Home delivery won lockdown. For starters, we actually got some mail. Secondly, nice stuff arrived without us having a tantrum trying to open a pair of plastic gloves. The downside is that your home-delivery default likely became Amazon. There is a way to support the local community, though, and get everything you need regularly dropped off at your door. Subscriptions to these Barcelona home delivery services are our on-demand saviours for whatever you need your home to be.
Whether you worked from home before COVID or are a new adopter, one thing’s for sure: your sofa’s never been so indented by your ass. With the living room set to continue its role of makeshift C-suite, these subscriptions make hot-desking the good kind of hot. Sadly, they can’t fix your partner’s volume level on video calls.
It probably took one day of home-working for you and your other half to realise that coffee would be essential to make your office romance work. Thankfully, Barcelona’s roasters were on the case before anyone could scream, “Running on fumes here!” Fast-delivered monthly subscriptions tailored to your caffeine consumption level and vessel (i.e. Moka, French press) will help keep the low-on-coffee rage away. Get full of beans at Syra (€11-€41 for 1-4 bags) or Nomad (€22.50 for 2 bags).
Beautiful stationery makes putting pen to paper a pleasure, ideas flow quicker, and elevates your organisational skills to a Marie Kondo level. Barcelona-made Notebooks Tracy not only fills the hole of not being able to find luxury stationery in Spain – it also delivers. Its NT Postbox service supplies a chic edit of desk- and IG-friendly goodies, from hardware (such as scissors and pens) to notebooks made of stone paper – an environmentally conscious paper formed from ground rocks instead of trees. €25 a month.
A delight of post-lockdown life has been seeing Barcelona’s parks turn wild – a tangle of overgrown grasses with blooms like splattered paint. Now, continue that feeling of freedom at your desk. Floral designer Itzi Guridi, a former interior designer who retrained at L’Escola d’Art Floral de Catalunya, creates a different bouquet every week – each one showcasing her trademark natural, undone style. €32.50 per arrangement, delivered once a week, once a fortnight, or monthly.
The desk-buddy deterrent
Cats are great companions until they decide that your keyboard is the only place they ever want to sleep again. We all know that there’s no reasoning with them, so a smarter option is bribery. Cue: Vivacats. First, select your cat’s age and playfulness level. Vivacats will then tailor a monthly box with 5 or 6 distractions, spanning treats, catnip-infused toys, and useful things for owners – such as stickers to remove cat hairs. Hallelujah. From €13.90 per month.
Home as a sanctuary
Extended time at home has made us all more conscious about what we put inside it. Deliveries no longer have to be synonymous with waste, however, with minimal-packaging products that treat you – and the wider world – well.
Eager to connect Catalunya’s family-run farms with green-minded consumers, Marina Figueroa created Organic Basket Barcelona – seasonal fruit and veg that’s picked from small producers in Maresme and Montseny and delivered to your door once a week. There’s zero plastic packaging, and the selection changes weekly according to the farms’ harvest. Don’t just take our word that it’s delicious: Marina also supplies Tickets and Lasarte. Prices vary per household size: €45 per week for a two-person basket (around 12 varieties), €60 for 4-5 people (around 14 varieties), or €80 to serve six (around 20 varieties).
The healthy vending machine
As well as making you feel like it’s your birthday every month, subscription boxes are a great way to discover new brands. That was the thinking behind the monthly treat boxes from Cesqui’s Vegan Shop – a Spanish e-store created for vegans, by vegans. Each box contains 8-10 snacks (such as protein balls), cooking ingredients (come to mama, peanut butter), a personal care item (we love the bamboo toothbrushes from Swedish eco-brand, The Humble Co.), plus something fun – like a piece of art. Brands span household names and lesser-known discoveries, including LoveRaw, Plantasy Foods, Graze, Deliciously Ella and Biona. €19.95 per month; use the code VEGANBOXJULY10 before June 30 to save 10 per cent.
The water game-changer
Barcelona’s tap water is fine if you’re parched or hungover. Otherwise, there’s a reason why almost everyone buys bottled water – even if the plastic use makes you weep. The excellent alternative is Tapp Water’s clever filter, which connects to any round screw faucet with a diameter between 16-24mm, and uses water-purifying cartridges that are available on subscriptions of 3, 6 and 9 months. For the sceptics – it works. Scientifically, it gets rid of over 80 contaminants, such as microplastics, lead and chlorine (without ditching good minerals, like calcium). In real-person terms, it means you can leave a glass of water out for a few hours and still enjoy drinking it. From €49.
Home as a social space
Renewed love of our homes continues into the entertainment realm. Sure, terraces are open, but so are the queues for a metal chair and a soundtrack of motorbike. Hosting at home, meanwhile, brings the greatest gift of all – a toilet that you can actually access.
Salut Wine Studio’s monthly wine club solves vino’s biggest issues – the fact that it’s annoyingly heavy to carry home, and not knowing which producers to pore over (and, well, to pour). Owner Melissa Leighty’s expert edit goes beyond picking the prettiest label. First, select whether you’d like two or three bottles a month. Then pick your speciality – wines from Spain, international wines, or natural wines. Melissa will then curate your preferences from small, off-the-radar growers. Boxes are dispatched on the 5th of every month, with handy tasting notes sent via email – ready for you to casually drop (and impress) into conversation. From €39.
The talking point
COVID has added an extra layer of difficulty to chatting in Spanish. For starters, not having uttered more than “hola” for three months. Secondly, the literal layer of trying to be understood through a face mask. Whether you feel low in confidence or like you’ve forgotten everything, subscribe to El Método – The Non-Stop Speaking Spanish Course by teacher, Peter Hanley. Play each 10-minute video in a room where you can comfortably talk out loud. First, you’re given a phrase in English. Pause while you think what it would be in Spanish, and say it out loud. Peter then gives the ‘official’ translation, which you and he repeat a few times. The idea is that you end up saying each sentence around five times – perfecting your pronunciation and gluing it in your brain like a really catchy song. Available in beginner and intermediate levels, via Skillshare – which costs €8 per month.
Skip the market queues, swerve the arm ache, and get tapas ingredients brought to you. El Hortet del Baix is the e-store of the Torras family – a five-generation agricultural family who supply to Barcelona’s markets and work with pro chefs such as Xavier Pellicer, whose Eixample restaurant has won awards for its vegetable-focused dishes. As well as fruit and vegetable baskets, you can order seasonal boxes and sets for special occasions, like Sant Joan – which features cava, wine, cheese, cured meats, and all the ingredients to make pan con tomate. Boxes start from €25.50 (no subscription; order as you need).
The one for the woof
Your dog’s social life peaked during lockdown, when we were at their beck and call 24/7. Now, every time they see us reaching for the house keys, they unleash those sad puppy eyes. While there’s no replacing human contact, a monthly box of organic treats and toys comes a close second. Patasbox offers 5 or 6 products a month, tailored to your dog’s size – small, medium or large – and a theme (June’s is fitness, for example). The key is that the contents of the box is genuinely useful, from foldable water bowls for agua on-the-go to healthy treats and durable toys. From €14.99 per month, with 20 per cent donated to animal shelters.
If you enjoy seeing a package when your elevator door opens, especially if it’s craft beer, here are a few that deliver.