, the teaching staff is fully motivated and driven by the common goal to mend your kids into future individuals seeking excellence in their lives.
Benjamin Franklin International School teaches students mainly in English. However, Spanish and Catalan are introduced later in the curriculum to ensure the pupils achieve good command in the two languages. If languages turn out to be your child’s strong suit they can also choose optional French to add to their program.

International schools in Barcelona

 

The school adopts an American standard of teaching with a typical American curriculum and lesson delivery. Your kids can benefit from Benjamin Franklin International School by receiving three different academic diplomas: the American High School Diploma, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, and the Spanish Bachillerato Certificate. Consequently meaning that they will immensely boost their future prospects for getting into a high quality university.

These are the tuition fees for the different divisions for 2015/2016:

  • Early Childhood ( Nursery & Pre-K ) – 8,985 €
  • Kindergarten* – 8,985 €
  • Elementary School ( Grades 1 – 5 ) – 11,220 €
  • Middle School ( Grades 6 – 8 ) – 11,525 €
  • High School ( Grades 9 – 12 ) – 13,750 €

 

I know, I know it is pricey. What you need to take into consideration, however, is that this is one of the finest International Schools in Barcelona with one of the highest educational quality standard. If you live in Barcelona and find these fees affordable, be sure that you will be making an excellent investment in your childrens’ future.
The school provides all the necessary services to ensure the safety and well-being of your child. Transportation is provided picking up and dropping off students in 10 areas in Barcelona. The cafeteria always prepares fresh and healthy meals for its students. And the nurse’s room is always prepared and available to anyone at all times.

English School Barcelona

International schools in Barcelona

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A personal touch. With one class per year group and a maximum of 18 students in a class English School Barcelona’s teachers have a very personal approach to their students. Catering to every student’s individual problems or queries this system assures that every child is dealt with care and they achieve an extremely high academic level. Dedicating time and attention to every student individually is one of the things that sets this school apart from the other International schools in Barcelona.

The school was opened in 1957 and operates effectively and successfully until present day. The school always aspires to follow the newest trends in education and their years of experience allows them to be extremely good at it.

English School Barcelona strongly believes in the idea to teach their students to be multilingual. Lessons are taught in English, Catalan and Spanish evenly. No one language is favored over the other. This ensures that by the time their students graduate they will be completely fluent and speak freely in all three languages. When the child reaches secondary school they will start learning French as part of their program. This allows them to take the International Baccalaureate (IB) or its Spanish/French equivalent – the Batxibac.

Again the huge presence of an International community can teach pupils cultural appreciation and tolerance for their peers of different backgrounds, religion and ethnicity. There is no better way than to learn these things from first-hand experience.
The school offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities. From sport activities including tennis, basketball, skating and yoga; going through music orientated activities such as ballet and drum lessons and ending with the creatively intellectual activities like robotics, chess and arts & crafts.

Kensington School

International schools in Barcelona

 

 

A piece of Britain in Barcelona. Opened in 1966 Kensington is the oldest British curriculum school in Barcelona teaching their subjects in accordance with the National Curriculum for England and Wales. Similarly to English School Barcelona, Kensington relies on a relatively small student body in order to offer a better quality education.

If you are moving to Barcelona from the UK and you insist on your child to be taught British style, then Kensington would be the perfect school. The school incorporates A-level studies and examination via Edexcel in London and all other examination and accreditation any British university might require for future studies. A common practice after graduating from Kensington school is students moving to Britain to pursue their higher education in one of the best universities on the island.

International schools in Barcelona

 

The majority of lessons are presented in English, apart from the Spanish and French language classes. Once again your kids are exposed to a variety of languages helping them develop amazing communicational skills.

After school activities at Kensingon school include sport activities such as basketball, football and table tennis. Other extra-curriculars include chess and choir singing.
Kensington also organizes summer camps at the end of each academic year both for Junior and Senior schools and ski trips to Espot Esqui every February for Senior students only.

Oak House School

International schools in Barcelona

 

 

Modern meets tradition. The first thing that will strike you about Oak House school is the modern facilities and technology this institution incorporates in their students’ education. The school opened its doors to students in 1968 and during the course of its management it successfully foresaw the importance of new technology which it effectively adopted as part of the learning process.

From the start of Primary until the end of the division pupils are taught their classes in English. At the start of Secondary school a trilingual study scheme is introduced adding Catalan and Spanish to the curriculum which are exploited quite vigorously. Additionally students can also pick a fourth foreign language, German or French, to go along with their studies.

Following the British educational system pupil are prepared for Cambridge IGCSE exams in subjects including:

  • English Literature
  • Maths
  • Business Studies
  • Sociology
  • Combined Science
  • Environmental Management
  • History
  • ICT
  • Drama
  • Art

International schools in Barcelona

On and off-site services include transportation, dining services and medical care.The school buses commute on three different routes covering the entire city of Barcelona. The buses are scheduled to leave at 4:45pm after extra-curriculum activities the students might be involved in.

The food preparation is covered by chef D. Juan Ramos who prepares different menus including: normal, vegetarian and menus for students who suffer from celiac disease. The food is healthy and nutritious to make sure the students are part of a healthy diet.

Oak House has a qualified on-site nurse and if any emergency or special medical attention is required the schools insurance covers such medical care at the Quirón Clinic in Barcelona.

There you have it gang, the best International schools in Barcelona. I hope this blog was informative for you, if not enough you can always go on to the schools websites for more information. Tell us in the comment section which school you like the most and sounds best suited for your child’s needs.

Time for your well-deserved weekly joke:

Two boys were arguing when the teacher entered the room.
The teacher says, “Why are you arguing?”
One boy answers, “We found a ten dollar bill and decided to give it to whoever tells the biggest lie.”
“You should be ashamed of yourselves,” said the teacher, “When I was your age I didn’t even know what a lie was.”
The boys gave the ten dollars to the teacher.

 

Sincerely,

Chris

 

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