I've just been to Madrid for 24hrs...well it ended up being about 19hrs due to foggy conditions at Madrid airport. If you missed my previous post - this was a surprise birthday present for my friend Caroline, (co-owner of Dirty Fabulous). I've never met anyone who loves surprises more so it was fun watching her bounce off the ceiling in the days leading up to our departure :-)
Once we arrived we made our way to our hotel. Above, Caroline surveys the view from our room while I check out the orange couch in the foyer. Time to hit the streets for some 'culture' and shopping.
The towering architecture is amazing with decorative carvings and ornamental balconies everywhere. At street level there are lots of small quirky boutiques and cafes.
Some vintage shopping at Lotta Vintage for Caroline and some bridal research for me!
This parade of horse-men clad in 18th century costumes appeared out of nowhere and stopped to blare their trumpets. They were followed in procession by about twenty people walking miniature dogs. We have absolutely no idea what it was all about but it was hilarious to watch!
After a couple of stops for light alcoholic refreshment we tracked down Baco Y Beto. (Thanks to Caroline for her navigation skills).
Baco Y Beto is described by The Lonely Planet as a hidden gem - the best place for tapas in Madrid. This was one of the delights we sampled - it sounded so crazy, I had to order it...Mi-cuit fois gras with port wine sauce on top of carmalised banana ~unbelievable combination :-) The Galician style octopus in a sauce of piquillo red peppers and cava wine was also a winner.
So would we recommend Madrid? Absolutely...I'll definitely be going back. Caroline is already planning our next mini-vacation. She reckons we should have about four to six of these trips a year :-) I can't argue with that.
For more information on Madrid, visit The Lonely Planet Guide online.