Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Madrid

Don Pelayo
Both the décor and the dishes on the menu deceptively make this restaurant appear run-of-the-mill. But Don Pelayo's secret is the twist it gives to Spanish classics: potato croquettes combined with cocido broth, for example.
Lamiak
One of La Latina's most popular hangouts, Lamiak offers the chance to see the neighbourhood at its best, with a constant stream of afternoon drinkers coming and going.
Jellyfish
In an area already buzzing with fashion-friendly bars and restaurants, it takes something special to make its mark on the Chueca scene. With quirky decor, a sound menu and great weekend party, Jellyfish Cafe has certainly succeeded.
Room Mate Mario
Mario Room Mate is part of a new concept hotel chain in which the hotel takes on a personality of its own, mimicking a friend you might stay with. Mario is 'a music composer and loves cinema'...
Viva Madrid
Open both during the day and at night, it's worth arriving at this beautifully decorated bar early in order to secure a table from which to admire its tiled décor, romantic prints and vaulted ceiling.
Cafe del Circulo de Bellas Artes
After paying €1 to enter the cultural centre, Circulo de Belas Artes, take a window seat at this stylish café belonging to Madrid's premier exhibition space and staffed by a small army of expert waiters.
La Otra Habana
Unadulterated mojitos and a raft of expertly shaken cocktails await those who choose to move to the Cuban beat. Don't expect to find a lot of space for your dance moves, but do expect a friendly, unpretentious crowd.
El Rastro
Enjoy Madrid's vibrant fleamarket on a Sunday morning in the La Latina sector of the city. Thousands of people search for bargains, while plenty of cafés line the route...
Nilo
The decor is fun (think animal prints kitsch chandeliers and bowls of champagne) and the Spanish/Mediterranean menu is surprisingly good value; go here to avoid the stuffy atmosphere of some of the more business-dominated establishments.
Cool
Cool is one of the most fashionable places to be seen in Madrid's hedonistic night scene, but check the night before you go, as the theme nights may not be for everyone.
La Bardemcilla
This quaint tapas bar is plastered with photos of the film family who run it: the Bardems, of Javier Bardem and Ma Bardem fame.
Parque del Buen Retiro
This stunning open park retains an elegance brought by its former role as part of the palacial grounds. Now open to the public, families, couples and friends enjoy the tree-lined avenues and fantastic people-watching opportunities. Walk of a large
Luna Mulata
A sophisticated, multi-use space. Head chef Inés Montiel has gone for fresh and imaginative creations, such as pineapple shrimp rolls or duck magret with mango.
Etro
A little bit of retro and sprinkle of sparkle goes a long way at this clothing store.
Barbour
Hotel Abalu
If sexy retreat is what you're after, then Hotel Abalu is for you, with its secluded and decorated furniture and accessories from around the world. Although some streets in the local area can be 'dodgy', the high tech suites are worth a peek...
La Piazzetta
La Piazetta and La Dolce Piazetta are two new top-notch Italian eateries situated amidst the perennial buzz of the Plaza Chueca. One is a smart restaurant; the other caters to the sweet tooth.
Bristol Bar
For those seeking sports fixtures or a bit of expat bonding, Bristol Bar is a good alternative to its grimier Irish pub counterparts. There's a restaurant serving British and American dishes, and even a plentiful selection of gins - fancy that!
Calle Jose Ortega Y Gasset
The streets are paved with gold around these parts. Here, Calvin Klein, Escada and Armani compete with Hermes and Louis Vuitton.
Indiana Parque
About an hour away from Madrid in San Martin de Valdeiglesias this natural recreation park offers a wealth of activities including horseriding, abseiling, archery and much more.
Kikuyu
This chic contemporary restaurant located on the edge of the Chueca uses atmospheric candles, good background music and a delightful small, private garden to woo its fashionable clients. Make sure to book at weekends.
La Fontana de Oro
A large bar on the ground floor offers a wide variety of Irish beers and liquors as well as a limited tapas menu, while live bands perform most weekends to an often raucous crowd.
Korgui
A lovely lunch spot by day; in the evening, the cocktail bar comes into its own. Outside on a private terrace with chic black awnings and chRome metal chairs, they serve medium-sized pincho dishes, fusing Mediterranean, Mexican and Japanese tapas.
Toma
Owned by an American, its brunch is especially popular and thus oversubscribed. However, Toma would also be perfect for a romantic dinner for two, given its low lighting and magnificent view of the Conde Duque cultural centre.
Calmera
Just off the Paseo del Prado, this bike shop has been in operation since 1942.
Piscinas Casa de Campo
The large urban park of Casa De Campo has long been a recreational retreat for the people of Madrid, with the open-air and indoor swimming pools proving immensely popular.
El Bonanno
If you don't know anyone to start with, you soon will in this cheery bar frequented by the young and trendy...
Real Madrid
Real Madrid is the most successful football club of the twentieth century, and a trip to one of their games ensures a chance to watch some of the world's finest footballers.
Bar Cock
This long-established cocktail bar has an atmosphere of professional drinking, and is a Madrid institution.
Iroco
There's nothing particularly marking out this restaurant from the rest; nonetheless, it has become the place to be seen, and is therefore popular.
02 Wellness Centre
Aligning health, aesthetic, water and exercise needs exclusively for women. With the emphasis, unsurprisingly, on 'wellness'.
Calle Jorge Juan
A haven for hedonistic label-lovers, Calle Jorge Juan has high-end fashion all wrapped up.
Cafe Jazz Populart
Jazz aficionardos should look no further than Cafe Jazz Populart. A perennial favourite, this small, intimate bar provides an exceptional mix of atmosphere and live music.
Mercado de la Reina
The fact that Mercado de la Reina has managed to grab a spot on Gran Vià alongside global brands is testament to its top-notch tapas. Don't miss the Gin Club at the back.
Casa Patas
Small, intimate and intense, this is flamenco up close and personal. One of the most popular flamenco clubs in town, dine at the club and then head over to its sister bar afterwards.
Champagneria Gala
Set on a narrow and quiet alley near Plaza del Sol, the bright dining room is lined with white-washed trellises, giving the illusion that you're dining on an outside patio of a Spanish villa on a sunny day.
Moma56
One of Madrid's most popular (and sexy) clubs, Moma's slightly out-of-centre location ensures it is full of smart locals and only the most clued-up tourists.
Stop Madrid
Always bustling, Stop Madrid nestles at the base of C. de Hortaleza, near C. de Fuencarral - Chueca and Malasana's main shopping streets - making it the perfect pit-stop for a quick bite. Warning: its decoration is pitched at the carnivores among us.
Hotel Urban
This über-modern hotel is particularly popular with those who appreciate art as it houses an amazing private collection generously spread around deluxe rooms and corridors, adding a spiritual element to the overnight experience.
Tryp Ambassador
This elegant hotel is located in the historical city centre of Madrid, close to the Royal Palace, Teatro de la Opera theater, the courts and the Gran Vía.

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