Rosie had booked us onto a Sandemans walking tour which is a great concept in that you pay how much you think the tour is worth at the end of the walk. We had a wonderful guy called Sebastian and met him in Plaza Mayor to begin our 3 hour journey.
We got to see many of the key sights in central Madrid including Sobrino de Botín which is the oldest restaurant still running in the world, founded in 1725.
We also visited the Santa María la Real de La Almudena which it’s constructing began in 1879 and it wasn’t officially finished until 1993!
Just a short walk away is the extravagant Royal Palace which doesn’t actually hold any of the royal family today but is used for state ceremonies. It was on the steps here that our guide talked us through, in a very entertaining fashion, the history of the Spanish kings and the rather incestuous manner that the sons were born.
We were also given glimpses into the rather more alternative areas of Madrid such as the convent where to this day the nuns make gorgeous cookies which anyone can pop inside the rather secret door and purchase. We did head over there but then get rather hassled by a local beggar so decided to move on fairly quickly.
After our very long walk in the strong afternoon sunshine it was tapas and beer time as we casually made our way back to the flat.
There was only one place for it San Miguel market which had all the tapas you could dream of and more.
We found our spot in the centre and then took it in turns to bring back treats for the rest of the group, of course mine was a huge cheese platter – heavenly.
We popped home for a shower and change then it was out for late dinner and drinks to toast our last evening. We stopped off at the ME hotel which had been shining down on us as we walked past and the building looked spectacular.
As you tend to get with these ‘trendier’ hotels the woman on the door downstairs was rather frosty as we made our way up but the view and bubbly at the top was worth it.
We popped back down to the square and settled into a wonderful restaurant, Lateral Santa Ana that had a glorious menu and such amazing prices so we started ordering, and yet again was told hold off too much!
Unfortunately after a lovely relaxed meal we stood up and one of our bags had been stolen, no idea how it happened as we all had the bags close to hand and you would have thought someone would have seen it happen. But alas the b**tards ran off with it and we were left on a bit of a downer on our last night. After a slight detour to our Airbnb host’s flat to get spare keys (she was ever so nice about it) we ended our last night in Madrid.
It was a fantastic weekend in a wonderful city, great food, reasonably priced and even better company. Here’s to many more long weekends with the girls.