MAGICAL MADRID: FOR THE MERRIEST HOLIDAY SEASON & NEW YEAR´s DOWNTOWN, MIDTOWN & UPTOWN

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Barrio de Las Letras: awesome ambience!

By Margaux Cintrano
Photos: Tourist Office of Madrid & Other Pertinent Establishments 

 

During the Holiday Season, the Madrid Capital is an amazingly magical time that fills the city with Nativity Scenes, flickering Christmas street lights, adorned Christmas trees,  seasonal Christmas Markets and thousands of restaurants committed to creating top notch memorable cartes of this special time.

 

 

A 19th CENTURY CHRISTMAS AT THE LINARES PALACE

How were manor houses in the Capital decorated in the 1800s ?

The Linares Palace, a.k.a. Casa de America, at Plaza Cibeles 2, in the neighbourhood of Banco España, permits visitors to discover traditions of a bygone era in this astoundingly awesome monumental masterpiece of art.  To reserve entrance:   www.casamerica.es

SECOND HAND BOOK SHOPS, VINTAGE FURNITURE & TRADITIONAL CRAFTS 

The neighbourhood called Barrio de Las Letras  (The Literary Quarter), wih the Five Star Hotel Palace as its anchoring landmark, is almost entirely pedestrian.  Chockful of 2nd hand book shops, vintage furniture boutiques, galleries, and traditional craft workshops.  

FOR LUNCH:  VI COOL,  located on the corner,  close to the ONCE Foundation for the blind at number 24,  Calle Del Prado.  This is a top tier Tapas Bar under the helm of Three Michelin Star Chef Sergio Arola.

Barrio de Las Letras

 

 

 


OPERA IN LOS AUSTRIAS 

This fascinating labyrinth located close to the Plaza Mayor is overflowing with second hand shops and traditional bakeries.  The enchantibing narrow streets  were once the home of Spanish Royalty.   A walk to the restaurant row of downtown Madrid is Cava Baja .  Definitely, a taste of real Madrid.

Stop at the bar on Number 11,  SCHOTIS, for a wine or beer which is delivered with a wonderful array of tapas for same price as the beverage.    For carnivores, try NUMBER 16, which serves  the best Basque beef in the city ..   For scrumptious Italian, try NUMBER 26.  For a rustic yet urban scene maker, go to Cava Alta, Number 4, Wine Bar MATRITUM.   The assorted cheese platter is unforgettable and their wines by the glass are simply exceptional.

 

WHERE TO LUNCH & DINE

Restaurante Amazonico
Calle Jorge Juan 20
Reservations Higly Suggested:   91. 515. 4332
Metro Line 4:   Colón

Located in the former restaurant venue,  Pan de Lujo, in Barrio Salamanca,  on one of the most beautiful streets in Madrid,  the decoration is simply spectacular.  The Amazonian flora and botanicals fill the restaurant without creating a jungle effect. The carte is quite amazing and consists of Japanese, Asian Pacific Rim, Indian, Argentinian and Brazilian fusion.  Quite sensational.
Suggestion:   The Yari Kahua of Red Crevettes (  Carabineros )

 

The Red Tuna
This Argentinian Grill is a carnivore´s dream

The Tandoori
This is a splurge well worth it.  Approx. 50 Euros per person  including wine / beverages, café & desserts.

Viva Burger  
Costanilla De San Andrés 16
Reservations:  91.  366. 3349
Metro 5:   La Latina 

Located in the La Latina neighborhood, just a 5 minute walk from Cava Baja, is a tiny gem with a lovely Burger Carte including a Bio 100% Vegetarian Burger.
Guess what, old fashioned style milk shakes are prepared to order here.
Lunch approximately 22 Euros per person.

Bibo By Dani Garcia
Paseo de La Castellana 52
Reservations:   91. 805. 2556
http://www.grupodanigarcia.com/bibo-madrid

2 Michelin Star Food Designer Dani Garcia from Marbella,  Malaga, has recently opened a Tuna Bar with 60 wines from Jérez and Brunch galore Bistro cuisine.   The Manhattan style décor includes  an eat at bar too.
Suggestion:  The Seasonal Fresh Oysters and the Brunch Carte
Cost:  Approximately 40 – 45 Euros per person