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New Restaurant AL LADO Paco Pérez in Seville

Giralda has a new neighbour. Chef Paco Pérez, one of the greatest Spanish chefs recognized with five Michelin stars, has just opened his first restaurant in his homeland Andalusia.

Restuarant AL LADO Paco Pérez

In the new Restaurant AL LADO (“BESIDE”) located in the 5-star hotel EME Catedral Mercer facing the majestic Cathedral, Pérez will show a casual, informal, modern and urban facet, based on the quality of the product: 

“The product comes first. Without product we couldn’t do anything. Our duty is to extract as much as we can from it”.

Restuarant AL LADO Paco Pérez

Pérez has developed the AL LADO menu based on salads, dishes to share, pizzas and toasts, signature burgers, bao buns and traditional muffins, cold meat tables, as well as delicious homemade desserts. The restaurant offers the take away option, a trendy gastronomic service in the main European capitals.

Restuarant AL LADO Paco Pérez

AL LADO menu proposes a mestizo cuisine combining Hispanic tradition typical flavors from both sides of the Atlantic, to offer the best of both worlds: A journey for the senses that takes us to 15th and 16th Seville centuries when, after the discovery of America, its port became the entrance of new ingredients that would transform the Spanish recipe book.

Restuarant AL LADO Paco Pérez

AL LADO, which interior design has been entrusted to the Flop Studio in Seville, completes the EME Catedral Mercer restoration offer. The Hotel already has La Terraza del EME, a panoramic rooftop bar overlooking the Cathedral and the Giralda; La Esquina del Bacalao, bar-restaurant of popular Andalusian cuisine and local wines and The Corner lobby bar, to enjoy a cocktail, a glass of wine or coffee in a quiet space with refreshing views to the Orange Trees Courtyard of the hotel.

AL LADO Paco Pérez Restaurant

https://www.emecatedralmercer.com/en/restaurants-and-bars/al-lado-paco-perez

ABOUT PACO PÉREZ

Able to create up to 130 different dishes every year, Paco Pérez (Huelva, 1962) is an avant-garde cuisine artisan who doesn’t lose the traditional cuisine wisdom, the freshness of the sea and the taste of the product.

Trained in France with Michel Guérard -one of the nouvelle cuisine founders-, Pérez has been inspired from El Bulli influence. Its flagship is Miramar Restaurant (Llançà, Girona), where in 1994 he created its famous foie gras with chocolate and apple, and that holds two Michelin stars. He also directs “Enoteca” restaurant, at the Hotel Arts in Barcelona, with two more stars; “Five” restaurant of the Hotel Das Stue in Berlin, with one star, as well as the “Tast” bar-restaurant in Manchester.

He runs innovative gastronomic projects as “La Royale” (a gourmet burger restaurant), “L’EGGS” (a restaurant specialized in eggs) or “Bao Bar” author's tavern, all of them in Barcelona. AL LADO is chef's new project, the first in Seville, and a commitment to continue innovating in one of the gastronomic Spanish capitals.

AL LADO Paco Pérez Restaurant

AL LADO Paco Pérez  

C/ Álvarez Quintero, 45. Seville

Phone +34 954 56 00 00

Email: alladococina@emecatedralmercer.com

Monday to Sunday, from 1:00pm to 4:00pm and from 7:00pm to 11:00pm.

EME Catedral Mercer Hotel: History and Modernity

At Mercer Hotels, we believe in the conservation of the heritage and culture of the buildings of all our hotels. The integration of the old and the new is one of our hallmarks. Andalusian historical legacy converges with modernity at the EME Catedral Mercer Hotel​.


A HISTORICAL STREET

EME Catedral Mercer has an unbeatable location right in city center, by the Santa Cruz picturesque neighborhood and just in front of the majestic Cathedral north facade.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, attracted by the prosperity of trade with the New World, merchants arrived to the city and gathered around the Cathedral. In this sense, the ‘Calle Alemanes' [Germans Street] -in which the hotel is located- owes its name to German colony shops established by the street arcades (one of the few examples that are still preserved from the popular architecture of that time), in a multicultural Seville that was the commerce door with the Americas.

"History is the life of memory and the teacher of life." Cicerus


A BUILDING WITH ROOTS

The EME Catedral Mercer Hotel is housed in a historic building from the 16th century, originally composed by 14 typical Andalusian houses set on a land that was owned by Andrés Moro González –‘el Moro’–, a rich, eccentric and popular Sevillian antiques dealer.

The architectural renovation project was directed by the Spanish architect Juan Pedro Donaire, resulting in this modern hotel which combines the building’s Andalusian roots with a contemporary design.

EME Catedral Mercer Hotel

THE FACADE AND ITS BALCONATES

The façade dates from the 16th century and preserves a structure of historic arcades with coffered ceilings and with classic columns redefined as a porch open to the public. Located in front of the hotel, the Giralda is reflected in the balconies windows. These wrought iron balconies date from the early 20th century and their artistic enhancements and cast iron drawings were restored to highlight the traditional Andalusian architecture.

EME Catedral Mercer Hotel

THE ORANGE TREES COURTYARD

As in the Santa Cruz District typical houses (Jewish Quarter of Seville in medieval times), in the heart of the EME Catedral Mercer there is an open central courtyard that vertebrates the access to the hotel rooms.

The Orange Trees Courtyard is covered by an imposing structure whose design is inspired by Islamic ornament and reminds of a modern Moorish-style lattice. Its central fountain and its orange trees honor the Islamic culture.

EME Catedral Mercer Hotel

The Arabic-inspired ornament can be found in different hotel areas, both in the rooms, in the corridors and even in the the panoramic rooftop bar.

EME Catedral Mercer Hotel

THE LOBBY ALTARPIECE

Symbol of the deep religiosity of Seville that followed the Catholic Kings reign, a Baroque altarpiece clad in gold leaf stands out at the hotel lobby area. This altarpiece was acquired from a Madrid antiquarian who said that it was bought years before in Seville from Andrés Moro, a reputed Sevillian antiques dealer and also the former owner of the buildings where EME Catedral Mercer Hotel is located nowadays. If this story is true, the altarpiece has returned to the same place where it came from...


ROMAN TERMS SPACE

It is a hidden treasure: This private space has a spectacular glass floor from where guests can view the remains of Roman terms discovered during the hotel restoration work. A unique space in Seville, perfect for holding private events and celebrations for up to 15 people.

EME Catedral Mercer Hotel

TRADITIONAL WALLS

Rooms and common areas walls are plastered with lime mortar and covered with sandstone, in the manner of traditional Andalusian constructions: A material with a bioclimatic behavior highly appreciated in warm countries since it contributes to the temperature regulation.

Definitely, EME Catedral Mercer Hotel offers its guests a concept of fusion, respectful with history but fresh and vibrant at the same time, as well as a cosmopolitan atmosphere in a monumental environment.

EME Catedral Mercer Hotel
Calle Alemanes, 27
41004 Sevilla (Spain)
Tel. +34 954 560 000
reservas@emecatedralmercer.com

Barcelona Museums

Barcelona is a city of culture. City museums received more than 4.5 million annual visitors in the latest years, according to Barcelona’s Culture Institute. We review some of the most interesting museums in the city.

National Museum of Catalan Art 

Montjuïc National Palace is one of the iconic buildings built for the occasion of the International Exhibition of 1929 and it’s the current headquarters of the National Museum of Catalan Art. Sculptures, paintings, drawings, prints, posters, photography, etc. They shape into one of the most complete collections of Medieval, Roman and Modern Catalan art. MNAC is located at the bottom of Montjuïc Mountain, a privileged environment from where to enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the city, as well as Montjuic’s fountains show.

Barcelona

Joan Miró Foundation 

Joan Miró Foundation is located 10 minutes away from MNAC and in the heart of the Montjuic Park. Set in the beautiful building from the architect Josep Lluís Sert, it’s the most important Joan Miró public collection. There are more than 10,000 pieces including paintings, sculptures, tapestries, drawings and sketches that allow us to understand and admire this artist, considered one of the greatest surrealism representatives.

"I never dream when I sleep, I do dream when I'm awake." Joan Miró

Barcelona Miró Foundation

Picasso Museum

More than 4,200 works compile the most complete collection worldwide of Picasso's youth works. Opening in 1963, the museum reveals the Andalusian artist's link with Barcelona. Works are arranged in chronological order inside 5 Catalan gothic civil style palaces(13th and 14th centuries): Exceptional content and continent for one of the most important museums in the city, located in the picturesque Born District, only 5 minutes away from the Mercer Barcelona.

"Art is the lie that allows us to understand the truth." Pablo Picasso

Barcelona Picasso Museum

Barcelona History Museum 

The “Plaça del Rei” (King’s Square) Monumental Complex -next to which the Mercer Barcelona is located- is the main headquarters of the Barcelona History Museum (MUHBA) dedicated to the city's historical heritage spread. The Gothic Quarter underground has an impressive archaeological tour, whose remains include the Roman Barcino (1st century BC), the Visogothic Barchinona (7th century) and the Medieval Barcelona (13th century), with streets, villas or oil and wine warehouses, among others.

Barcelona Plaça del Rei

MACBA & CCCB

The spectacular MACBA and CCCB buildings are located right in the city center, only 15 minutes walking from the Mercer Barcelona. The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art or MACBA (1995) occupies the American architect Richard Meier extraordinary building at ‘Plaça dels Àngels’ (Angels Square) also known as a skaters meeting point. Contemporary creation and artistic debate are articulated through visual arts, performance, dance, cinema, music or events. The Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona or CCCB (1994), which occupies part of the ancient ‘Casa de la Caritat’ (Charity House), is a multidisciplinary institution with exhibitions, debates, festivals, concerts, cinema, courses or workshops programs around the urban phenomenon from all points of view and all cultural disciplines.

Barcelona MACBA & CCCB

Barcelona Maritime Museum 

For centuries, Barcelona history is linked to the sea, the navigation and the maritime culture. The Maritime Museum (MMB) is located the ancient Barcelona Royal Shipyards (‘Drassanes’) used for shipbuilding between the 13th and 18th centuries, being one of the most important monuments of Civil Gothic style for industrial usage. After visiting the museum, visitors can take a walk from the Rambla to the Columbus Statue and the ‘Port Vell’ (Old Harbour).

Barcelona Maritime Museum

We interview José Hidalgo, Mercer Sevilla Head Bartender

Cocktail bars are fashionable. We talked about that with José Hidalgo, Head Bartender at the spectacular FIZZ Bar in Mercer Sevilla, the 5-star hotel in the Sevillian Arenal district.


With only 28 years, this Sevillian trained between the Superior School of Hospitality of Seville and the Himkok cocktail bar in Oslo, has received several awards since 2016, being 'Art of Italicus 2019 National Finalist' and 'Top 50 World Class Diageo Iberia'. His secret: Passion and perseverance.

How did you become a bartender?

After my studies at the Superior School of Hospitality of Seville and do my internships nationwide, I decided to make the leap to bartending. I moved to Norway in order to acquire knowledge at the Himkok, considered one of the world best cocktail bars (currently "Top 50 Best Bars" ranking 19th position).

What got you hooked into this profession?

When you go into the cocktails world, you discover that there is a lot of work behind each drink, a lot of research to discover new sensations and flavors, and that aroused my interest and desire to learn.

FIZZ Bar Mercer Sevilla

What do you like the most about being a bartender?

Being able to offer new sensations, unique and different experiences, having direct contact with clients, giving advices to them: When a client enjoy one of my recommendations or creations, I feel satisfaction for my job.

In your opinion, what qualities should have a good bartender?

First of all, hospitality is a must. Any hospitality professional should be hospitable to the client above all. In addition, it is important to move forward and innovate through new techniques, products or flavors.

How should be a perfect mixed drink?

I don’t think there is a perfect mixed drink as it will depend on the taste of each consumer, which is given by multiple factors such as origin or eating habits. Our palate is formed with the memories of everything we taste and this largely defines our tastes. Therefore, the perfect mixed drink will be the one that has the conditions of each person to make it pleasant and unique.

FIZZ Bar Mercer Sevilla

What is the best time of day to have a cocktail?

Any time can be great to enjoy a good cocktail, from a mid-morning Bloody Mary to recharge the batteries, to a Dry Martini as a snack before having lunch. It will depend on your mood, but always making responsible alcohol consumption.

What is the consumers current taste?

Little by little consumers are acquiring more knowledge about the cocktail world, each time they are more curious and daring. This supposes a bigger challenge and rigorousness. Of course, the classic mixology continues being the starting point for the consumer as for the bartender.

FIZZ Bar Mercer Sevilla

Mixology is in fashion nowadays, where are the new trends going?

Certainly, we are currently living a new mixology golden age. And I think that those who are offering local and artisan products are succeeding. Behind these products there is a great R&D work to improve the customer experience, which is reflected in the final drink. I think this is and will be the trend: Offering a unique and different experience to the customer.

FIZZ Bar Mercer Sevilla

What can you tell us about the FIZZ Bar?

The FIZZ Bar is located in the extraordinary setting of the Mercer Sevilla, the 5*GL hotel in the historical district of Arenal, next to La Maestranza. It is a 19th century bourgeois palace with only 12 rooms, whose philosophy is to offer an impeccable service so that each client lives a memorable experience. And the FIZZ Bar contributes to that experience.

What do you think you are offering your clients that is unique in Seville?

It's one of the most pleasant, elegant and sophisticated places in the city for a quiet drink. And in addition toclassic cocktails, we propose our distinctive 'cocktail culture' with a series of exclusive cocktails.

FIZZ Bar Mercer Sevilla

What is the most requested cocktail in the FIZZ Bar?

‘Perfetto Errore’ is the most appreciated cocktail from our menu. We make it with a homemade grapefruit bitter, Palo Cortado and bergamot Rosolio. It’s an aperitif with sherry wine flavor, dry and fresh, with little alcohol content, which allows you to drink it before enjoying a dinner, as well as get closer to the Andalusian culture through our wines.

Favourite Cocktail Bar: Although I will always feel part of the Himkok family where I was trained, the Fizz Bar is my favorite cocktail bar, it’s the one that represents me and where I can express myself.
Favourite cocktail: Sidecar. I love this cocktail complexity with a brandy base, citrus and dry touches.
Favourite ingredient: I like to work with generous wines, I think they give a personal touch to the current mixology.
Distilled fetish: Rum, definitely. Each rum is unique. I love to enjoy a glass of rum to relax.
Not missing in your bar: The smile and the desire to make the customer live a unique experience.

FIZZ Bar

Calle Castelar, 26 (Sevilla)

Tel. +34 95 422 30 04

fizzbar@mercersevilla.com

www.mercersevilla.com

From Monday to Sunday, from 4pm to 12pm

Chef Xavier Lahuerta returns to Mercer Barcelona kitchen

When Jean Luc Figueras -Executive Chef of the Mercer Barcelona- passed away in 2014, Chef Xavier Lahuerta (Barcelona, 1975) takes over the gastronomic direction of the Hotel, succeeding one of his mentors for over a year. Then, Lahuerta decides to embark on a new stage of gastronomic exploration. Now he returns to the Mercer with a new look.


Let's move to your origins. Tell us about your first influences...

Throughout my childhood I saw my two grandmothers work in the kitchen. This made that at the age of 16 I clearly knew what my profession would be. My grandmothers knowledge and passion were the starting points.

How was your career?

My generation has been behind the Michelin starred Chefs with the goal to learn from them while working on their projects. In my case, I worked in some of the best restaurants of Catalan cuisine for 20 years, with great teachers like Xavier Pellicer, Santi Santamaria, Carles Gaig, Ferran Adrià, Carles Abellán and the unfortunately deceased Jean Luc Figueras, with whom I started working at the age of 17. During this time, I was Sous Chef, Chef or Executive Chef at El Bulli, Can Fabes, Abac, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Projectes 24, Rocamador, Grupo Azafrán, El Cercle or New Paradis.

Chef Xavier Lahuerta at the Mercer Barcelona

Then came a professional turning point...

During this first professional period I was developing signature cuisine, Catalan cuisine with French influences following the trail of these great chefs with whom I had the pleasure to collaborate. But there was a time when I decided to stop, reflect on a new mindset and expand my horizons. I think it’s highly recommended, if not essential, to stop and observe. During this time, I made several trips in which I learned new aspects of gastronomy that have allowed me to renew my kitchen, making great quality leap.

What world cuisines have influenced you the most during these trips?

I have traveled a lot to Mexico. For example, in the Mercer Restaurant menu, one of the entrees is the violet roasted carrot that we serve with “poblano mole”. It’s an example of the Mexican cuisine touches in my cookbook. I am also fascinated by the Asian gastronomy, I use several Asian ingredients and techniques, such as the croaker in sashimi also included in the current Mercer menu.

You are an intuitive chef...

Yes, I am a restless, dynamic and intuitive person. In my opinion, it’s necessary to leave the comfort zone, go beyond, expand the limits, be an entrepreneur and bet on new challenges and projects. I try to leave my mark of quality in our gastronomy, being authentic and connecting with people. In this sense, I was recently named as the culinary order member by the "Chaîne des Rôtisseurs" (oldest gastronomic association in the world).

Chef Xavier Lahuerta at the Mercer Barcelona Restaurant

What does it mean for you to return to the Mercer Barcelona kitchen?

Returning to the Mercer is like coming back home. I’m taking the challenge of being in the Barcelona Gothic Quarter with excitement, in a historical building shaped in part of the old Barcino Roman wall, a space with a strong personality and a great reputation in the city. I was one the moments that had made the chef I am today, I am delighted to return and develop my project here.

Mercer Restaurant Barcelona

How would you define your gastronomic proposal at the Mercer?

We offer a combination of traditional recipes with avant-garde techniques and local high quality products. In the Mercer Restaurant menu, we take care of dishes balance, based on few ingredients and well prepared. This are natural and healthy proposals for make our dinners live an emotional experience.

Chef Xavier Lahuerta gastronomy at the Mercer Barcelona Restaurant

A gastronomic memory

I remember the feeling of enjoying eating in a restaurant and not leaving the table trying not to lose any detail, like a stage play.

Your favorite dish

It is difficult to choose a dish when my greatest pleasure is to enjoy eating! But to say one, it would be a dish that brings me knowledge and reflection, feeling and passion, especially that one which makes me feel alive. My favorite dish is “the land and the sea”.

Your favorite restaurant

Many, not only one! It’s hard to choose only a restaurant due to the infinite offer that exists nowadays. Depending on the moment and with whom you share it. But a classic that never fails is “Casa Alfonso”, a restaurant opened since 1934 in Barcelona.

An unavoidable ingredient in your kitchen

Quality is the ingredient in our kitchen must always have, not only from products but also the human asset to feel and work with them.



Mercer Restaurant

Calle dels Lledó, 7. 08002 Barcelona

Reservations: Tel. +34 93 310 74 80 · Email: restaurante@mercerbarcelona.com

Seville, at Giralda’s feet

Giralda is without any doubt the main character of Seville’s historical center, an authentic visual show that hides remarkable history.

THE CATHEDRAL OF SEVILLE

Declared a World Heritage Site, the Cathedral of 'Santa María de la Sede' (known as Seville’s Cathedral) is the gothic temple with the largest surface in the world and symbol of the Andalusian capital. The Cathedral was built on the ancient largest Mosque (12th century,) of which the old minaret -current Giralda- and the Patio de los Naranjos (Orange Trees Courtyard) are preserved.

Seville Cathedral

Symbols par excellence of Seville, the Cathedral and the Giralda are set in the heart of the city, just in front of the EME Catedral Hotel and just 500 meters away from the Mercer Sevilla.

EME Catedral Hotel

THE GIRALDA

The Giralda is the watchtower of the bell tower that ends the Cathedral of Seville. Its construction began in the 12th century inspired by the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech.

The lower two thirds of this tower belong to the minaret of the old Mosque of Seville, the upper third is a construction added in Christian times to house the bells (13th century). And on the summit, stands the “Giraldillo” (16th century).

Giralda’s name comes from the vane that crowns the tower popularly known as the Giraldillo ("that turns with the wind"). This sculpture called "Triumph of the Victorious Faith" (the victory of Christianity over the Muslim world) is made in bronze and weights more than a ton.

RECORD NUMBERS

With its over 100 meters, the Giralda was for centuries the tallest tower in Spain and one of the highest in Europe. In addition, it became and still is a fingerprint in the configuration of the skyline in Seville, being its tallest building until the recent construction of the Pelli Tower. With a total of 24 bells, it is considered the Cathedral with the most bells in Spain.

For some years, a replica of the Giraldillo is located in the Prince Cathedral Gate, which allows visitors to admire all its details up close.

Seville Cathedral

NEST OF CULTURES

Witness to Seville’s, the Giralda represents the harmonious combination of the different architectural styles of the various civilizations that left their print on the building.

The Giralda is composed by two main parts: The first one of the tower is the Muslim one, when the Caliph Abu Yaqub Yusuf ordered the construction of the minaret of the Almohad mosque, in the 12th century. Later in the 16th century, the Christian part was added with the bell tower and the statue that symbolizes the faith, designed by the architect Hernán Ruiz. To these bodies are added the lilies (with a jug of bronze lilies in each of the four corners) and a last Renaissance segment.


INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE GIRALDA

The restoration work has allowed to reveal the original reddish color of the Giralda. In Murillo’s paintings, the Giralda was already shown in that color, which started to vanish due to the pass of time and several restorations made in the 18th and 19th centuries
Did you know that La Giralda has no stairs? That allowed the sultan to climb up on his horse while contemplating the views, 35 ramps were arranged.
One of the Giralda purpose throughout its history was as a lightning usage, that announced events or celebrations (as it’s done in modern skyscrapers!).
From the viewpoint, you can contemplate the whole city, and at the foot of the Giralda, the Patio de los Naranjos and the imposing Cathedral of Seville.

Seville Cathedral

Mercer Hoteles expands its portfolio managing the renowned Hotel EME Catedral in Sevilla

With this new addition, the group specialized in the luxury market sums up eight establishments, three of them under renovation, and will achieve a portfolio of twelve hotels in the following three years.


Currently the company is redefining the luxury hotel industry in Spain with an innovative approach that is perceived in each of its properties. Mercer Hoteles commitment is to create hotels where the hospitality takes place in historical settings, signed by great architects, accompanied by an outstanding service and haute cuisine.

MERCER HOTELS UNTIL TODAY

The company was born in 2005 with the Mercer House Bòria BCN opening, set in an 18th century palace in the Barcelona Born District. Four years later, the Mercer Hotel Casa Torner i Güell opened in a Modernist building located in Vilafranca del Penedès (Barcelona).

Mercer House Bòria BCN y Mercer Vilafranca

In 2012 the first 5-star establishment of the chain was inaugurated. The Mercer Hotel Barcelona is located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. The Mercer Hotels flagship occupies a medieval palace on part of the Roman wall of Barcino and was restored by the prestigious architect Rafael Moneo (Pritzker Prize). 

Mercer Hotel Barcelona

In 2016 a new opening takes place in Sevilla. The Mercer Sevilla is an innovative 5-star hotel located in the Casa Palacio Castelar, a 19th century bourgeois palace in the historical Arenal district. Architects Cruz and Ortiz are responsible for the hotel renovation, responsible of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum rehabilitation within other projects.

Mercer Hotel Sevilla


This autumn of 2018 sets the beginning of an ambitious expansion project for this Spanish hotel chain that starts with the incorporation of the renowned EME Catedral Hotel in Seville.

EME CATEDRAL HOTEL

EME Catedral Hotel opens its doors in 2008, being the first hotel in Seville combining history and modernity, with the impressive background of La Giralda and the Seville Cathedral (the largest Gothic church in the world), in the picturesque Santa Cruz district, city’s old Jewish quarter.

EME Catedral Hotel Sevilla

EME is placed in a historic building, originally composed of 14 defined typical Sevillian houses from the 16th century, which restoration result is a modern and young hotel, with a design that reflects the contemporary Sevillian lifestyle.

EME Catedral Hotel Sevilla

Due to its excellent location and unique views over the Cathedral and the Giralda, the hotel's terrace quickly becomes popular among Sevillians, becoming a must do along these ten years.

EME Catedral Hotel Sevilla

From December 2018, the EME Catedral Hotel management passes into Mercer Hoteles hands. So during 2019, the hotel will experience a series of updates to adapt it to Mercer Hoteles standards, respecting the identity and character of the building.

Without losing the Mercer Hotels luxury and sophistication characteristics, the new EME marks the starting point of an innovative hotel concept, more vibrant, young and urban.

“Services will also be adapted to contemporary luxury. The spa, the panoramic restaurant or the cocktail bar will take a new main role”, explains Amanda Molina, Mercer Hoteles Projects Manager. “The interventions in the hotel will be light, decorative and especially respectful with its architecture, surroundings and history. This will allow maintaining its doors open during the process”.

 

Welcome EME Catedral Hotel!
Mamen Bonet, Pastry Chef at the Mercer Barcelona

We interview Mamen Bonet, Pastry Chef at the Mercer Hotel Barcelona who creates the treats that surprise our guests every morning...


Bringing together the tangible with the intangible to transform the stay of each guest into an unforgettable experience: This is the philosophy of Mercer Hoteles. In this sense, the Mercer Barcelona pays special attention to the breakfast service where every detail is taken care of to make each morning a gift for the senses.

Mercer Barcelona


Breakfast is served daily from 7.30-11.00am in the unique setting of the Mercer Restaurant, with part of the original Roman wall of the ancient Barcino city as a backdrop. In spring and summer seasons, guests can also enjoy breakfast at the Orange Tree Courtyard, an oasis of absolute tranquility in the heart of the Gothic Quarter.

Mercer Barcelona


Mamen Bonet (Barcelona, 1985), Pastry Chef at Mercer Barcelona, is in charge of the 5-star hotel gourmet breakfasts. Since she joined the Mercer's kitchen, this young baker has added a series of delicious novelties to the breakfast buffet: An assortment of small pieces of art -both sweet and savory- freshly made every morning to make guests fall in love. Mamen is a discreet professional who prefers her creations to speak for herself. Her key principle is "work, work and humility". We chatted with her to discover the sweetest details of Mercer Barcelona.


Why did you decide to work in pastry?

Actually, it was like “to let myself flow". When I was studying Fine Arts, I realized that I wanted to be a cook, so I studied Hospitality and Pastry at the Hofmann School in Barcelona where I lay the foundations of everything I currently know.

Mamen, tell us a bit about your trajectory until you reached Mercer Hoteles...

While I was still, studying at Hofmann School, I did two stages: At Mugaritz and Celler de Can Roca. After that, when I finished my studies, I went to Akelarre again as a stagier. At this point I realized that I wanted to specialize in pastry... First I did an internship in the Dolç Pastry from Yann Duytsche and from there I went to work in several bakeries like Melissa (Athens), Pomme Sucre (Gijón), Moulin Chocolat (Madrid) or Baluard (Barcelona).

How would you describe your profession?

It is often said that pastry is the sweet and measured version of cooking. For me it’s also "a bottomless pit" of tests, knowledge and amusement. Actually, it’s magical to be able to make clients happy or surprise them through your work and the pastry is often associated with happy moments...

Mercer Barcelona

What are your creations at the Mercer Barcelona based on?

I’m basically inspired by the classic pastry cookbook, as well as recipes from my previous experiences that seems delicious to me and from creations of other pastry chefs who share their work in books or social media. And I also like to investigate on my own and try new ideas.

What attributes should have a good pastry chef?

A good pastry chef must have the same characteristics as a good cook: He/she must be disciplined, orderly, responsible and a good colleague. In addition to this, I think it's important to be curious and to learn a bit more each day.

Mercer Barcelona


What do you like most about your job?

I love working with doughs and chocolate (of course!), making fruit tartlets and petit fours. All my elaborations are handmade as pralines, chocolates, brioches... I like to have time to fuss over everything I do. I try to pay attention to details so that guests have a good memory of sweet moments at the hotel. 

What are your favorite ingredients?

I love working with good raw materials. I really enjoy working with chocolate (I also love to eat it!) and all its utilities or subtleties. I am also a fruit lover (such as raspberries, pineapple or apricot) and nuts (especially hazelnut and pistachio).

What do you think a good dessert should contain?

Balance and sobriety, especially in sugars, fats and jellies use.

What is the essential utensil in your work?

In pastry there are many indispensable utensils, but I think that brain, hands and a good oven are primary...

Mercer Barcelona

A cake...

I like the coulant and a good strawberry cake!

Recommend us a patisserie...

The bakery where I learned: Hofmann!

Seville neighborhoods

The historical and monumental Seville has different picturesque neighborhoods, each one with its own different personality.

By taking a walking tour through the different neighborhoods, the traveler will discover the city’s history and evolution, as well as local traditions and the happiness of living in Seville: The color and magic of Seville is in its neighborhoods.


1. Old town: The three monuments of Seville declared World Heritage Site

Less than 10 minutes walking from the Mercer Sevilla, are the Cathedral, the Royal Palace of Alcázar and General Archives of the Indies.

St. Mary Cathedral was built above an old mosque. Its famous bell tower (“La Giralda”) and its cloister (the Orange Courtyard) stand out. A few meters from the Cathedral, there is the imposing Royal Palace of Alcázar and its beautiful gardens (known as “the monument of monuments” and chosen as the setting of Game of Thrones). And next to them, the General Archive of the Indies collects an exceptional documentation of the Spanish overseas territories administration.



2. Santa Cruz: Tapas around the old Jewish Quarter

Mateos Gagos Street (from where you can enjoy a great view of the Cathedral), the lively atmosphere on the terraces around Santa Maria Blanca Street, picturesque Santa Cruz, Doña Elvira or Los Venerables Squares, or the historical Callejón del Agua (“Water Alley” where the water that supplied the Royal Palace of Alcázar’s gardens circulated in the past) are only some of the beautiful sights in this neighborhood, but the best option to discover Santa Cruz is to be as they say “go on with the flow’’.



3. El Arenal, facing the Guadalquivir River

After the discovery of the Americans (1492) and for several centuries, the Arenal was the main port for commerce between Spain and the New World. Nowadays, it’s a monumental and cultural district.

Between San Telmo and Triana Bridges, it’s worth to enjoy the Guadalquivir River bank (Columbus Avenue), the Golden Tower (primitive Arab bastion and current naval museum) or the Royal Maestranza bullring and have a drink along the river bars or the centenary neighborhood taverns (Garcia Vinuesa Street). Next to the Triana Bridge, at the ‘Lonja del Barranco’ Market, gourmet tapas are served in a building designed by Eiffel.



4. Triana neighborhood

Crossing the Triana Bridge (10 minutes walking from Mercer Sevilla) the visitor reaches the opposite river bank and the most cheerful and popular district of Sevilla, with the “Mercado de Abastos” (Supplies Market), the Ceramics Center or the Sailors Basilica. And one should defenitely have tapas in Betis, Asunción or Castilla Streets. These are just some of the recommendations in a neighborhood in which it’s better to get lost and, above all, to enjoy.

Javier García -Mercer Sevilla Guest Relations Manager- gives us some tips to enjoy "tapas" around Triana: At "Blanca Paloma", "La Primera del Puente" or "Taberna Paco España" the visitor will eat and feel like a local.



5. South, the Seville of the Ibero-American exhibition (1929)

The Maria Luisa Park is the oasis of the city with 34 hectares of green land ideal for walking in the shade. The Museum of Arts and Traditions of Seville is set in the impressive Mudéjar-Pavilion (one of the old pavilions in which the Ibero-American Exposition was housed). And in front of the Park, the monumental Plaza de España (“Spain Square”) invites you to take a charming boat ride.



6. Center, around the City Council

The shopping area is located around the Plaza Nueva (“New Square” where the city council is also located), Tetuán Street and Sierpes Street (where you will find “La Campana” confectionery, founded in 1885 and famous for its delicious ice creams and patries).

In the same area there is the Palace of the Lebrija Countess (with “the best pavement in Europe” due to its Roman mosaics collection) and the “Metropol Parasol” space (the largest wooden structure in the world, designed by Jürgen Meyer and with a beautiful city viewpoint).



7. The ‘Macarena’ and its walls

La Macarena is a traditional, genuine and devoted neighborhood. You must visit its epicenter Bécquer Street where the Macarena Basilica is located, as well as the remains of the old city wall (from 11th and 12th centuries).

Cod fritters by Le Bouchon, enjoy our homemade recipe

Discover the cod fritters recipe by Le Bouchon, the Mercer Hotel Barcelona gastrobar specialized in tapas and local dishes.


Located on a quiet street in the historical Barcelona Gothic Quarter, Le Bouchon is the gastrobar of Hotel Mercer, nestled in part of the old Barcino Roman wall: A unique location right in the heart of Barcelona.

Le Bouchon

It’s a local restaurant opened not only to hotel guests but also to any visitor wishing to spend a nice gastronomic time: Whether enjoying an appetizer or an informal lunch or sharing a diner with a nice bottle of wine.

Le Bouchon

The menu offers some canned appetizers from La Cala Albert Adrià, cold meats and cheeses, as well as a variety of homemade dishes, perfect to accompany by a glass of wine from some of the main national appellations.

Le Bouchon

“Bravas” spicy potatoes, croquettes, crunchy chicken nuggets, Andalusian style squid, fried peppers from Padrón, cod omelet, eggs with Iberian ham or meatballs with cuttlefish, among other typical dishes, can be enjoyed in an informal and relaxed atmosphere.

Le Bouchon

Among Le Bouchon tapas and dishes, today we introduce the delicious cod fritters with roasted garlic dressing (“allioli”): Made with wild cod from Iceland ('Gadus Morhua' from Perelló 1898), they are crispy on the outside, spongy on the inside and served with a special sauce. 

We share our recipe to encourage you to make them at home!

SEE RECIPE


Gastrobar Le Bouchon
Monday to Sunday, 12.30 - 16.00h and 18.30 - 23.00h
Calle dels Lledó, 7
08002 Barcelona (Spain) 
Tel. +34 93 310 74 80

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