Archive for December 8th, 2022

December 8, 2022

The foodie in Madrid !!!

I have done quite a bit of going out eating over the years as always went along first with my Mom , then as a single guy , then with my Wife and kids, and finally with my young men. I am a good taster and love to eat and drink good stuff, but, also, enjoy bargains and good quality/price ratio restaurants. Therefore, I am condensing several posts into one on my foodie in Madrid !!! Hope you enjoy it as I.

One of the thrills of coming to my Madrid is that  I find myself with familiar goodies that have come down from grandparents and parents generations and could not get it. At that moment, we look for the best and buy , take home and do it ourselves! 

This is the place I like to tell you in this post. Supermercados Sanchez Romero; remember the name. This is a chain of not so long back but a must when in Madrid. Glad to be able to visit every year at least once lol  The above has been our experiences too since 1990 coming here for our needs in Madrid, simply the best, and the cafetería is tops. I am taking you up north along Paseo de la Castellana to lovely Plaza de Castilla  (Castile square) in the Chamartin  district. This is a huge local transport hub for Madrid and the province as well. It is one of my hangouts in Madrid ,and we love to shop by it, especially the gourmet grocery store of Sanchez Romero (many branches in Madrid) at Paseo de la Castellana 196 not far on right hand side to Plaza de Castilla. Closest metro Plaza de Castilla lines 1,9, and 10 or Cuzco line 10. From Cuzco stay on the right hand side of Castellana and from Plaza de Castilla cross over to your left side and walk down.  They were born as a small specialized store in Paseo de La Castellana, which opened, in 1954, by Eduardo Sanchez Romero.  The Supermarkets Sanchez Romero has everything you need for special days from exclusive gourmet products, high-end, national and international, which you will only find in their establishments. Last info as of 2023 they are owned by El Corte Inglés group. webpage:


I know these brands from even my living in Madrid. VIPS is very well represented in Mexico (where I have visited them too!) ,and for good reason as you will see soon. These stores had a electronic/ high tech look and a cafeteria next to it. The concept was carried into Spain but recently they have been remodeled into just restaurants. Grupo Vips manages a total of seven chains on property or under franchise: VIPS (cafeteria-restaurant and store), VIPSmart, Ginos, The Wok, T.G.I. Fridays, Starbucks Coffee and Wagamama in Spain, Portugal and Andorra. In addition, the group has a sandwich, salad and other vending machine selling products, British Sandwich Factory (BSF).  In October 2018, the Vips Group is acquired by the Zena Alsea group.  They are family places with a nice menu and good prices where there is a blend of international foods. We tried the VIPS this time at the Calle de Alcalà 200 almost across from the Monumental Las Ventas bullring (see post) ! webpage:

Let me bring you into the markets of Madrid, the ones many times overlook for the other famous one. Well been in the city I have been to several of them and love them all. It is the vibrant life of any city and these are tops.

The Mercado de Antón Martín (officially named Mercado Municipal de Antón Martín) is a food market located in the center of Madrid between Calle de Atocha (next to the parish Church of San Salvador and San Nicolás) and Calle de Santa Isabel (next to Cine Doré ). Close to the Plaza de Antón Martín. The project is not executed until after the Spanish Civil War and was inaugurated in 1941. In the 1950’s, after the remodeling of the area is built the building that it is currently shown. The Mercado de Anton Martin has three floors, in the first two almost fifty different sales posts are distributed: fishmongers, bakeries, butchers, etc. Being the third one dedicated to private activities, since the beginning of the 21C by the flamenco dance school of Amor de Dios (love of God) The exits of the market building unleash in the Calle de Santa Isabel and in the Pasaje Doré passage. Some of the market stalls are distributed along the Calle de Santa Isabel. Webpage:

The Mercado de La Cebada (Barley market) is one of the largest supply markets in Madrid. It is located in the Plaza de la Cebada no. 15, in the neighborhood of La Latina. In the location of the market there were since the 16C a set of outdoor stalls located in what is the Plaza de la Cebada. At this time the Puerta de Toledo was one of the entrance gates to the city and through it came the products that came from the provinces. The use of iron in its structures was a notorious feature. The works began in 1870 and finally it was inaugurated on June 11, 1875 by King Alfonso XII. Due to hygienic problems, the building was demolished in 1956, and a more functional-looking market was built in 1958.  The current Mercado de La Cebada market has two effective commercial floors with an area of more than 6000 square meters. To the two mentioned floors , another one was added that acts as a warehouse and another one for parking (392 parking spaces). It is worth noting the six red domed roofs that close the building. As well as the large mural on the main monuments of Madrid made in 1962. Webpage:

There you go folks , an every day feature of any big city and Madrid lucky to have a few nice ones and amongst them are these above. Hope you enjoy the foodie in Madrid post as I.

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

December 8, 2022

Happy shopping in Madrid !!!

I have done quite a bit of shopping over the years as always went along with my Mom or Wife. I am a lousy shopper just come in take pay and go, but they were much better, they knew where to get a bargain and good quality/price ratio items. Therefore, I am condensing several posts into one on my happy shopping in Madrid !!! Hope you enjoy it as I.

So let me bring you a quick review on a new store that we stumble upon in the middle of tourist central and it was a good buy. This was ZapShop at the Puerta Del Sol; it so happen this is now their newest and flagship store with the admin office on the upper levels! The prices were great as I got my pair of shoes ,and they were very comfortable!   The chain ZapShop has managed to sneak in the last year in the ‘prime’ areas of the center of Madrid. Zapshop, specializing in low cost footwear, has ten stores in the capital, almost all located in city center/downtown. However, it also occupies its lines with Pepe Milan, a brand based in Almansa (Albacete), with a higher price than its chain footwear. The company carries out its production in Elche (Alicante) and in Asia, mainly in China and introduces between twenty and thirty new models in stores every week. Webpage:


Then we come to another shoe store this one classic historical working class neighborhood of brand names of old and new. The Victor Calzados (shoes) store is at Calle de Alcalà 278 between Quintana and Carmen metro line 5. I have known it for years!  To put it short, my dear late mother Gladys took me here in the early 1970’s to buy my shoes while we live right on Calle de Alcalà 331, right off the exit of metro Quintana line 5! On the second floor (3rd US) 2do A , postal box 67(Buzon) and always come here as a pilgrimage to her memory.  Over time, I too, took my now dear late wife Martine here and eventually my 3 young men sons, by now a family tradition of good shoes, good prices and very friendly family service. no web a bit of info on Yelp:


MediaMarkt opened in France where they did not do good but in Spain they are growing and the one we visited was open just a couple years ago. They are into electronics/high tech only.  MediaMarkt is a chain of large stores, dedicated to the sale of household appliances, computers and consumer electronics, belonging to MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group, a subsidiary of the German group Ceconomy. The first establishment opened on November 29, 1979 in Munich. The first Media Markt store in Spain was opened in 1999, in San Sebastián de los Reyes ; in the Centro Comercial Megapark shopping center. MediaMarkt has 87 physical stores in Spain today.  MediaMarkt opened on May 11, 2017 a new store in the central Plaza del Carmen. This is the store we visited just for nostalgia’s sake. The best about is near Puerta del Sol and plenty to see and do so give it a shot and compare your prices. Webpage:,180552,-5.html


The Moda Shopping Mall is located in the heart of AZCA, right between the emblematic buildings of Torre Picasso and Torre Europa very close to the Palacio de Congresos and the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.  It is exactly on Calle General Perón, 40, semi-corner on Paseo de la Castellana 95, (where I always go in) in front of the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. It has a convenient parking to facilitate the visit to the center that offers free stays depending on the days of the week.   It can be reached on foot on entrances at Paseo de la Castellana Castellana, 95, Calle deOrense, 22-24 , Plaza Carlos Trías or Calle General  Perón, 38-40. Moda means fashion, and that’s basically the kind of shopping this mall specialises in The 50 or so stores are not all for human fashion. Home decor features as well, and all the latest home fashion items are available. There is an antique gallery to add taste to your home decor, and contemporary Spanish art for that final perfect touch.  There are also several restaurants and cafés to relax in while you wonder how you managed to spend so much. I have come several times but to be honest never shop that I can recall,  just go for a relax AC period and eat out at Casa Carmen webpage:


The official Moda Shopping Mall:

There you go folks, a dandy choices for your shopping pleasure in my dear Madrid. You ought it to yourselves to check these place out once in Madrid, you will be delighted. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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December 8, 2022

A lottery in Madrid, Doña Manolita !!!

There found a picture from an older post that really needs a post of its own bringing again many nice memorable moments of my stayed and visits to my dear Madrid. This was first going with my dear late mom Gladys to purchase the lottery ticket of Doña Manolita and then it continue until not possible to be in Madrid near Christmas time. I like to bring this nice place to light in my blog with a post it deserves. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The lottery was brought to Spain from Italy by king Charles III in 1771. The first Christmas lottery was drawn in 1812 in Cadiz. During the draw, on December 22 of each year, the children of a former orphanage come to sing. For 200 years, the children of the San Ildefonso residence, named after the orphanage transformed into a boarding school for children from families in difficulty, have been rehearsing the tune of the Christmas lottery before the big draw ceremony.

Doña Manolita came into the world in 1879, in the traditional neighborhood of Chamberí, in Madrid, the daughter of a master builder. Her first business was a tobacconist’s shop on Calle Hortaleza. But it was not until 1904, at the age of 25, when Doña Manolita would open Administration No. 67, on Calle de San Bernardo. What she did not know then, is that from that moment on she would become “The Temple of the Goddess Fortune”. At first luck resisted the lottery and its customers. They say that, to remedy this, Doña Manolita did not hesitate to travel to Zaragoza to visit the Virgen del Pilar, with the firm intention of blessing several décimos or tenths that she brought from Madrid for the crimson mantle of the Virgin. Belief, chance or perhaps the faith deposited caused those tenths to be awarded in the Christmas raffle. From this significant anecdote the die was cast.


In July 1931, it moved to Puerta del Sol and Gran Vía 31. In 1937, the premises suffered serious damage from the bombardment of Madrid during the Spanish Civil War. Throughout the Civil War, despite the difficulties that this entailed, she continued to serve her public. After the death of Doña Manolita in 1951,and had no children. Although she was married to a retired picador ;whom she divorced at the time of the Second Republic ; she died without heir. That is why the business ended up being bought by another enterprising woman, although of a different lineage, the Duchess of Montealegre and Lady of the Corps of the Nobility of the Principality of Asturias, María Dolores Bermúdez de Castro, a friend of Carmen Franco, and also of the Counts of Barcelona, groomsmen at their wedding. The current owner is Juan Luis de Castillejo y Bermúdez de Castro, Count of Cabrillas.

In 2011 Doña Manolita moved to the current location on Calle del Carmen, 22 corner with Calle Preciados where she continues to distribute prizes year after year. At Christmas 2019, Doña Manolita made magic stronger than ever, handing out EL GORDO,(the big one) El Segundo Premio (2nd prize), El Tercer Premio,(3rd prize) , and two Fourth Prizes and Three Fifth Prizes !! Considered by many in popular culture as an authentic symbol of the city of Madrid. It has even been mentioned in literary works and songs by famous Spanish performers such as Joaquín Sabina, in his song In the Shadow of a Lion (1986) or Concha Piquer, in Mañana sale (1958) and its name evokes the Christmas holidays in Madrid. .

Next Thursday, December 22, 2022 the Extraordinary Christmas Draw will be held, in which the State distributes 2,520 million euros in prizes among the 180 million tenths issued. First of all, it is necessary to know that there is always a queue. Its hours are from Monday to Sunday from 9h to 20h30 , and the waiting time is usually between 25 minutes and an hour, This year the queues have been longer than ever. The almost 400 meters that separate the premises from the Gran Vía, which normally can be covered in two minutes, these days take up to five hours to cover !!

The official Doña Manolita lottery

The Madrid tourist office on the Doña Manolita lottery

There you go folks, a unique event every year in my dear Madrid. I will look forward to watch on TVE television this year as lately. Always bringing back many memorable family events, memories forever on the Doña Manolita lottery of Madrid !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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