Monday, February 10, 2014

Top 10 Places to visit in Barcelona - 10). Picasso Museum

10). Picasso Museum - Introduction

The Picasso Museum in Barcelona is a key reference for understanding the formative years of Pablo Ruiz Picasso. The genius of the young artist is revealed through the 4,249 works that make up the permanent collection. Furthermore, the Museu Picasso, opened in 1963, also reveals his deep relationship with Barcelona: an intimate, solid relationship that was shaped in his adolescence. 

Buy your ticket for the Picasso Guided Walking Tour, save 4 euros and skip the line! BOOK HERE

City Centre Retreat develops a new appreciation for Picasso

We went to the museum in order to find an appreciation for Picasso, one that we didn't have. What we found was that as well as a lot about our lack of knowledge concerning his life and his work. We was ultimately blown away. We stood in line for 45 minutes to an hour as we didn't get tickets on line in advance. We got tickets for the museum and the temporary exhibit. What we saw was Picasso's work from the early years and his later work, with some in between. (The new management, as of the first of this year 2013, is adding more of his mid life work to the museum this year). We had no idea, and we are ashamed to admit it, that his work was so diverse. That was a surprise and a delight. There were many pieces we would love to have. A great part of the exhibit was learning more about Picasso and his life, his loves, his dedication to his gift, through the photographs donated to the museum by one of his best friends, David Douglas Duncan. They are stunning, moving, real and beautiful. They have taken his work and did some infrared technology and more to see what is beneath it...the results are really cool. This was probably my favorite museum and collection during our time in Barcelona and France.

Buy your ticket for the Picasso Guided Walking Tour, save 4 euros and skip the line! BOOK HERE

7). Ciel Bleu - French restaurant in Amsterdam

Ciel Bleu
City Centre Retreats is ranking the French restaurant Ciel Bleu its number 7 best place to eat in Amsterdam out of the top 10. Ok, this is isn't a place you go if your watching the pennies but if your looking for  some great style, ambiance, impeccable service and some amazing food. 

The only two-starred Michelin restaurant in Amsterdam, Ciel Bleu mixes stunning views with delicious dishes to create one of Amsterdam’s finest eateries.

Located on the 23rd floor of the delightful Hotel Okura, the restaurant offers sumptuous fare among elegant surroundings. Chefs Onno Kokmeijer and Arjan Speelman use fresh, locally produced ingredients to create gastronomic masterpieces. Combined with impeccable service, the food on offer is likely to be one of the highlights of your holiday, but remember to book ahead; the restaurant’s popularity means that reservations need to be made well in advance.

What the team at City Centre Retreat had to say about Ciel Bleu
What City Centre Retreat ordered.

'Like no other restaurant experience. What initially caught our attention to dine there was the Michelin Star rating and the spectacular city views high above the 23rd floor of the Hotel Okura in Amsterdam. Once we arrived, we were greeted by the Restaurant Manager at the elevator door and escorted to the hostess stand and then seated. At the onset we immediately knew we were in for a Fine Dining experience at its best. From the attention to detail and impeccable service to the very knowledgeable staff.. who at every course were waiting to describe every ingredient, their origins and their preparation methods. It was a feast for the senses. Visually stunning presentations of each course and distinct flavors in each bite that melted like a symphony on your tastebuds. After each course we awaited for the next with anticipation to see what would be presented. It felt like there were actually more than the 4 courses if we counted Les Trou Normandes served between courses to cleanse our palates. I have been talking about this dinner ever since we were there..'