Ah Madrid, you’ve really captured my heart.
As I mentioned in my last post, I have always held a special love for Spain. My memories are of coastal holidays, lounging on long beaches in the blissful sunshine, but when it comes to city breaks, I didn’t expect to be quite so enchanted by Madrid.
We spent just 48 hours in the Spanish capital this week, which was the perfect amount of time to see many of the cities beautiful sights, enjoy some downtime, some incredible cuisine, but also leaving more things to do for our next visit.
After a short flight and taxi journey into the city centre, we checked into our hotel; One Shot Luchana, which was a perfect base from which to explore. With rumbling tummies we were whisked to Arzabal; a stunning restaurant within a botanical courtyard (almost Petersham Nurseries vibes, if you’re familiar with this London hotspot!) serving traditional Spanish dishes including what Charlie and I decided was one of the tastiest cuts of beef we’ve ever tried! As the afternoon turns into evening, the restaurant turned into a stylish Verve Cliquot bar – we didnt’ stay that late, but definitely one to return to on our next trip!
Where To Walk – Discover The City
Paseo Del Prado
Along one of the main Boulevards in Madrid, the stunning Paseo del Prado is one of the most important cultural (and tourist!) locations in the city, it’s part of the Golden Triangle of Art which also includes the Thyssen-Bornemesza Museum and the Reina Sofia (where you’ll find Picasso’s Guernica, along with 20th century art). The stunning building is set within a tree lined square – perfect for instagram! But you’ll want to get here very early to avoid the very long entry queues.
What I Wore at Santa Barbara & Dray Martina (above) – Dress by Miss Selfridge \\ Shoes by Stuart Weitzman \\ Bag by SheIn \\ Sunglasses by River Island \\ Bracelets by Monica Vinader \\ Necklace by Astrid & Miyu \\ Ring by Monica Vinader \\ Earrings by Astrid & Miyu
Where to Eat in Madrid
I wasn’t expecting to be quite so blown away by the cuisine in Madrid! As much as I adore discovering hidden tapas bars down narrow cobbled pathways, the ones only the locals know about, there’s also much to be said about a city that offers a twist on Spanish cuisine, a spectacular dining experience, and incredible flavours too, and that’s what we discovered.
Pictured above, Dray Martina is a beautiful spot with a vast menu including Squid & Ink croquettes, Pad Thai Fajitas, Tuna Tar Tar, Chicken Tajine and much more. From the starters right through to the desert (along with the appetisers in between) it was a true flavour sensation. The deserts were simply spectacular, a true talking point including ‘Maria’s Birthday Cake’ and a special ice cream dish for 4, served in a plant pot!
With the same owners as Dray Martina, Habanera was equally if not even more spectacular inside. We enjoyed brunch there on Saturday morning, and I was absolutely blown away by the stunning architecture! Different areas of the restaurant all featured around an Art Deco vibe; with a gold and marble grand staircase, palms a plenty, and floral furniture creating an incredible atmosphere and vibe. The food was incredible too – I’d highly recommend a brunch platter to share!
A fusion of Asian and Spanish cuisine – it shouldn’t work, but it does! With a lively ambience and dishes which are perfect for sharing, this is a great way to discover Spanish food as you’ve never tried it before. With traditional Yakitoro chicken skewers cooked over a charcoal grill, as well as dishes such as Cod Dough Balls and Iberian Yaki – Ramen, this is one place where you’ll be spoilt for choice!
La Cocina de San Antón
Located above the Mercado (try not to fill yourself up with the tasty treats from the Market stalls!) This rooftop restaurant serves everything you dreamed when thinking of Spanish cuisine – think huge platters filled with jamón, cheese boards, croquettes, patatas bravas and more!
For The Best City Views
Whenever I visit a new city, I love to discover a rooftop where I can enjoy views across the city. Golden hour is the best time to enjoy the views, and enjoy a cocktail too while the sun is still warm, but not too intense. That’s exactly when we visited the Circulo de Ballas Artes – the rooftop bar that all the locals try to keep a secret! Above a theatre, the bar has the most comfortable loungers for you to relax on as you watch the sun go down, and a huge terrace so you’ll be able to enjoy vistas of the beautiful city; as far as the eye can see.
What I wore to the Spa at the Eurostars Madrid Tower- Swimming Costume by Newlook
… and relax!
For some a holiday isn’t a real holiday without time to relax, and often city breaks include a packed itinerary; which is why you should definitely add a spa morning to your To Do list! We visited the spa within the Eurostars Madrid Tower; a half hour massage and a few hours in the warm panoramic pool room was enough to give us that zen feeling!
And that’s my guide on how to spend 48 hours in Madrid, I already can’t wait to return to this beautiful city – next time to explore more of the shopping districts and perhaps indulge Charlie in a tour of the Real Madrid stadium!
Have you visited Madrid before? Let me know your recommendations!
And finally, if this post has got you dreaming about your own Spanish getaway, you’re in luck! As you can visit this site to enter to win your very own dream trip to Spain! Good Luck!
This post is in collaboration with Spain Tourism!