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REAL MAGIC

I call it “real magic” It’s what happens when amazing contrasts coexist together. Innovativeness waltzes with the traditional. Seasonal with the perennial. New dining concepts and a century old one all exist in this magnificent shimmering, world famous 100 year old, Barcelona’s legendary El Palace.


Not only have the most illustrious global whos who of monarchy, aristocracy, art, movies lived here but it was the favourite of my all time hero the high octane Spanish genius Salvador Dali too.


OF TIMELESS TRADITION


Glamour and luxury infuse the high-ceilinged, mirrored frescoed, carpeted hall. Here Barcelona’s best legendary afternoon tea session (booked up months ahead) is in progress. Adding French savoir faire and graciousness is the dapper Jeanmarie Legall who helms Le Palace. Baked to perfection, chewy yet with a yielding heart, the French macarons delight. Chef Daniel Padro ensures that the sweet and savoury multi-course elaborate Afternoon tea keeps raising the bar. Every single cake, pastry, scone, sandwich is made to perfection for the Afternoon tea as it was when it was introduced a hundred years ago. Agood selection of the finest loose leaf teas with several Black, Wulong and Green teas as well as a few infusions such as Rooibos here. Many a delicate sandwich from “Citrus scented smoked salmon & cream cheese” to “Egg & watercress with wasabi mayonnaise”.


Moist scones. perfect pastries “Cannoli” and the very famous pink éclair crowned with marscapone cheese. My cup of tea for sure!


INNOVATIVE DINING


What! Here in the throbbing heart of Barcelona, a cable car to take us to the rooftop ? And that too to a charming Swiss chalet? Ive experienced many an innovative dining concept, but this one is a multi-sensorial delightful one. The Swiss chalet has been specially constructed and the authentic Swiss menu of fondues, raclettes and more is unique in Barcelona.


The lovely Arantxa Dominguez is appropriately dressed for the Chalet el Palace and on my request, chef Pedro cooks up a delicious vegetarian dish of artichokes. This innovation of “ephemeral gastronomy” has taken many unique forms here, from the grape harvest in August, and the Christmas Cinema in December to this chalet now. Kudos!


SEASONAL DELICIOUSNESS


My absolute favorite: golden orange orbs of sweet citrus nectar…the Spanish Clementine/orange fruit which is in season only in the winter. I love the Orange/clementine marmalade with my scones (afternoon hightea) toast at breakfast and cheese (especially the Spanish goat cheese, before and after dinner). Chef Padro generously shares the recipe and also the health benefits of eating oranges.


We all know that oranges/ Clementines are a source of vitamin C which helps hugely prevent upper respiratory tract infections, along with the common cold and flu.


Oranges great for dental health as a rich source of potassium, which decreases dental inflammation, reduces hypertension, and prevents tooth loss too.



ORANGE/ CLEMENTINE MARMALADE


2 kg oranges. After cleaning 1 kg


Sugar 600 gms


Pectin 11 gms


Method ...peel orange. Cut in segments add sugar pectin cook slowly on a low flame for 40 minutes.


Cool in the fridge.



SPANISH PERENNIAL


Its easy to make. Its delicious, You got to try this multi-purpose delicious Spanish Romesco sauce. It’s a tomato-based sauce that was originally made by fishermen for eating with fish. Bread is added to thicken and to provide texture. Here’s chef Padros recipe.


ROMESCO SAUCE


almond 150 gms


Hazelnut 150 gms


Fried Bread 150 gms


Tomato 800 gms


Garlic 80 gms


Dried Red pepper 100.gms


Salt pepper to taste


Vinegar 70 gms


Olive oil 225 gms


Mineral water


Put all ingredients separately in the oven (180 Celsius for 30 minutes)


When done, cool it. Puree it in the mixer. Add vinegar olive oil and bread .


Can use with vegetables. Cold salad. Meat and fish. Sauce for barbecue. Chef Padro has dotted his black rice and prawn dish to add the zing.


© 2019 by Rashmi Uday Singh

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