|Puerta del Sol|
By the time we left the Thyssen it was time to start thinking of food, one thing you'll never run short of in Madrid is options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Later that afternoon our plan was to visit the Palacio Real, so stopped off enroute at the Mercado de San Miguel. Popular with locals and tourists, the Mercado is housed in a 19th century building with wrought-iron columns, it is full of excellant delictessens and you'll have a great time wandering round, sampling the wonderful food with a cańa or glass of wine in your hand.
|Mercado se San Miguel|
Fully refuelled and with a spring in our step after a couple of glasses of wine, we walked the remaining short distance to the Palacio Real. Madrid's vast and lavish Royal Palace was built to impress and was used by the royal family until the abdication of Alfonso XIII in 1931. The present King, Juan Carlos I, lives in the more modest Zarzuela Palace outside Madrid, however the Royal Palace is still used for state occasions. Photography is forbidden inside the palace so unfortunately we can't show you too much of what is in store for you. Highlights include the Throne Room and the state Dining Room along with the Chapel which feels more like a Cathedral inside. If your feet are suffering after visiting the Palace, just a short distance away you'll find Plaza Oriente and some very welcoming bars, where you can relax and enjoy some people watching.
On the Friday evening we visited one of our favourite restaurants in Madrid, The Taj, by the name you'll have guessed that its not exactly a typical Spanish restaurant. Situated on Calle de Marqués de Cuba, if you like Indian food you'll love The Taj. Food was the theme of our Saturday. After breakfast in another Cinco Jotas, this time on Plaza de Santa Ana, we spent the morning shopping before hopping on a train to Torrelodones. If you like the idea of learning to speak some Spanish, you'll find the perfect place here on Plaza de Santa Ana in the form of Babylon Idiomas. Whether you're a complete beginner or simply looking to improve your Spanish language skills, you will enjoy yourself here with a group of teachers who make learning a new language a lot of fun.
|Plaza de Santa Ana|
We spent a fun afternoon in Torrelodones catching up with our good friends, Marta, Andy and their young son, in the wonderful Restaurante El Trasgu, great food and service set in a lovely location with a terrace over looking Madrid. Later that evening it was time to continue our culinary tour with dinner back in Madrid to celebrate my birthday. Susy found Restaurante Lua on Trip Advisor and we had a perfect evening there, enjoying a lovely tasting menu. This restaurant is hard to beat, the combination of delicious food beautifully presented combined with a glass of wine matched to each course was ideal. This, added to good service and nice decor makes Restaurante Lua the ideal place to celebrate a special occasion, we loved it.
|Chocolicious cake inside Chocolates Valor|
The following afternoon, we had to return to the Netherlands, so after opening my cards and presents we spent the morning in downtown Madrid. The highlight had to be the delicious cake in Chocolates Valor, full of calories but more importantly, delicious. For more from Spain's bustling capital city just click on Madrid