Our Spain 2013 summer trip ended back in Madrid 14 days later. We arrived mid day and checked into the absolutely stunning 5* Hospes Hotel in Plaza Independancion. The only short-coming of the hotel is that there is no pool, but having just spent the last 2 weeks at pools and on beaches it was fine for me.
We headed back to Plaza Santa Ana for some tapas and beers before wandering over to the Mercado San Miguel. If there is one do-not-miss place to eat in Madrid it is here. This modern market is filled with absolutely amazing food and wine stalls. You can wander around, picking up a small cone of mixed salami from one place, a glass of champagne from another, maybe a sea urchin, and then just grab one of the many stand-up tables and enjoy your finds. I made multiple discoveries and sadly was full well before I had a chance to sample even half of the offerings. This was a perfect dinner!
After dinner I compared gintonics at Bar Cock & Gin Club, two of the more well know cocktail places in town. Both were great, with Bar Cock feeling a bit more old fashioned (in a good way for me) and Gin Club being a little trendier. They are close to each other so no reason not to visit both!
For lunch the next day we did another market meal at the Mercado de Anton Martin. This one is a little smaller, a bit more trendy, and while very good (with fancy small dishes like foie gras risotto in a little bathtub!) it wasn't as fun as the other. Again, if you have time to do both why not?
Before heading to the fabulous Museum Reina Sofia we had a pick me up of chocolate and parros at the aptly named Chocolat.
This museum has the most amazing collection of art but the most famous must be Picasso's Guernica. And although that is worth the price of admission it would be a shame not to explore and see the other fantastic pieces. The Miro collection for me was the big treat!
Madrid has a little area that is famous for its shoe makers, specifically espadrilles. After a lot of searching I finally found the shop that is most well known, Casa Hernanz Cordeleria. I lined up with men, women, and children, all wanting the handmade and affordable comfortable shoes provided since 1860. It took a lot of pantomime and pointing since I don't speak Spanish, but I finally scored 3 pairs before leaving.
One last meal before our morning flight home. We chose the semi-fancy La Tasquita de Enfrente. This is the perfect place to have a nice coursed meal of slightly upscale Spanish cuisine without 1) breaking the bank and 2) having to pack formal attire. The chef could not have been nicer, the food was delicious, and the atmosphere was really comfortable.
Adios Madrid! Photos here.