Wednesday, 20 June 2018

MADRID & A SOLO TRAVELLER'S ADVENTURE



I tend to be a big planner when it comes to vacations. I research all the foodie spots I want to tick off, spending hours creating google docs with places I have discovered on Instagram, and generally like to have at least a vague idea what is going to be on my daily itinerary to make the most of my time.

However real life has the tendency to ruin plans and in this case the friend I was meant to be going away with cancelled literally 12 hours before we were meant to fly out to our long weekend in Madrid. Now, I have travelled alone before but on those occasions it had been an active decision on my part and I also had friends at my holiday destination excited to see me for local wining and dining.

The thing is I love being alone, I spent most of my Saturdays alone, wondering around London, and even on holiday I love having the freedom to go to whatever sights I want to, walk through museums as quickly or as slowly as I like, and having the complete freedom to call it a day and go back to my airbnb whenever I choose to. But there is one thing that for me has always been more about the communal experience and that is eating and drinking - especially somewhere like Madrid where it is all about sharing tapas with your nearest and dearest.

Yes, I could have had solo dinners on this trip and I am sure the food would have still been great but for me there is simply nothing quite like getting a little tipsy and enjoying a great conversation whilst stuffing your face, especially when your dining companions share the experience with you of the amazing flavours served up in front of you.

It was a real blessing then that I have some rather fantastic and globally connected people in my life that did everything they could to connect me with their friends in Madrid and the weekend that was to follow was one of the best of my life. Why? I got to have much needed “me time” that saw me, very ‘eat, pray, love’ style, even enjoy a cheeky evening Aperol Spritz in the middle of the most famous and busy market hall in town, Mercado de San Miguel, by myself without feeling lonely, but more importantly it also offered me the huge privilege to meet some fantastic people over there that I may have never met otherwise. They dedicated their precious free weekend time to a random girl that their friends are friends with (thanks Ana and Lola!!) and were so kind that I instantly felt at ease. They showed me the real Madrid like no tour ever could, making it a truly unforgettable few days filled with the best food, drinks and company I could have wished for and I cannot wait to be their host in London one day!

Yes, I may not have ticked off all the foodie spots on my list as planned but some of the places I was taken to were so local I doubt I would have ever been able to find them and for me going with the flow proved a fantastic experience. Madrid’s people are not only great but it’s a town that is welcoming, gorgeous, a foodie’s paradise and as it turns out also perfect for a solo traveller. Below are a few of my top tips for a weekend in Madrid - I already want to return for more great food with great people (and maybe I’ll take a friend next time).

PS: You don’t even need to know locals in Madrid to make friends and have great time. On my last day I went on an airbnb experience tapas crawl which may not have been cheap (around £70 for a three hour crawl across 5 tapas bars with a drink at each place ) and may have had an element of organised fun, tailored to tourists. about it (the food was pretty average and a little scarce), but it did bring together an international group of people and by the end of it I had met a super lovely girl also on a solo trip and also from east London who I spent the rest of the afternoon drinking sangria in the sun with before heading the airport and who I already have plans with to meet up in London. Particularly good to do on your first eve if everything else fails as you’ll definitely end up having a fun and unexpected evening!


TAPAS TO BLOW YOU AWAY @ CASA MACARENO 

I was taken to Casa Macareno by Ana for a long Friday lunch literally a few hours after I had laded and was more than ready to eat after a 2 am wake up call. It’s in a super cool area and also happened to be only a 4 minute walk from my airbnb (on that note head to Plaza Dos de Mayo and the surrounding streets if you want to bar hop, vintage shop and explore the “east London” of Madrid). This restaurant has been here for decades but has been lovingly restored and the tapas dishes given an ever so slightly modern twist, although I promise it is still all about the classics here. The place is super popular with locals rather than tourists so make sure you book, we had to wait a good half hour for a table at 2:30pm. There is an affordable set lunch menu for around 12 euros but we decided to share a few classic tapas dishes between us, each of which was truly outstanding and made it one of the best meals of my life. In a way I am sad we only managed three dishes between us, the Russian salad (a traditional Spanish salad of potato, mayonnaise and tuna that isn’t Russian at all), crispy potatoes with juicy prawns, fried egg and garlic (out of this world) and raw marinated sea bream in an incredible sauce served on, you guessed it right, more potato - on this occasion boiled and sliced. All of this was washed down with amazing wine and sangria and what I thought would be a quick lunch turned into a three hour long dining extravaganza, helped of course by the great company I got to enjoy the food with. By the time we left and met some of Ana’s friends at a nearby bar I was drunk, full to the brim and truly ready for siesta time... at 7pm. I had arrived in Madrid. 
BEST CHURROS IN TOWN @ CHOCOLATERÍA SAN GINÉS 
This cafe supposedly serves the best churros in Madrid and although a tourist hotspot I have to agree. The churros here are not greasy, instead the perfect amount of crunchy and served with the most amazing rich dark chocolate sauce. Grab an outside table and order a huge portion (I managed half) for a very affordable 4.50 euros but skip the coffee, they do churros well but not much else.


SPANISH FOOD CULTURE AT IT'S BEST @ MERCADO DE SAN MIGUEL



Again this is quite the tourist destination, bang next to the main town square but this beautiful old market hall makes up for that with its stunning array of food and wine stalls. I got myself an Aperol spritz (what else) and watched the world and tourist groups walk by.



ROOFTOP DRINKS AWAY FROM THE CROWDS @ EL PARACAIDISTA


On Saturday afternoon I was lucky enough to meet the fantastic Lola, childhood best buds wth a good friend of mine from London, who is a lawyer in Madrid and who alongside her boyfriend and brother took me on quite the adventure around Madrid, truly showing me the many facets this town has to offer and taking me on one of the funnest and most unexpected Saturday nights in a long time!

Being a rooftop snob I was keen on finding the best one Madrid had to offer so Lola took us to El Paracaidista, a super cool new concept store with cinema, shop and rooftop that is yet to be in any guide book. Even on a Saturday night there was plenty of space to chill and no tourist in sight and I would go back ASAP before the rest of Madrid clocks on to this spot with great vibes and drinks.


SUNSET VIEWS WITH GOOD COCKTAILS @ HOTEL INDIGO 





As the night commenced and the sun began to set, the guys insisted I needed to see the sky in all its colourful glory from a worthy spot so we headed to this rooftop hotel bar. The view was second to none and the crowd was sophisticated yet cool. Im very glad we made this stop on the night, providing me with a panoramic view I won’t forget in a while as I sipped on a perfectly made Aperol spritz.


THE BEST PATATAS BRAVAS IN TOWN: TABERNA ARDOSA



Between rooftops we were in need of a snack and after I had briefly mentioned that I hadn’t had patatas bravas on this trip yet, a cab was quickly hailed to bring us to THE spot for this Spanish classic. And they weren’t wrong, this place may not be “cool”, filled with middle aged Spanish men drinking ice cold beers on a Saturday night, but the food was the real deal with the fried little fish that we ordered additionally tasting so fresh and flavourful that I could have easily stayed for my entire dinner here at this proper authentic spot that is no frills in the best of ways. But that is not Spanish style so we finally headed to our final stop on my fantastic culinary journey to make our dinner reservation at 10:45pm - because yes, in Spain that is a normal time to sit down for dinner (something that leaves the German in me that likes to eat at 6pm sharp still a little confused.)


FANCY SUSHI WITH A SPANISH TWIST @ RONDA 14


Anyways our final stop was Ronda14 in the fancy Salamanca district (think the Mayfair of Madrid). To be completely honest I probably wouldn’t have chosen to go to a Japanese fusion restaurant in Madrid on my weekend there but boy would I have been missing out. It may not be cheap but the quality of fish served here was outstanding and the modern twists on classic sushi dishes with a hint of Spain such as their egg truffle nigiri were simply out of this world. Once again it may not be in most of the guide books or what one would call part of a typical tourist experience but it was one of the most incredible sushi meals I've had and rounded up the evening in the most surprising and delicious of ways possible (though be warned there is definitely no English menu in sight). This place is very hip and happening at the moment so make sure you book ahead. You won’t regret it.

8 comments:

dr.irawan said...

thank ksasih for all the input I got from your writing. Hopefully your writing is useful for more readers. if there is an opportunity come to my site to give me a suggestion because I am a beginner blogger. before and after I say thank you very much. here are some examples of my beginner writing

obat kutil kelamin di apotik kimia farma
obat kutil kelamin alami
harga obat kutil kelamin di apotik
callusol obat kutil kelamin
obat kutil kelamin alami paling ampuh
obat kutil kelamin di apotik k24
obat kutil kelamin wanita di apotik
apotik obat kutil kelamin di jakarta
apotik obat kutil kelamin di jakarta pusat
apotik obat kutil kelamin daerah khusus ibukota jakarta

Teresa Hamilton said...

Wow! The food! Thank you for sharing the experience!
webstagram

haiyan wu said...

goyard bags
russell westbrook shoes
nike sneakers
fila online shop
pandora bracelet
caterpillar boots
christian louboutin shoes
goyard handbags
cheap nhl jerseys
nike air max 270

Office Setup said...

Hi there! I simply want to offer you a huge thumbs
up for your excellent info you have here on this post.
I am coming back to your website for more soon
Warm Regards www.office.com/setup

Nicholas Shields said...

Hello Everyone,

My name is Nicholas Shields, The CEO of COMPOSITE HACKS. I am here to Let you know how you can know if your spouse is cheating on you.

If probably you’ve been have an atom of doubt about your spouse based on his/her late behaviors, you can catch him/her Red Handed ❌❌ ❌ ❌ ❌ ❌ ❌❌ ❌❌ ❌ ❌

HOW??

🏅COMPOSITE HACKS⚔️ is a vibrant squad of dedicated online hackers maintaining the highest standards and unparalleled professionalism in every aspect.
We Are One Of The Leading Hack Teams in The United States🇺🇸🇺🇸 With So many Accolades From The Dark Web and the IT Companies🏆🏅🥇. In this online world there is no Electronic Device we cannot hack. Having years of experience in this Job, We Can Provide the Following Services:

✅Website hacking 💻,
✅Facebook and social media hacking📲
✅Database hacking, & Blog Cleaning⌨️
✅Phone and Gadget Hacking📲
✅ CREDIT CARD Loading 💳 💳 ( Strictly USA & UK Credit Cards 💰 )
✅Clearing Of Criminal Records❌
✅Location Tracking
✅ and many More✅

• We Can help you HACK into your spouse’s phone and give you unnoticeable access to everything they are doing on their phone Which includes Messages, Calls, Social media Apps e.g WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram etc. as long as the App is installed on their phone.

🏅We have a trained team of seasoned professionals under various skillsets when it comes to online hacking services. Our company in fact houses a separate group of specialists who are productively focussed and established authorities in different platforms. They hail from a proven track record and have cracked even the toughest of barriers to intrude and capture or recapture all relevant data needed by our Clients. 📲💻

🏅 COMPOSITE HACKS understands your requirements to hire a professional hacker and can perceive what actually threatens you and risk your business⚔️, relationships or even life👌🏽. We are 100% trusted professional hacking Organization and keep your deal entirely confidential💯. We are aware of the hazards involved. Our team under no circumstances disclose information to any third party❌❌. The core values adhered by our firm is based on trust and faith. Our expert hacking online Organization supports you on time and reply to any query related to the unique services we offer
Time also depends on what exactly you want to hack and how serious you are. Enough time with social engineering is required for hacking. So if you want to bind us in a short time, then just DONT contact us because we can't hack within 10-15minutes, *sorry*.
I have seen FAKE HACKERS claiming they can hack in 10min , but there is no REAL HACKER who can say this (AVOID THEM) 💯

💰PAYMENT: PLEASE, Think Of how much you’ll be paying for your job and DONT just Contact Us If You are Willing To waste our time by offering Unreasonable Amounts because we will give you your Job Invoice Based on what you want to hack and the hack tools we are going to use.
We accept various secure payment methods that maintains your anonymity.

🏅COMPOSITE HACKS is available for customer care 24/7, all day and night. We understand that your request might be urgent, so we have a separate team of allocated hackers who interact with our Clients round the clock⏰. You are with the right people so just get started.💯✅

📲 CONTACT:
E-mail: compositehacks@gmail.com
Hire a Hacker!
Want faster service? Contact us!
CompositeHacks©️LLC 2018.
All Rights Reserved ®️

★We Treat Every Request With Utmost Confidentiality★ 🙌🏽

hotmail said...

Thank you very much for sharing this great information! I look forward to seeing more of your posts!
hotmail account
hotmail.com sign in

Urban Fashion Gabru said...

Hi do check out this latest post with our New Blog Post and I hope you would have enjoyed all our post
American got Talent 2018 All Episodes
American got Talent 2018 App Voting Votes online
America got Talent 2018 All Episodes
America got Talent 2018 Winner Name
American got Talent 2018 App Voting Votes online
America got Talent 2018 All Episodes
America’s got Talent 2018 Winner Name
American got Talent 2018 App Voting Votes online
American got Talent 2018 Winner Prediction
WOD 2018 All Episodes
World of dance 2018 Winner Prediction
World of dance 2018 All Episodes
World of dance 2018 winner name

Kanchipuram Saree said...



kanchipuram silk sarees wholesalers

kanchipuram sarees
golu dolls
golu dolls