Madrid: Relaxing Into A Cocktail & Tapas.

Getting from the plane to my hotel in less than 30 minutes upon landing in Madrid was awesome. I subscribe to the idea of efficiency no matter where I am... And I must confess I did worry that such efficiency would not be achievable in Spain.

I mean... Isn't this the country that believes in daily "siestas"and relaxing into life?

I found myself at my hotel just before 5pm. The Sun was shining and gorgeous. I unpacked, and then quickly found myself wanting to get outside to see what there was to see... Going for a long walk.

I also wanted a cocktail.

And I knew where I wanted to go for it...

The Ritz Carlton!

Ritz hotels are good for two things that are accessible to almost anyone:

  • High tea
  • Cocktails in the lounge

High tea is for special occasions, like Mother's Day or a bridal shower. Cocktails in the lounge are good any time. They're always made strong and efficient, and with a bit of charm. I sat down in a cozy chair and ordered a gin cocktail...

Very Summery. Gin, strawberries, lemon peel and tonic water.

I sat and sipped the exquisite thing for well over an hour, as I wrote in my travel journal.

Afterwards, it was nearly 8pm. It was time to find something to nibble on, since I had a gentle buzz about me. I walked back outside into the sunshine... Because, yes, it was still quite sunny out. I walked up the Calle Gran Via towards my hotel and found a dive-y tapas place.

Everything on the menu was so cheap!

I ordered two tapas and some rose wine. I only drink rose when it's warm out. It's perfect in Summer.

The manchego cheese was divine. The rest of the cheese wasn't anything special. The rose was perfect. I was curious about it's alcohol content, though...

Only 12.5%. That's common - from what I've seen - with European wines. American wines are loaded with alcohol... Some up to 16%! But European wines are more gentle. I like that.

It was nearly 9:30pm, and I decided it was time to walk back to the hotel for the evening. I finally felt like I was "in the time zone". Only took a week of being in it to get me there.

The cocktails did help lull me to sleep, I won't pretend otherwise.