Posts Tagged ‘Spain’

No, we weren’t taken aback by the Spanish siesta, late nights, food or anything like that.  What gave us culture shock was the sheer amount of art we saw in only 3 days. I swear I’ve never seen so many paintings in such a short space of time in my life, and to be honest I don’t want to either. By the time we got to the Goyas in the Prado I was so dehydrate and tired I couldn’t muster up half the enthusiasm I’d shown for less iconic works at the start.

Not that I don’t recommend visiting the museums in Madrid but maybe try to take your time over them or you risk spoiling the effect.

So, have a bocadillo de jamon (ham sandwich for the likes of us) and a drink of water before you enter the Prado then take a long break at the cafe while you’re in there or you risk withering before you get to El Greco.

On the same road as the Prado (so of course we visited it on the same day…) is the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum which is home to modern art and a lot of Flemish paintings which I’m not really into as everyone looks pasty and ill in them.

Also a stone’s throw from the Prado is the Caixa forum by Herzog and de Meuron. To be honest I’ve forgotten what was in it as the actual building is so cool.

The Centro de Arte Reina Sofia is a whole lot  more lively. Although it’s modern and contemporary again it’s much mor interactive with installations and a nice little garden. The glass lifts down the front of it are quite cool too and the innner court is interesting. I suppose we can congratulate mr Nouvel on it. Whatever you do don’t eat at the restaurant just opposite on the piazza as it’s dire and over priced.

The inner court of the Reina Sofia museum (or back court am not sure how to describe it)…

And finally if you still have any energy left try the tapas at La Chata and wonder round the city in the evening for a taste of true Spanish night life.


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So, the world’s 50 best restaurants were published yesterday by the website world50best.com

Interestingly there are only 2 Italian restaurants in the list showing that either Italians are not doing a very good job of getting out there and promoting their fine dining or that restauranteurs in dear old Italia have been resting on their laurels a little too long and need to get out there and modernise the experience.

The UK, in fact, jestingly regarded by Italians as the nadir of cooking actually has one more listed restaurant than Italy thanks no doubt to the amazing renaissance that dining has had in the country in the past two decades or so.

Overall the USA has the largest number of fine dining establishments followed by Mediterranean princess, Spain.

These are the top 10:

Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark

El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain

 Mugaritz, San Sebastiàn, Spain
D.O.M., Sao Paulo, Brazil
Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
Per Se, New York, USA
Alinia, Chicago, USA
Arzak, San Sebastiàn, Spain
Eleven Madison Park, New York USA
Needless to say I’m going to print out the list and after an accurate analysis of my travel and food budget try to eat my way through some of these, but as I think it might not be such an easy task I hope to hear comments and experiences from you!

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