With Jackson in full Spring Break mode (quiet streets and even quieter businesses), we are spending our downtime dreaming of exotic locales. Unable to escape our proclivity for bread, our favorite adventures have always involved discovering new bakeries. These three top our current travel to-do list:
Bread + Bed
The brand-new Praktik Bakery Hotel in Barcelona, Spain is our idea of heaven.
Its aesthetics alone would have won us over: the boutique hotel – in the Eixample district, an area best known for its Guadí buildings – features airy interiors laced with subtle industrial elements in a serene palette of white, black and canary yellow. However, it’s Praktik’s fresh-baked business model that made us fall in love: at the center of the vast lobby is an outpost of popular Baluard Bakery. The aroma of fresh bed and pastries makes guests feel at home, baker Anna Bellsolà said on the hotel website. Bellsolà inherited her love for bread from her grandparents and parents. “And now, time has passed,” she writes, “and surrounded by the sea, installed in the Barceloneta, a typical sea-faring district, the mixer keeps on kneading, the wood oven turns daily, the flour gets to every corner of our bakery, and the hands enthusiastically shape what will be a loaf of bread. Just bread.” All this starting at less than 100 euros per night. Barcelona or bust.
Nearly a century old, Bakari Sandholt is Reykjavik’s longest running artisan bakery. Family run for four generations, the bakery is now run by award-winning chocolatier Asgeir Sandholt, who studied painting before deciding to join the dynasty. Perched on Laugavegur, the city’s historic shopping street, the bakery features traditional décor and traditional patisseries: macarons, croissants, baguettes – as well as in Icelandic delicacies like the kleinur, doughnut-like twists. Rock on Reykjavik.
Baker & Spice grew from a Dane’s desire for a sandwich in Shanghai. That hungry man, John Christensen, opened his first café in 1999 (in the logistics business, he moved to China in 1995). Now, five locations pepper Shanghai in artisanal baked goods: sourdough loaves, fruit tarts, and farmhouse carrot cake. Christensen recently expanded his gourmet operation to include direct imported wines. Cheers to carbs in China.