Cannot believe it’s nearly a month since I got back from 2 epic days in Madrid with and courtesy of my amazing boyfriend for my 29th Birthday!
Of course, the best place to see live pics etc is on my Instagram but I thought I’d share it with you in an un-sponsored travel review.
I had previously never been to Madrid, which is quite strange as it’s honestly such a great city and so close to home. I was delighted to spend just two hours flying compared to double that, going to and from Gran Canaria. Luckily for us, my BF and I are revisiting Season 1 & 2 of Game Of Thrones which kept us fully occupied during both flights.
Madrid can best be described, in comparison to other popular European cities as . Conde Nast Traveller even recently went as far as to say that Madrid is Spain’s heartbeat & the Kingdom of Spain’s ‘good-time city, where Michelin-starred restaurants are on the rise.’
And they are totally right! Plus I just love that description so I had to add my own, truthful, no holds barred spin on these colourful descriptions, and here it is, my review of Madrid in June!
My goal of this trip, was to enjoy the special treat and occasion, which was quite the surprise and to also allow myself to be free and to enjoy a city I had never visited before and to purposely not judge it too quickly, which has become a habit of mine when I visit other European cities like Madrid.
I loved how free I felt to walk down streets with pastel coloured, leaning buildings with waiters serving their customers all day, everyday outside they shop fronts practically on the curb of many streets.
For once, I felt able to feel absolutely comfortable in my skin and walk with my head high, free of makeup, without any rush to plaster it on. And boy did I get a tan… almost instantly too!
If I was able to spend another two days in Madrid or if you are looking for a good Travel Guide on how to spend 48hours in Madrid, I would definitely follow this one. I’ve looked around and there aren’t many good ones online, so I hope you like this one!
48 Hour Madrid Travel Guide
@theomotive chose the BEST hotel for our #Madrid escape! #TheMint #mojito is deliciously refreshing in this baking heat! ☀️🍏☀️🍏🍹☀️ #Rooftop sunning right now! ☀️ I’m giving you all a tour on my #Snapchat 👻 : ChloePierreLDN #Travel #Lifestyle #travelblogger #thatsdarling #luxury #luxurytravel #holidaydiary #CPtakes12trips #granviamadrid #travelgram
A photo posted by Chloe Pierre LDN (@chloepierre_ldn) on
Ultimately, if you begin looking for a fabulous hotel in Madrid, you are likely to find many boasting these kinds of credentials, and many who do the very same however they simply cannot live up to their peers.
I on the lucky hand, had a smart Boyfriend book every part of this holiday which also meant, he chose the hotel and I am very proud of his efforts this time. Using Secret Escapes for the second time (this year alone) Theo booked us in for 2 night at one of Madrid’s most coolest hotels…ever!
Vincci The Mint Hotel is one of the most exciting, design/ concept hotels I have ever had the pleasure of dining in. The luxury hotel group, is known for it’s vibrant, young, modern and cool edge including the unforgettable feature of checking in to the hotel whilst ordering a drink at the bar.
The stunningly green exterior is quite magical and almost instantly lifts you when you walk through it’s main doors from the bustling high street, Gran Via. The rooms too, are gorgeous, as is the golden bathroom, the staff are actually delightfully cool (without overdoing it) and the other guests felt pretty much non-existent, even up on the popular rooftop terrace.
What the Vincci The Mint lacks in standard features, i.e. large buffet type, common eating areas and missing pools (yes this was quite unfortunate considering how hot it was!) it makes up in personality and close proximity to just about everything you need for a first timers trip to Madrid. I just hope my images do the hotel group justice.
If you are after any tips, do not rely on The Mint basic breakfast offering to carry you through to lunch. It is small and you will be more satisfied with one of the Hotel’s premium breakfast offers, which cost considerably more. Shame, but true!
A photo posted by Chloe Pierre LDN (@chloepierre_ldn) on
This part of the review, may be the one part I don’t live up to, which is crazy considering how amazing we all believe Spanish food to be. However after a few trials and errors on day one, we felt it best to sample as much as we could from Madrid’s food haven, Mercado de San Miguel, one of Madrid’s oldest and most beautiful markets.
This beautiful place, was at times, free from pigeons (one of
my life’s biggest fears and one of the best places to sample real Spanish delicacies without the burden of doing so, and embarrassing yourself or the
waiting staff in a restaurant.
This sanctuary had literally everything you
could have asked for an more! My top favourites are the Burrata stands which have
the most tastiest, creamiest & even fluffy textured Burrata dishes I have ever tried before and also the Steak suppliers which can be found beside the Paella stand. I have literally never seen a steak
so huge in my life.
Steer clear of the Calamari rolls unless you have this at
the start of the market’s opening hours otherwise you will undoubtedly be
disappointed. Great concept, crap execution! Rubbery squid is never a good sign.
After reading a few reviews online (wont name any publications) we thought we’d try Tapas at one of Madrid’s most famous, celebrity haunt x Tapas Restaurant, Casa Lucio but immediately on entering the ‘establishment’ we could tell we were not welcomed.
We were told to wait 40mins however there were plenty of available seats. Served drinks out of glasses washed in Ice Buckets and ice water, then made to wait 20mins before an order was even taken! As I said the restaurant was not heaving plus both staff and diners seemed quite rude, borderline racist. Not a friendly nor premium experience at all to the point, Theo was almost to the point of tears due to how badly we were treated. I would recommend you try other Tapas bars around the city for a more enjoyable experience and reflection on the cultured city.
I found Medcado which was just next door to our hotel, to be a lively spot, with great food and decent prices at all times and a young crowd, mainly couples/ friends who were happy to drink and chat respectively until the late hours of the night.
Unfortunately, nothing we found, stays open later than 2am in Madrid, which culturally is quite a shame.
While in Madrid, Theo took on my hopes and wishes for a really laid back, chilled and romantic trip, just the two of us, so taking in the natural beauty Madrid has to offer, one is simply stuck for choice.
At the start of our long ass walk, on day 2 of this fantastic trip, we went to view Madrid’ exceptionally large and cultivated Madrid Botanical Gardens which used to be Royal owned. It was fascinating and truly peaceful, except when I often did the typical Summer ‘Bee Dance’.
We also loved visiting the Buen Retiro Park, where not only can you jump on a boat for the afternoon, but the park also has free exhibitions including the sensitive photography exhibition based on the Immigration of today.
What I loved most was the stunning Palace de Cristal in Madrid. A dome like centre piece in the middle of the park, made entirely from glass which also doubles up as a gallery space. Although beautiful, this structure was just to unbearable in the heat due to the glass reflectors, however it is definitely one visit you must make if you ever find yourself in Madrid, for whatever reason.
As one would expect from any European city like Madrid, shopping is going to be good but also, you will be bored with seeing the same high-street stores as you see back in England and sometimes, America too!
What I enjoyed most was discovering lesser known designers like the Footwear brand Gios Eppo, Plus Size Brand Punt Roma, and this stunning Umbrella & Fan shop , Casa De Diego which I thought looked beautiful and so very traditional. I didn’t enquire about prices as I was simply viewing but if you’d like to collect a keepsake from this trip, would be a good shout!
Another tip for you would be to take in an Opera whilst in Madrid. One central Opera house even includes a sparkling drink dinner with every ticket on a Sunday. I could say where, but that just makes the adventure that bit more exciting!
Did you enjoy this review? Want to book a trip to Madrid? Let me know below.