Archive for October, 2015

madrid and barcelona are absolutely great places for those who want to go shopping at world-known brands stores. but for an unique spanish experience, visitors can’t miss the opportunity to visit traditional shops. it’s a very nice way to take home the spirit and essence of spain shopping at one of the traditional stores of the country. they’re places opened around 100 years ago and still operating with its hand-made products.

at madrid, for example, there are casa mira, casa de diego, antígua casa crespo and antígua casa talavera.

casa mira madrid

in 1855 luis mira founded the traditional cake shop “casa mira”, which is well-known for its classic ‘turrón’, an almond-based nougat most popular in spain around christmas. the nougat comes in all sorts of varieties, from the classic jijona, where luis mira came from, and alicante to toasted egg yolk or chocolate. all the products are still handmade using the finest ingredients in the old-fashioned way without preservatives or artificial colourings and  even queen isabel 2nd used to be provided with christmas turróns by luis mira.

Casa Mira casa mira 2

casa de diego

it was in 1858 when manuel de diego founded the “casa de diego”,  a business specialized in the fan market in madrid. located on madrid’s main plaza, the puerta del sol square, this is a speciality shop for typical spanish fans or ‘abanicos’, shawls, walking sticks and umbrellas. all the items are first-quality, exclusive and hand-made and some are real art works, like the fan used by princess leticia at her royal wedding.

casa de diego casa de diego 2

antígua casa crespo

the sandal-shop “antigua casa crespo” was established in 1836 by gregorio crespo, a family who had excellent techniques in working esparto and started specializing in espadrilles, footwear made of this natural fibre and an essential item in many spanish households. they offer over 50 models in all sorts of colours and shapes, all of them hand woven and sewn by craftsmen and women from the la rioja district of spain. due to all the charm of the 19th century  kept in the establishments, only visiting is  already a pleasure.

Casa Crespo 2 casa crespo

antígua casa talavera

the more than 100 year old “antígua casa talavera” is a shop in the centre of madrid specialized in ceramics. visitors here will find genuine art works in quality ceramic, both handcrafted and hand-painted, like sangria pitchers, dinnerware, tea sets, plates, and vases. the shop offers traditional designs and also replicas of models created from the 10th to the 18th century. the pieces come from the locations in spain famous for their ceramic and potteries such as talavera, toledo, manises, valencia, puente del arzobispo, alcora, granada and seville.

Talavera 2 Talavera 1

at barcelona, examples of traditional stores are casa gisbert, dolceria de la colmena, la manual alpargatera, herboristeria del rei and la cereria subirà.

casa gispert

casa gispert is one of the oldest food stores in barcelona, located just in the centre, on the left side of santa maria del mar church. since 1851 casa gispert’s speciality has been always the same: roasting nuts on a wood fire oven which is europe’s oldest, still-functioning roaster. nowadays, the shop also sells a large variety of organic products, extra virgin olive oils, vinegars, chocolates, nougats, honeys, jams, sweet wines, gift baskets, etc. always looking for local and high quality standard products and the insinde of the store looks like a museum.

casa gispert casa gispert 2

dolceria de la colmena

la colmena is one of the oldest and most traditional cake shops in barcelona. for more than a century it has delighted the “plaça de l’àngel” square, where it is located, with it’s fragrant aroma of home-made candies and cakes. the produced traditional sweets following the same recipes and traditions since its inception. since 1864 showcases huge windows and old wooden desks have served pastries and cheering meals to many families. this catalan pastry is filled with history in every corner.

la colmena la colmena 2

la manual alpargatera

the classic mediterranean shoe, made of canvas with a hemp sole, has its roots as cheap footwear for the peasants, and this traditional shop claims to have put the espadrille on the fashion map. it is barcelona’s oldest espardenyeria, opened in 1943, and scores of celebrity clients like jack nicholson and salvador dalí, that have purchased their handmade shoes here. there are styles for men, women and children, from the be-ribboned classic espardenya used for dancing the traditional catalan sardana to modern versions in bright colours, stripes, and prints.

La Manual Alpargatera 1 la manual alpargatera 2

herboristeria del rei

it was back in 1860 when isabel  ii declared this shop as being the offical herb supplier for the royal house. founded in 1823 it was the first herb store in catalonia, located near plaça reial. the shop offers more than 220 varieties of medicinal plants, honey, spices for cooking, natural cosmetics, brushes and essential oils. the owners are more than happy to advise about their natural remedies or whip-up a herbal conoction and kept the store designed like it was in 1860. perhaps this is the reason why it was choosen as one of the places in barcelona for filming the movie perfume: the story of a murderer.

herboristeria del rei 1 herboristeria del rei 2

la cereria subirà

located in the old gothic quarter this shop with its original baroque décor and rows upon rows of colourful creations, is a must on every barcelona shopping tour. the candles in “la cereria subirà” are made from high-quality paraffin and beeswax, designed to prevent smoke and bad odours. one speciality is that the candles are tested for functionality and duration, so visitors can buy the sagrada-familia shaped candle without worries.

cereria subira 2 42-35282398

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