I’ve been living in El Raval for a couple of weeks now and one thing that is perfectly clear about this area of the city is that it is overflowing with character. It is a place where works of art can be found around every corner and on every street there is a trendy concept store or a restaurant stuffed into a little nook (check out El Pachuco). With this in mind, I did some research on unique bars that were in walking distance from my apartment and as much as I wanted to visit the secret bar that can be accessed through the owners wardrobe, it isn’t guaranteed to be open every night. Then I came across El Bosc de Les Fades and after flicking through some photos of the place and seeing that there were trees inside the bar (albeit fake trees) I was immediately excited to see it for myself.
El Bosc de les Fades is a real hidden gem that requires you to walk down a side-street off La Rambla in the direction of the wax museum, complete with figures poking out of the windows, which during the twilight hours is enough to make you feel like you’ve just stepped into another world. A man who I assume was from the bar directed us to it and as expected,the outside is pretty unassuming but once you step inside it is clear that this place is totally unique. The lighting is very soft and warm, mystical music is playing very quietly in the background but there is the sound of lively conversation from all around but you can’t quite tell from where exactly because there are trees, caves and dark corners hiding people away. The ceiling is glittering with fairy lights and directly opposite is a surreal scene of a young girl floating above her bed; her nightgown is flowing beneath her.
We found a little nook to sit in that was in the middle of the two concept rooms that El Bosc de les Fades has – one room is magical with trees and fairies and the other is brighter with walls lined by multicoloured origami animals and a swinging bench. I didn’t take photos of everything because they really can’t do it justice and the lighting is very dim in the majority of the building. What I enjoyed most about sitting in the bar was that the atmosphere was inherently calming, I could hear water trickling but couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. Furthermore, I could actually hear everything that Macey was saying even though she was sat across a table from me. I think we can all agree that this is exceedingly rare when going to a bar at 11pm, I usually find myself with a bit of a sore throat from half-shouting over music the morning after being out. On top of this, the drinks were relatively cheap – a pitcher of sangria was 12€ and it wasn’t weak! I would definitely recommend this place to anyone who likes to go somewhere a bit different and doesn’t mind the relaxed atmosphere – you aren’t going to get a chance to dance here put it that way. Large groups may have issues finding a place to sit as most tables accommodate 2/3 people but that shouldn’t put you off. There is plenty of standing room and if you’re planning on hopping from one place to another around La Rambla it’s a great starting point.