Madrid is a city with wide boulevards and elderly gentlemen sitting in street cafes smoking cigars; Miro sculptures; food; art and more shopping than your suitcase could possibly have room for and is more than capable to satisfy the needs of the modern day gentleman. Listed in Monocle Magazine’s top 10 “Most Livable City” poll of 2011, ahead of Spain’s more attention grabbing city Barcelona, Madrid is home to some of the world’s most enviable galleries and museums. It is not just the history, the culture or indeed the nightlife of Madrid that make it in the top 10, it is the people who make Madrid a very special place, giving directions and advice wherever needed. George recently went aboard to discover the many delights that Madrid has to offer and gives you a rundown of the best places to eat and shop.



Madrid is definitely the food capital of Spain catering to every taste and budget. One could sit on a Philippe Starck “Louis Ghost” chair while dining at one of Madrid’s molecular gastronomic restaurants or elbowing their way through a bussling tapas bar to order Jamón ibérico, croquettes and rioja. But that is the beauty of Madrid on one hand you can be taken on a journey of flavors you never thought possible, while on the other you could experience gourmet delights of Spanish tapas at an embarrassingly cheap 40 Euros for the whole bill (Thank you Australian dollar).

El Bocaito
Located in Cheuca, El Bocaito is excellent for a more traditional Spanish experience. We recommend the, small green peppers fried in salt also known as pimientos de pardon or the pescaito frito (deep fried whitebait).

Estado Puro
For a more modern experience we recommend Estado Puro located below the NH Hotel. It has a lovely quirky fitout with food to match. Try the “chorizo” sandwich which is made with spiced pork fat and crisp flatbread, or the tempura asparagus with romesco sauce served in a white china container that looks like a paper bag.

If you don’t mind waiting and being surrounded by Madrid’s cool kids this is one to check out! We headed down at around 10:30 and had to wait for a good half an hour or so before we could be seated but it was worth it! Try the Garlic bread with olive oil, tomato puree and Spanish ham and the rolled salmon stuffed with boiled ham, cheese and apple preserve


If you can still move after eating yourself to death at one of Spain’s many tapas restaurants we recommend some good old fashioned shopping, and if money is not an option we recommend the glamorous neighborhood of Salamanca. Salamanca’s streets are dotted with boutiques of every luxury brand, however if you are looking for something a bit more localized and for the sartorially inclined gentleman we recommend the following.

Man 1924
Started by Carlos Castillo Man 1924 has sought to provide the modern day gentleman with luxurious garments that are based history and tradition. The Man 1924 range includes everything a man could want for his wardrobe including staples (only needed in Europe) like a smoking cardigans and foulards (a scarf or neckerchief).

Just around the corner from Man 1924 is Gallery with a carefully edited range of clothing, accessories and designer wares. One brand that Gallery stocked that we were particularly excited about was Thom Browne’s collaboration with the iconic French brand Moncler. The Moncler Gamme Bleu range fuses Browne’s signature tailoring with the sportswear/ outerwear aesthetic of the brand that was established in 1952, think tartan puffer blazers at around 1085 Euro range.

If Prada, Louis and Ferragamo aren’t your thing, we recommend heading west to the narrow streets of Cheuca. The rejuvenated barrio is a mecca for small designers and boutiques with eclectic mixes of product.  Try to time your visit with some early evening shopping teamed with dropping into of the many small bars and downing some locally produced cerveza along the way. Having said all of this, what we really recommend is this: Once you arrive to Madrid throw away your guide books and let your senses guide you and explore. The best times had when traveling are always serendipitous. And remember travelling is the best excuse to dress up, not dress down.

03 April 2012
Shirt Tales
The Journal Of Pugnacious George
Discoveries, Musings, Misadventures

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