| In the Mood for a Quiet Friday |
Laie Pau Claris is a nice place to escape the frenetic city life, right in the middle of it: it’s a library with a café – restaurant on the first floor, located in a typical Eixample building, only some 2-3 minutes away from Passeig de Gràcia.
the Space & the Mood
Even if right in the epicenter of Barcelona, Laie Pau Claris doesn’t seem to be on the radar of most of tourists. Tough it can get pretty crowded at lunch, people mainly come here to read, to work on their laptops, to write, or to give private lessons, so the place has got a calm, cozy atmosphere. The bookshop is on ground floor and the café – on the upper floor, in a kind of a mezzanine, between the pastry bar and the restaurant with dining area, a covered terrace and an interior patio.
The link between the bookstore and the café is via a metal staircase that leads up straight to a wall filled with books – a selection of the library’s bestsellers alongside an impressive collection of books on Barcelona – on its history, on its ‘secrets in plain sight’, its neighborhoods, art, architecture, events, routes, passages, factories, dragons…
‘Luis Moritz arrived in Barcelona in 1851, from Alsace, and in 1856 opened a bar on carrer del Portal de Santa Madona 20, where he would sell directly to public the beer he would produce in a small factory in carrer d’en Cirés 6, also situated in Raval…’
The floors in ceramic tiles mosaic were a usual design in the end of the 19th century, when most of the buildings around were built. Each room of Laie has got its own pattern and a rich border to enclose it.
The cuisine of Laie is based upon fresh products from the orchard in El Prat and vegetables from a small culture in Baix Llobregat, and includes some Catalan dishes (coques de recapte or suquet de peix) as well as Mediterranean ones, while the wines are mainly Catalan. Most prices are above average still the taste and the atmosphere make it a pretty nice experience.
One of the best Catalan desserts, bread (a special bread or pan de coca in Spanish) with homemade chocolate, extra virgin olive oil and salt, comes at Laie accompanied by olive oil ice cream and a bit of mint.
Coque de recapte is done, at Laie, with goate cheese, onion and zucchini.
Laie is one of the biggest book chains in Barcelona, with several libraries across the city, including at the Design Museum, Picasso Museum, CCCB, la Pedrera of Antoni Gaudí, among may others.