A few times a year we all need a break to reset and refresh our perspectives. A quick trip over the pond to Spain was all I needed to get my design inspiration jump-started. Here are some of the places I wandered to and my impressions along the way.
Madrid - a series of small villages
We stayed at a Marriott. What? Yes. A Marriott. I’m known for finding these crazy places to stay off the grid but honestly, Marriott has Madrid locked up with exciting properties in their Autograph Collection.
I chose the Duke of Santo Mauro’s former palace. The property is spectacular and we couldn’t take it all in with just four days - but I tried.
First, we had coffee in the walled secret garden. Then we visited the 1890’s all red sitting-room with toile textiles to-die-for. We had a late supper in the sumptuous bar with ceilings two stories high. I highly recommend having cocktails here at a minimum.
Climb the elliptical staircase with Venetian plaster walls and spend time walking the second and third floor galleries. Every room here is unique with loads of original details, newer bathrooms and updated electronics.
There is the main palace with some rooms and common areas and then the mini palace off to the side where Duke Santo Mauro would entertain guests. We stayed in the main palace the first three nights of our trip. We stayed in the little palace the last night we were in Madrid. Both rooms were very comfortable and quiet and we would stay here again.
Best Madrid Restaurant? It’s a Tie.
We love to adventure to new chef owned restaurants and Madrid has so many that you can’t really get a comprehensive sampling unless you live there for months. We selected a few and here are two of our favorites.
The Chueca neighborhood is hipster (note entire restaurant devoted to boxed American Cereal is across the street) but Angelita is serious about wine and gastronomy at the same time. The service was impeccable and the 500 bottle wine list extensive. These guys are building their menu with local ingredients and it changes constantly.
I will never forget the tomato salad. It sounds simple but these are not the mealy white tomatoes we somehow accept in American restaurants.
This is a quaint, cute little place tucked off of an alley in another lively neighborhood Cortes. It’s all about fish here and we had one of the most imaginative dishes of our trip – octopus and bone marrow. Applause goes to Chef Carlos Del Portillo– so so good!
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