For a while I’ve been craving a break and counting down the days until I go to Asia but it seemed so far away. So last week I decided that I would get away for a few days. I didn’t care where I would be going as long as it was close enough to England to get back quickly if need be as my little sister, who is 11, would still be in England staying with my aunt.
I eventually decided on Madrid. It’s just over 2 hours away on a flight so it’s practically around the corner. It also worked out well in price as the flight and hotel combined for 4 days and 3 nights came to less than £200!
I stayed at Hotel Osuna which is a 10 minute drive from the airport. The hotel offers a free 24hour shuttle service to and from the airport which is convenient. I called them once I arrived in Madrid and they came and picked me up. Hotel Osuna is a quiet hotel. The main area has the reception, a bar, seating area and doors to a restaurant. Outside there is a pool and it is surrounded by white maisonette-style rooms. There was a very lovely man that worked at the bar and his service was impeccable but other than that I didn’t find the staff to be the friendliest. Also the restaurant and the pool seemed to be open to the public so if you want privacy it may not be the best place for you. Luckily only a few people were staying there and a few people from the public came to visit so it didn’t bother me at all. The breakfast buffet isn’t the best and for €11 I wouldn’t advise wasting your money. All in all, the hotel worked for what I needed it for and I would probably stay again but if you’re looking for a 5 star, all inclusive, resort type of thing, then I wouldn’t recommend it.
The nearest metro stop to the hotel is Canillejas and it is less than 10 minutes to walk; almost a straight walk. It costs €2 to get to the centre and takes approximately 25 minutes.
WHERE I WENT…
I spent a lot of time relaxing and wasn’t a tourist on this break so I only went to a few places. I went to Gino’s Restaurante and Tommy Mel’s restaurant and wouldn’t recommend them at all so I’m not going to say more than that about them. Instead I’ll share my two favourite places to go in Madrid.
LA TERRAZA DE OSCAR POOL CLUB
La Terraza de Oscar Pool Club is a rooftop pool and bar and it is part of the Oscar Hotel. The nearest metro stop is Gran Via and it is located in the centre of Madrid. Access to the terrace is free but if you would like to go swimming in the pool then there is a cost of €25 euros for half a day in the pool or €50 for a full day. The environment is so relaxing and fun. I only went on the night so the pool was already closed but that didn’t take away from how amazing it was. Although the pool was technically closed it wasn’t covered so it was a nice centre piece to look at. It is surrounding by white lounge chairs, beds and low cushioned seats. The view from the rooftop is absolutely magical and it makes you feel literally on top of the world. There is music playing, amazing drinks and the loveliest people you’ll meet in the city. I give it a 10/10 and I will definitely be back. I recommend it for everyone!
NB. Please be aware that it can tend to get quite busy so sometimes you’ll be advised to either come back in 20 minutes or have a drink downstairs at the bar until the rooftop has space. The bar downstairs is lovely, the décor is fantastic and the staff are superb. (I had a balloon that I couldn’t take upstairs and the loveliest male member of staff put it away in a locker for me. He was so sad that I was taking it with me when I left as he said he loved it but he was so sweet!)
Last but not least, I have to tell you about VEGA. VEGA is a vegan restaurant in the centre of Madrid located at Calle de la Luna, 9, 28004 Madrid, Spain. (The nearest metro stop is Callao)
VEGA is open 1pm to 1am everyday however the kitchen isn’t open for all of those hours. The first day I went there at 5pm and was told the kitchen was closed until 8.30pm so it’s best to call ahead and find out what times food is being served on the day you plan to visit. Also, it gets very busy and can only seat 36 people (38 including the bar seats) which is another reason to book in advance.
NB. Specifically there are 4 high tables that seat 4, 7 regular tables that seat 2 and 1 large table that seats 6. 2 people can be seated at the bar to eat also as a last resort.
I went back to VEGA the next evening because all I had eaten for days was fries and Pringles and I needed a real meal. I didn’t book in advance but luckily upon arrival someone cancelled their booking and I was seated. I ordered Jamaican Water to drink, Chilli con “carne” con tortillas de maíz y arroz integral for dinner and Cheesefake con frutos rojos for dessert.
Jamaican Water – €2.50
A red drink with orange slices. It tasted like cold berry herbal tea mixed with orange juice. It was a very nice drink that wasn’t too sweet and was quite refreshing.
NB. It was Jamaican Independence Day on the day of my visit and seeing as I have grandparents from Jamaica I thought I’d represent some of my roots by ordering this drink. (HA! Not sure why it’s called Jamaican Water as there’s nothing Jamaican about it.)
Chilli con “carne” con tortillas de maíz y arroz integral – €11.50
Chilli con carne with corn chips and rice. The rice was seasoned to taste and had some salsa to accompany it. The chilli con carne had a slight spice to it, a lot of flavour, kidney beans a vegan minced meat replacement. (Not sure which replacement they used) It was accompanied with cooked tortilla/corn chips. The meal was delicious! The portion is enough to make you full but also not too much that you can’t finish the plate. It was one of the vegan meals I’ve tasted in a restaurant. I would highly recommend it.
Cheesecake con frutos rojos – €5
Vegan cheesecake with red berries on the side. Mmm! Absolutely amazing. The way that it melts in your mouth and the flavour isn’t overbearing. What a lovely dessert.
With the food being so nice and the service being amazing, the waitress was an absolute gem, I’ll give VEGA a 7/10. The only thing that lets it down is the fact that they have misleading times online and they need to update them as it wasted my time travelling on my first visit for the kitchen not to be open and I’m sure I’m not the only one that has happened to.
All in all, my trip to Madrid was absolutely fabulous and just what I needed. I will definitely go back, even just for a day so that I can be back on that lovely terrace after filling my stomach with amazing vegan food.
I hope that this has been helpful and thank you for reading!
(Pictures coming soon)