Demi Perera‘s tour of Madrid with Luxury Travel Advisors continues on a bright Sunday morning in the bustling centre of Puerta del Sol, Madrid with a privately guided walk with tapas stops at some of the city’s most iconic and historic venues.
The tour starts at extravagant Lhardy (1839) opened by Emilio Huguenin Lhardy and the first modern restaurant to introduce separate tables, written menus and fixed prices at a time when the city was overrun by taverns.
First tapas of the day was an appetising chicken broth made with sherry and served with rich, succulent chicken liver. A Vermouth with gin accompanied by exquisite croquetas of sophistication beyond my British palate were simply delightful and left me wanting more. The food, the broth and vermouth had all been considered choices by the hosts to awaken the tastebuds in preparation for the rest of the day.
The dining was followed by a tour of the restaurant including its private Japanese Room where Mata Hari herself had frequented during her time. It was striking, fine details such as these which made this walking tour unforgettable. I was mesmerised by Lhardy and its aristocratic elegance; A fitting choice to kick start the tour and capture one’s imagination.
Second stop was De Jose a smaller, traditional Spanish taverna. A vastly different experience altogether form the first. The taverna had the ambience of authentic Madrid. Madrileños filled the space and the sound of cutlery, crockery, conversation and laughter filled the atmosphere. We sat around our reserved table and shared food, stories and laughter. It was all we could do to join in.
Generous portions of anchovy, Spanish carnes, potato salad and breads arrived with beer, wine and water. The service, as always, remained impeccable even as it got busier in to the afternoon. Tapas was served with smiles all around and it was infectious.
Paradis, the closing stop on the walk was perfect for ending the tour on a high note. The table had been set for a truly prestigious experience. Paradis sits in an exclusive neighbourhood of Madrid and counts Hollywood A-listers as its patrons. It’s easy to see why. Our private reserved table was served by a dedicated sommelier of unparalleled gastronomic expertise.
Tapas of venison, duck foie gras, salmon and caviar was served generously and paired with reds, whites and Cava. The experience was above and beyond an education in wine. It was a generous sharing of time and knowledge and as such set itself apart from routine wine tasting tours.
I felt wonderfully liberated from the tedium of planning and navigating an unfamiliar city on this trip. As such, my time was spent fully immersed and relishing each precise moment. The Tapas Walking Tour is not only a slick itinerary executed by the cooperation between local gastronomic connoisseurs. It is also a supreme example of what Luxury Travel Advisors had achieved with its bespoke itinerary. An utter triumph.
Luxury Travel Advisor’s Chef’s Table Madrid starts from £2,800 per person and includes the following:
- Three nights accommodation at luxury 5* hotel (B&B basis);
- Private chauffeur;
- Local market visit with gastronomic expert;
- Private cookery workshop;
- Private wine tasting experience;
- Private tapas walking tour;
- Tasting menu at a Michelin-star restaurant
Flights not included. For more information visit luxurytraveladvisors.co.uk.
Keep an eye out for more Love Madrid posts coming soon.