I once had a job where I had to escort travel writers to Spain and hope they’d write nice things about it in their magazines. It was great in theory but I had the worst luck. Every time I showed up with a journalist, Spain would start to rain very heavily — once-in-a-generation downpours that would completely close the place down.
One trip I did with a photographer was so bad that in three days the only thing he took a photo of was a stray dog having a wee.
So during Auckland’s worst rain storm since 1965, it felt appropriate that I ended up at Barcelona, a newish tapas bar in Kingsland. They have tables on the street that look as if they would be very nice on the right evening, but my sister and I were soaked and wanted to be deep inside the building.
We ended up at a great spot by the jamon carver, next to a large group. Forget what they tell you about avoiding groups — if the acoustics aren’t too harsh and they’re a nice bunch of people, I find the jolly atmosphere sort of spills out on to the tables around them.