Finally, a chance to slow down

March 21, 2017 0 Comments

And just like that... I stepped off the plane and fell into the slower moving life in the Mediterranean. 

Siesta slow down take a break step off the corporate ladder in SpainSiesta time. Photo: Carolina Ferrer

This trip back isn´t just about buying some amazing new shoes and handbags to add to our wonderful little store, Petit Barcelona. It´s about giving myself time to recover from a pretty hectic year. Two weeks into my sabbatical I am already feeling the rejuvenating effects of a slower lifestyle.

The village that we live in is a moderate place. Its a small community that houses generations of families that continue to stay in the area and bring up their children, and children´s children. You can´t walk 5 meters down the road without bumping into a handful of people who are eager to hear how you are and your plans (though they already know as the Spanish village grapevine is well and truly alive here).

Each day the village runs like clockwork. The same festivals are held year in year out. The saints days, the non-religious days even the parties for eating onions (I´ll tell you about that later). Likewise this household also runs to a routine. Day-in day-out, week-in week-out, year-in year-out. Everyone emerges from their bedrooms around 9am (sometimes 12noon on a weekend), shops open around 10am, lunch all together at 2pm on the dot, followed by a siesta or time out and then regroup around 5pm when the shops open again. We have a very light dinner at 9pm and bed an hour or two later. We are a typical Mediterranean family that centers around food and sleep. 

I slide into the routine of the casa quite nicely and I am comforted by the fact that everyone has their role to play in this game of sticking by the clock. I know that lunch will always be served at the same time, I will be told what we will be eating earlier in the day, and that after we all sit down together for lunch, I will be expected to take time out for myself (like everyone else does) shortly after. 

We roam the streets discovering new places whilst everyone else is sistering

For many years the family worried why I didn´t siesta after lunch. When I tried to explain the reason was that I merely couldn´t get over the psychological barrier that siestas were unproductive, they just shook their head, dismissed my excuse and concluded that I merely needed to eat more at lunch. Instead of it being my problem, it became theirs to solve. And so their mission was to push as many plates of food my way during lunch in order to cure me of this ridiculous notion of not sleeping during the day. 

This imposed ´time out´ happens everyday here, because everyone in the house does it. My life was pretty hectic before jumping on that plane 2 weeks ago. I was juggling a very full time job in a law firm, a new start up business, a 2 year old and life that comes with all of that. By stepping off that treadmill, I feel like I have granted myself some peace and quiet. Given my body and mind time to rest and recalibrate, and the most important thing, to free myself from the expectations I have on myself to do it all. Because it is only with rest and recovery that you see how little you achieve in trying to do everything, and how much more, I am gaining doing significantly less.

There is a great saying here ´Poc a Poc´ (in Catalan) or in Spanish ´Poco a Poco´. Meaning slowly slowly. It is a well used phrase in my trilingual vocabulary now and one that I am finally putting into practice again now.

Lauren x




Getting the right fit
Petit Barcelona Fit Guide


We often talk instore about the perfect fit. What we’re looking for, how it should feel, and how to overcome any niggly foot problems you may be having. 

So, we asked Lauren, owner of Petit Barcelona, to sit down and answer a few questions that we’re asked regularly. Questions around fit, leathers and care of our sandals. 

How do I find my size?

The first thing you need to consider when buying a pair of Spanish sandals is the length of your foot. The length, not the width, of your foot will determine your size. We recommend you go with your standard size for normal flat soled shoes. For example if you are always a size 9 women´s then choose a women´s 9. If you are between sizes and have a wide foot choose a size up. 

Petit Barcelona women´s size guide
Petit Barcelona Shoe Size Guide Children

Does width matter?

Our Spanish sandals are made from the highest quality Spanish leathers, and will gently soften and mould to the shape of your foot. This will happen whether you have a narrow foot or a wide foot. Our Avarcas will give only as much as they need to.

Tip: to speed up this process you can wear them around the house with a pair of socks (or two!).

While our Avarcas are made to a standard size some leathers will better suit narrow or wide feet. 


My shoes have arrived and are feeling very snug, is this ok?

It sure is! We want them to feel a little snug across the front of your foot! This is the part that will soften and mould to your foot with wear.

If your feet are within the stitching on the insole of the shoe you have the right size. Long toes may peep through the front of the shoe, others may not. This is a normal variance.

If the shoe feels a little snug but you’re not experiencing actual pain, you have the right size.


The back straps are quite loose or won´t stay up. Is this the right fit?

Your back straps should sit firm on your heels. They will naturally fall to the widest part of your heel as they wear in. They will at first feel like they might fall off, but they won´t completely. If your straps are gaping, or sliding up and down as you walk, but your length is fine, then our shoes are not the right fit for your heel shape.  

Many people who can´t wear back straps normally, choose our Platform Avarcas or Wedge Espadrilles, as the incline of the shoe means that the back strap stays up higher than the Flat Avarcas. 


Should my toes be visible or not?

As all feet are different shapes, the length of your toes are too. Whether or not your toes are visible is not an indication that your shoes fit or not. We like to think that when you haven´t had a pedicure, our shoes hide a multitude of sins! 


I don’t think I have the right size. What should I do?

If your Spanish Avarcas are snug to the point of pain you may need to go up a size. If your foot is within the stitching but the back strap is falling, you may need to go down a size.

But don’t despair, our desire for the perfect fit is supported by our generous returns policy. 


Easy, hassle free returns & exchanges!

We offer free returns on your first pair of shoes.

To get the returns process started, email us at and let us know your order number and what you´d like to return or pop into our boutique store at Camp Hill.