MADRID – the brief but bold guide


In no order of priority but here are some suggestions to get you through a fantastic weekend in Madrid. Just remember that everything happens later in Madrid so no dinner before 9 at the earliest. Lunch at 2!


A converted theatre now a temple to cuisine. Quite smart …so dress up! Very chic.
The oldest food market in Madrid and where I used to go on a Saturday lunchtime. Now a tad more gentrified than it was in 1979!!!
The very centre of Madrid and a beautiful square with lots of small tapas bars off it. And restaurants like BOTIN
One of the oldest in Madrid. About £20 a main course but worth it if you go for the roast suckling pig or roast Segovia lamb
RIBERA DEL DUERO wine . Drink lots of it!!! Much better than Rioja. Try Pesquera. Price varies by year of course but its delicious.
LA VENENCIA.  An amazing little sherry bar where they just chalk up your drinks bill on the bar. If you didn’t like sherry you will now. And this street is full of bars and restaurants and even flamenco which you probably should do at least once..
I think I have been here but after a few sherries maybe I’m not so sure..
Another Madrid institution – CERVECERIA Santa Ana– on Plaza Santa Ana at the end of Calle Echegaray where La Venencia is. Always busy and always fun.
TABERNA LA TRUCHA – an old favourite that I thought had shut but apparently not. Good for tapas or a sit down meal.
EL RASTRO flea market. Sunday morning – Latina Metro. Huge and traditional and has been going forever.
Awesome modern art – Dali, Picasso etc. The Prado is the biggest and best but is enormous. If you go to one museum do the Reina Sofia.
Or Thyssen Bornemisza which is more traditional.
Just north of Plaza Mayor – less touristy and more funky.
I used to live in Cuatro Caminos which is now a sort of mini Latin America so there could be some good bars and music here. Worth a look and it may be horrible now but its an alternative side of Madrid so I am including it.
And finally where to stay. My favourites in Madrid are quite traditional.
Madrid is one of the great European cities and in the very heart of it sits the Heritage Hotel on the doorstep of the finest shopping in the city in the Velasquez and Goya areas – and in between the home of Real Madrid and the Prado Museum. Where else to base yourself when in Madrid and let the friendly knowledgeable staff help your plan your stay so that you enjoy the city to the full?
Restaurant Haroma already has a stellar reputation in this food mad city. Executive Chef Mario Sandoval (2 Michelin Stars) has created a real gastronomic experience. Try his grilled octopus with green mojo and tikka masala mayonnaise for example. And as you will discover, compared to similar experiences in Paris and London, Madrid is stunning value.
With 46 rooms Heritage Hotel is a cosy informal and friendly home from home. The exterior may be 20th century but the interior is decidedly 21st century with none of the stuffy formality that can sometimes overwhelm a guest. You will always feel comfortable here. Why not chill out on the secret roof terrace, with bar of course, and survey the rooftops of Madrid.
The rooms are super stylish and comfortable with luxurious linens and beautiful beds. All Superior rooms are on the outside of the building and are light and airy, some with terraces. Heritage Hoel has combined historical charm with modern day comforts and food worth travelling to Madrid for! Let them help you to discover the city from the perspective of a friendly welcoming hotel.
Of course there are thousands of hotels in Madrid but if you feel like spending just a little more money then the above are all tried and tested.

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