Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Madrid

El Son
With a latino soundtrack, incredibly friendly atmosphere and over 90 kinds of rum on offer, only the décor is subdued at El Son.
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...
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.
El Paraguas
A highly regarded restaurant with real Asturian cuisine, and a touch of French too, in the exquisite Salamanca district.  
El Jardin Secreto
El Jardin Secreto
Candle-lit tables and French windows provide a welcome and romantic escape from the busy Gran Via strip. An exotic, ever-changing menu includes the lunch menu inspired by the film 'Like Water for Chocolate'.
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.
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.
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.
El Bonanno
If you don't know anyone to start with, you soon will in this cheery bar frequented by the young and trendy...
El Barbu
If you're looking for nooks and crannies, this softly lit labyrinthine bar is the perfect place to disappear for an hour or so...
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.
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.
Diurno
Painfully trendy and modern, Diurno has a diverse offering ranging from salad and a sandwich to a DVD rental or tub of Ben & Jerry's.
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.
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.
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.
Del Diego
The barmen here, always in a blur of activity, look as though they could mix cocktails in their sleep - and this is true despite the fact that the menu includes in excess of fifty choices...
Dassa Bassa
This stylish, vaulted white-brick basement restaurant is popular with models, aspiring actors and general jet-setters.
Cutting-Edge Madrid Design Spaces
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.
Corral de la Morería
Billed as one of the world's best flamenco shows, Corral de la Moreria features in the New York Times' '1000 places to see before you die.' Choose between dining or just a drink.
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.
Con 2 Fogones
One of the new breed of cafe/restaurants smartening up the alternative district Malasana, Con dos Fogones is a great spot for a weekend lunch or laid-back dinner thanks to its weekly rotating seasonal menu.
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).
Club MUSÉE
Forget what you think you know about city-centre clubbing and turn your nocturnal attentions to Club MUSÉE, arguably the hippest place to open in the Spanish capital of Madrid. Like, ever.
Club Hípico
A family company with extensive experience in everything related to horseriding and stabling.
Club de Campo Villa de Madrid
Designed by Seve Ballesteros and Javier Arana and considered to be one of the best golf courses in Spain, Club De Campo offers amazing views of the Royal Palace from its high perch on the western outskirts of Madrid.
City Yoga
If you are in need of stretching tight muscles and/or a mysteriously delicious peace of mind, City Yoga has recently opened four floors of karma in the heart of the busy metropolis.
Citra
The house specials are jacket artichoke soup; salmon slices with vanilla sauce; grilled wood pigeon with sheep cheese (idiazabal); and gnocchi and radish sauce. The most interesting thing is the way in which savoury is mixed with sweet...
Chueca
The Chueca area is where art and fashion stars come for brands both big and independent, and an array of trendy bars and cafes to pout and pose in when their feet tire.
Christofle
Christofle - beautiful silverware, jewelry and gifts
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.
Chi Spa
One of Madrid's chicest spas, Chi opened in 2003 to much acclaim. This small and welcoming spa is in the heart of Salamanca, and, as you can guess from the name, has an Oriental theme.
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.
Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
Within the city's convenient golden triangle of museums, you will find the Reina Sofia, a huge gallery for contemporary art including Picasso's famous Guernica.
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.
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.
Casa Lucio
Casa Lucio has garnered a reputation for outstanding Spanish cuisine - even prompting the poet Rabal to pen a ditty about its scrambled eggs! Try the salmorejo (a thick gazpacho with grated ham) followed by a bonito (barely seared, delicate tuna).
Casa Labra
In the heart of Madrid's shopping district, Casa Labra provides the perfect opportunity to refuel with a quick tapa before returning to the fray, so don't be put off by its slightly drab appearance.

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