As a wedding gift to Huzz and I back in 2003, my lovely sister gave us a weekend in Madrid. Neither Huzz nor I had visited this city before then, and so we saved the gift until our 1st wedding anniversary and then had 4 wonderful days there, celebrating our first year of marriage. Wandering the streets, sitting in cafes, visiting parks, wine, coffee, jamon, late evenings - and yes we managed all this with our little boy who was 15 months old at the time.
All that seems long ago now and so I thought it about time we took a trip down memory lane and so,
"If we had the weekend free, we'd be at... " the Hotel Hospes, Madrid, Spain.
It was the small things that attracted me. I love the Arco style lights in the lounge (an original Arco lamp is high on my own personal wish list) and the huge headboard in the superior room. The Spa and pool - just big enough to do a few relaxing lengths, and then a spoil yourself massage. A beautiful patio to sit out on a warm Madrid evening drinking G&T's before dinner. The exterior with wrought iron balconies where you can throw open the doors of your room and look out onto busy lives outside. All these things sold it to me.
Hospes has its own restaurant, tapas bar and lounge bar to try out, but being slap bang in the middle of Madrid I'm sure we would wander out exploring and soaking up the city.
We'd spend the days wandering the streets, soaking up the Madrileño lifestyle. Searching out the most fantastic chocolateria where we had hot chocolate drinks and churros every morning for breakfast during our last visit. Stopping at those fabulous tiled bars where all the jamons are strung up around the bar and snacking on manchego, olives and bread - with a glass of local red or a cold beer.
I'm sure we'd revisit the Museo Nacional de Prado, which houses one of the greatest collections of European art from the 12th to 19th centuries, and is well worth a morning wandering around. And just around the corner are the Botanical Gardens which are a beautiful.
Evenings will start late, after a late afternoon siesta, and a cocktail or G&T at the hotel bar. I remember sitting outside little restaurants on a spring evenings people watching, eating wonderful tapas, fish and cheese. Young children were still up and running around the little parks, or being pushed along in prams by parents late into the evening, whilst everyone enjoyed being outdoors. I love this way of life.
One of my favourite things about staying in lovely hotels is the crispy white bedlinen - so we'd be sure to have a couple of relaxing lies in, opeining the balcony doors to let in the sounds of the city whilst drinking our morning coffee.
Hope you like this little taste of Madrid. It brought back great memories of our 1st anniversary for me and meant that I looked out some photographs from back then too. Here are just a few.
On an entrance door.
Plaza Mayor (I think)
Jamon, jamon and more jamon!
Tiled street sign.
A great breakfast stop.