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Churros and a cup of thick hot chocolate

By | 28 October, 2015 | 0 comments

In Madrid, both churros and porras (the larger version of the churro, the famous deep-fried dough sticks) are a regular feature for breakfast. They are especially good when you have them with a cup of hot chocolate, although not all locals feel that it is mandatory. It is, however, for bars like La Austríaca, on Calle San Onofre, 3, (perpendicular to Fuencarral), where they serve the best value-for-money hot chocolate in the whole of Madrid. They serve you a full cup of it in its thick and creamy greatness. Make sure you try it.

A five-minute walk from there, in a more chic and sophisticated atmosphere, is Cacao Sampaka, which will fulfil the expectations of all chocolate lovers in any of its shapes or forms. In the shop, they sell many different kinds of cocoa in modern, clean and attractive wrappings that bring even more elegance to this adult pleasure. However, make sure you try its hot chocolate, either the Classic or the Azteco, the latter with a slight bitter twist, accompanied by some exquisite pastries. Find it on Calle Orellana, 4.

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The best movies of all time at La Filmoteca

By | 15 October, 2015 | 0 comments

It is a much beloved building, a peculiar one, located on Calle Santa Isabel, one of the liveliest ones with permission from the nearby ones of Calle León and Calle Antón Martín. It also has a bar inside and a store inside that sells movie items. Also known as Cine Doré, La Filmoteca of Madrid is much more than just a cinema. It is a luxury that everyone should enjoy very close to our hotel in the centre of Madrid.

Aside from the film Festival, that takes place this year from the 3rd until the 5th of November, with all the usual discounts and promotions, you could say that every day is a film festival at La Filmoteca, thanks to its tickets for 2.50 euros and its highly interesting programme. However, one should avoid the prejudice that it only screens cult movies for hipsters, since they also have movies for the general public, such as Back to the Future II, on October 24th at 5.30pm; or films that won Goya awards such as No todo es vigilia, a Spanish-Colombian documentary about the drama of being an old man without resources to pay for a home. It will be screened on Saturday October 31st at 9.30pm.

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La calle Preciados

By | 16 April, 2014 | 0 comments

Calle PreciadosDespite what some may think, this street does not start on Plaza del Callao but before, from the area of Santo Domingo, parallel to Calle Jacometrezo.

Its name comes from the fact that the Preciado brothers used to live there, who worked as civil servants that used to check and spy on the irregularities that took place in the markets, an old figure that was common in the Arab souks. The word in Spanish is almotacén, of Arabic origin, which sounds like almacén – warehouse, which is relevant because this house held one of the most famous department stores in Spain of the 20th century, Galerías Preciados, who opened their doors in 1943. Their central location soon turned it into a favourite street among locals who began to enjoy higher purchasing power from the 1960s onwards, which influenced the pedestrianisation of the area a decade later.

The first stretch of the street, the one that is born on Santo Domingo, is almost exclusively dedicated to gastronomic offer. The visitor can find fast food restaurants in the different free buffet places at good prices, as well as traditional cuisine in restaurants such as Asador de Aranda, which specialises in Castilian cuisine and suckling pig.

In the second stretch, leaving the square to our left, is the impressive building of Callao, with a fine and modern outline that makes it hard to believe that it was built in the early 1940s. Its author was the eclectic architect Gutíerrez Soto, who is also the ‘father’ of other emblematic parts of the district such as Bar Chicote and Cine Callao, of modernist style. The Callao building used to hold the aforementioned Galerías Preciados, today owned by the Corte Inglés group, who later paved the way for the current tenant, FNAC.

Among the different fast fashion shops and others like Camper or Swatch are some older surviving ones, such as the toy shop Sanatorio de Juguetes, on the first floor of number 19 Calle Preciados, considered the oldest toy shop in Madrid, open since 1916.

A street of contrasts, since its important commercial and consumerist offer -before reaching Sol are two Corte Inglés buildings- is combined with the presence of many different NGOs that try to get affiliates to register for their causes. They are part of the human landscape of this famous artery in Madrid, the one chosen by different televisions to carry out surveys on current affairs. These are elements that once the visitor reaches the Puerta del Sol, where our Hotel Victoria 4 is located, will make him breathe and feel a happy relief.

Restaurantes con solera: Casa Botín

By | 10 April, 2014 | 0 comments

Casa Botin MadridThe name does not come from the president of an important Spanish bank; this restaurant boasts, and rightfully so since it is certified with a Guinness plaque (the records one, not the beers), of being the oldest in the world. The date is subject to controversy since there are older restaurants in the world although if you google “oldest restaurant in the world” you will find Casa Botín in the top places. In any case, it is the oldest in Spain, opening its doors in 1725 during the reign of King Felipe V, the first king of the House of Bourbon in Spain. It rivals with Can Culleretes in barcelona, a restaurant that has offered Catalan gastronomic specialities since 1786.

In fact, it is called, as the plaque says at the entrance, Restaurante Sobrino de Botín, and it is just a stone’s throw from the Plaza Mayor, on the picturesque Calle de Cuchilleros. Its interior with four floors surprises the visitors with its intricate rooms. Its menu does not include over complicated dishes of fusion cuisine but rather traditional and simple cuisine, with juicy stews and starters such as asparagus or peppers, although they all have the special charm of the restaurant, filled with lovely corners and old-style waiters. However, do not expect a local crowd in there because it is full of Japanese and European tourists, tourists with a deep pocket since it is not particularly cheap; age has a price.

Far from stalling and living from the past, the oldest restaurant in Spain is showing signs of adapting to the changes, as its online reservations network shows, as well as its presence in the social networks and YouTube. Also, the business is open to expansion, exemplified with its restaurant in Toledo, where they serve every day in the Army Museum and have a fantastic terrace with a view over the river Tajo. The latest heirs of the restaurant also want to bring new dishes to the menu and have incorporated paellas made in true Valencian style, with water and vegetables brought especially from this region, an excellent example of how the different parts of Spain that come together in Madrid. Isn’t that fusion cuisine?

Enjoying lunch or dinner at Casa Botín is a unique experience for foodies staying in our hotel. From Hotel Victoria 4 we can walk to the Plaza Mayor in just a few minutes. You just have to cross the Puerta del Sol, from its birth in Plaza de Santo Domingo.

“Roma”, en el Museo del Prado

By | 8 September, 2011 | 0 comments

The Prado Museum in Madrid will show up to the 25th of September the exhibition called “Rome”, Roma. This exhibition has brought to one place all the works produced in the Italian capital during the first years of the 17th century.

The Prado Museum can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday, including bank holidays, from 9am till 8pm.

The ticket price is 8 Euros, with reduced prices for students and over 65s at 4 Euros.

Roman classism as a tendency was born to finish with the overelaborate style of the Barroque and its way of understanding art. For this new artistic current nature was the starting point for creation, the source of beauty, following the concepts inherited from Classical Greece.

Some of the most important authors that followed this current were Annibale Carracci, Poussin, Paurl Brill and Claudio de Lorena, among many others, even though they did not manage to achieve international recognition.

The main representative artist of this movement in Spain was painter Juan Bautista Maino, whose work we can enjoy in the Prado Museum including the piece La Magdalena Penitente.

Sôber estará en el Festival En Vivo 2011

By | 7 September, 2011 | 0 comments

The band from Madrid Sober is back. The band surprised its fans with the release of their single Fantasma, the first instalment of their new record Superbia that will be released in 2012.

The band has also confirmed that it will take part in the En Vivo 2011 festival, the great musical event that will happen during the 8, 9 and 10 September 2011 in the Getafe Open Air space in Madrid.

The price for the whole event pass to be able to listen to all the best music of the national and international scene is 32 Euros.

After 18 years of history, the members of Sober have managed to produce mature rock in Superbia. It has been widely accepted, with more than 50,000 visits to their site in just a week.

With Carlos Escobedo’s peculiar voice, supported by Antonio Bernardini and Jorge Escobedo on the guitar and Manu Reyes on the drums, this band uses strong sounds, with lyrics full of deep meaning.

The audience of En Vivo 2011 will also be able to listen to Mago de Oz, Rosendo, Los Suaves, Tonino Carotone, Mojinos Escozios, Celtas Cortos, Kiko Veneno, La Fuga, Sho Hai (Verse Rapists) and the great attraction, The Offspring.

Vogue Fashion’s Night Out en Madrid

By | 6 September, 2011 | 0 comments

It is the evening of fashion par excellence. The Moon will be introducing the latest designs and shopaholics will be able to enjoy their favourite shops until midnight. That is Vogue Fashion’s Night Out, that will be in Madrid on the 7th September 2011, coming strong with their past success.

More than 340 shops will take part in the event this year. Each shop will organize defferent and original activities to attract as much audience as possible. This event will happen at international scale as Vogue is organizing it simultaneously in seven of the biggest cities on the planet.

The shopping night, VFNO, will have big attractions to maintain the magic and the glamour of the event.

Items of clothing and presents will be given away as prices in different areas of the event. Others will prefer to offer wine or food tasting experiences, and the most daring shops will sell limited editions of dresses or complements only during that evening and at really attractive prices.

The shopping festival will take place in three areas of Madrid that are important in fashion terms: barrio de Salamanca, Fuencarral-Triball and Las Salesas. Customers will be able to find very interesting discounts in all the participating shops.

La Vuelta Ciclista a España llega al Jarama y termina en Cibeles

By | 5 September, 2011 | 0 comments

Sunday September 11, 2011, is the “D” day. It is a key date for cycling lovers, because the Tour of Spain will end in Madrid, where fans will be able to meet the 66th winner.

But also, in this twenty-first and last part of the tour, the so called “serpiente multicolour” the “multicolour serpent” will start its route from the well-known Jarama Circuit on the outskirts of Madrid.

The cyclists will start the race from the speed circuit of the RACE, this will be the special mark for this last part of the race that traditionally is viewed as an homage to the winner and all his team.

In Madrid, the cyclists will go around a circuit around Paseo de la Castellana, Gran Vía and Paseo del Prado 10 times. The first lap will be, as it is already tradition in cycling, a triumphal parade for the leader and prospective winner, surrounded by all his team.

But after crossing the line for the first time, the war for one of the last victories in this Vuelta a España will start. At the end of it all the sprinters will be able to show off in Plaza de Cibeles.

Vetusta Morla tocará en las Fiestas de Valdemoro 2011

By | 4 September, 2011 | 0 comments

The 2011 Madrid Festival in the suburb of Valdemoro will open with a top band, Vetusta Morla. This independent pop-rock bands will perform in the town’s football stadium on Friday, September 9 at 12 am. The ticket price is 10 Euros.

The members of the band Vetusta Morla have been playing for 13 years, since they decided to work in music in 1998 when they were still studying in secondary school in Tres Cantos. Since then, they have found thousands of fans that they attracted with their first album, Un día en el mundo, a day in the world, released in 2008.

They received four UFI awards and three Music awards for the quality of their songs. Now the band has just released its second album, Mapas, composed and recorded after a long tour around Argentina and Mexico.

In this six man band are Pucho, supported by Jorge González, Juan Manuel Latorre, David García “El Indio”, Alejandro Notario and Guillermo Galván.

The name they gave to the band comes from the old but intelligent turtle that appeared i nthe book The NeverEnding Story by Michel Ende.

De marcha por la Plaza de Santa Ana

By | 8 August, 2011 | 0 comments

Plaza de Santa Ana is one of the most famous squares when it comes to night life in Madrid. A few minutes walk from Puerta del Sol and a short stroll from Hotel Victoria4, you will be able to enjoy the different night life experiences that offers Plaza de Santa Ana.

In this square there is something for everybody, for those who like quite evenings as well as those who enjoy dancing to loud music. 

The evening starts as early as 7pm, when most of the clubs and bars start opening for the night crowd. The more general bars stay open all day, for instance the well-known Cervecería Alemana (German Beergarden) works as an everyday tapas bar, so it opens about 10am and closes late at night. There are a couple of tapas bars on the same side of the square as Cervecería Alemana, as well as on the opposite side. These are places where you can enjoy a good atmosphere, having good food and nice wine or beer and still be able to chat to your friends.

On one of the sides of Santa Ana, you will see a green frontage that looks taken out of a tropical paradise, this is Mauna Loa or commonly known as “el Hawaiiano” or “the Hawaiian cocktail bar. 

Just off Santa Ana in Calle del Principe you will find more music and dance pubs that tend to open just at 7 and stay open till late. These are very popular venues for young people, where you will be introduced to the latest Spanish pop hits.

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