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.
The Principal Madrid
With a rooftop terrace complete with swaying olive trees and luxurious interiors, The Principal Madrid is a luxurious hotel on Madrid’s Gran Via.
La Tasquita de Enfrente
Chef Juanjo López’s La Tasquita de Enfrente is a popular restaurant in the Malasaña district offering contemporary Spanish cuisine.
Le Cabrera Cocktail & Gastrobar
Le Cabrera Cocktail & Gastrobar is a sleek and trendy joint in Madrid specialising in cocktails and tapas, with an extensive selection of spirits on offer.
The Roof at Me
Panoramic vistas around urban Madrid and an elite and trendy crowd make this an ideal hang-out for an hedonist.
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.
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.
Hakkasan
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...
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Negro de Anglona
A labyrinthine venue with a fascinating history; the tunnel which houses Negro de Anglona was once a passage for adulterous royalty to move around the city undetected. After a delectable glass in the Moët bar, enjoy Italian cuisine downstairs.
Cafe de Chinitas
One of the best clubs in Madrid, Cafe de Chinitas is popular with locals and tourists. Come to dine before the show or join the locals for a drink after the performance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Teatriz
Designed by Philippe Starck, both the restaurant and its toilets are a feat in design. The bar is popular for pre- and post-dinner drinks and the food (Italian/Mediterranean) is surprisingly good value for the location.
Palacio Gaviria
Baroque grandeur is not normally a design ethos associated with clubs, but that makes a night at Palacio Gaviria all the more interesting. Come on Wednesdays for tango night or weekends for more mainstream music.
Larios Cafe
Cuban restaurant, bar, club and lounge rolled into one, with ultrachic, New-York style furnishings, Larios Cafe is a great place to sip a mojito any time of the day.
Cafe de los Austrias
Enjoy the simple charm of this establishment close to the Teatro Real and the royal palace. A full menu is on offer, but you're better off coming for a snack or to try one of the 48 teas or 32 hot chocolates.
Demode
Formerly a bar de putas (a hooker bar to you and me), Demode has been transformed into an electronica club that has become popular as the first venue of the night.
Oui
Oui, with its original set-up, dark and atmospheric vibe and experienced management, is well worth a look.
Viva La Vida
All is calm and zen at this yin-yang inspired restaurant with both a sunny outdoor terrace and an indoor patio garden, where house specials include a rich-flavoured gula fish salad.
Ojala
Ojala is all about fun: those who eat downstairs will find themselves perched on cushions in a large sandpit. The waiters are hunky, customers write in chalk on the bathroom walls and everyone tucks into tasty tapas to a clubby soundtrack.
Bar Museo Los Gabrieles
Despite a soundtrack that is slightly incongruous with the décor, which harks back to its famous flamenco past, this bar caters for all. You can even still catch a flamenco show some nights of the week...
El Chaflan
Most famous for its cheese board, this restaurant's nondescript location belies its excellence. A large, double-glazed window allows diners to see exactly what goes on in the kitchen - fascinating, albeit distractingly so.
Do Design
A destination for art, design, fashion, and more, Do Design's ever-shifting inventory and exhibitions ensure visitors will see something new every time.
El Clandestino
Regular jam sessions on the bottom floor alternate with smooth jazz, home grown pop, house and ambient music. The vaulted brick dance floor rarely has space to actually dance - but the beautiful crowd ensures you don't mind packing in like a sardine.
Bicimania
Providing carefully and creatively planned itineraries, Bicimania's specialist cycle guides get you right to the beauty of rural Spain.

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