Even if you didn’t know you were in the gay quarter of Chueca, a quick look around your surroundings in Acuarela, one of the eccentric cafes in Madrid, would be enough to give it away. Customers at Cafe Acuarela are watched over by a benevolent looking angel perched in the large semi-circular window, whose impressive wings are matched by an equally impressive package. The rest of the decoration is equally kitsch, with weathered furniture and ancient photos adorning the walls.
A mature crowd comes here to enjoy a tipple or a tea, as the hectic day-to-day life of Chueca plays itself out on the street. The service can be a little snippy – especially if you dare to request a seat on the ‘reserved’ sofa – and the soundtrack of tinny house can be annoying, but it’s still a Chueca classic and a great place to warm up an evening.