Having only recently discovered Madrid and the magical wonder of this vibrant city, I feel compelled to share with you how I spent my short period of time there with my pal Gem, the secrets we discovered and the * best* churros in town (which for some reason has alluded the community on Trip Advisor and came to me via the wisdom of Madrid locals on Instagram).
Blue Sea Hotels invited me to stay with them and explore Madrid with my ‘Everyday Amazing’ person. And that person is Gem. She’s practically a sister, my oldest pal in the world and someone who has absolutely been there for me through thick and thin over the years. She’s an unwavering sort of gal, and once you’ve met her (if you’re lucky enough to do so) then you won’t want to let her go. She’s the only person who can command the respect of a conference room while simultaneously laugh at fart jokes. So I was very chuffed to be able to invite her on this adventure and I loved every minute. Lucky, lucky me.
We scampered around the city like crazy things, wandered down alleyways, sipped coffee in bookshops, wiggled to live opera, got lost, found ourselves on the map again, shopped for books, explored a few different neighbourhoods, drank cocktails and ate an extraordinary amount of ham.
Blue Sea Hotels had also sent over some suggestions for us, which were printed onto luggage tags! So thoughtful and very helpful indeed…
Here is what we did (in no particular order) and now you can go forth and do it too.
Lunch in La Latina
We headed to La Latina – Madrid’s quintessential neighbourhood for beer on tap, tapas, mojitos and pretty terraces overlooking the crowds below. There are two main streets which house most of the bars and restaurants – Cava Alta and Cava Baja. Head to either of these streets and you’ll not be able to avoid the myriad of tables and chairs, bars with music pouring out of them in the evening, and happy beer-drinking folk lazing in the sunshine during the days.
Drinks in Plaza Mayor
We settled ourselves at one of the square’s many cafes, listened to the accordion being played by a pro and people watched like it was our job.
This was such a fabulous find – thank you for the tip, Blue Sea Hotels! In the heart of Malasana (possibly our favourite neighbourhood), sits Ojalá, boasting a hanging garden, gorgeous, bright colours, fairground lights and a beach with beach bar included. (And go to the toilet you if you go there – you won’t regret it. They’re amazing).
The good folk of Madrid are fondly known as ‘los gatos’ (the cats), as they stay up late into the wee hours and prowl about. This bar is hung with all manner of paraphernalia, and I LOVE this till! Most importantly, their tapas and beer is second to none.
Toma Café speaks to you. If you love coffee, you’ll love this place – laid back, great music, people on laptops, people with babies, people with books and people doing nothing other than savouring the very, very excellent espresso.
Stepping back in time at Temple of Debod
Stroll through the Sabatini Gardens
Mercado de San Miguel, just off Plaza Mayor, has become one of the liveliest culinary spots in the city since it reopened in 2009 after a nearly six-year restoration. We guzzled our way around the market, indulging in the creamiest burrata, juicy olives, more ham (obvs) and you’ll find everything your tummy desires, from oysters and cava to chocolate and caviar…
This restaurant offers unparalleled views over the city, a fun, vibrant vibe and delicious food and drinks. We loved it and was the perfect spot to watch the sun go down after a long day of exploring Madrid…
I loved our time in Madrid and will definitely be back very soon.
Meet you there? #Churros
I was a guest of Urban Sea Atocha 113 and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
This is a sponsored post.