Madrid in 48 Hours
I absolutely love exploring a new city. There is something so magical about wondering around without needing to be anywhere or do anything other than to just look around and take it all in. Naturally, for me a city break also provides an opportunity to check out the food scene, and so we often manage to plan the day around our stomachs. I received so many recommendations that helped me to navigate my way around Madrid that I thought it was only fair to pass them on and include a few more of my own!
Grab Breakfast at Fit Food
This place is pretty dreamy. With floor to ceiling shelves of all my favourite health food products and a wall of green plants, I knew I was going to be happy the moment I stepped through the door. With a menu of acai bowls, smoothies and toasts, and a fridge full of cold-press juices, salads and other ready-to-go pots, this place is perfect for taking away or sitting in with a friend. The coffee menu includes traditional coffees made with vegan milks by Rude Health but also offers colourful coffee-free lattes too.
The avocado toast was simple but so delicious. Like one of the best. And the acai bowls are a total dream. I tried the peanut butter bowl and Will went for the Peanut butter smoothie, both of which we loved. Their homemade granola is delicious and the staff are so friendly that the whole experience was worth recommending.
We returned on our way to the airport on Sunday to grab something to take away. There was one girl working by herself so service was a little slow so we grabbed a salad to go. As it happens, it was totally delicious and I was pleased to have tried something else (I had been dreaming of another Acai bowl since Friday). My only concern was the plastic packaging required for the take away…I’m trying my best to reduce that at the moment but I didn’t want to miss my flight!
Here's where to find them - you have to go!!
Wander Around San Miguel Market
This place reminded me of borough market with lots of food and drink stalls. It’s not particularly ‘healthy’ but there’s lots of seafood and wine bars to sit at and take in the atmosphere. Its not too big and you can poke your head in before getting a local lunch at one of the restaurants on the square if you prefer not to be quite in the middle of it all.
Visit the Reina Sofia Gallery
Of course, no trip to Madrid is complete without going to see the biggest collection of Picasso works at the Reina Sofia. It wasn't just an opportunity to see lots of his work but also to understand the history and story behind one of his greatest pieces - Guernica. Leave yourself lots of time for this as you could while away hours getting wrapped up in it all.
Stop for Lunch at Rayen Vegano
This cosy spot offers a limited but delicious 3-course vegan lunch menu. Reasonably priced and so obviously a labour of love, the hustle and bustle of the small and crowded restaurant creates a friendly and energetic atmosphere. Everything is home made and delicious and while it was tricky to make the food look as good as it tasted when on camera due to the lighting and limitations of space, don't let that put you off. We loved every single bite! If you want o
Enjoy the sunshine in El Retiro
This lovely park is the perfect place to take a walk, go for a run or just sit with a book in the sunshine. We didn’t have time for a picnic but walked through and enjoyed the green space. Its fairly manicured but a beautiful and peaceful moment away from the city.
Take in the View at Circula de Bellas Artes
This was a recommendation that lots of people passed on but we actually kind of failed… we had planned to go for an afternoon drink but we spent longer than planned wandering around and arrived to a huge queue. We would have missed the sunset and so we decided to pass up on this one and save it for next time but if the queue is anything to go by, its definitely one to include!
Relax with a Massage at Villa Magna
I left London with a niggle in my back so we booked in for a massage at Club Wellness Villa Magna - we tried their signature deep tissue massage. Nestled under the beautiful luxury hotel is this quiet and peaceful spa. We were so well looked after and felt totally relaxed and rejuvenated thanks to their wonderful work.
Eat and Drink at BumpGreen
For delicious food with veggie and vegan options, head to Bump Green. Food is served morning, noon and night so if you are looking for breakfast, or something later in the day, coffee, cake or a bottle of biodynamic wine, this is your spot. We had the most wonderfully presented vegan dishes from kale salad to pizza and it was such a wonderful way to round of the culinary delights of our trip. The decor is awesome and if you are lucky you can grab the spot in the window for people watching/pretending to be mannequins!
For those of you asking where we stayed, we were at the Hotel Artiem Madrid. We left things a little last minute (I had arrived in Madrid by the time I actually confirmed my booking!) and so we were a little out of the centre of town. I was a little bit nervous about that, as I like to be able to walk around a city and get back to my room easily but it actually worked perfectly. The hotel was really well suited for anyone who likes to stay active while they are away and there was even a free bar and snack fridge 24/7! We were really well looked after and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a quiet spot with easy access to the city via a short bus or metro ride.