Last Christmas my brother came over to visit me in Barcelona to do a little Christmas shopping and after a few hours we needed a break and decided to go for a coffee in Els Quatre Gats.
Els Quatre Gats is a modernist cafe/restaurant/bar tucked away down a little side street (Montsio, 3 bis) just off the main shopping walkway at Avda Portal d’ Angel in the Barri Gòtic.
This cafe/restaurant was a popular haunt for the young Picasso in the early 1900’s and here he undertook his first commissioned work for designing the front cover of the menu.
Stepping into the restaurant felt like we were stepping back in time. The interior of the café was lit with antique chandeliers that gave the feeling of what it must have been like in an old Tavern back at the turn of the last century. Paintings filled much of the wall space and colourful multicoloured tiles decorated the central Bar.
We ordered a coffee each and a naughty cream dessert topped with whipped cream and surrounded in dark chocolate sauce which was simply irresistible ( we shared this so it wasn’t that naughty). We took a quick look at the restaurant menu but the prices looked inflated compared to what we could get in other restaurants. Anyway we were only there for the coffee and to take in a little of the modernist atmosphere.
We found that the dessert and coffee were good but the service was rather snooty and we were not made to feel welcome. Even though I had pointed out that they had not charged us for the dessert I got nothing more than a superior look, a reprint of the bill, and an almost inaudible “thank you” as the waiter turned tail and whisked off to deal with some other important coffee making task.
Snooty or not it was an interesting half hour and with a little imagination you can easily get the feeling of what it would have been like when Picasso used to spend his free time here.
Els Quatre Gats (4 Gats)
Carrer de Montsió, 3
08002 Barcelona, España.
Metro Catalunya (Green Line, L3) and (Red Line, L1) 10 minutes walk from the metro.