This is not about vintage winebars or the top spots for cocktails. This is about a very special bar, Today will outline special bar, condemned for being the crown of one of the ugliest buildings – inside and out – in all of Barcelona: El Corte Inglés in Plaça Catalunya, the temple of compulsive consumerism. Being in this solid block of grey is like playing the slots in a Vegas casino in that there are no windows, and you don't notice the passage of time as you throw your money around.
The bar in question, however, is quite the opposite. Its enormous window, elongated like Robocop's helmet visor, gives you a privileged viewpoint of the city centre that goes from the sea to Tibidabo and back to Montjuïc. At sunset the view is spectacular; this is one of the two features that make this a great spot. The other is the surroundings. But first you have to get there, unfortunately going through all that is the horror of the seemingly never-ending escalators (the descent into Dante's hell would be shorter), or the cold of the lift, which is recommendable for those with slightly less patience.
Once upstairs, you find yourself in a kind of 1970s airport, surrounded by the bizarre and unpredictable: wide-eyed tourists, haggard shoppers, career waiters, and spies. There just have to be spies. To eat and drink is expensive, sure, but it's the perfect place to do the briefcase swap: nobody sees you, nobody knows you, nobody cares who you talk to, who you are or what you do. Total anonymity, and a view – perfect for writing a novel or plotting a scheme.