Part two of Jamie Ndah’s culinary adventure in Madrid on the Chef’s Table Tour
A fresh morning with dazzling sunshine followed which made this the ideal opportunity to explore Madrid’s city centre via a walking tapas tour.
Tapas is such a huge part of Spanish culture, and legend has it that back in the 13th century, Alfonso the Wise, king of Castile and Leon, ordered owners of taverns to serve glasses of wine with small bites of food so that patrons wouldn’t get intoxicated. And from that day, tapas was duly born!
This part of the Chef’s Table Tour provided a unique opportunity to sample luxury food combinations to suit a variety of palates and explore hidden places where I discovered great tapas served and enjoyed at a relaxed and leisurely pace around this captivating historic part of the city.
My first stop was Puerta del Sol, a busy and lively atmosphere and one of Madrid’s best-known squares with numerous well-known landmarks in the area too. If you get the opportunity to visit the famous clock at Casa de Correos, which is also the headquarters of the regional government of Madrid, it is well worth it, because on the 31st December each year, thousands of people gather in front of the clock and follow the tradition of eating twelve grapes as the clock strikes twelve. This occasion is televised and viewed by millions of Spaniards.
A short walk from Puerta del Sol is the famous Lhardy, Madrid’s first refined restaurant that was popular with a number of politicians, intellectuals, dignitaries, VIPs and royalty. Walking into Lhardy is like stepping back into the past with its original décor, furnishings, fixtures and fittings representing a bygone era. Lhardy’s serve two of the most classic dishes in Madrid, Callos a la Madrileña and Cocido a la Madrileña (soup-like broths with chickpeas and noodles). This is highly recommended and a definite must try when visiting the city.
For wine lovers, you’ll certainly enjoy the wine tasting extravaganza that takes place at the cultured Paradis Madrid. A variety of delicious fine wines paired with a selection of tasty tapas are served.
This exclusive restaurant has seen a number of celebrities come through its doors over years, such as Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Mariah Carey, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Shakira and Javier Bardem to name a few personalities.
After further exploration of the city, the Chef’s Table Tour led me to Plaza Mayor which is a real symbol of Madrid and was teeming with locals and tourists all coming together and enjoying the many attractions on offer.
My final dinner of the Chef’s Table Tour took place at the iconic Bernabeu stadium, the home of Real Madrid which is another must visit. A wonderful dinner was served whilst overlooking the world-famous football pitch amongst a spectacular setting. This indeed was a perfect ending to a truly outstanding Chef’s Table Tour and I thoroughly enjoyed returning to the classic and statuesque beauty that is Madrid.
The Chef’s Table Tour is ideal for a romantic getaway, an anniversary celebration or that special occasion designed around sumptuous cuisine and sublime wine, against the sensational backdrop of gorgeous Madrid. I’m already planning my next visit to Spain’s fascinating capital city for a further slice of this well garnished Chef’s Table Tour.
Click here to read part one of Jamie’s culinary adventure in Madrid
Chef’s Table Tour Madrid – Where & How?
Luxury Travel Advisors – 0203 865 8960, (www.luxurytraveladvisors.co.uk), the luxury travel experience specialist is offering a three-night Chef’s Table Tour to Madrid from £2,000 per person. The offer includes three nights in Madrid at the five-star Villa Magna Hotel on a B&B basis, Cookery Workshop, Local Market Visit, Wine Tasting and a Michelin-Star Dining Experience. The offer also includes private transfers and return international flights from London. Bookings are all subject to availability.
Photography courtesy of Luxury Travel Advisors
Photographer: Aurelio Rodríguez