I have been absent for the last week due to it being a special time of year for me; my birthday! I was completely spoilt by family, friends and boyfriend this year. My boyfriend surprised me with a weekend getaway to Madrid! I am definitely the luckiest girl in the world. Anyway, lets move on from the soppiness and get into all the food I ate!
We arrived in Madrid on Friday 21st October and checked into our hotel which was situated in the centre of the city; Puerto del Sol. This was a fantastic location because it was one of the main shopping districts, within walking distance of the main attractions and most importantly, near the main hub of restaurants, tapas bars, fast food restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries…
That evening we had a walk around Puerto del Sol and stumbled upon a Spanish tapas bar in a small alleyway. The alleyway was filled with music, laughter and Spanish conversation. I think my partner and I were one of the few tourists there which we loved because we could properly embrace the Spanish culture!
As we ordered our drinks, we were served two slices of bread topped with smoked salmon and cream cheese and a tuna mayo like spread with tomatoes and other bits. They were delicious! I am always so impatient waiting for our food so this helped to deal with the hunger. My partner order Mussels “Galican Style” which is mussels cooked a creamy tomato sauce and I chose homemade Iberian ham croquettes! My croquettes were not the nicest meal I have had but i wanted to try something new and that I did. However, the mussels was delicious and there was a lot of tomato soup left to dip your bread in. IT was almost like having two meals in one; mussels to start and then tomato soup and bread to finish. We had a lovely first evening in Madrid!On the second day we had a small breakfast at a local bakery. The interior was very “chabby-chic” and was filled to the brim with freshly baked pastries, breads, sandwiches and cakes. The smell wafting out of the store was the only persuasion I needed to grab a table and order breakfast. I had a white coffee with a freshly squeezed orange juice and a slice of toast and marmalade! One of my favourite things to order abroad is freshly squeezed orange juice. I find it so refreshing and I literally drink it by the gallon! There aren’t many places which serves freshly made orange juice in the UK therefore I take full advantage when I am abroad!
Afterwards we made our way to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium where we had booked a tour. This was rated one of the top 10 attractions to visit on TripAdvisor and my partner is an avid football fan so it was perfect! The stadium was huge and it was interesting to see Real Madrid’s history and of course having a nosey peek into the changing rooms/ shower rooms was equally exciting for me. We spent quite a few hours at the tour and left the tour famished. So, we stopped in the first restaurant we saw on the way home. This was an Italian, which wasn’t what we were hoping for but we were both on the verge of passing out. However,the service was fantastic and the food was also great! I ordered a prawn and asparagus risotto whilst my partner had a seafood spaghetti. Yet again, our meal was accompanied by olives and more bread! I was definitely enjoying every opportunity to satisfy my carb cravings.
That evening, we descended to the market of San Miguel which we had a number of recommendations from friends and family. This was a huge covered market filled with many cocktail and wine bars, dessert bars, food bars, snack bars. It was so busy, the atmosphere was buzzing! Apparently, many of the locals go there on a Saturday night to have a drink and something small t eat whilst catching up with friends. It was definitely my idea of a good Saturday night out! After walking around the market in awe we decided to try some Spanish Rioja, wild berry Sangria, squid ink risotto and a caviar crab salad! All of the food servings were tapas style which suited us perfect as we were still full from our late lunch/early dinner. My partner loved the Rioja and ended up having three glasses whereas I didn’t like the Sangria too much. I found the champagne too bubbly for my liking! However, the squid ink risotto was fantastic (I could do with another bowl now as I type!) and the crab salad was lovely too. I have never had caviar before but it was very delicious and accompanied the salad perfectly.
On Sunday, we rose early to visit the Prado Museum. This is one of the world’s largest art museums and is a must to see when in Madrid! My favourite art exhibition was the black paintings by Goya. The artwork was fascinating. The themes and imagery were very similar to the themes I am studying in literature. My inner nerd was definitely being satisfied at this point! On our way back to the hotel we stopped for a late lunch in a local cafe. My partner and I shared a seafood paella. This was delicious and it was accompanied by a small platter of nibbles with our drink and bread with the meal! This time I suffered from carb overload and had to take a nap in preparation for the evening ahead!
Monday was our departure day. My partner and I had the best weekend in Madrid and have slightly fallen in love with it. We have already vowed that we shall be returning at some point! It is such a beautiful city with so much to do and see! It was definitely one of my favourite trips this year and the food was to die for. I have been having endless thoughts of paella since being home. It think I may have to fins a recipe and try to recreate the ones I had in Madrid… keep your eyes peeled for that!
Hope you are all well.