Friday, 6 August 2010

Madrid: how to keep cool, well fed and learned

Smitonius:

There are two great incentives to working hard at the national library in Madrid:

the first is, the place is air conditioned and given that it reached about 40 degrees at mid day this was welcome.

Of course, should one be forced to pound the torrid streets, there are always shops selling these:

Or cafe terraces with these vintage style water spray fans - so effective, when accompanied by a cool beer.


the second is the canteen. An average menu del dia comprises of the following:

First course could be: Gazpacho OR Arroz a la Cubana (white rice, tomato sauce and a fried egg) OR Paella OR salad (various - e.g. 'Russian salad')

Second course could be: Magro con Tomate (pork cooked in tomato sauce) OR Sardines OR Fillete (beef steak) OR Roast Chicken OR Escalope - with either green salad OR chips

Pudding could be: fresh fruit (a slice of watermelon, for example) OR baked apple OR flan OR rice pudding

In addition, there is bread and wine OR beer OR water - all for just over 7 Euros.

Did I make you hungry? One fares equally well in the outside world though, look at this gorgeous plate of Salmonetes (little red mullets) with Pimientos de Padron (these were hot little so and so's.... have you ever had them?):


And, yes, I did find what I was looking for in the library as well!

13 comments:

rachel said...

So that's where you've been! Lucky you, although 40 degrees sounds grim....

Wonderful water-spray fan! First time I've ever heard of those.

elizabethm said...

That food looks marvellous! It is time for bed and now I am hungry.

mrs smith said...

Ole! Have a wonderful holiday!

Von said...

Marvellous food but not for 40 degrees!I like churros myself.Have fun!

Loz and Dinny said...

Now I have travel envy and a rumbling stomach - Yum!

Rattling On said...

Very, very jealous. Except for the watery fan. Spells bad hair for me. I can judge the humidity of any given day by the frizz levels...

mountainear said...

Sounds like my sort of city break - some good food and a little investigation.

English Rider said...

You make me miss life in Europe, although I was leaning towards nostalgia this week anyway. I don't have an excuse for not visiting your blog sooner. I'm glad I finally wised up. Thanks for participating over at my place.

Tania said...

oooh! Lovely to have you back. You'd think we Aussies would have cooling nailed by now. Off to look meaningfully at department store assistant and demand Australian Water Spray Fan invention. I might be typing with frosty wintry fingers but I haven't forgotten those dastardly forty plus degree days...

Fer said...

Yum-o! I reckon we could use one of them water spray fans here in summer, and then you mentioned beer on a hot day - my mouth started watering.....

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Tattie Weasle said...

Yes it did set my mouth watering but luckily I've already eaten! The fans are beautiful!

Vicki Lane said...

Sounds wonderful! I grew up in Tampa, Florida where there was a large Latin Quarter (Ybor City) with restaurants serving just this sort of food! Oh, yes, I'm drooling.

Marcheline said...

*clunk*


... just passed out from food envy