Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Madrid

Cafe Vergara
Café Vergara's clientele is an odd mix of the artsy crowd and guidebook-clutching tourists; nonetheless, its theatre-inspired décor does not fail to charm - and nor do its cheesecakes.
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.
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.
AC Santo Mauro
A-list guests could be forgiven for barely venturing from the grounds of this classic palacette set in sumptuous gardens. Regal grandeur rules in the public spaces, giving way to cutting edge modernity in the bedrooms...
4 de Tapas
At 4 de Tapas, you can enjoy the selection of tostas, salad and stews either at the bar or in the modern and stylish restaurant at the back.
Malasana
Explore the winding streets of this alternative area bordering Chueca. Popular with a grunge and student set, expect funky record stores and boutique cafes.
Geografic Club
Geografic is a rare find in a Barrio lacking in decent bars; it is therefore packed, helped by the delicious tapas and, for later, chocolate brownies...
La Musa
The first of Madrid's restaurants to make bare, red-brick decor a vanguard fashion statement, replacing the wine tavern classics. Try the charcoal-flavoured partridge with crispy pig's ears.
Blunauta
Blunauta - specializes in both evening and casualwear for the urban country type.
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.
Calle Preciados and Calle Carmen
These pedestrianized streets offer high-street names at mid-prices. With a slew of independent stores, shoppers can also pick up souvenirs and handicrafts.
Oui
Oui, with its original set-up, dark and atmospheric vibe and experienced management, is well worth a look.
Pan de Lujo
Alberto Chicote provides top quality dining in Madrid's exclusive Salamanca district at a reasonable price.
Puro Placer
Triumphantly flouting the smoking ban, Puro Placer offers a specially ventilated humidor, from where you can choose a fat cigar to enjoy amongst the orange hues of this attractive bar.
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.
Gant
Gant - elegant flagship store in a beautiful building
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.
La Chantarella
Inventive combinations such as couscous with foie gras or a surprising egg dish cooked with Emmental cheese make this one of the city's favourite eateries.
19 Sushi Bar
Despite its location, Madrid abounds in excellent fish, and 19 Sushi Bar is no exception. In addition, this stylish restaurant is just minutes from the bustle of Gran Vìa...
Anglona
Get in there early to claim one of the plunging sofas and then sit back and enjoy a professionally prepared mojito...
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.
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...
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.
La Trucha
Trout is just one of the delicacies on offer at this fabulous, traditional restaurant. Pop in for dinner or to nibble on some authentic Andalusian tapas...
Dassa Bassa
This stylish, vaulted white-brick basement restaurant is popular with models, aspiring actors and general jet-setters.
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.
Bicimania
Providing carefully and creatively planned itineraries, Bicimania's specialist cycle guides get you right to the beauty of rural Spain.
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.
Chocolateria San Gines
Within easy distance of Centro's high-street retail jungle, this is a popular spot for tourists to take a snap because of its renowned Chocolate con Churros. In contrast, it is also an obligatory pit stop for locals in search of a post-clubbing fix.
Gabana 1800
Dressing to impress is an essential component of a night out at Gabana. Kick the night off with post-dinner drinks at Fortuny, then head here to dance the night away.
La Broche
A disciple of Ferran Adrià, Arola is one of Madrid's few chefs to elevate the restaurant business to the status of creative art. Two Michelin-starred La Broche will leave your senses heightened, particularly with its 10-dish taster menu.
Taberna del Alabardero
In an area that abounds with cafes, bars and tapas restaurants, there is something wonderfully simple about Taberna del Alabardero. Great tapas and charming staff make it an excellent lunchtime option - if priced a little above the norm.
Room Mate Alicia
Modern hotel, exquisitely designed by Pascua Ortega. Location cannot get better either, as it is situated on the Plaza Santa Ana. Notable rooms are the duplex suites, which even make returning from the wonderful art museums enjoyable.
Juana La Loca
An extensive menu is available from a chef who take his tapas seriously; the large TV in the corner may be a little distracting, but the excellent food certainly provides strong competition...
Hotel de las Letras
With its literary theme and well-preserved history, this Madrid hotel has a lot to offer. From DJ sessions to the more intimate attic bar, there is something for everyone's taste - even a library.
Nietzsche
Cool has come to La Latina in the form of this laid-back exhibition space-cum-bar. Come to watch the weirdness unfold as live acts performance art and projection screens make for a distinctly surreal-feeling evening...
Villa Magna
Both painfully chic and wonderfully cosmopolitan, the Villa Magna is one of the 'Leading Hotels of the World,' and its luxury facilities prove why...
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.
Hotel Quatro
Designed by one of Madrid's best, Tomás Alía, the Quo is not only central and reasonably priced, but also very stylish. The seating arrangements in the hotel's restaurant could even mean you meet some of the other guests.

Sign up for our newsletter

We'd love to keep you up-to-date with what's really going on around the world, from the hottest new restaurants and mind-blowingly beautiful hotels, to thumping underground clubs and world-class art galleries. Sign up to learn more - we promise you it'll be worth it...

X

Follow Us