In Madrid there are many activities you can do, some of them are the most typical (guided tours, free tours, private visits) to any of the monuments of the capital of Spain. However, there are other activities, very typical but which are not so visible to the general public, these are the exclusive activities that you can do in Madrid.
At Gran Hotel Inglés we always like to keep you at the forefront, both in the interior and services of our 5-star luxury hotel in Madrid, as well as in the activities and recommendations that we give in our blog.
Here is a list of the most unique experiences in Madrid.
How did Vermouth arrive in Spain?
Enjoying a pre-lunch tipple of vermouth in Madrid is an unmissable experience. It is a modern tradition that actually dates back years. Today we tell you all about its origin, the different varieties available, and where you can enjoy a good glass of vermouth in the Barrio de las Letras.
Before we begin, what do you know about vermouth? It is an alcoholic drink made with wine, steeped with botanical plants and spices.
It dates back to antiquity, to the time of Hippocrates, who steeped wine with wormwood flowers (from which the word vermouth derives) and dittany, creating this drink. But although his discovery reached Spain very quickly, it was not produced for mass consumption until 1838, by the Cora brothers.
If you are thinking of travelling to Madrid and want to enjoy a good glass of vermouth in a unique setting, we recommend a visit to our restaurant Lobbyto (The Best Lobby bar in Madrid). Here, you can enjoy a Dry Martini in wonderful glamorous surroundings, reminiscent of the Roaring 20s, with waiters dressed in Great Gatsby style. You can also enjoy some great music, have a bite to eat, and watch the bartender prepare your vermouth.
What types of Vermouth are there?
There are four different types of this aromatised wine: red, white, rosé and dry.
This is a sweet vermouth with notes of aromatic herbs such as cinnamon. In Spain, a less bitter version is favoured than in other countries such as Italy, and this is the most popular type of vermouth in our country.
This is the sweetest type of vermouth, because it uses fewer bitter ingredients in the production process. It also incorporates vanilla and citrus ingredients. This is the most popular type worldwide.
Dry vermouth is used particularly in cocktails. It is more bitter than red vermouth and features prominent floral notes. One of the most common mistakes made when preparing dry vermouth is either too much sugar or too much acidity, since it needs to be balanced.
This type of vermouth is the least well known of the four, although the trend has been changing lately, and it is growing in popularity. It is a smooth vermouth without any bitterness, with prominent fruity and floral notes.
Flamenco show in Madrid
Enjoying a good flamenco show in Madrid ought to feature high on the list of any traveller enamoured with the arts. A flamenco show is more than a performance of singing and dancing; it’s an outpouring of passion and an artistic expression that is quite simply impossible to capture in words.
Although it emerged in the Andalusia region, it is now Madrid that can boast both the finest quality and the greatest number of tablaos, as flamenco venues are known; this has helped it gain recognition as the “flamenco capital of the world”.
Every year, thousands of tourists visit the capital to revel in the art of flamenco and return home having been enchanted by this very special art reflecting the very essence and heart of Madrid. Discover our flamenco show service in Madrid.
The best places to enjoy flamenco in Madrid
Flamenco has been part of the essence of Madrid since the 19th century, since when the tablaos and bars have kept faith to the custom of hosting performances. Audiences have the chance to enjoy unadulterated flamenco at its most authentic while sipping a refreshing drink or savouring a delicious meal.
In what follows we recommend some venues for enjoying the art of flamenco in the heart of Madrid:
Cardamomo Tablao Flamenco: Meeting point for some of the finest flamenco artists and a veritable declaration of love for the art. Such prominent figures as Joaquín Cortés, Estrella Morente, Tomatito and Raimundo Amador have appeared at this tablao. Dinner is served 45 minutes prior to every show with a range of menus and a variety of tapas to choose from, all washed down with a wide selection of wines, cava, champagne and sangria.
Las Carboneras: This tablao was conceived with the intention of recreating the live music cafés of the last century with an avant-garde and contemporary feel. It rounds off the experience with a mouth-watering menu of traditional Spanish dishes that will transport you to Madrid at its purest and most authentic.
El Corral de la Pacheca: This venue was founded in 1971 and major flamenco artists of the likes of Isabel Pantoja, Rocío Jurado and Manolo Escobar have appeared on its stage. This venue offers live shows every day of the week, which may be enjoyed accompanied by delicious dishes of authentic Spanish cuisine.
El Corral de la Morería: This is one of the best-known flamenco tablaos in the world, having played host to such major flamenco artists as La Chunga, Manuela Vargas, Isabel Pantoja and Pastora Imperio. It was inaugurated in 1956 by Manuel del Rey and is located in the heart of Madrid, next to the Royal Palace.