Category Archives: spain

La Rosa Negra, Las Huertas, Madrid

What’s La Rosa Negra?

If you like cheap and cheerful Mexican food in vibrant surrounds, give La Rosa Negra a whirl. Think rainbow decor, statement sombreros and a menu to make your mouth water and you’re on the right track. Sandwiched between Calle del Prado and Calle de las Huertas just a stone’s throw from Anton Martin Metro, this is an easy to reach little gem.

What of the grub?

The menu is full of Mexican classics with dishes ranging from smaller bites such as Guacamole and Nachos to larger meals of Burritos and Tacos. There’s also a delicious range of cocktails on offer from Caipirinhas and Daiquiris to Mojitos and Margaritas. I love their delicious Tacos and Passionfruit Daiquiris and would also highly recommend their zingy Margaritas alongside the scrumptious Chicken Burritos - the ideal mix of the spicy and refreshing.

What do they say?

Jamie Oliver would probably describe this as good, honest food. The presentation is simple but it tastes great, is good value and is served with mega-watt smiles. I’d definitely recommend this joint if you’re after a vivid, fun-filled break from tapas.


Website: Here

Address: Calle León, 16, 28014 Madrid

Tel: 914 20 30 68

Nearest Tube: Anton Martin

“La Infinito, café-libros-arte”, Anton Martin, Madrid

Where is it?

Tucked away in the quiet backwaters of Anton Martin and Lavapiés, La Infinito, café-libros-arte is a book-filled, bohemian musical-café on a sunny corner. Like walking into the cosy lounge of a really interesting journalist-musician hybrid, this is the sort of place you can settle down into for an afternoon.

What of the grub?

Whether coffee, tea or brunch, the food, prices and service are stellar. Juice, tea, toast with nutella and a giant bowl of cereal with yogurt and fruit will set you back a mere 4.5 euros with the priciest item on the breakfast menu being 6 euros.

If music be the food of love play on..

Apart from the deliciously kooky decor, one of the best bits of La Infinito, café-libros-arte is the musicians you can watch here. With a little glass stage, it’s home to intimate gigs such as Celia Carballo’s recent performance, mixing soulful classics and brunch for a mere 12 euros! To see the sort of quality we’re talking about, check her out performing with the Black Bones here. Incredible.

Why visit?

If you like literature, character, cosiness and great value food, give this whirl. La Infinito, café-libros-arte is super cute, super cool.


Address: Calle de Tres Peces, 22

Nearest metro: Anton Martin

Events: Check out the Facebook pages of “La Infinito, café-libros-arte” and Celia Carballo via “The Tribulettes”

Opening Hours:

Mon – Thurs: 11am – 12am

Fri: 11am -1am

Sat: 11-2am

Free Wifi


Librería “La Central de Callao”

Where is it?

Situated a stone’s throw from El Corte Inglés and Gran Via, this place is completely unique. A mix of academic-chic, La Central de Callao is a 3 floored treasure chest combining over 70,000 volumes of specialized books in philosophy, history, social science and literature and a super cool bistro to boot.

What’s it like?

If unpretentious Bohemia is your thing, the bistro is a real find. Open until around midnight most nights, it boasts a great selection of cakes and savoury treats and would be an original substitute to grand alternatives.

Surrounded by books a-plenty, La Central’s bistro has a unique energy. Combining the soulfulness you find tree-side, the inspiration you find in bookshops with a cosmopolitan cosiness typical of Madrid, this little eatery is a real treat.

What else is on?

The lectures and presentations on offer are fascinating ranging from this month’s GRAF presentation dedicated to comics and illustration to Yasmina Khadra (one of the most important and famous writers of Algerian literary scene, with work published in more than forty countries) speaking next month.

Why go?

If you’re a creative type who gets excited by books and new places, try La Centrale. It’s good for the soul.


Dirección: Calle del Postigo de San Martín, 8, 28013 Madrid


Teléfono: 917 90 99 30


Horarios (El Bistro):

Lunes, martes y miércoles - 9.00 – 00.00

Jueves, viernes y sábado - 9.00 – 01.00

Domingo y festivos - 10.00 – 22.00

Seville, Spain

Seville is without doubt one of Spain’s most vibrant, colourful and traditional cities.

With row upon row of orange trees lining its cobbled streets and Moorish architecture bedecking the horizon, it’s a truly magical city that many have heard of but not yet visited.

Having been fortunate enough to have spent a year abroad sampling its charms, I have first-hand knowledge of some must-sees and dos which I outline below in order of preference:

1. Aire de Sevilla Spa Arabic Baths

Man or woman, spa fanatic or not, this is a truly magical life experience that will make your holiday. Hidden behind a typical entrance door on the narrow cobbled street of the aptly named Calle Aire, herein lies an oasis of calm that tends to the weary mind and body. At €40 for two hour access, it’s great value and a truly intimate experience with only 10 or so people allowed entry at any one point. The owners could surely make a mint out of commercializing this unique venue by cramming it full of weary tourists, but this would defeat its objective to rejuvenate the senses and soothe your soul. Its various rooms comprise candle-lit, water-filled ‘caves’ dotted with Arabic lamps and ambient music. From hot, lukewarm, and cold hydro-jets, to eucalyptus-infused steam rooms and salt-water pools, the ambience really is something to behold. Once your time is through in the low-lit spa areas, you can slowly amble to the relaxing lounge area for a small pot of tea or a cocktail with a pastry – the perfect start or end to your day.

Calle Aire, 15, 41004 Sevilla, Spain; +34955010025:

2. La Carboneria

An incredible, bohemian flamenco bar nestled on a back street of Barrio de Santa Cruz, this venue is a hidden gem and firm favourite with friends who have visited it. Come 8pm, this converted, modest coal yard is packed to the rafters with locals and tourists alike, with live nightly flamenco performances at no extra charge from 11pm onwards. Its walls bedecked with colourful artwork and ceilings lined with rickety old ceiling fans, it is quintessential Spanish at its best and a must visit for all.

Calle Levíes, 18, 41004 Sevilla, Spain; +34954214460;

3. El Rinconcillo

With its name literally translating to ‘the corner’, this is the oldest tapas bar in Seville located on the corner of Calle Gerona 32 near the church of Santa Catalina. Steeped in history and a firm favourite amongst locals, this venue is tradition embodied. Aging hams adorn its antiquated ceilings, orders are messily etched in chalk on the bar while the waiters are dressed smartly ready to deal with the chaos that ensues during the lunch-time rush. Standing at the bar or hip high barrel tables is the best way to really experience the buzzing atmosphere although there are more formal tables available in the restaurant should you wish to rest your weary feet after a day of site seeing.

Calle Gerona, 40, 41003 Sevilla, Spain; +34954223183;

4. Bar Rio Grande

Seville’s coolest outdoor bar, El Rio Grande is, as its name suggests, situated on the imposing banks of the River Guadalquivir at the end of the buzzing Calle Betis. Upstairs lies a more formal restaurant area bedecked in smart white tablecloths and crockery, however the lower level outdoor area is where the magic really happens. Nestled among lush palms, smart decking and low-lit hidden lighting is a hideaway bar area overlooking the stunning vistas of the river. A secret Spanish Neverland, this bar is a must visit for its stunning location and magical atmosphere.

Calle Betis, 69, 41010 Sevilla, Spain; +34954273956;

5. Las Reales Alcázares

One of my favourite places on earth. The Alcázar of Seville is a royal palace, originally a Moorish fort and the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe, with the upper levels of the Alcázar still being used by the royal family as the official Seville residence. Room after room showcases beautiful art and architecture, but for the real romantics out there, the gardens are the true sight to behold. Elegant palms and beautiful flowers scatter its extensive grounds, with shade-drenched benches located at regular intervals to allow its visitors to take in the surrounding views, protected from the strong Spanish sun. Located in the centre of town opposite the Cathedral, any stresses that you feel will quickly fade away after an hour inside this beautiful space.

Patio de Banderas, s/n, 41004 Sevilla; +34954502324;

6. Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza

The magnificent bullring is considered to be one of the finest in Spain and is one of the oldest and most important in the world. Whilst sections of the younger Spanish population are against the sport, it remains phenomenally popular in Seville, with its electric atmosphere being an essential experience. With its impressive Baroque façade dating from 1762, the arena accommodates 14,000 bodies – which tend to be dressed in their finest Sunday best. If you don’t fancy experiencing the gore of a bullfight, tour visits take you to the modestly sized museum, which traces the sport’s history from the 18th century to present day – here you can peruse an array of costumes, posters and bull’s heads, as well as paintings of some celebrated Sevillano toreros. Situated at the heart of the city overlooking the river, the bullring is the most striking visual symbol of both Seville and wider Spain, and will prove a memorable experience.

Paseo de Cristóbal Colón, 12, 41001 Sevilla; +34954224577;

7. Barrio Santa Cruz

The primary tourist neighborhood of the city and the former Jewish quarter, Santa Cruz is bordered by the Jardines de Murillo, the Real Alcázar, Calle Mateas Gago, and Calle Santa Maria La Blanca/San José. Its labrynthine streets house many of Seville’s oldest churches and several plazas full of bars and terraces – brimming with character it is the perfect area to amble gently around before or after a relaxing lunch.

8. Catedral De Sevilla

The largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world, Seville’s cathedral is a masterpiece. The Giralda, its bell tower, stands at 343 feet high and is the perfect spot to take in the panoramic views of the city after a short walk up the 35 stairs. With construction having begun in 1184, the building is steeped in history and traditionalism. Grand, elegant and traditional, the cathedral is one of Seville’s finest attributes and will astound your senses.

Av de la Constitución, s/n, 41004 Sevilla; +349020996 92;

La Musa, Malasaña

La Musa is my favourite. A kooky restaurant extraordinaire tucked away on Calle de Manuela Malasaña, this is a full-proof hit with guests.  An intimate venue bedecked with a variety of hanging glass lights, you can’t help but be drawn in as you pass by at dusk.

La Musa’s focal point is the marble-topped bar which serves every type of gin you could imagine and even Amaretto Disaronno (major brownie point).  Your pre-dinner tipple is usually served with a scrumptious tapas treat (always top-notch) by a bartender who will, guaranteed, lift your mood.  The waiters are delightful, their casual charm befitting their stripy shirts and braces while the wooden slatted tables and cool pictures add to La Musa’s chilled-out picnicky vibe.

The food is to die for.  Simple as.  You really can’t go wrong – whether sampling the Californian Sushi Rolls, La Bomba (a delicious, scotch egg-like pork and potato creation) or the divine Guacamole which comes with its own pestle and mortar, this really is a feast to behold.  La Musa also serves breakfast ranging from a Full English to a variety of toast and jams.

The prices are really reasonable, with a meal for three and several liquid treats coming to a mere 22 euros each.  And for those who live a little further south, do not fear – La Musa can also be found in La Latina on Costanilla de San Andrés, 12.

But be warned, if you sample this gastronomical hidey-hole, you’re likely to become a regular (and likely a little heavier than you were before).


Address: Calle de Manuela Malasaña, 18, 28004 Madrid

Nearest metro: Bilbao


Tel: 914 48 75 58

Wifi Access