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  • Writer's pictureMaria

New hidden gem in Barcelona: Casa Sayrach

Updated: Jan 8

When I do experiences and tours, I always comment that Barcelona is a city full of details that never end, and that even if you think you know everything, you will always find something new that surprises you. These details can range from small balconies or windows to entire buildings or squares, often wrapped in a modernist flavour. Hidden gems throughout the city.

Local life in Barcelona

Last Friday it happened again, walking back home along the majestic Diagonal Avenue I noticed a building that looked beautiful, and not only from the outside, but also from the inside.

We approached to the doorway with curiosity, and as we advanced those steps the majesty was revealed. WOW! At the entrance, there was a doorman dressed in black, who kindly let us inside to contemplate what an artistic and architectural spectacle. An entrance covered in marble, with curvilinear shapes, decorated to the last centimeter. Wood, iron... and inspired, of course, by nature. In this case, more specifically in the seabed. Will you come diving with me?

Beautiful modernist vestibule ceiling
Casa Sayrach Barcelona

The Sayrach House

"And what building is this? I asked, "It is the Sayrach house, designed by Manuel Sayrach Jr. It was a building conceived for the family's residence and he designed it without having finished his architecture degree," the doorman told us.

"If you look on the walls, you can find jellyfish and crabs, and the arch of the staircase represents the skeleton of a whale". And he continued: "On the staircase itself, under the handrail, if you look, it is inspired by a fishing net".

Different pictures of the doorgate
Inside Casa Sayrach

With so much to process, I didn't get to ask about the elevator, is there a nicer lift than this one?

Another hidden gem: La Dama restaurant

One couple having a dinner in La Dama
La Dama restaurant entrance

We were amazed by this treasure, but there was still more: on the second floor, inside one of the apartments, there was a discreet and elegant bar-restaurant: La Dama ("The lady").

He escorted us to the door, and we once again marveled at the place, as it was in keeping with the grace and good taste of the building's entrance.

We crossed the curtains and into what would be the foyer of the house, and by way of welcome, we found a small lounge with an attractive cocktail bar. An anteroom to the various dining areas, also tastefully decorated, with one overlooking Diagonal Avenue and the other to the next street, the beautiful Enric Granados.

Doors, and windows with bowed shapes made of wood. Tastefully chosen furniture, glass, and mirrors combined with contemporary and modern decoration. An atmosphere of calm, beauty, and well-being. What a discovery!

A cocktail bar with a personality

Pictures related to La Dama Cocktail Bar
La Dama Cocktail Bar

We could not resist and decided to stay a while and let ourselves be advised by the very friendly bartender. He prepared us a delicious cocktail (impossible to remember the whole combination, but it was a whiskey-based drink with some touches of passion fruit) and a 12-year-old Caol Illa, winner of several awards and considered one of the best whiskeys in the world. Not bad, right?

I can't help but comment that one of the things that surprised me were the ice cubes used for the drinks. I had never seen this kind before! They looked more like a precious stone rather than a simple ice cube to cool the drink.

In this way, we were not only able to enjoy the drinks but also the beauty and the good atmosphere. A historical and gastronomic location, considered in the high spheres of the world of journalism, business and Catalan politics. At the level of the well-known Via Veneto or the Botafumeiro.

And not only that. A place is also made up of people, and in the case of La Dama, both the doorman, the bartender who served us, and the rest of the restaurant staff were charming and made us feel very comfortable at all times. We want to come back and try their dishes!

Back to the seabed: new details

Picture of Manuel Sayrach, the architect
Manuel Sayrach arquitect. Fuente: Google

As we went downstairs, we walked around the corners of the entrance to finish admiring the space. A new conversation arose in an improvised way: this time with the doorman and one of the diners who was just coming out of the restaurant.

Curiously, he turned out to be one of the journalists who was able to interview the "last Sayrach" (son of architect Manuel Sayrach), a few months before he died just as the covid pandemic was beginning to loom to transform our lives.

The journalist commented that "this building is one of the last modernist constructions in Barcelona. It was built in 1918, when the movement was already in decline, giving way to noucentisme and avant-gardism. Manuel Sayrach, wanted to make a tribute to his great master, none other than Antoni Gaudí," added the mysterious journalist.

Beautiful corners of Sayrach House
Sayrach House

Hidden gems in Barcelona

Me and my boyfriend at the cocktail bar after the visit
La Dama cocktail bar

We returned home happy, because like almost all good plans, the ones that come out of improvisation are the best.

That night we were lucky enough to find a new gem hidden in the streets of my beloved Barcelona, another jewel that, in addition, is accompanied by a beautiful story (and of course, companion). What better way to end a Friday, don't you think?

Undoubtedly, we were amazed with this place and I have already added it to my map with the best recommendations of Bars and Restaurants in Barcelona :-) Do you already know what it is?

You can also contact me if you want to discover more hidden gems in Barcelona.

Catalan modernism

Was an artistic and cultural movement that shook the city of Barcelona (and by extension also the whole area of Catalonia) in the late nineteenth century until the early twentieth century.

It was born as a longing for the transformation of Catalan society, with the perspective of modernizing the country and being equal to the rest of the great European capitals, such as Paris, London, or Berlin.

All this in a context of upheaval between Spain and Catalonia (things have not changed much since then) with its social revolts, the return of the monarchy, and the desire of the Catalans to be able to decide for themselves.

Modernism in Catalonia manifested itself through different cultural and artistic disciplines. We find it in literature, sculpture, painting, and also architecture, as in the case we are dealing with today.

It was a very prolific period artistically, and somehow, it still survives in the spirit of Catalan society.

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