Madrid becomes Berlin in La Neomudéjar

By | 27 May, 2015 | 0 comments

La NeomudejarAn old factory with TV monitors, facilities, ready-mades and visual art cycles by famous creators. Are we talking about somewhere in Berlin? No. This is, in fact, Madrid, more specifically the Menéndez Pelayo area. We are talking about La Neomudéjar, a space conceived as an avant-garde arts centre and artistic residence that attempts to favour and boost the work of up-and-coming creators. Part of its philosophy is to conjugate the technological development and also recycle the old forms of audiovisual expression, such as super8.

Everything is modern and alternative here, with a touch of anti-establishment and rebellion against the official cultural scene, which includes more rare disciplines such as parkour, robotics or experimentation in its most diverse forms. You can currently visit exhibitions such as the Francisco Argüello installation, an installation designed especially for the space that holds it.

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Boats and legendary names in the Naval Museum

By | 14 May, 2015 | 0 comments

Naval Museum of Madrid (Spain).Madrid doesn’t have a beach but it does have a Naval Museum. It is located on the first floor of the Armada Headquarters, on Paseo del Prado, very close to the City Hall and Plaza de Cibeles (a 20-minute walk from our hotel in downtown Madrid). It is one of the oldest museums in the capital, dating from 1842, but it is still one of the most unknown ones by the general public despite its privileged location in the city centre.

However, it is now in the news due to the exhibition that you can see there which opened on April 15th, “Men of Sea, Legendary Boats”, technically directed and supervised by the writer Arturo Pérez Reverte, a lover of the subject and someone with excellent knowledge of the history of the Spanish Armada.

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The Best in Wine

By | 2 May, 2015 | 0 comments

vinos madridFor some time now, wine experts have been growing and growing in numbers. Where do they get their education? Which places do they go to? Where do they buy their bottles? At Lavinia (C/José Ortega y Gasset, 16) they have a fundamental reference. Considered as Madrid’s main wine shop, it is also a restaurant and has a fine online sales service. Its restaurant offers ecological cuisine, serving dishes such as chocolate artichokes or liquorice beef gizzard on a bed of onions.

Despite its gastronomic offer being a strong one, designed by the chef Fernando del Cerro, Lavinia is especially famous for its actual shop, on Madrid’s most sought-after street. It is a large space with excellent decoration and with friendly staff that help and advise customers, also having the option of being able to try some of the wines there.

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Parks that are more than parks

By | 30 April, 2015 | 0 comments

retiro parque madridWe all think of El Retiro when people talk about a park in Madrid. It is quite normal to do so, since it is one of the most historical and largest parks in Europe, which means that it must be visited in parks. One of them is actually outside it: Cuesta de Moyano. This is a picturesque path where you can find excellent books at bargain prices, cheaper than in normal bookshops. From there you can access the famous park through the gate of the Fallen Angel (Ángel Caído). Inside, you can walk around the central lake, surrounded by musicians and street vendors and get to the Palacio de Velázquez, which hosts the exhibition “Carl Andre: sculpture as a place, 1958-2010” from May 5th.

Another park which is more than just a park is Parque del Oeste, which you can get to by walking from Plaza de España and our hotel in central Madrid. One of its main attractions is located at the beginning of its facilities and its no other than the Temple of Debod. The Temple of Debod is a gift from Egypt to Spain from 1968 for their help in saving the ancient temples of Nubia. You can visit its interior for free from Tuesday to Friday from 10.00am until 2.00pm and from 6.00pm until 8.00pm, and on weekends and holidays from 9.30am until 8.00pm. A great way to understand the essence of Egypt in just a few minutes.

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Markets are back in fashion

By | 15 April, 2015 | 0 comments

mercado san miguelAt first sight, it is somewhat unglamorous but it has slowly introduced stalls with character that, added to its attractive location on the central Calle San Isabel, make Antón Martín market an interesting place to drop by. After its recent facelift, it has a hipster touch to it next to the traditional fruit stalls and butcher’s thanks to shops like dondeSánchez, Cosas Ricas or Cutzamala, that sells Mexican food. The market also has original shops like La Mar de Algas, where you can buy products related to algae to cook.

Outside, the area is worthy of a visit, especially around Calle Santa Isabel, which is surrounded by many bars and terraces such as Tomates Verdes Fritos, famous for its speciality in green fried tomatoes that is also the name of a film.

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Haute cuisine in Madrid: treat yourself

By | 15 March, 2015 | 0 comments

DiverxoA human being in the Western world lives an average of 25.000 days in his life. So why don’t you give a special touch to every one of them and go, for example, to a restaurant with a Michelin star. You will be surprised to find out that they are not as expensive as you thought they were.

One of the most popular ones at the moment is DiverXo. Some of its main features are the charisma of its chef, David Muñoz and the audacity and quality of its culinary proposals, so much so that many people are asking for it to be awarded more Michelin stars than the three it already has. Others believe its price, around 150-200€, to be very interesting, since a restaurant of similar characteristics in Paris or London would cost double that. They offer an extensive menu of 11 dishes so you can enjoy an evening without rushing and with plenty of sensations, textures and surprises. The wine list, unlike those of other restaurants of this type, includes sensible prices (with an eccentricity or two). You can find the restaurant in the Cuzco area, in Castellana.

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A Thai experience

By | 13 February, 2015 | 0 comments

thai food

Asian food is much more than the typical Chinese restaurant or the omnipresent Japanese ones. Thai food offers many different novelties, such as flavours that range from hot to sweet, going from one to the other with ease. A good place to enjoy some excellent Thai food is Oam Thong, on Calle Corazón de María, 7. It is considered the best Thai restaurant in the Spanish capital, famous for its hot dishes. It opened in 2005 and on its menu you will find a dish whose name says it all: buey del infierno, the ox from hell. They also offer less spicy dishes such as pad thai or the classic noodles.

Known by Thai residents in Madrid despite its recent opening, Thai Orchid is a small trip to exotic Asia. Waitresses dressed in traditional attire and dishes such as chicken satay or green curry with prawns are some of this restaurant’s characteristics, where you can also get a lunchtime menu for 14.50€, highly recommended during weekdays.

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Categories: blog, tourism

Madrid’s Seafood Route

By | 1 February, 2015 | 0 comments

mariscada madridWe start this seafood route in a very popular and traditional spot, with plenty of flavour, popular prices and very close to our hotel in the center of Madrid. We are talking about Ribeira de Miño, on Calle Santa Brígida, 1 (Metro Tribunal), which offers a generous mariscada (seafood platter) for two people for just 30 euros, accompanied of course by the Ribeiro house wine (8 euros per bottle). It includes lobsters, prawns, crab, crayfish and langoustines, and you can spend almost two hours eating all of this.

Something more luxurious can be found at El Gran Barril, on Calle Goya, 107, in a clean and modern atmosphere where you can enjoy large crabs, crayfish and goose barnacles, as well as tiger prawns from Huelva. It also has a large variety of rice and fish dishes, ideal to enjoy with one of its many white wines from its select cellar. You can also enjoy all of this at the bar, without having to book at table. The menu per person costs approximately 70 euros.

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The Barrio de las Letras is in fashion

By | 27 January, 2015 | 0 comments

barrio letrasThis last January 24th, a small cultural milestone happened when they discovered the tomb of Miguel de Cervantes in the crypt of the Convent of Las Trinitarias, in the heart of the Barrio de Las Letras district, very close to the Church of San Sebastián, the resting place of Lope de Vega. With the enigmatic yet conclusive inscription of his initials “M.C.”, now they have to check whether they really are the remains of the author of El Quijote, which would give this district an even bigger literary aura.

This district was the heart of literary life back in the Siglo de Oro, Spain’s “Golden Century” back in the 16th and 17th centuries. You can see this in the plaque at the end of Calle León, a spot where the literary managers and candidates used to gather in order to know first hand the news of the world of literature.

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Categories: tourism

Madrid goes Italian

By | 23 December, 2014 | 0 comments

comida italianaOn Santa Engracia 143 you can find Mercato Ballaró, a part of Sicily in Madrid that, unlike many other Italian restaurants, does not have traditional or folkloric decoration. All the opposite: soft, grey and pleasant tones come together to offer an excellent gastronomic experience with two proposals: the one on the ground floor (Mercato Abajo), where you can order half portions at affordable prices; or the upper floor (Mercato Arriba) for more formal dinners. Dishes like the tagliolini with Sicilian juice or maccheroncini with zucchini and fish define a menu that it shares with another restaurant run by the same owners, La Tavernetta, on Calle Orellana, 17, which is also worth a visit.

While on the subject of Italian restaurants that do not seem Italian because of their decoration, we come to Ouh… Babbo!, on Calle Caños del Peral, 2 (Ópera area, close to our hotel by the Gran Vía). Owned by the Spanish actor of Italian origin Bruno Squarcia, it offers a wide range of Italian products such as the tartufone (not on the menu), a delicious recipe made with pasta, eggs, Parmesan cheese and the fundamental twist of white truffle (20 euros). On Thursdays, Bruno himself plays a guitar recital of traditional Italian songs, so make sure you book in advance (and book a table on the ground floor).

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