Long Weekend in Madrid

Blue Warehouse skirt Parque de Atracciones

With the weather turning decidedly chilly it’s bittersweet to look back at photos of trips to sunnier climes. I had intended to write this post weeks ago, but the photos were on several devices and technology hasn’t been my best friend lately…well that, and also another trip abroad took my attention elsewhere! Anyway, let’s rewind a couple of months because at the very end of the school Summer holidays we managed to squeeze in a long weekend in Madrid.

Travelling to somewhere for the first time, especially a big city, presents all sorts of sartorial dilemmas, well it certainly does for me!

It may be hard to believe, but I had never been to mainland Spain before. Travelling to somewhere for the first time, especially a big city, presents all sorts of sartorial dilemmas, well it certainly does for me! Deciding what to pack when you’re trying to travel light is never easy for me. I’d checked the weather forecast in the week leading up to our trip so I knew it was going to be hot…and I mean really hot. In some ways that made it a little easier but I still needed to be stylish and comfortable in the heat.

I had intended to take only hand luggage, but a few days before leaving we made the sensible decision to take a case for the three of us.

I had intended to take only hand luggage, but a few days before leaving we made the sensible decision to take a case for the three of us. This proved to be a wise decision, but it also tempted me to over pack. With hindsight I should have just taken the lightest, coolest clothes I had because the temperature was in the mid to high 30s! I travelled in jeans and some new silver slip-on Fitflops, but the heat made my feet swell up quite badly so I ended up wearing my red and white FitFlops during the day. They are the most comfortable flip flops I’ve ever worn and I was so glad I’d packed them.

We stayed with a friend, who we’d only actually met IRL once…the power of social media!

We stayed with a friend, who we’d only actually met IRL once…the power of social media! We met our lovely host and friend Raphy almost eight years ago when I was pregnant with Isobel. Raphy briefly dated a friend of my husband’s and they came to Nottingham (where we were living at the time) for a football match. We met for dinner that evening, and as I’d just had my first scan we broke the happy news to them. It turned out to be quite a memorable night because throughout the course of the meal my back seized up and by the end of the evening I could hardly walk! We stayed in touch on Facebook, and all these years later Raphy finally got to meet the cause of my backache and abstinence from alcohol. The two of them hit it off straight away, as I knew they would.

Madrid trip

As soon as we arrived we got changed and headed out for lunch, followed by a trip to the Parque de Atracciones – a massive amusement park for kids that has all the usual fun rides…think Alton Towers only with better weather. I tried several different outfits on before deciding on a pale blue skirt from Warehouse and a black vest that I’ve had for ages. The skirt is a lovely lightweight and cool material. I bought it especially for the trip in a little House of Fraser shopping spree. We did a lot of walking around in the sweltering heat and my usually comfortable Clark’s gold wedge espadrilles were rubbing my toes a little by the end of the afternoon. That gave me the excuse to sit out a few rides and have a rest under the shade of the trees. I actually bailed out of the roller coaster ride at the very last second, much to my husband’s amusement…I’m such a coward! I did manage a genteel boat ride though 😉

Parque de Atracciones

We left around 6pm – just as all the Spanish children were arriving. The park is open until 10pm, and of course it’s cooler in the evening. Later on we all went out for dinner which was delicious. The seafood dishes were simply divine. I could really get used to all that yummy food and Cava!

Fish and octopus dishes Madrid

On the Saturday we went out sightseeing (after a dip in the apartment block’s pool 🙂 ) and headed to the Mercado San Miguel for lunch. It’s the most spectacular food market selling a vast range of delicious nibbles. Unsurprisingly, it gets exceptionally busy and table space is limited, but it’s definitely worth the hustle and bustle. We tucked into fried and salted asparagus and peppers, anchovies and tortilla..with a nice glass of Cava of course!.

Mercado San Miguel Madrid

Mercado San Miguel Madrid

Mercado San Miguel Madrid

Me and Raphy

The frozen yogurt was too good to refuse…especially when topped with caramel sauce and chopped nuts!

Mercado San Miguel Madrid

Bear and Strawberry Tree statue Madrid

The famous Bear and the Strawberry Tree statue.

Madrid segways

Madrid refugees welcome

White Stuff striped jersey dress

This White Stuff dress (similar) was so comfortable I wore it two days in a row for sightseeing. The jersey material is lightweight and doesn’t cling, yet still creates a flattering outline. Oh and it has pockets too 😉 I’m never without my trusty straw hat from Matalan in the sun…it’s clocked up some airmiles over the years! Later that evening we had dinner at Ramses Life overlooking the magnificent Puerta de Alcalá.

Royal Palace Madrid

Royal Palace Madrid

Puerta de AlcaláWe kicked off Sunday with brunch at the Bernabeu Stadium (Real Madrid’s home ground). I have to admit that I’m not a football fan but it was still a fabulous touristy thing to do. The food was good too! Afterwards we did more sightseeing, with a boat ride around the lake in Retiro Park followed by a visit to the Prado Musuem. Top tip: admission is free Monday to Saturday from 6 pm to 8 pm and on Sundays and holidays from 5 pm to 7 pm. Don’t be put off by the very long queue – it moves very quickly.

Bernabeu Stadium Madrid

White Stuff striped jersey dress Puerta de Alcalá

Parque del Retiro

White Stuff striped jersey dress

Parque del Retiro lake

Parque del Retiro lakeRetiro Park Parque del Retiro

To finish off a fabulous weekend we had dinner at Azotea del Circulo, a rooftop restaurant and bar. Again, the food was wonderful.  I’d go back to Madrid in a heartbeat. The city is clean, there are plenty of free things to do and the weather was great.  Oh, and if you love Zara and Mango (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) the prices in Spain are significantly cheaper than in the UK. We managed to squeeze in an hour of shopping and I picked up a gorgeous military style jacket (which I’ll be featuring on the blog soon) and a cute little bag which I’ve worn here.

Azotea del Circulo de Bellas ArtesAthena statue Azotea MadridView from Azotea del Circulo de Bellas Artes

Have you been to Madrid? If you have what did you think of the city? I’d love to read your comments so please do share any tips!

 

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17 Comments

    • November 16, 2016 / 12:21 pm

      Thank you Mary! It was a lovely weekend…I miss the sunshine!

  1. November 13, 2016 / 2:53 pm

    Ah… city trips… I love them. But I haven’t been to Madrid yet. Have been to Barcelona twice. Madrid is on the bucket list.
    I think you did a bloody good job of staying stylish in mid 30 degrees. The dress is so elegant. And the red stripes on the flip flops repeat the stripes of the dress. Very good job.
    Greetje

    • November 16, 2016 / 12:23 pm

      Thank you Greetje! I took far too many clothes, but we have to be prepared for anything right? I was really impressed with Madrid and would love to go back.

  2. November 13, 2016 / 10:59 pm

    I’ve never been to Madrid but have seen a few parts of Spain. The photos are lovely and I’m amazed at how much you managed to cram into the weekend. You look as cool as a cucumber too!
    http://www.vanityandmestyle.com

    • November 16, 2016 / 12:29 pm

      Thanks so much Laurie. Yes it was a busy weekend but we had a fantastic tour guide. Our friend who we stayed with has lived there for six years – she’s French but lived in London before moving to Spain. I’m in awe of her language skills!

  3. November 14, 2016 / 3:32 pm

    Great post, I loved all your photos and holiday outfits especially that striped dress. I would love to go to Madrid one day as it sounds amazing!

    Gemma x
    http://www.jacquardflower.uk

    • November 16, 2016 / 12:30 pm

      Thank you Gemma! I’m sure you’d love it there!

  4. November 15, 2016 / 5:40 am

    How breathtaking. The one and only time I was in Madrid was 12 years ago, sadly. I remember the place as being the most beautiful juxtaposition of laidback charm and vibrant, pulsating city. So much character 🙂

    On the blog today, I’m tackling something literally “borrowed from the boys”, i.e., an item of clothing I took from my husband’s wardrobe. Come on over and see how I (and four other women of all ages) styled pieces we, ahem, borrowed from the men in our lives.

    https://sheelagoh.com/2016/11/14/boy-oh-boy/

    • November 16, 2016 / 12:32 pm

      That’s a very good description of Madrid – I thoroughly enjoyed it there and would love to go back. I’ll pop over to have a read of your post 🙂

      • November 17, 2016 / 4:29 am

        Thanks so much, Emma, tomorrow’s post is a smidge risque, a lot honest 😛

  5. November 15, 2016 / 5:34 pm

    Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. I like your striped dress. They are so versatile.

    • November 16, 2016 / 12:33 pm

      Thank you Kathrine! The food was just amazing, the best I’ve had in a long time!

  6. November 16, 2016 / 3:21 pm

    Your whole trip looks amazing Emma, the buildings, the food, your friend and host, so wonderful! You looked great and looked quite cool in you pretty striped dress.
    Thanks for linking up with Turning Heads Tuesday!
    jess xx
    http://www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com

  7. November 19, 2016 / 10:15 am

    Oh wow, Emma, it looks like an amazing weekend trip! And how fun that you got to spend in with a friend whom you met only once In real life. We are quick to criticize all the downsides of social media, but there are so many great things about it, too! Thanks for linking up with me On the Edge.

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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