Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Madrid

Celso y Manolo
A contemporary tapas joint in Madrid’s Justicia area, Celso y Manolo has a neighbourhood vibe and a prodigious selection of delicious, creative dishes.
Mas Gourmets
The Madrid outpost of Mas Gourmets can be found in the historic Mercado de San Miguel, offering delicious hams, sausages, and other gourmet treats.
OTTO Madrid
At once a lounge, terrace, bar and restaurant, OTTO Madrid is a chic place to refuel in the Spanish capital’s fashionable Salamanca district.
La Tasquita de Enfrente
Chef Juanjo López’s La Tasquita de Enfrente is a popular restaurant in the Malasaña district offering contemporary Spanish cuisine.
URSO Hotel & Spa
Luxurious boutique hotel URSO Hotel & Spa offers a decadent urban spa, a creative dining concept and elegant guestrooms in central Madrid.
Olsen
Tempo
If you're looking for an alternative to the glamorous club scene, Tempo is a great place for a dance - or a quieter drink in the café upstairs.
El Tempranillo
A favourite of the locals as well as the odd celeb, keep an eye out for the reaction of your fellow customers to work out whether a star has just walked in. A very Spanish, rustic interior.
Thai Gardens
This is as authentic a Thai as you'll get in Madrid, and it has both its lush garden and the excellent service to commend it.
Casa de Madrid
One of a kind hotel with regards to location and decoration, styled by the Spanish aristocratic owner. A tad gloomy at times, but guests are made welcome and it is a fabulous location from which to explore the city.
Laydown
Hake steaks marinated in lime juice or succulent ribbon fish go down perfectly between sips of an amazing list of stimulating cocktails. Look out for troupes of belly dancers who come out on certain Las Mil y Una Noches theme nights.
Husa Serrano Royal
This modern hotel is high tech yet homely, and popular with high flying business travellers. A lavish buffet breakfast is served in a lounge area with high-speed wireless connectivity.
Costello
Aside from specialising in an impressive array of live music of all genres, there are even nights of stand-up comedy and short-film seasons. A hip bar for any night of the week.
Kapital
If size was the only criterion, then Kapital would win Madrid's club wars. Quantity is not quite matched by quality, but despite being commercial, it's enormous fun.
Finos y Finas
The food at Finos y Finas is delicious and fabulously presented, though the décor is a little too clinical. Frequented by people in the know.
Cafe de Oriente
This traditionally elegant terrace cafe can be found in one of the premier locations of the city; the beautiful gardens of the Palacio Real and leafy Plaza de Oriente provide charming views for those enjoying a coffee and watching the world go by...
Marula
Cramming an enormous amount of fun into one of the smallest possible places, Marula hums with funk and soul, and everyone gets their groove on...
La Isla del Tesoro
Vegetarian house specials such as boletus mushroom raviolis or mojito sorbet are not to be missed. An amole wine list includes many organic labels and some surprising gems, such as a 2000 Barranc dels Closos from Priorat.
La Mordida
Stuffed with trinkets harking to Mexico at La Mordida, the chef's collection of street fighting masks sit proudly on display along the downstairs stairwell. Traditional cocktails are prepared by expert waitresses and food is very reasonably priced.
Stars Dance Cafe
If you're out to have a good time, Stars is a safe bet; a café, restaurant and hang-out zone during the day and a great party venue by night, it is all things to all men.
El Estragon
Bienvenido Alarcón is head chef at El Estragon Vegetariano (Vegetarian Tarragon), where paella is cooked to perfection without meat or fish, using white couscous or basmati, organic or integral rice.
Lhardy
Super luxurious piece of old-school elegance. On the ground floor and bar area, traditional tapas are served, and the second floor houses an elegant dining room with chandeliers, mirrored walls, antique display cases and 17th century oil paintings.
Cacao Sampaka
This shrine to all things crumbly and meltable is simply irresistible for chocoholics - but if you're worried about the sugar shakes, there's also a menu of salads, sandwiches and soups too.
Cafe Acuarela
The decoration may be kitsch, but this is Chueca after all... A mature crowd comes here to enjoy a tipple or a tea, and it's a great place to warm up an evening.
El Parnasillo
Take a red velvet banquette, order from the well-trained staff and see if you can take part in some of the highbrow conversation that made this café so famous during the cultural revolution.
Areia
Areia, dubbed a 'colonial chill out bar', may well be a little too cool for its own good, but the atmosphere is chilled and the selection of cocktails, teas and cakes more than adequate...
Delic
Delic is the epitome of the La Latina vibe; it's also so oversubscribed on Sunday afternoons that a one-in, one-out policy is regularly employed. Patrons are impressively diverse.
Cluny
Just off the thronging Plaza Santa Ana, this understated tasca has put the spice in Spanish cuisine. Sample the edible flowers salad with mushrooms and vanilla dressing or the succulent and tasty Basque Kokotxas (hake steaks).
Dilola
Best visited during the evening when it's less crowded, Dilola provides the ideal romantic setting for a no-fuss dinner date or intimate group dinner. The nouvelle Italian cuisine includes olive oil and green pepper flavoured sorbet.
Belvedere Lounge
Specialising in an impressive array of vodkas, the team behind Ølsen have created one of the coolest bars in the city - the perfect place to take advantage of the ample seating and admire all the pretty people...
Madrilia
Madrilia provides high-quality Italian cuisine suitable for either a light lunch or a romantic dinner. Any of the pasta from the mains are recommended, with the chef particularly noted for the magret duck tagliatelle with vegetables.
Bike Spain Tours
Offering tours complete with experienced guides, additional sag van support, detailed maps and documentation as well as top-of-the-line bikes. Bike Spain also offers independent, self guided tours and the choice of road cycling or city tours.
La Solea
There's little separation between audience and musicians at this fantastic late night flamenco bar; the guitarist accompanies amateur enthusiasts along with the professionals.
Lateral
Don't think that Lateral's location right next to the super-cool Mercado de Fuencarral shopping mall means it isn't worthy of its success: on the contrary, this tapas bar, which is one of four, is well worth the visit.
Ottocento
Ottocento is yet more proof of Checua's rise as the epicentre of all things cool in the city. Expect Italian-Argentine fusion on the menu, but some very questionable cheesy Italian-themed music as a backdrop to your meal.
Getafe CF
Coached by Jose Miguel Gonzalez Marti del Campo (but everyone calls him Michel - its easier), this club finds its home in one of the southern suburbs of the city. Since 2004-5, Getafe have played in the Primera Division.
Mui Bar
Traditional Spanish dishes with a modern twist, this New York speakeasy inspired bar is reinventing the Madrid tapas experience. 
Cafe la Palma
A great alternative to Madrid's Cavalli-clad, see-and-be-seen clubs, Cafe La Palma is all about fun. Come for great music with plenty of variety.
Hotel Wellington
Only 5 minutes walk from the Retiro and the upscale shops on Calle Goya, the Wellington is one of Madrid's finest and has the added luxury of having a large outdoor pool with patio garden and a spanking new beauty Spa opened in 2006.
Anticafe
Despite the name of the place, don't worry: coffee is served at Anticafé, as are a selection of cocktails. The café doubles as a showroom for the owners' fashion designs, as well as offering a pool table in the basement.

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