This post is part of our series on places to have a drink as well as the series on bookshops. This time’s recommendation is perhaps not so close to the school, but what a great place it is. A slightly eccentric bohemian champañería (champagne bar) with poetry readings and spectacular sunsets with a view over the Casa de Campo. Go here to ponder on Madrid life in all its glorious Madridness
This bar is located on the edge of the oldest part of the city, just by the Segovia Viaduct that leads up to the royal palace. Here the higher ground of the La Latina district ends and slopes down steeply towards the river plain below. Because there are no further buildings in the way, only a small park, the bar offers a beautiful view westwards over the Casa de Campo and the mountains beyond. Be sure to find out what time the sun sets, once you get there get a table next to one of the open French windows, order a couple of flutes of champagne and spend a moment realizing that this is the kind of thing you came to Spain for.
The walls here are lined with book cases with second hand and even antique Spanish books, if you find something you like they are actually for sale, and so, as with other places recommended in this blog, you can have a drink or two here and feel good about yourself because you can come home with more literature for practising your Spanish! They don’t really have their own kitchen but if you book ahead you can get food ordered from La Tabernería restaurant nearby and it will be brought to your table for you. Apart from poetry readings, there are also book presentations, photo and painting exhibitions as well as the occasional music performance.
Even though as said the royal palace is nearby, this little area has plenty to make it a really interesting place to explore in its own right. If you want to wander around a bit before the sun goes down, you’re in the neighbourhood called the Moreria, where the old Muslim quarter was once located. From here it’s just a minute walk to the one place where the original city walls built by Muhammad I of Córdoba in the 9th century are still visible. You also have the Vistillas park right outside the door, where you’ll come across the iconic Violetera statue, dedicated to a famous romantic song about a flower selling girl. Look it up after you’ve come home in case the whole experience actually hasn’t made you feel lovey dovey enough, the lyrics make for a fascinating view into the amorous Madrilean soul.