One of the thing I love the most about living in Europe is all the travelling possibilities it offers. Everything is so close, that it’s easy to leave your hometown for the weekend. You just need to choose a destination, dates, book your flight and you are done. That’s what I did with some friends a few weeks ago. Keep reading if you want to know about all the cool places to hang-out.
**Warning: you won’t find any cultural tips in this post. It was definitely not a-discover-Madrid-kind-of-trip but more of a foodie-shopping-with-my-gal-getaway.**
Friday 11 pm: Dinner at Lady Madonna
We left Geneva on a Friday, early in the evening, and arrived right on time for dinner. After a stop at the apartment, we walked to a restaurant called Lady Madonna. Such a gem. The decor, the atmosphere, the food everything was on point. No need to be too dressed up, it’s a perfect fit for a nice dinner with friends. The starters were my favorite part of the meal, special mention for the pulled pork tacos with its mango ceviche.
Saturday 11.30 am: Breakfast at Ojala
After a good resting night, it was time to eat again, we needed strength to face a day of hard shopping. So, my friend took us to her favorite place to have breakfast. The decoration was refreshing, colorful and fun. The light bulbs against the wall in the back room were one of my favorite decor detail. They were all taken from some rides at a fair. It gave the room a very funky look.
Saturday 1.30 pm: Manicure at Mi Calle de Nueva York
There is no girls weekend getaway without a manicure. We tried a Nail spa called Mi Calle Nueva York. They have a large choice of nail polish colors and the place is nice and sweet. We had a really good time there and were all set to start our little shopping spree.
Saturday 3 pm: Shopping on Gran Via
As much as I would have loved to write about lots of small creators shops, I can’t because that’s not what we did at all. We visited only one shop. A shop so big you could live in there for an entire month. That shop is Primark. No big surprise here you all know Primark. Anyway, I don’t know what happened to us in there. We transformed in some kind of warriors on an important mission: make sure we had covered every inch of that shop. It took us the rest of the afternoon to achieve that mission. However, I have to say that Primark’s building on Gran via is wroth a visit just to see its interior architecture. It’s splendid. Just don’t go there on a rainy Saturday afternoon, if you know what I mean…
Saturday 6 pm: Tapas at el Mercado San Ildefonso
After an exhausting shopping afternoon, it was vital to recharged our batteries. So we went to a mini market not far from Gran via, where there is a bunch of stalls selling tapas of all kinds. The perfect place to rest, have a beer and eat some delicious Spanish specialties. Don’t miss the “croquetas”, little fried rolls of paradise.
Saturday 11.00 pm: Diner at Sexto
Slightly classier than Lady Madonna, this restaurant is a good pick, if you plan to go out after. Everything looked so yummy on the menu it was hard to choose. You can’t go wrong, from the egg cooked at 65° to the tuna tataki. The cuisine is sophisticated and delicious. Try a glass of Cava, it’s bubbly and cheaper than champagne.
Sunday 1am: Gin & tonic at Barbara Ann
Named after the Beach Boys song, this bar is dedicated to rock & roll and pop music. Once again the decor was a delight. Some big pop icons portraits hanged on the wall, a gigantic bar with all the bootle you can imagine. Every piece of furniture has been chosen carefully. Even though it was packed with people, we managed to find a little spot with a table on the border of the dance floor. The ambience was electrical. The music, from ABBA to the Backstreet boys, aimed to make you dance.
Sunday 11am: Brunch at La Habanera
Are you ready to go back in time for some classy colonial cuban decor? La Habanera is a place you have to visit no matter what. From the moment you step foot in there, it feels like Cuba in the 50’s. Colorful, tropical chic atmosphere with some Bossa Nova music in the background everything about it is stylish. Moreover, the food is tasty, full of Cuban influences. A piece of advice: call them before your departure, as early as you can. It’s a popular place and everybody wants a piece of it.
We were supposed to go there for dinner but it was already full. That being said, I’m glad we went in the the daylight to fully appreciate the scenery.
By the way if you want to travel in peace, I have created a packing checklist that will help you relax and enjoy the journey.
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Special thanks to my good friend who showed us all those really cool places. It was a wonderful weekend.