Hi.

My name is Catherine Courtney and I am a Nashville Native with a penchant for culinary creativity and epic travel adventures.  I'll admit... I also have a slight obsession with handbags. 

Madrid Musings: Bites & Sights Part 1

Madrid Musings: Bites & Sights Part 1

When I was planning my trip to Madrid, I was a little overwhelmed. There was SO much to see and not enough time. That seems to be the case with all of my travel, but I digress.  Below are a few of my favorite places that I visited.  If you have any questions at all about any of this, feel free to comment below or shoot me an email! I am happy to assist in any way.

Museo del Prado

Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 23. Madrid. 28014

Website

The Museo del Prado is the main Spanish art museum centrally located in Madrid. If you are staying in the city, it is a quick 30-minute walk and the scenery along the way is just divine! Vast in size, you will want to make sure that not only have allotted the appropriate amount of time but also comfortable walking shoes. The museum hosts over 7500 paintings from the likes of Goya, El Greco, Rubens, and Velazquez.  I am such an art history nerd and could not have been more excited to visit. Having studied art history in both high school and college, I was thrilled to see Velazquez's work, Las Meninas as it was a work that truly stood out during my studies. 

Tip: Order your tickets in advance here and arrive a few minutes ( 15 or so for me) before opening. Having already procured your tickets, you are in a different line on the side of the museum and skip standing and waiting with the masses. Trying to beat the rush and skipped breakfast?  Never fear, there is a lovely cafe that serves pastries and snacks, so consider this an option when planning your day.

Tariff: General Admission tickets: 15€

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Buen Retiro Park

Plaza de la Independencia, 7, 28001 Madrid, Spain

Just a quick walk from Museo del Prado is Buen Retiro Park. Being one of the largest parks in Madrid, there are sculptures, fountains and manicured gardens as far as the eye can see. If you are feeling a little ambitious, grab your running shoes and hit the trails. This park is a runner's dream and the eye candy is limitless!

Tip: If you are feeling adventurous, pick up some snacks or even lunch and head over for the perfect picnic!

Tariff: Free

Palacio de Cristal

Paseo República de Cuba, 4, 28009 Madrid, Spain

Located within the Buen Retiro Park you will find the most lovely glass structure: the Palacio de Cristal or the "Crystal Palace." Built in 1887, this structure was designed by Ricardo Velazquez Bosco with the intent on displaying flora and fauna from the Philippines. It's such a stunning building. From the sunshine peering through the glass to the intricate tile work surrounding the outer portion of the building, no detail was left unfinished.

Tip: On any given day, this building tends to become a bit crowded with tourists.  If you are looking to snap the perfect pic, make your way to the front near the entrance and you can capture part of the park in the background. 

Tariff:  Free of charge

Oven Mozzarella Bar

Calle de Fuencarral, 74, 28004 Madrid, Spain

Website

After a day of sightseeing and wandering around Madrid clocking more than 10 miles on the Apple Watch, I was famished! I noticed this darling cafe on my walk to the Museo Del Prado, Oven Mozzarella Bar. Being the cheese enthusiast that I am, I made a mental note to swing by on the walk back to the hotel. Even though this wasn't your typical Spanish Tapas, one can never go wrong with mozzarella and pizza. Right? I may have gotten a wee bit out of control with my order, but that's what happens when you work up an appetite! To start, I ordered a bottle or Spanish Rose. Tip: If you plan on having more than one glass with your meal, this is the most economical way to go.  In Spain, it's incredibly easy to find an amazing wine at a truly affordable price. Sipping on my glass of rose, I perused the menu a little closer this time and came across Burrata Tartufo. Had I died and gone to heaven? Almost! Served on a bed of of grated tomatoes and arugula, the burrata was topped with a generous amount of black truffles. While the ingredients were rather simple, each bite was chock-full of flavor. 

Burrata Tartufo: Burrata served with grated tomatoes, arugula, and topped off with a generous amount of black truffles

Trying to add a bit of Spanish flair into my meal, I ordered one of the gourmet pizzas: Burrata with Jamon Iberico. TO.DIE.FOR. This pizza had a base of tomato and mozzarella and was topped with Iberian cured ham and fresh basil.  The flavor profile was perfection.  The saltiness of the ham was the perfect compliment both in flavor and texture to the creaminess of burrata. I may or may not have devoured the entire pie.  Whoops! 

Burrata with Jamon Iberico: Tomato and mozzarella topped with Iberian cured ham and fresh basil.

Tip: This restaurant tends to fill up rather quickly.  While it is quite sizable, I would recommend coming in a bit earlier if you're coming during a prime dining hour. Take your time and explore the menu- so many wonderful options available!

Tariff: Dishes range from 8€-15€ each. 

Stay tuned for upcoming installments of Bites and Sights in Madrid.  Until Next Time! 

Madrid Musings: Mercado de San Miguel

Madrid Musings: Mercado de San Miguel

National Rosé Day!

National Rosé Day!