A Hedonist´s guide to … is designed to appeal to a more urbane and stylish traveller. The kind of traveller who is interested in gormet food, elegant hotels and seriously chic bars – the traveller who feels the need to explore, shop and pamper themselves away from the madding crowd.
The first time I saw this book was in Madrid´s FNAC bookstore and its very distinctive black cover with a orange band running around it automatically attracted my attention. The quality pages and their images don´t disappoint when you open it, either. This book is designed to appeal to those looking for something special in Madrid – the best food, drink, place to stay or entertainment.
A Hedonist´s Guide to Madrid is quite neatly split into the following sections: sleep, eat, drink, snack, party, culture, shop and play, though the main sections are the first four. The book also has four small maps of the main ares of Madrid: Chueca/Malasaña, Centro, La Latina and Salamanca which all have numbers which relate to places that are reviewed. The "sleep" section, along with the "eat" section, have useful ratings of the establishments critiqued and both sections offer Beverley Fearis´s (the author) top 10 and top 5 ratings, along the lines of style, location, service, quality of food, etc.
Though the hotel section may be out of quite a few people´s reach, the eat, drink and snack sections offer something for everyone – even though for some it may be a holiday "treat". Many of the well-known tourist destinations can be found in the guide – Casa Labra, Café Comercial and Café Gijón – but some other interesting places also appear like El Estragon Vegetariano, Isla del Tesoro and the Ducados Café .
Though the guide does include details of cultural places to visit – the Royal Palace and the Prado, for example – you would be advised to buy a more detailed tourist guide to search out Madrid´s many rincones (corners). However, I would definitely recommend taking this book on your trip to Madrid – Beverley Fearis has really done a fine job in researching Madrid´s ‘other cultural’ centres.
My Madrid: Beverley Fearis