EatWith.com Launches in Barcelona
Unless you've been living in a WiFi-free cave for the last couple of years you'll have noticed a rather major trend in the travel industry. As tourists exploring a new city or destination we are no longer content simply to have our photos taken in front of the major sights, but instead we want to get as deep into the culture as possible and enjoy a 'local' experience as best we can... even if we're not going away for long.
So far this trend has manifested itself primarily in the accommodation section. Whereas ten years ago it was uncommon to stay anywhere other than a hotel or hostel, many modern travellers are now choosing to rent the keys to a short term apartment, or go even further and homeswap or homestay with a local, in an attempt to feel as close to the city they are visiting as possible.
Thanks to an innovative new "home dining experience" project called EatWith.com the 21st Century traveller can now reconsider their dining options as well. Up until now any traveller hoping to sample the local cuisine would no doubt consult their Lonely Planet guide, Time Out or Tripadvisor for the best places to eat in town (hint: we've got some recommendations on Barcelona Life too:-) but using the EatWith.com website you can avoid touristy restaurants (where your only interaction with the locals is likely to be with your waiter or waitress!) and actually enter the house of a local resident and sit at their table for supper!
EatWith essentially acts like an Airbnb of eating out (or rather "eating in"!) with visitors able to browse their website by location and see which hosts are offering what delicious dishes, where and when. As the hosts tend to be creative types the resulting offers are often as varied as they are exciting: a quick browse of Barcelona hosts for example reveals a tasting lunch of Catalan products from local farmers, a Mediterranean fusion fiesta, a vegetarian pizza and salad supper and a Spanish cooking workshop (where of course you eat what you make!) to name but a few. All the hosts have their own profiles where you can learn a bit about them - and their home, including what languages they speak. Important as you'll be sitting down to dinner together! The host of course forms a key component of the experience, and EatWith themselves had the following to say about their role:
"All of our hosts have a story to tell and share a love of food, people and hospitality. Each host is carefully selected for their cooking skills, hosting space, personal character and much more."
A typical dinner experience can cost anywhere between 15 and 100 dollars, depending on the ingredients and extravagance of the meal, but it's the chance to really engage with the locals of Barcelona, over a shared passion for food that might just prove priceless to the culinary and culturally enlightened traveller.
For more info find EatWith online, or on Facebook and Twitter.