The Urban Gastronomic Market comes to Madrid

From the 22nd to the 25th March, 2007 the Plaza Santa Ana becomes home to the Mercado Gastronómico Urbano de Madrid or the Urban Gastronomic Market of Madrid (incidentally, this event looks like it takes place every quarter). Plaza Santa Ana is a well-known Madrid nighttime hot spot but is also a very pretty square which includes the Teatro Español and the famous Reina Victoria Hotel (now the ME Madrid Reina Victoria).

As most people know Spain is recognized for its gastronomic excellence – though even here (with the rise of giant supermarkets) they feel it important to organize a festival that helps city people get a closer look at the products that are produced from around Spain. There will be live presentations and the chance to sample food and drink. From the (bloody awful!) website I gather that you can buy products like wine, olive oil, cheeses, honey, cider, packed fish and pretty much any other food you could wish for!

La Plaza Mercado Gastronómico Urbano de Madrid (official website of this organisation).

Madrid Me Mata

A Selection of Bullfighting Blogs

I was just doing some surfing around local Madrid blogs, including Madrid Me Mata, esmadriz! and La Bitacora de Moeh, when I stumbled upon a blog roll on Nuevo Periodismo which linked to bullfighting blogs. For some strange reason I had never thought that people would blog about bullfighting, but there again why wouldn’t they?

On these sites people blog about all things related to bullfighting, from the bullfights to the people who go, to the people involved in the business. Some of the images on these sites are quite stunning – and I don’t just mean the ones from the Plaza but also the ones where the bulls and horse riders are in the campo.

Here is a selection that I found on there.

* A los toros

* Alicia Ureña

* Cornadas para todos
* Desde el tendido 6

* Desde la charrería (on MySpace)
* La Tienta

* Los toros de A. Hervás

* Taurofilia

* Torear

On a related subject, there will be a new film coming out in the Summer on the most famous bullfighter of them all, Manolete. Directed by  Menno Meyes, it will star Adrien Brody as Manolete and the cast includes Penélope Cruz, Santiago Segura and Juan Echanove (household names in Spain).

Diario de Madrid Exhibition


Madrid, al paso. Fotografías del Diario de Madrid realizadas entre 1926 y 1971 is an exhibition of photographs which appeared in the Madrid newspaper Diario de Madrid (and some which didn’t get to be published) between 1926 and 1971. They give a fascinating insight into the people who lived in the city and the changes that have taken place over the course of this period.

It is divided up into 4 subject areas: the city, business, the streets and the people (the man in the street and personalities). Some of the pictures are really interesting – such as Salvador Dalí eating food, a horse and cart being used in construction near the Palacio Real, trams going through the Plaza Mayor and a waiters’ race complete with wine bottles and glasses! The one with Gary Cooper giving crowds a fascist salute looks a bit suspect, though.

The exhibition includes 170 photos and runs from the 13th March to the 29th April; admission is free. 

Fundación Diario Madrid (C/ Larra 14).
Mon – Sat: 10.30 am to 8.30 pm & Sun10.30 am to 2.30 pm

Ballet Nacional Returns to Madrid

From the 15th to the 25th March, 2007 you will have a chance to see one of Spain’s most famous flamenco dancers, Antonio Canales. There are three parts to the show: Cambalache, Dualia y Caprichos – the first part was created by Antonio Canales and also features him as one of the dancers. The performances can be seen at the Teatro La Zarzuela and ticket prices range from 11 to 32 euros.

Teatro_zarzuela Click for Google Map details.

Easter Tour of Madrid

st year I will be offering my own walking and tapas tours of Madrid this Easter (between 5th and 13th April  ). Here is an overview of the tours:

Walking Tour – They are designed to take people on tours of some of my favourite Madrid haunts, from streets, buildings, plazas, parks, museums and, definitely, a bar! The plan is for the the tours to last around 3-4 hours and will include a coffee stop and a beer/tapa stop towards the end.

The Tapas Tours will take you round my favourite tapas bars in central Madrid and will be combined with a running commentary of the barrios/locations we will be walking through as we do our ‘bar hop’. I expect that we will go to around 4 – 5 locations and it will take about 3-4 hours.

My intention is to take people to places that they would never have thought of going and to give valuable advice on how to make your stay
in Madrid the best possible. This advice will include useful tips and advice which you can use for the rest of your stay in Madrid, from
events, venues, bars, restaurants, ways to save money and excursions.

Seeing as it is Easter, the tour will also have a certain feel about it and I will show be showing off some of the sights of Madrid at Easter (that means we’ll see one or two churches!).

The cost will be 55 Euros (a 35 Euro deposit will be required beforehand) for the walking tour and 85 Euros for the tapas tour (the latter will include drinks and tapas in four places). I envisage that groups will be quite small – probably no more than 6 people – and suggest you email me to book your place and to find out more information.

If you’re interested in any other specific tour experiences – food, for example, – let me know.

39th National Stamp Fair in Madrid

If you know Madrid at all, you will know that the Plaza Mayor (on Sundays), and the shops around this square, are a favourite haunt of philatelists. Well, from the 7th to the 11th March, 2007 the 39th National Stamp Fair in Madrid will be held in the Plaza Mayor. There will be 21 commercial stalls selling stamps and coins and a special exhibition displaying stamps from the Scout movement. The Real Casa de la Moneda (Spanish Royal Mint) will also be displaying coins and stamps – these are usually held in their (Madrid) museum. It will be possible to purchase a coin to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.

Mad About Madrid Store

Today, I am putting live the Mad About Madrid Amazon Store (or aStore). I have collected some of my favourite Spanish-related books, CDs and DVDs and created an Amazon aStore where visitors can view and purchase these products. There are well over a 100 products on there and I intend to increase the selection over the next few months. The current store is hosted on but within the next day or so I will put an site live. Please let me know if I have missed out on any important products.

Taberna Maceiras – a Galician Tavern!

Taberna Maceiras, Madrid

I was just trawling my Madrid picture album (I must have taken hundreds of pictures over the past few years) when I came across a bar that I haven’t blogged about. The Taberna Maceiras is located in Madrid’s famous c/ de las Huertas, one of the city’s most famous nightspots, and boasts some fine food. When Spain beat Argentina in a nail-biting semi final of the Basketball World Championship (they eventually won it), I was sitting in Maceiras having my lunch.

Like many Spanish bars and restaurants the decor of this place is very simple – the owners let the food do the talking for them. On a busy day you may be packed in close to the people on the next table but who cares!

Taberna Maceiras is a Galician Tavern and offers visitors a great selection of food and drink from this region – and boy is the food from Galicia great. Maceiras offers customers raciones – dishes of food which you can, and should, share amongst friends. Here’s a selection from their fish, shellfish and other dishes:

  • calamari (calamares)
  • clams (almejas),
  • mejillones (mussels)
  • steamed cockles (berberechos),
  • navajas (razor clams),
  • pulpo (octopus)
  • pimientos de padrón (padrón green peppers)

and many other wonderful dishes.

I’m not a great dessert fan but some people have recommended Queso Arzúa – Ulloa D.O con membrillo (Arzúa cheese with quince). I would also recommend that you try the Vino Albariño. If I’m correct they were having a fiesta del pulpo around the same time (let me know if you can clarify this) and the place was absolutely packed out most lunchtimes.

Huertas (Centro) 66, 28014 Madrid, Spain – +34 914 295 818

Google Map

Current Exhibitions in Madrid

Seductive Girl, Private Collection. © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / VEGAP,

Here’s a quick breakdown of the exhibitions going at the moment at some of Madrid’ more well-known museums and galleries.

Prado Museum
Spanish Drawings from the Hispanic Society of America. The exhibition is split into four main sections and covers work from the 16th century through to Goya – indeed one section is devoted to Goya. The exhibition runs until the 4th March, 2007.

Tintoretto – this exhibition, which is sponsored by the Consejería de Cultura de la Comunidad de Madrid, consists of 70 works by the Italian painter – all of which have been loaned by leading European and American collections. The exhibition runs from the 30th January to the 13th May, 2007.

Reina Sofía

The Reina Sofía is showing the works of the American artist Chuck Close from the 6th February to the 7th May, 2007.

It is also showing an interesting collection, titled Guerra y Revistas (Magazines and War), whose objective is to show how magazines were used, like posters, as propaganda tools in the Spanish Civil War. It runs from the 16th January to the 30th April, 2007.

Thyssen Museum

The Mirror and the Mask: Portraiture in the Age of Picasso. According to the PR blurb from the Thyssen this exhibition "looks at the survival and transformation of the portrait in avant-garde art between 1890 and 1990". It includes works from (guess who?) Picasso, Gauguin, Cezanne, Juan Gris, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and many others. It runs from the 6th February to the 20th May, 2007. (Note: some of the works will be shown in the la Fundación Caja Madrid, close to c/Arenal)

Fundación Juan March

The Juan March is putting on an exhibition by the American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein . It comprises of 97 works of art, created between 1996 and 1997 and is organised by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. It will run from the 2nd February to the 20th May, 2007.

New Bookshop opens in Madrid

Just got an email from some folks who have just set up stall in Madrid and thought I’d post about it. BookWorld España already has stores along the coast where there are many thousands of British tourists but has now decided that it will try it’s luck at selling books in the heart of Spain. The shop is located at Calle Goya, 56 – nearest at METRO stop GOYA (the exit to take being General Diaz Portier) and its pening hours are Monday to Saturday 10am – 8pm.

Shooters – American Pool Hall in the Centre of Madrid

I´m not one to talk about places which have little relevance to Spain but just thought I´d let people know about a neat, pool hall on the Gran Vía (and because I love playing pool!). Shooters features 9 "American pool" tables in a large hall – it also has an Irish bar where you can find a wide range of imported beers and a dart board. You could easily be mistaken for thinking you were on the Costa del Sol (perish the thought), instead of downtown Madrid!! It is located on Gran Vía 31 (Metro Gran Vía or Callao) – just underneath the cafeteria Zahara.