A Tale of Two Cities: Local's Guide to London & Barcelona
26 November 2018

London is one of the most multi-cultural city in the world. Londoners don’t just come from the terraced houses of Hackney, Peckham, and Brixton, but come from all over the world. Here, you’ll find communities within communities, with different boroughs serving as melting pots for an array of different cultures. It is only in this city that you hear different languages on your way to work, and the only city where a friend, neighbour, or colleague will most likely come from a city you’ve never even visited. London is open, it is colourful, beautiful, and endlessly rich; and this is why most Londoners are local to more than just one city. We know that a trusted recommendation trumps a review any day of the week, especially if that recommendation comes from a local.
We caught up with Margarita Alzamora, a Spanish creative, whose got one foot in between London and Barcelona, to give us a local’s guide to both cities. Exploring where they intersect, and proving that you can find common ground no matter where you are in the world. According to Margarita, the beauty of both cities lie in its people; and this reflects on the truly special places she’s recommended just for us. Because Londoners come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and ethnicities - and that’s exactly why we love it. 
Name, age, profession
Margarita Alzamora, 29, Account Manager at Coniq, a tech company based in Barbican, London
Does London and Barcelona have any similarities? What are they? 
London and Barcelona are both cities that never sleep. They are both full of creativity, and there is always something to do. I originally came from Mallorca, but spent a lot of time in Barcelona during my youth, and those were the most exciting years of my life so far. I learned a lot about music, art, and how to appreciate different cultures - which Barcelona is famous for. 
When I came to London, I felt at home immediately - it was like stepping one foot in Barcelona and one foot in London. I guess because London and Barcelona are both such culturally diverse cities. I’ve always believed that these two cities are places where your emotions are always on top of everything that you do. You either love them or hate them - there is nothing in between. For me, that’s the beauty of these cities. 
What is the biggest difference between London and Barcelona? 
The people are what brings a city to life and fill it with character.  Personally, I find Barcelona more local, because the neighbourhood culture and lifestyle runs so deep. You can easily find a grocery store that’s been run by the same married couple for over 60 years; and they ask you about your mom even though you don’t know them.
In your opinion, what makes a place Less Ordinary 
I’m a person that’s driven by first impressions (which isn’t always a good idea) but this is what motivates me to discover one place and not another one. Most places I find, I discover through the recommendations of my closest friends, because you will believe them when they tell you that a place has character. I try to keep it old school and not get overwhelmed by trends.
SLEEP: Nobu Hotel and Margot HouseLondon: Nobu Hotel Shoreditch 
There are a few hotels in London that I think are really special. I like the Nobu Hotel Shoreditch for intimacy.
Barcelona: Margot Hotel 
The Margot Hotel is a boutique hotel which takes its name from Margot Tenenbaum, my favourite character of all Wes Anderson movies
EAT: Uchi Hackney and MordiscoLondon: Uchi Hackney
Uchi is a lovely Japanese in Clapton. It’s small but cozy and has exceptional food. You will fall in love with the soft shell crab sushi, and don't leave without tying their homemade cheesecake.
Barcelona: Mordisco 
Mordisco is a covered garden restaurant in Calle Mallorca. the Mushroom carpaccio is a must-try!
DRINK: Matilda's Sake Bar and Ocaña BarcelonaLondon: Matilda’s Sake Bar
After Uchi, get a drink at Matilda's Sake Bar around the corner. It has a lovely eccentric atmosphere and have the best chili cocktails in town.
Barcelona: Ocaña Barcelona 
This beautiful little bar pays tribute to the legendary José Pérez Ocaña. It has the perfect atmosphere to get a cocktail and dance all night.
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Interview by Hannah Tan-Gillies

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