Madrid is the capital of Spain. That was about all I knew about this city before I visited it. Now I did visit it, I know a whole lot more. For example: I know now that there are cute and trendy bars at about every street corner, I know now that it’s civilians are a little reseved but very (very!) kind, I know now that this pretty city has some beau-ti-ful museums, a perfect parc, lots of great shops and a kitchen that wows you. And last but not least: I know now that I’d definitely would love to get back there sometime soon.
So in case you are visiting Madrid sometime soon OR in case you are considering to do so, I’ll hereby share with you some of my ‘biggest discoveries’. Olé!
Hotel ME by Meliá
As my mom and I arrived at our hotel (The ME by Meliá), we were impressed right away. The white building contrasted beautifully with the clear blue sky and like lots of other buildings in Madrid, it seemed to have a whole lot of history in it. Meanwhile it was just standing there, acting all chique and humble. As soon as we got into the building, a friendly guy smiled right at us, checked us in, gave us a map and started sharing (most valuable-non touristic) tips with us. We got on the elevator with a smile and soon after, we opened the door to our chic and modern room. A little freshening up later, we were totally ready to get out and about!
Ana la santa
Once we set foot out the door, we realised we were a little hungry. Luckily the restaurant that’s part of the ME Melia has a terrace outside and ofcourse we wanted to sit in the sun. So we picked a nice spot and ordered a glas of rose (a really dark one, which I usually don’t like, but the Spanish clearly know how to make a dark rose work) and of course our rose got accompanied by some tapas. Maybe you’re thinking patatas bravas and meatballs. Well think again. We got a beautiful plate of nachos with avocado and tuna sashimi on top and some crispy chicken with a coriander and lime sauce that tasted almost too good!
After the few bites, we were fueled up again and we strolled a little through the city. At the end of the night we went back to the restaurant to taste some more deliciousness inside the Ana la Santa restaurant. Inside the design was awesome, the temperature some more friendly, and the staff dancing and laughing: a totally chill vibe and a beautiful evening.
Thyssen en Vogue
After the beautiful welcome that we experienced at our first night, my mom and I decided that Sunday was for visiting museums. We started at the Thyssen and that was a good choice. Also it appeared to be my lucky day because there was a Vogue exposition going on: Vogue like a painting.
The exposition showed editorial photo’s from the Vogue archives which reflected visions that are commonly used by painters. It showed us the work of some of the best fashion photographers in the world. I absolutely loved it.
Besides this Vogue exposition, we also viewed the rest of their collection, in which we saw a lot of impressionism (my fave).
Retiro Park After acting cultural, it was time for a little relaxing. So we moved over to the beautiful (and when I say beautiful, I mean stunning) Retiro Park. We bought a few sandwiches and some Jambon Iberico (when in Rome uhh Madrid…) and we sat down in the gras under a tree. We watched the cute little boats row by, ate our food, chatted a little, but mostly we relaxed and we soaked up the easy-going atmosphere.
After a two hour chill session, we decided that it was time for an ice cold drink somewhere inside. That was the moment we discovered La Lupita, a Mexican taquería with the most cheerfull interior I’ve ever seen: there were colors everywhere! Tequila was their specialty, but my mom and I decided to start with a water and a beer.
Then the waiter came to our table. His enthusuastic story made us smile; he told us about their special mexican beer and about how one should drink tequila (put the salt on the lemon NOT on you hand. See? I’ve learned a lot in Madrid). Eventually my mom and I got pursuaded: she ordered a typical mexican beer (tomato juice, worchester sauce, tabasco, lime juice, salt and… beer. All mixed up in one glass. Wowsa). I choose a margarita, which turned out to be a good choice: it was the best one I’ve ever tasted! Oh and the candy they served with every glass you ordered instead of the usual nuts or potato chips, was also a thing that made me very happy.
Lateron that night, after we’d done some shopping, we freshened up at the hotel and were totally ready for dinner. So I put on my new Maje dress (yay!) and my heels and we grabbed a cab to Bar Tomate.
This restaurant is really trendy, fresh and chique. It has a laid back kinda vibe, while being fancy at the same time. The food I tasted over there was to be called delicious. From their sashimi salmon salad (spot on) till their raw caprese pizza (yum): they nailed every bit of the evening. Even the moment when they brought us the bill. We were completely surprised; this fancy place turned out to actually be a cheap eat while it looked and felt like an expensive one.
After the beautiful dinner we walked back to our hotel; a 20 minute walk (autch: heels!) which was totally worth it. The enlightened buildings, the warm air, summer in the city. That! After day two it was time to go to sleep. Which wasn’t too hard after a day filled with great impressions.
Day three and four were also full of great activities, but let me tell you all about that lateron this week. Hopefully you’ll stay tuned, because crazy cool Madrid hotspots are coming up…