Travel journalist Beverley Fearis couldn’t resist
when she was asked to research and write A Hedonists Guide to Madrid
for a new series of guides. She spent two months living in the city,
getting to know its every corner by personally checking out all of its
best bars, cafes, restaurants, hotels and attractions. She returned to
her home in Brighton exhausted but a huge fan of the city, to continue
with her freelance travel writing. She writes travel features for
various publications, including the Guardian, Observer, Telegraph,
Evening Standard, Trip magazine and Business Traveller.
Favourite bar/café? I’m going to have to cheat here
and mention two – El Perro (Calle Puebla 14, Malasana) on a Thursday
night for its upbeat party crowd, and Delic (Costanilla de San Andres
14) for a hot chocolate and a slice of cake on a Saturday afternoon.
Favourite dish(es)? Definitely the tapas dish,
pimientos de padron (salted roasted peppers) which are totally
addictive, although the last one always seems to be a red hot firey one
that brings tears to my eyes. The best place for them is Taberna
Maceira (calle Jesus 7 and Huertas 66).
Favourite tapas? As above.
Favourite restaurant? I checked out lots of fancy
restaurants for the guide, but I have to say my favourite was the great
value La Musa (Manuela Malasana 18 and also Costanilla de San Andres,
La Latina). You might have to wait for a table but it’s worth it. Go
for the taster dish to share – fried green tomatoes with goat’s cheese,
hot, creamy croquette potatoes with sour cream and guacamole.
Favourite shop? I hate to admit it, but I spent most
of my spare cash in Zara. There’s nothing like buying something knowing
that you’re getting it cheaper than your mates back home!
Best time of year? I hit the end of August and found
it unbearably hot All the madrilenos were comfortably wearing jackets
and shoes and I was struggling in T shirts and Birkenstocks. I much
preferred it in late September when it cooled down considerably.
Favourite Barrio? Probably La Latina, or Chueca, or maybe Malasana? To be honest with you, they all have their own charm.
Favourite building? The post office is pretty incredible – particularly when you realised it is just the post office.
Favourite day trip? I didn’t have time for any day trips – I was busy finding new places.
A perfect ‘night out’ in Madrid would … start in La
Latina, wandering from bar to bar trying the tapas and the wines, and
then heading to Seville for a few cocktails at Suite or Del Diegos,
then ending up at El Perro (or Pacha if you’re feeling like a more glam
Favourite walk? Definitely through the Retiro on a Sunday afternoon, checking out all the families in their Sunday best.