Tripping through Spain: Madrid (1 of 3) By Barbara Schmidt, studiobstyle, inc.

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.

AC Hotel Santo Mauro in the Chamberi neighborhood of Madrid Spain - the "big palace" where the common areas and original residence for the Duke are located.

AC Hotel Santo Mauro in the Chamberi neighborhood of Madrid Spain - the "big palace" where the common areas and original residence for the Duke are located.

 

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.

 

The secret walled garden off the main palace. The little palace for guests is off to the right.

The secret walled garden off the main palace. The little palace for guests is off to the right.

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.

The Red Sitting room restored with fabric walls and original mouldings.

The Red Sitting room restored with fabric walls and original mouldings.

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.

 

Elliptical staircase with fishtail stairs - unbelievable craftsmanship.

Elliptical staircase with fishtail stairs - unbelievable craftsmanship.

The "Little Palace" front door that is super sized.

The "Little Palace" front door that is super sized.

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.

 

On the left - the very table where we dined at Angelita. On the right the front window table where we watched the world go by and had some of the best seafood of the trip.

On the left - the very table where we dined at Angelita. On the right the front window table where we watched the world go by and had some of the best seafood of the trip.

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.

 

Angelita

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.

Fresh Squid three ways...Angelita style...

Fresh Squid three ways...Angelita style...

I will never forget the tomato salad. It sounds simple but these are not the mealy white tomatoes we somehow accept in American restaurants.

 

What tomatoes are supposed to be...fresh right out of the garden.

What tomatoes are supposed to be...fresh right out of the garden.

Whole fresh grilled fish - so sweet and yummy!

Whole fresh grilled fish - so sweet and yummy!

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!

The dish we will not forget - so savory and rich.

The dish we will not forget - so savory and rich.

For more about Barbara's travels, sourcing and shopping follow her instagram feed: studiobstyle