Archive for September 24th, 2019

September 24, 2019

Restaurant: San Andrés and Docamar, Madrid!!

So, therefore, after posting about the monuments and sights of my beloved Madrid will go into the places of shopping and restaurant with a series Restaurant: XXX Madrid or Shopping: XXX Madrid. Hope you enjoy them and do try them when visiting Madrid the food and shopping is an experience to behold in lovely Madrid. For lack of creativity ,I will copy this first paragraph into the subsequents posts! ::)

So here we are in culinary splendeur of my beloved Madrid. Let me tell you about another find and an all time best which we missed sadly.

It is more than possible that you had a caña at the Cervecería de San Andrés in the Plaza de San Andrés, 4 without even knowing its name. We stay on the terrace in front of the Church of San Andrés (see previous post). We were walking as we did all over Madrid with hunger in our minds we saw this quant bar cerveceria brasserie /brewery and say enough walking we stop here and get something cold like a glass of cold Mahou 5 stars beer (caña) and some omelette or tortilla and chorizos sausages and we were full and happy to be here.


Well the restaurant is divided into two floors, small room upstairs and bathrooms downstairs, but we stay in the sunny terrace with parasol umbrellas. This lifelong bar, but conveniently renovated, is one of the first to be filled thanks to its spacious and splendid terrace; one of the most popular in the neighborhood. In a quiet little square, in the shade of an umbrella and in front of a beautiful church, the best of Madrid is felt. Cooking level is quite traditional: raciones of tortilla, calamari, cheese, ham etc lovingly serve by a friendly waiter. Something to remember! Cerveceria San Andrés.

Their official webpage is under maintenance as I wrote this post but on my favorite Yelp reviews they have it nice for you : Yelp reviews on Cerveceria San Andrés

And now some that I know very well and very dear to me. I used to lived across the street for several years and always make the point to stop by. Sadly, this time by the time we got there is was closed as we missed the summer cut off day! Disappointed to say the least but more eager now to come back,and we will be back, always back to my beloved Madrid.

I like to mention here on this year missed my sweet neighborhood resto bar Docamar at Calle de Alcalá, 337. Metro: Quintana, line 5, just at the foot of my piso apartment when lived in Madrid in the early 1970’s and my pilgrimage visit every year to Madrid, as brings back wonderful memories of my dear late mother Gladys.


If you want to try some of the best ‘patatas bravas’ in town, you’ll have to head out here, beyond the M-30 ring road. The merit of the dish is shared equally by the potatoes and the house sauce.

Docamar has made the humble tuber its flag. They spend around 4,000 kg  of potatoes weekly. A huge amount indeed. In the neighborhood of Quintana the neighbors already have that taste in their taste memory. It is already familiar, like the croquettes of our mothers. And also the taste of its secret sauce, recipe of the founder, Donato Cabrera, who never imagined how far his star dish would reach when he took it out of his sleeve a thousand years ago (so of speak…). Today, it is his grandson , Raúl Cabrera, who tries to maintain that heritage, but adapting to the new times. The bar retains that traditional aesthetic , where it seems that time has stopped.


Outside, the barrels to support the potato sacks ,and chop something fresh, and inside, two floors. The one below or street level with a huge bar and a boiling troop of waiters. Here, for each drink, they usually put some potatoes. It is tapas at discretion. Glass bottles with the famous sauce decorate the wall behind the counter. They make about 20,000 liters a year that they also sell (take home!), by the way, to those who cannot live without it.

Upstairs, a well-appointed room, spacious and bright, with many windows and decorated with photos of people from the neighborhood: communions, football, workers, gangs, old and modern images, of people who went to breakfast, take a caña, and others who each afternoon came by it; this is their bar. A tribute to the faithful neighborhood, where, it is normal to share! Docamar forever and really here since 1963!! but it does seems like a thousand years!!

Official Docamar, the Quintana institution!

And there you go, one new to rediscover in a quant old section of Madrid at San Andrés, and the other well what can I say, I had it mentioned in previous posts but this is like coming home, Docamar, so sad we were just two days off and was closed. We will be back to my beloved Madrid!

And remember, happy travels good health, and many cheers to all!!!




September 24, 2019

Journées du Patrimoine or Heritage Days in France!

This is a quick reminder that I missed it!! I have participated in several of the Heritage Days of France or Journées du Patrimoine as it allows you to go into places usually or never allowed by the general public, and even some with little time for those like me member friends of many of them. I came back from a nice vacation in Madrid and taking over the job backup and the house really so sad to tell you no time to see any this year. However , for the memory to allow planning for next year here is some of the highlights for me .Hope you enjoy it and plan ahead too ::)

Sometimes I post something that has passed already because of its impact for a future visit. This time will post a whole series of event that happened every year in my belle France. It is the big celebration of heritage, or Journées du Patrimoine that were held this past Saturday, September 21 and Sunday, September 22,2019. Despite the disturbances of strikes and politics as usual. The Palais du Luxembourg (where the Senate of France is located at the Jardin du Luxembourg)  is the building that attracted the most visitors this year. Overall, in these two days, 12 million visits were recorded on 17,000 different places!

The “Golden Palm” of attendance goes to the Senate(Palais du Luxembourg), with 22,499 visitors. The Palais de l’Elysée palace (home of the President of France), for its part, welcomed 20,000 visitors. The President  had gone the day before with Brigitte Macron (his wife) and Stéphane Bern (great promoter of heritage in France) in the house workshop of Rosa Bonheur,  12 Rue Rosa Bonheur, 77810 Thomery in Seine et Marne (dept. 77) ,but the President did not appear on the steps and in the gardens, Saturday. No doubt he judged that the social situation did not allow this moment of conviviality. Indeed.

According to a partial assessment of the Ministry of Culture, the Journée du Patrimoine or Heritage Days was, as every year, pulled it out well. The abbey of Mont Saint Michel (12,600 visitors), the Sainte Chapelle  and the Conciergerie (23,000) Château de Vincennes (10,100), the Banque de France (15,500), the Château de Ducs de Bretagne in Nantes (6,500), the university library of Strasbourg (8,500) or the Grand Theater of Bordeaux (6,500) . The Ministry of Culture, building at rue de Valois ,Paris, seduced 4,000 persons by exposing several fragments of Notre Dame Cathedral, including the rooster, formerly located at the top of the missing arrow. During the fire, the rooster dropped and was found in the rubble two days later!!.

Many middle schools, high schools, and universities were opened  their doors to the general public. Walk in the corridors of the Sorbonne. Founded in 1257, the Sorbonne now houses a part of the activities of several universities, including Paris 1, Paris 3 and Paris 4. This year, a new space, the gallery of 7 portraits of famous women requested by the rectorate to the artist Christian Guémy, aka C215, famous stencil artist, is added to the tour. Also, given the theme of this year, the Sorbonne will open its spaces for the first time to the students of the Academy of Paris, who will deliver various artistic performances. 5-47 rue des Ecoles, 5éme. Metro: Cluny-La Sorbonne

Located behind the Pantheon, the Lycée Henri IV occupies the former abbey of Sainte Geneviève, which overlooks the mountain of the same name. The establishment is considered one of the best high schools in France according to several rankings.  Located at 23 rue Clovis, 5éme. Metro: Cardinal Lemoine

Since 1809, the former Royal Abbey of Saint-Denis, which adjoins the famous Basilica, houses the House of Education of the Legion of Honor. Common point of the students: they are girls, granddaughters or great granddaughters of members of the Legion of Honor, the military medal or the National Order of Merit. Located at 1 rue de la République, 93000, Saint-Denis. Metro: Basilica de Saint-Denis

The National School of Fine Arts, under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and member of the Paris University Sciences and Letters (PSL), is in the district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Its 650 students occupy two hectares of buildings built between the 17C and 20C. Located at 14 rue Bonaparte,6éme. Metro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Paris attracts students from all over the world. To verify this, go to the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris (Ciup). The campus, similar to those of American universities, welcomes 12,000 students of 140 nationalities. Forty of them have their own pavilion. Built between 1925 and 1969, they reflect the different architectural trends of the 20C. Located at 17 boulevard Jourdan, 14éme. RER: Cité Universitaire

It is here that was created in 1929 the first national vocational school (ENP) of young girls. Its vocation?  To lead them towards emancipation by providing them with training in the field of domestic arts, sewing or secretarial work. The historic building built in the 19C belongs to the neoclassical style. Located at 108 rue Baffier, 18000 Bourges

The Hôtel Vendôme , which houses the Mines ParisTech engineering school, was built in 1707 by architect Le Blond for the Carthusians. It is one of the few engineering schools still located in Paris intramural. Visitors will have access to its gardens, home to one of the most beautiful mineralogy museums in the world, and a library, whose décor reflects the different architectural trends of the 19C. The École des Mines ParisTech is still one of the top three engineering schools in France. It is located at  60, boulevard Saint Michel 6éme Paris/Metro Notre Dame des Champs or RER B

The école militaire built under the rule of king Louis XV and located at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, brings together all organizations of higher military education in France. Among them: the School of War, the Institute of Advanced National Defense Studies (IHEDN) or the National Institute of Higher Studies of Security and Justice (INHESJ). Equestrian demonstrations, recitals, armored displays  were on the program. Located at 1 place Joffre, 7éme Paris. Metro: école militaire.

Max Linder Panorama;a cinema. Venetian stucco balconies and nearly 500 velvet armchairs overlook the immense hall of this exceptional cinema. Acquired in 1919 by the burlesque actor Max Linder before being recovered by the Pathé cinema in 1932, the institution is one of the last places to be moved by a panoramic screen of 107 m². Located at 24, bd Poissonnière 9éme.

The Grand Rex; a cinema. It is one of the largest halls in Europe, with 2,700 seats. Its Art Deco façade from 1932 that can be seen from afar on the Grands Boulevards. Inside, a starry vault and Baroque or Mediterranean decorations make it a place apart, a sort of palace of the cinema. Its museum, Les Étoiles du Rex, which revolves around the cinema and its history. Archive images, reconstructed sets, projection booth, transparent panoramic elevator behind the big screen, special effects … 1, bd Poissonnière 2éme. Paris.

The Cinémathèque Française. Located in the gardens of Bercy, it preserves the cinematographic heritage. The building was designed by the American-Canadian architect Frank Gehry, also a designer of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (Spain). Curves and counter-curves dress this mastodon of concrete. Do not miss it. Here, everything is related to the 7th art: objects, documents, films. Great names of cinema to (re) discover and architecture of the site to admire.  Located at  51, rue de Bercy 12éme.

And of course the Château de Versailles : visit the most beautiful spaces of the north wing of Versailles in music  ,the Palais de marbre, salles des Croisades, salles Louis XIV, Chapelle Royale . Free admission by the cour de l’Opéra Royal!!!

The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte in Mauncy, Seine-et-Marne dept 77 ;  opens the doors of its 7 artistic domains with the program, a treasure hunt and unpublished visits on the garden of Le Nôtre, guided tours behind the scenes of filming Marie-Antoinette to James Bond through the man in the mask of iron, concerts-readings with representations mixing the texts of Jean de La Fontaine with the baroque music and an immersive soundtrack plunging the visitor in the History of France with an adult course “The affair Fouquet” and a youth course “The fabulous history of Vaux”!

The Musée de la Grande Guerre at Meaux, Seine et Marne dept 77 .Offers tours of the museum’s reserves , flash tours of the permanent collections and the temporary exhibition “Behind the Scenes of Peace”!!!

There you these are just a sample of those dear to me that I would have love to visit some myself, but they are so many. Do plan ahead, and be here on those days usually are about the same end of September. Enjoy the post and keep it for the future!!

Official Ministry of Culture of France. Translation to English upper right hand FR turn to English :

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!



September 24, 2019

Restaurant:Smoothies and donuts, Madrid!

So, therefore, after posting about the monuments and sights of my beloved Madrid will go into the places of shopping and restaurant with a series Restaurant: XXX Madrid or Shopping: XXX Madrid. Hope you enjoy them and do try them when visiting Madrid the food and shopping is an experience to behold in lovely Madrid. For lack of creativity ,I will copy this first paragraph into the subsequents posts! ::)

The one most near us and we try it of course. This is Faborit a chain of minimalist and warm premises that integrate the latest technology to provide a good service: giant screens present a menu that varies according to the time of day.


You have here exotic teas from all corners of the planet, coffees selected and prepared with care by a cappuccino specialist, the ‘coffee leader’, and a selection of flavored mineral waters (lime-lemon, apple-strawberry, kiwi and strawberry) from England, star in the amazing drinks menu. To eat, paninos, Italian pseudo-sandwich of bread similar to the payés stuffed with varied ingredients, and salads to the client’s taste. They prepare takeaway food. No reservation necessary. The restaurant recommends: salads, paninos and vitamin drinks. ‘Shakerato Frappé’ (drink halfway between milkshake and slush of various flavors) strawberry and banana, and Matcha Frappé (essence of green tea from Japan).


We were just next to them so we try it one day with the Shakerato Frappé and a panini sandwich that was ok something different in my beloved Madrid. We try the one at Plaza de las Cortes across from the Westin Palace Hotel.

Official Faborit on Plaza de las Cortes

The Dunkin Coffee (Donuts) we went to is at Calle de la Victoria 2 corner with Carrera de San Jeronimo as is the one passing between Puerta del Sol and Plaza de las Cortes. We are very familiar with Dunkins Donuts but this is the first time we stop in one in Europe! And of course, it had to be in my beloved Madrid!


Dunkin’ is one of the largest coffee and baked goods chains in the world founde in 1950 at Quincy, Massachusetts, USA. Dunkin’ Donuts was the name from 1950 to early 2019; and was renamed Dunkin’ Coffees in January 2019. There are many all over Spain most of them in Madrid, Barcelona and Malaga.

The main offer of coffee shops of this brand is based on American-style coffee and donuts, which are offered in a multitude of flavors and with brightly colored toppings. Over time, the chain expanded its range of products, until it also offered slushies, ice cream, soft drinks, tea, sandwiches, juices or snacks.

In Spain, the “Donuts” brand was previously registered by the Panrico company, so the company was born as a joint venture between Allied Domecq and Panrico (Allied had 50% at that time) in order to use the “Dunkin ‘Donuts” brand. In 2006, the sale of Dunkin ‘Donuts and Panrico to different entities (by Pernod-Ricard) meant the end of the link, so the chain was forced to modify its trademark, becoming “Dunkin’ Coffee”.

Official Dunkin Coffee on locations

There you go a one two punch of good traditional foodies for all tastes me think. Enjoy the Faborit and Dunkin Coffees in my beloved Madrid.

And remember ,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!






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