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Situated at the bottom of La Rambla, ideally hidden away down a dark alleyway behind the Museu de Cera (Wax Museum), this kitsch attempt of creating a bar with a mystical, fairytale atmosphere is a great success. El Bosc de les Fades – the forest of the fairies – where the forest is well represented by gnarled, fake plastic trees, whose texture is like brown puke styled by Gaudí himself, and where the fairies are the invisible type. The only possible allusion to a fairy is the figure of a naked child, kneeling beside a small pond, a grotto, into which she stares intently as a continuous stream drips in from above.

In the corner of the main bar area is another enclosed area where the theatrical trees and fairies are replaced by what seems to be an old colonial bar, with tables chairs and wooden cabinets, although there is also a child-sized, four-poster bed in the corner, draped with nets. One can assume this is also part of the theme: this is where the aforementioned naked child sleeps and dreams of the enchanted forest outside. A forest teeming with nonces if she intends to go skinny-dipping in that grotto.

Food is available via a vending machine (an amazing concept, clearing lacking in British pubs), or you could select one of the cakes, peanuts or savouries on view underneath the glass counter on the bar. There are bunches of grapes hanging above the bar and models of small wooden horses, which one can guess are meant to horses from a fairground roundabout due to the vertical tube passing through the stomach, although they look more like horses speared with Zebra crossing lights!

You can choose to sit on a toadstool or cross the little bridge across the grotto while the ambience is further enhanced by the background noise of forestry sounds, distant storms, insects and wild animals. Occasionally looking a little like the scenery from a school production of Little Red Riding Hood, especially with the black tiled ceiling, as seen at numerous 80s school discos, one expects a werewolf to leap out from behind a tree or from beneath a table while swigging a beer. But the abundance of women here, Spaniards and tourists, many drinking alone, means the only thing likely to pop out from under your table is more likely to look like Goth icon Danielle Dax, who played the Wolfgirl from the 80s movies The Company of Wolves, rather than any true lycanthropy victim!

A dark, dimly lit, windowless place, where the windows have been replaced by weird, illusionary mirrors to either represent the mist beyond the trees or vertical, stagnant, silvery pools of mystery. Lanterns hanging from the branches, lanterns that resemble a dewdrop of radioactive snot, provide the internal light amongst the trees. Having a definite “pub feel” due to lack of table service, one can sit at one of irregular, organically shaped tables, or place your beer on one of the tree trunk ledges whilst admiring the models of distant castles, the tiny, blue cave, or the gruesome faced, living trees, whose arms and spindly hands stretch across the bar, pleading to know why there’s been few acting roles for trees since the Poltergeist movie.

Ideal for fans of gothic horror tales, fairytale creatures, Hammer horror movies, ghostly woods, or just about anybody else who fancies a drink in an unusual surrounding. No visit to Barcelona is complete without a visit to El Bosc de les Fades. An amazing place!

(Extracted from a review by @mr_psm at the

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Museu de Cera (Wax Museum)

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