MY STYLE: Natural, bohemian, vintage. I love to reuse old clothes from my mum or grandmother, and also to mix old and modern furniture. In my house, you’ll find vintage photos and creations made by my girls. I like to create a space that’s comfortable for everyone.
I LOVE MADRID BECAUSE: There are plenty of parks and cultural events to enjoy with your children. You can go walk everywhere, or bike or rollerblade!
Mercado de San Miguel
Markets are one of the few places in any city that bustle constantly from dawn until dusk, and Mercado de San Miguel is no exception. Originally built in 1916 in the style of Paris’s Les Halles, the market fell into disrepair before closing for a revamp, reopening in 2009. Now, it’s a feast for the senses—equal parts tourist attraction and local favorite—where daytime commerce can turn into nighttime tapas, seafood, and champagne.
Canon or Nikon? Vacillate at Fotocasión, Madrid’s premier photography shop! With three levels, there’s plenty of room for amateurs and experts alike, and even an upstairs showroom for the latter. “This is where I get all of my supplies,” says professional photographer Maria Primo de Rivera. “They always have what you need, and the prices are reasonable.”
The Rastro flea market runs every Sunday, but you can find interesting antiques all week long at La Europa. The shop keeps an updated catalogue of its goods on its website, too, so if you’ve had your eye on a piece for some time, you can check online to see if its still available. And at the brick-and-mortar location, you never know what gems you’ll come across—from lighting fixtures to tables to old industrial
This independent bookstore is right at home in the hip Chueca neighborhood. Panta Rhei specializes in books on art, design, photography, and fashion—all with coffee table-worthy covers and aesthetics. For a little art in 3D, go to the gallery on the lower level, which displays original drawings and illustrations. Your kids won’t mind, as the store also has a lovely children’s corner.
Galería Magda Bellotti
Mere blocks from the Prado, Galería Magda Bellotti is in good artistic company. “This is one of my favorite galleries in Madrid,” says Maria Primo de Rivera. “It’s great for catching all the emerging artists.” A recent show featured work by Jaime Gili, whose work melds the British pop aesthetic with Latin American sensibilities. Over the years, the gallery has showcased several other now-prominent artists (including Luis Gordillo, Guillermo Pérez Villalta, and Eva Lootz) back when they were just starting out.
One of Madrid’s most popular attractions, Retiro Park, was once home to King Felipe IV’s 17th century royal palace. Since it became a public park in the 19th century, thousands have flocked to the beautiful grounds, taking in the monuments, sculptures, historical architecture, rose gardens, and even paddling in the boating lake. In the summer, Retiro Park offers free concerts and also hosts an annual book fair.
In the warmer months, a seat on Bahiana Club’s terrace is as much sought after as the bar’s top-rate cocktails. Inside, a chalkboard displays the drinks on offer, while plush sofas add to the relaxed, boho-chic vibe. Much like the surrounding décor, the offerings (burgers, homemade pizza, Moroccan mint tea) are casual but well-executed. “They also serve the best Bloody Mary’s in town!” says Maria Primo de Rivera.
This trendy restaurant serves up tasty tapas at five locations throughout the city. It’s not for want of soul just because it’s a chain, though. Modern decorations include work by local artists, such as photographs by Maria Primo de Rivera. Lateral doesn’t accept reservations, so go early (or expect a wait) if you’re hankering for sirloin with melted brie, cod croquette, or one of the other culinary specialties.
Mamá Framboise has fresh fruit tarts, flaky croissants, and all the other trappings you’d expect of Madrid’s first Parisian-style boulangerie. Tables in the small seating area can be hard to come by, but always worth the wait. If the choices overwhelm you, the toasted brioche with butter and marmalade is always a favorite!
This Mediterranean brasserie is the latest addition to the Tragaluz restaurant group, which was started in 1987 by Rosa Maria Esteva and Tomas Tarruella, mother and son. Esteva’s daughter, interior designer Sandra Tarruella, created a bright and modern space for Luzi Bombón. It’s perfect for a meal or late-night drinking and dancing.