May 06, 2017 0 Comments

Whilst feasting on glorious lobster at lunch a few weeks ago, we started a conversation with the guy sitting alone beside us. 

The guy was Raul Sanchez Aguirre, who turns out to be a cool Catalan chef at the boutique Hotel Bagués restaurant, El Regulador. After chatting about the enormous amount of lobster we had been served (and consumed), I couldn´t help but ask if a visit to his restaurant for lunch would be doable, which he politely agree to!


Hotel Bagués is in the heart of Barcelona´s most emblematic district, Les Rambles and the Gothic Quarter. Built in 1850, it is housed in what was once a historical jeweller´s shop and workshop. It has an incredible roof top terrace with pool and bar, perfect for reading the paper in the sun and taking in the skyline views over champagne in the afternoon. We arrive for lunch at 2.30pm (Spanish local lunch time) and are met by Raul who comes to chat with us and explain the menu. We decide on the executive menu which is only 22€ each for an entrée, main and dessert with a glass of wine, water and house bread... Welcome to the world of lunchtime menu del dia´s. Where fine dining costs as much as a latte back home in Australia. 

Hotel Bagues El Regulador restaurant Barcelona Les Ramblas Petit Barcelona review plates terrace pool and views

Source: Roof top view from Hotel Bagués and the surrounding area of Barcelona


Our house red wine is as smooth as silk as we sip and chat about how much energy we get from being in the city centre. A minute later a succession of small aperitif´s which Raul has created especially for us arrive which takes us by surprise. He´s cooked up a lightly seared Tuna with ginger, a soft halved artichoke with a thin slice of iberic jamon on top and the famous Catalan dish cap i pota. After the aperitif´s, our entrée arrive. We both ordered the Vichyssoise, a cold creamy delicious starter, with florets of cauliflower and artichoke parcel´s upon which the soup was poured in front of us.

For our mains, Helios ordered the Lluç (hake) which is one of his favorite local fish. He wasn´t disappointed. The lluç was a pure white pillowy cloud of morish fish, cooked to absolute perfection. It was accompanied with grilled aubergine a la siciliana and crispy onion. 
My main was a Peruvian style soft beef, swimming in a slightly spicy broth of tomato, spanish onions and ginger. Raul had created a handful of delicately placed bite sized potato airy pillows which added some crunch to the meal.

For dessert we went off-piste and were served a delicate sable, lemon curd and strawberry dish which was tangy and sweet and I loved every last bit. The strawberries right now are huge and deep in colour and the most delicious I´ve ever tasted. The second dessert of chunky ripe pineapple pieces hidden in a white meringue and cream pile, was light and fresh and everything you needed to balance out the sugary lemon and strawberry dessert.  

Entree Hotel Bagues El Regulador Barcelona restaurant and hotel Petit Barcelona blog PB experiences PB eats review

Cauliflower soup hotel Bagues el regulador restaurant Barcelona city PB eats review Petit Barcelona

Main meal Hotel Bagues El Regulador restaurant Petit Barcelona review PB Eats PB experience Barcelona where to eat review


Hotel Bagues dessert el regulador restaurant Barcelong blog review chef Raul PB Eats PB experiences Petit Barcelona

Top to bottom: Aperitif of tuna, Entree of cauliflower soup (soup to be poured yet!), Main of Peruvian beef and desserts of strawberry and lemon and a pineapple and cream dish.


After our meal we had the opportunity to chat with Raul about his life as a chef, food trends in Australia, and his love of Paleo (he has contributed to two Paleo books so far   

Petit Barcelona (PB): Who do you draw inspiration from when cooking?

Raul Sanchez (RS): My family is directly related to gastronomy. I was born and raised in my parents' restaurant and although that may be an advantage, it is also a big responsibility. So whenever I'm making a new dish the first thing I think is ... would it like it at home? Will they give me the approval?

PB. A common question, but do you have a favourite plate to cook?

RS. It's a question I always get (I guess all cooks) and I've never known to answer. I do not have a favorite dish but I always said that even though I like everything and I enjoy the variety of flavors, if there is a simple and rich pisto (ratatouille) on the table, I do not need more.

PB. Do you have a favourite restaurant at the moment?  

RS. Over the last 2-3 years, the restaurant Suculent in Barcelona, has become the restaurant that I most recommend and I visit most often. I think it brings together what I need to feel comfortable - good product, elaboration with a lot of respect, very good service and cozy without being pretentious.

PB. Any bars that you would recommend to go out to in Barcelona?

RS. My bar I co-own in Valencia, Bar Vermudez, is an emblematic Barcelona venue of 365 days live music, where sometimes I have the honor of being invited to the stage and singing with some of the resident musicians! For me it's a fantastic disconnect.

PB. Where do you go to escape and relax when you don´t have to work?

RS. Without a doubt, as soon as I have the opportunity, I go to the village where I grew up Palafrugell, on the Costa Brava coast, where my family and friends are and where I still discover impressive places, new to me of extreme beauty.

PB. The best part about living in Catalunya is...?

RS. The best of Catalunya is Catalunya in its totality, its people, its diversity, its mountains, its beaches, its fields, its gastronomy, its towns, its cities, its history.

For more info:

Hotel Bagués, Restaurante El Regulador - La Rambla, 105, 08002 Barcelona
Bar Vermudez, Valencia - Carrer de Sueca, 16, 46004 València



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.

Narrow Fit - shop the standard fit collection and choose your standard size. If you are between sizes, go down a size. The best leathers for a narrow fit and thin achilles is to choose the thicker Nubuck leathers which will provide more support. 

Standard Fitshop the standard fit collection and choose your standard size. All of the leathers in the range will suit your feet.

Slightly Wide Fit - shop the standard fit collection and choose a leather that will give and mould to your foot shape - suede's and box calf leathers. It is also recommended that you try the New Wide Fit Collection as these will also provide the width you need. 

Wide "D" Fit - shop the NEW Wide Fit Collection if your feet are traditionally wider than standard (see further information below). Available in a selection of Flat Avarcas and Platform Avarcas - Shop here. Stick with your standard size as we have made the width slightly larger to accommodate the extra width room you require. 


Need an extra wide fit?

Love our shoes but find that the width isn’t wide enough? Then our NEW Wide Fit Collection is for you. 

Introducing our new Collection of Flat Avarcas and Platform Avarcas in a wider “D’” fitting size. Our first drop comes in our best selling Almond Nubuck, Black Suede and Metallic Braided Champagne Box Calf in both Flats and Platforms. 

How does the Wide Fit Collection work?

Our Wide Fit Collection is essentially the same standard fit length, but the width is wider than your standard fit. 

If you are normally a size 38 in length but a wide fit, most of the time you would have sized up to a 39 to accommodate the extra width needed. By going up a size, it often left you with a little too much room at the back of the shoes.

To check if our New Wide Fit Collection is perfect for you, please consult our size guide below (the column on the far right - Wide Fit Width - CM).

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. 

If your shoes are too tight across the top of your feet, or your toes are pinching, then the NEW Wide Fit Collection of Flats and Platforms will be perfect for you. 

Simply shop the available Wide Fit Collection here


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.

Any further questions, please contact us via email at