Barcelona in February. By day, the winter sun warms the air to passably Mediterranean but, as it tips itself out of the narrow canyon streets of Barri Gotic, the sea wind steals through narrow streets sharper, colder than a Toledo blade. At the same time, graffiti’d shutters roll back like reptilian eyelids and unfriendly backstreets soften to a welcoming, come-hither glow.
Los Toreros offered a cosy orange glow and gas space heaters against the searching breeze. A shrine to two enormous stuffed bulls’ heads and equally long-dead matadors, picadors, toreadors, the small bar is easy and natural. Sufficiently down at heel to deter the pretentious. So we piled the table with tapas, drank local wine and watched the clientele melt from tourist to local as the hours ticked toward Spanish time.