After a week in Mallorca, Kirstina and I headed for Madrid. With only 36 hours in this beautiful city we wanted to do it all, but at the leisurely pace we had grown accustom to – siestas and all. For this trip we put museums and sightseeing aside and focused on the important things in life like champagne, burrata and one of a kind jewelry.
We arrived at the Westin Palace hotel around 10am. After freshening up we went directly to the concierge for brunch recommendations. He had nothing besides a 90 euro a person opera brunch in the hotel, no thanks. We grabbed some coffee & tea and headed towards Barrio de Salamanca, known as the golden mile for its luxury retailers such as Gucci, Prada and YSL. We were in the mood for champagne and Ramses had bottles of it waiting for us. However, it was only 11 am and most restaurants don’t open till noon. So we walked across the street to the beautiful Parque Del Retiro. Adorable and well dressed families were enjoying this beautiful park on a sunny Sunday morning.
After Eggs Benedict with a bottle of Cava and OJ at Ramses, we headed up “The Golden Mile” on a mission. We weren’t headed to the high end boutiques, but to the fast fashion mecca that started it all, Zara. On Calle De Seranno you will find the flagship 6 story Zara in all its wonder. After a successful shopping trip, we headed across town to my one bucket list item for the trip, Poncelet Cheese Bar. Since we arrived after lunch service, we sat at the bar and shared a few yummy appetizers. I highly recommend a cheese board and the little cheese ball things, they didn’t have an English menu so we ordered what the servers recommended. We happily stuffed ourselves with cheese and rosé then strolled back to the hotel for a little siesta. We strolled the cava near Mercado De San Miguel, eating traditional Spanish tapas for dinner. Unfortunately, our taps an wine was cut short due to the rain but not before a pit stop at an English pub to watch some of the Broncos game.
Day two we set out to explore the boutiques of the Chueca neighborhood. We followed Cala Barquillo all the way to Calle Fernando. Every corner you turn in this beautiful neighborhood is filled with boutiques and specialty shops. Our favorite store was Malababa, the woman were so sweet and showed us the workspace bellow the boutique where they handcraft all of their jewelry and leather goods.
After shopping we decided to treat ourselves with lunch at Ten Con Ten. We were lucky to snag a bar table when we did, by 2pm the place was packed. The decor is to die for with multiple rooms each with a different feel and design. Kristina and I decided we had to to be sitting in on the most fashionable lunch spot in all of Madrid. Everyone was dressed to the nines and gave the entire experience a very posh feel. We ordered are Chardonnay and Rosé, sat back and enjoyed the crowd. The Ten Con Ten salad was the best Burrata and salad I have ever had in my entire life, hands down. We savored each bite making this one salad last about 45 mins. We should have ordered two. Up next tuna tartar, the tuna was great but not as good as what we had in Pama. We save the best for last Truffle Risotto with semolina. If truffle anything is on the menu, then I’m ordering it especially if its Truffle Risotto. Again we savored every bite. It was more like an orzo then risotto pasta but the flavor was so good we didn’t care.
Everyone will tell you a trip to Madrid is not complete with a stop in the Restaurante Mercado de San Miguel and we could not agree more. As you could of guessed, we headed straight to the first wine station we saw and grabbed a drink. We enjoyed oysters on the half shell, grilled squid, a yummy rice bowl, fresh pasta and of course more burrata. After dinner we went to the rooftop bar at the Me Hotel. We had wanted to go for sunset drinks but the place doesn’t open till 9pm. The space is very cool but at 9pm on a Monday night it was basically empty.
By the time we got back to the hotel we were hungry again. Late night pizza was the only thing that could satisfy us and thankfully the best pizza place in Madrid was in the neighborhood. And it was delish – square slices and a coca lite, a perfect way to end our 36 hours in Madrid.