Archive for December 7th, 2022

December 7, 2022

More favorite restaurants of my Madrid !!!

This is a daunting task as there is so much good choices. However, as in Madrid will love to share my more recent culinary adventures with you all. This is a revision of older posts condense for ease of searching and reference, Hope you enjoy it as I.

The first time I ran into the El Anciano Rey de los Vinos was back in 1972! I was a poor young teen then but was taken by an older gentlemen of a group of friends who was trying to impress us with his knowledge and purchasing power. He did! I was fascinated by it and promise one day to come back here. Well it took me a while until 1990 on a visit that came here for tapas and a glass of wine. Afterward and on my married life came here several times usually for a quick drink and tapas. Until this year , when came with my young men sons on a nostalgic trip this time without our dear mom and wife MartineEl Anciano Rey de los Vinos, which is very close to the Almudena Cathedral and a few steps from the Royal Palace on Calle de Bailén. It is one of those bars full of grandparents and people from the neighborhood, and it has been there since 1909. webpage:

And while in my beloved Madrid and a game of Real Madrid was on, needed a quick place to see with good ambiance. Nothing better than to ask the locals at the bar as well as the BB apartment we were staying. 100 Montaditos and LAPEPA. ! And the verdict was go to La Fiebre ! Ok so not been there before but did not want to take a long trek to my usual places near the stadium so we went for it  La Fiebre it was! And what a great time we had !!! I wanted to see the game of Real Madrid vs Valladolid that was on that night! Right away the staff came over us and a nice looking lady and very kind took me and my sons to the back , the VIP room lol!! TV on all walls nice low level seats small tables slighlty lit we were in heavens!!!  La Fiebre (the fever) is at Calle del Principe just before Plaza de Santa Ana Webpage:

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 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.  Well the restaurant is divided into two floors, small room upstairs and bathrooms downstairs, but we stay in the sunny terrace with parasol umbrellas. no webpage but reviews at RestaurantGuru:


I like to mention here my sweet former 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 (since 1963) , you’ll have to head out here, beyond the M-30 ring road.  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! webpage:

Cerveceria Cruz Blanca  redefines the concept of a brewery and recreates the old classical and chaste taverns that originated in the early 20C.  My favorite is the Calle Dr Esquerdo  157 (near Conde de Casal) with a great terrace with two parts: one next to the semi-covered premises that has water sprinklers in summer and heating in winter and tables on the street in summer. The place is on the side of Dr Esquerdo where the sun shines in the afternoon so the best option is always with sprinklers in summer. There is another I have visited at Calle Menendez Pelayo ,47 (across from Retiro park) .both can be reach with metro line 6 at Sanz de Baranda stop. webpage:

Named after its owner Esteban González, this restaurant is the result of a lifetime’s effort to fulfill a dream. The El Rincón de Esteban offers classic cuisine with seasonal products and it is not uncommon to find famous personalities from the world of politics on their tables. It’s worth eating here every day. But coming in the themed days of hunting (season), in the codfish, and in the time of San Isidro will allow you to try special menus very top! In the Calle Santa Catalina, in front of the Congress of Deputies (gov of Spain); this restaurant invites, before and after, to be able to walk through the pictorial and historic streets of the Barrio de Letras, as well as savor the capital Castiso pure local tradition. Without a doubt, El Rincón de Esteban, is one of those classics that three generations that transit Madrid know perfectly; as well as the culinary temple that every tourist must visit to understand the Spanish gastronomic culture. webpage:

The Heladeria Los Alpes (ice cream parlor the Alps) was founded in 1950. The founders were a marriage of Italian and Spanish and today, their grandchildren continue to run the business and follow the original Italian recipe of their grandfather improved by the second generation of the family. They make more than 80 different flavors and select the raw material from those places where it is best: lemons, from Murcia. the hazelnut, from Reus, the pistachio, from Sicily. Everything is fresh and without preservatives.  Their address at Calle Arcipreste de Hita,6 almost behind the Calle de la Princesa before reaching Faro de Moncloa. metro Moncloa (the closest) and Arguelles takes you here. We were up in the area and I wanted to take my sons here so we walk from Plaza de España up Calle de la Princesa to just before you see the Faro de Moncloa turn right into Calle de Fernando el Catolico and then left into Calle Arciprete de Hita to the store on your right hand side. If you take the metro line 3 to Moncloa come out and go away from Faro de Moncloa on your left hand side is the Calle Fernando el Catolico take left and then left into Arciprete de Hita. Webpage:

The origin of Horchata, comes from the city of Alboraya, in the Comunidad de Valencia. It is a typical sweet drink that is usually accompanied by fartons that regulars like to eat by soaking them before in the horchata. It is the tigernut or chufa as we call it in Spain, very popular and we love it each time there. Very refreshing in Summers. The best is Horchatería Alboraya. Two addresses in Madrid: Calle de Alcalá, 125 (where we tasted right off metro Principe de Vergara metro lines 2 and 9) and Avenida Felipe II, 26 (where we saw it too). The tradition of this place begins with the grandparents, who cultivated their first tigernut in Alboraya in 1960. Then, the next generation founded the first Alboraya tiger nut milk factory in Madrid This is great just where I grew up not far really, not far from Retiro Park on the famous Calle de Alcalà (mine!) and a family tradition at its best. Webpage:

The 100 Montaditos ,the term refers to an ancient Spanish culinary habit of filling one or two small slices of bread with various ingredients such as cold cuts, meat, fish, vegetables, cheeses or various types of sauces.100 Montaditos has thus decided to take inspiration from this tradition by giving life to a list of a hundred different proposals.  In its service formula a form is filled out with the order that is delivered at the counter and, once prepared, customers are notified through electronic gadget for direct pickup. For snacks or a varied lunch, opt for the low-cost 100 Montaditos of this Madrid chain. Euromania almost all items on the menu for one euro! And Jarramania two pints of tinto de verano cold wine and side of strip potatoes for 3 euros in Summer otherwise the pint is 1,50! Tried it all over Madrid ,we have visited with the family the locations at Calle de la Princesa; 22,  Calle Mayor; 18 ,  Plaza de las Cortes; 3 , and T2 international airport Adolfo Suarez of Madrid ,Webpage:

We first notice and then on another day came back to try it. It was a pleasant surprise even if the prices are for the tourist incline in my opinion, the quality and the service is tops. The La Rollerie chain is something I would try again! And their latest address at Carrera San Jéronimo is super! The La Rollerie of the Barrio de las Letras holds a surprise, a greenhouse in which you can breathe peace and in which you can choose your favorite corner under its vines, in the greenhouse, in front of the fountain or on its rocker. Our place the property at Carrera de San Jeronimo, 26, their newest property! Our visit took place in what was the classic store of the Spanish Musical Union, it is a large place on the corner with stained glass windows, lamps and ceiling lamps of 1925 that remain exactly the same now that the instruments have left room for the pastries, the workshop and the kitchen of this new restaurant and cafe. The second floor, converted into a Provencal garden and courtyard, into a botanical garden, with a roof of vines and transformed corners flower kiosks. webpage:

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.  We try the one at Plaza de las Cortes across from the Westin Palace Hotel. Webpage:

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.  This store is closed but here for the memories as they have others in Madrid. Webpage:

Madrid Faborit cafe front pl de las cortes aug19

There you go folks, just passing and stopping, Madrid has more per sq km than any other city in Europe.  Hope you try them and see for yourselves, the good life of Madrid. Buen provecho, vale. Enjoy it.

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

December 7, 2022

Christmas in Spain !!!

This is the season to be merrier we are told. I am hanging in there with the best face forward. Remembering all those family gathering all over the Americas and Europe over the years; some still with us and some dearly missed. I could not be away from telling you about my Christmas or Navidad in my dear Spain. Let me tell you some of my best Christmas experiences in Spain. Hope you enjoy it as I. And Feliz Navidad y mejores deseos para todos!!!

The time has come to talk about the best destinations to travel at Christmas in my dear Spain, OF course, these are just my favorites, there are many more nice ones, a taste for everyone.

I could not and will not leave out my dear Madrid, when Christmas is the best time, something we can agree is that Madrid and the month of December have a special connection that makes it one of the best destinations to visit Spain during Christmas. The chestnuts in Callao, a walk along the fully illuminated Gran Vía, the Christmas carousels in different parts of the city, the ice rinks of Plaza de España or Plaza de Colón, the route of the best nativity scenes through the center of the city, the Enlightened Nature of the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid, the Plaza Mayor market and the traditional churros of San Ginés (Pasadizo de San Ginés, 5) or the -almost recent arrivals churros of Manosanta (calle de Hermosilla, 97 ).Sublime !!! It’s official, the lighting will begin on Thursday, November 24 at 19h (7 pm), coinciding with the Black Friday weekend, which marks the start of the Christmas campaign from a commercial point of view. 21 districts will be kit entirely in ‘LED’ type high energy efficiency, that will promote commerce, hotels, restaurants and tourism in the city. In total, more than 230 locations will be illuminated, distributing 6,700 chains throughout the capital, 115 cherry trees and 13 large luminous fir trees, among which the giant natural fir tree in Plaza de España will stand out. The traditional figurative nativity scenes will also be maintained, the large ball located at the confluence of Calle Alcalá with Gran Vía or the large luminous menina, elements to which something new will be added. In addition to repeating the installation of the fir tree in Plaza de España, this will also be the place chosen for turning on the Christmas lights of the city on November 24 at 19h (7 p.m.), Among the new locations, several areas of the Retiro district. Such is the case of Calle Narváez , Avenida Menéndez Pelayo , Puerta de Alcalá and Plaza de la Lealtad. Meanwhile, in Centro, the Apolo fountain in the Paseo del Prado ; and the streets of Barquillo, Belén, Refueros, Santa Teresa and Campamor , among others, will also open their lights. And finally, a giant Nativity scene in front of the Torre de Madrid tower, in the corner with Calle Princesa. The Madrid tourist office on Christmas :

Torrejón de Ardoz in the Comunidad de Madrid is one of the destinations where Christmas rises to its highest expression. This town offers us the largest Christmas theme park in Spain. Spectacular illumination, a large Nativity Scene in the City Museum, the Guachis, which are children’s characters to maintain the Illusion of children, the largest Christmas walk in Spain, a Christmas village and the spectacular Magic Door are the cards of presentation that make Torrejón de Ardoz a true Christmas must-see. The City of Torrejon de Ardoz and Christmas :

In Sepúlveda, province of Segovia a beautiful town characterized by having a great Christmas tradition. This town full of history, which already existed before Roman times, offers Christmas among hillsides, Romanesque buildings and hanging houses. In addition, in its Church of Bartolomé every year a large Bethlehem is set up with a lot of tradition that attracts all kinds of visitors, Newspaper Segovia al dia on Christmas :

Every year there are wonderful Christmas markets, so we couldn’t miss the one in Covarrubias,province of Burgos, the town for Christmas lovers. A very peculiar market is held there, organized by the association of artists and artisans of Covarrubias “Cáscara de Nuez”, which mixes the family tradition of the old workshops with the new bets of young artisans. Everything you will find is handmade. The town of Covarrubias on festivities :

Christmas in the town of Ledesma, province of Salamanca is synonymous with the Fiesta de las Calendas. This festivity announces the arrival of Christmas, and begins on the night of December 23, starting at 2 in the morning, when the bells of the Church of Santa María la Mayor ring, offering a time for reflection. and the silence. When this happens, those present in the main square of this beautiful walled town taste sweet wine, brandy or mantecados. This night, which has been celebrated since ancient times, can be a perfect plan to start the holidays with joy, Ledesma tourist office :

The town of Briones, in La Rioja has until January 6, free of charge, you can see the exhibition of a beautiful Bethlehem in the parish church; the work has even more value because it has been created by its own neighbors. With attention you will be able to see on a small scale the most symbolic buildings of Briones. In the so-called “Briones curve” you can see a spectacular meander of the Ebro river and many other beautiful winter landscapes. There are more reasons to visit it: the town offers a great gastronomy based on pintxos, vineyards and a historic center full of stately palaces, among many other charms.The town of Briones on festivities :

The medieval town of Alquézar, in the province of Huesca, is a dream destination to spend the Christmas holidays, whatever the plan you are looking for. For those who are looking for more active tourism, they can do the route of the Alquézar catwalks, a circular route, adapted for all types of hikers, which will reveal beautiful winter landscapes full of colors, nature, catwalks, steps and spaces of water. Alquézar tourism :

There you go folks, a wonderful period of the year indeed. We love it in joy and pain but wonderful anyway. Again, the above are some of the remarkable ones over the years, there are many others nice ones indeed. These have nice memories behind them of great family times. Hope you enjoy them and the season to be merrier as I. Again, Feliz Navidad y mejores deseos para todos!

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

December 7, 2022

Christmas in Locronan and Rochefort en Terre !!

As the best season is coming up for 2022, I try to bring nicer memories back into my life. Now that time has passed and the two great women of my life are out, (my mom Gladys and my wife Martine) this is the time where all comes back. I like to share these moment again with my readers. Thank you for reading me, and hope these posts brings joy to you and your families. These posts will be in my black and white series, no pictures.

I came back to these wonderful towns during Christmas market period. Lots of family memories that I like to update and package into one post, These were the first Christmas market we went back after the passing of a very dear person, my dear wife Martine in 2018. This was the Christmas of December 2019,

Locronan  is in the Finistére dept 29 and Rochefort en Terre is in the Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne, very nice market , very traditional and respected by all here. The Christmas marketis small in Locronan as the town is with less than 1K inhabitants but the dimensions of its fame are huge. We have come here every year since we were in Brittany,this year December 2019.Christmas at Locronan it seems more real !!

We went as usual by car , about 1h30 from our house is Locronan. This is a famous town famous for its Grande Tromédie (second sunday of July) a religious and historical procession of 12 km (see post), And of course, we look at the Christmas chalets , they are nice quant but a bit smallish . More than 5 km of garlands and light curtains will illuminate the Little City of Character with the magic of Christmas. On the program: concert of sacred gypsy songs, street shows and Breton dances, fairground rides and Santa Claus on a pony! Christmas magic works every time in the wonderful little city of character, it’s magic and free! In all the streets and all the squares of the historic heart, the light decorations will compete in beauty in the purest and most traditional Christmas spirit! Spicy and gourmet scents will guide you throughout your journey, for a ride that promises to be enchanting. Traders and art craftsmen will welcome you on the Christmas market made up of 25 chalets and in their shop or workshop to find magnificent gifts. Also, the Church Notre Dame de Troncaye just superbe !

The fairy tale wonderful cosy gorgeous medieval Rochefort en Terre in my beautiful Morbihan. I live less than an hour from here! and love it!!! Each time coming here is an event of wonderful memories. My dear late wife Martine, absolutely love it!

First, the town is loaded with artists, painters, potters, jewerly makers, leather makers you name they are here spread all over the inner core of the old town a whimsical ride to the best of Bretagne and France. And what makes it special the spirit of Christmas , voted as the best many times in different scenarios and best village of France in 2016! 

And of course great local food recommended tried over the years here ,these are the Bar Restaurant Freine le Temps, Bar Restaurant Les Ardoisiéres, Créperie Glacier La Terrasse, Restaurant L’Ancolie, and especially our fav Créperie Le Café Breton ! You can, also, visit the Church of Notre Dame de la Tronchaye, NAIA museum, and the castle just awesome , recommended to all to stop by indeed. Enjoy it as we do.

There you go folks a dandy experience , always remember with fondness, this is the season to be merrier, we always try even if memories of the past will come flashing by rapidly. It is always a time to cheers and in the Morbihan is sublime.

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

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