A Weekend in

Madrid

Words and images by Susana Ordovás
Image from oltrepò pavese

Images courtesy Susana Ordovás

Madrid-based writer Susana Ordovás shares an insiders guide to the bustling city of Madrid, opening her address book to reveal secret and stylish spots for the perfect weekend.
 
With a new, exhilarating energy filling its heaving streets, Madrid has recently experienced an avalanche of fine dining restaurants, cool artisan shops and luxury hotels, unexpectedly snatching from Barcelona the status of Spain’s most charismatic city. Renowned for its elegant boulevards, century-old tabernas, rich repositories of European art, including the Prado Museum, and expansive manicured parks, such as El Retiro, Madrid has shrugged off its small-town atmosphere and become a vibrant, stylish destination for aesthetes.

 

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Images courtesy Susana Ordovás

Where to Stay
 
Bless Hotel
Located on the 'Golden Mile’ in the luxurious Salamanca neighbourhood, among some of the city’s most exclusive shops and restaurants, Bless Hotel occupies a historic building featuring the work of top interior designer Lázaro Rosa Violán.
 
Santo Mauro Hotel
Beautifully decorated by Lorenzo Castillo, one of Spain’s most renowned interior designers, Hotel Santo Mauro invites you on a journey to the XIX century - to the former home of one of Madrid’s most influential figures at the time, the Duke of Santo Mauro.
 
Mandarin Oriental Ritz Hotel
A luxury Belle Époque palace located in the famous Golden Triangle of Art of Madrid. For over 110 years, the hotel has hosted some of the world's most distinguished guests.
 
Only You Boutique Hotel
A stylish hotel nestled in Las Salesas, one of Madrid’s trendiest neighborhoods, Only You is steps away from fashionable shops, museums and cool restaurants. The hotel bar with its cosy terrace is great for drinks during summer evenings.
 
Four Seasons Madrid
In the heart of the city, seven historic buildings have been transformed into Spain’s first Four Seasons hotel. With rooftop dining by famed Spanish chef, Dani García, a four-level spa and a sun-splashed pool terrace, it's become a Madrid landmark.
 
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Images courtesy Susana Ordovás

Where to Eat & Drink
 
Botín
Founded in 1725, it’s considered the oldest restaurant in the world and a benchmark of Madrid traditional cuisine.
 
Taberna La Carmencita
My favorite restaurant in Madrid, La Carmencita is located in the trendy Chueca barrio, one of the capital’s oldest tabernas. It strives to serve excellent local cuisine in a charming environment.
 
La Terraza del Casino
Occupying the top floor of the Baroque Casino de Madrid, an elite social club built in 1910, the restaurant is bright and unstuffy, while star chef Paco Roncero’s cooking is smart, fresh and highly experimental. The terrace is truly breathtaking.
 
Lhardy
Founded in 1839, Lhardy is famous for serving excellent traditional Spanish dishes like cocido madrileño, a typical stew-like dish. Its 19th century decor is full of character and has remained unchanged over the years.
 
Bosco de Lobos
In the stunning courtyard of Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid, an impressive building made of cubic shapes, Bosco de Lobos offers great Italian cuisine.
 
Celso y Manolo
Located in the lively barrio of Chueca, they serve top quality Spanish food in a relaxed and stylish setting. It’s also a great place for drinks.
 
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Images courtesy Susana Ordovás

Where to Shop
 
For antiques, see 'Where to Buy Antiques' below.
 
Seseña
Classic Spanish capes that have adorned the shoulders of some of 20th century’s best-known personalities, such as Picasso, Hemingway and Fellini, among others.
 
Antigua Casa Crespo
Founded in 1863, this wonderful little shop sells espadrilles (or alpargatas, as they’re known to the locals). Inside, find rows of wooden cubbies packed to the rafters with traditional rope-soled, canvas espadrilles in every conceivable color and silhouette.
 
Real Fábrica
A varied selection of traditional products from all over Spain.
 
Cocol
Located in an old upholstery workshop, Cocol has a range of home goods rooted in traditional artisanal methods.
 
Casa Gonzalez y González
Timeless, functional products for everyday life. They stock a range of carefully sourced traditional products, from enamelware to soaps and brushes.
 
Casa Diego
Charming shop specializing in colorful handcrafted fans and other genteel accessories since 1858.
 
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Images courtesy Susana Ordovás

Where to Buy Antiques

 

La Californie
Stylish home decor shop with a curated selection of 20th century furniture and antique pieces.
 
LA Studio
An important selection of iconic 20th century furniture, as well as contemporary pieces.
 
Slou
A curated selection of antique furniture and pieces from France, England, Sweden and Germany.
 
El Rastro
A lively area in La Latina neighborhood, famous for its antique and vintage shops. Madrid’s most iconic flea market is held here on Sundays. The best antique shops in El Rastro include:
 
Casa Josephine
Olofane
Portici
Berenis
Le Secret
 
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Images courtesy Susana Ordovás

What to Do & See
 
Caixa Forum 
Palacio de Liria
Casa Museo Lope de Vega
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
Museo Sorolla
Also, take a stroll along Doctor Fourquet street in the Lavapiés barrio for a selection of some of Madrid’s best contemporary art galleries.
 

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