Saturday, 27 August 2011

Viva Madrid!

I'll just start by saying I have fallen in love with this city now! I may be a complete country girl who spent four days feeling incredibly small-town when surrounded by sky-high buildings, but as I said on the last day of the holiday - I could see myself living there. There's just something about the perpetual blue sky, the laid-back way that nothing gets going until at least midday & then doesn't finish till at least ten at night, and the busy streets lined with shops, cafes and restaurants, something that instantly makes you feel welcome, despite being a complete, guide-book-toting tourist. Speaking the lingo didn't hurt either.

Now, before I bore you all senseless with my little love affair with Madrid, to make up for five days of silence, I'll kick off the post with all my outfits from the trip. 

Day 1 = the airport, and a need to layer up for the heavy AC they use on planes!
Top - H&M; Trousers, Belt & Shoes - New Look; Blazer - Topshop; Bag - H! by Henry Holland; Ring - ASOS; Bracelets - Accessorize; Necklace - Present from Mum.

Day 2 - hot weather and blue sky mean my summer wardrobe is actually feasible here. LWDs are not over yet, and tan/brown accessories are classically summery.
Dress - Cult; Belt & Shoes - H&M; Bag & Ring - Primark; Necklace & Bracelet - Topshop.

Day 3 - I think the whited-out picture shows how insanely bright & sunny it was.. more than an excuse for a summer dress!
Dress & Belt - New Look; Shoes & Rings - H&M; Bag & Bracelet - Primark; Necklace - Topshop; Sunglasses - Ray Ban.

Day 4 - more sunshine = more high hemlines!
Top & Shoes - H&M; Shorts - Reverse; Bag & Ring - Primark; Necklace - Topshop; Sunglasses - Ray Ban.

Day 5 - the sun is still an excuse for short shorts.
Top, Ring & Shoes - New Look; Shorts - River Island; Bag - H! by Henry Holland; Earrings & Necklace - Topshop; Bracelet - Pull & Bear.

Having seen what I was wearing, I'm sure you're all dying to know what else I bought to swell the ranks of my wardrobe army of clothes! I honestly did my best not to buy too much, but when surrounded by shops, what's a girl to do? The only thing that stopped me going insane in the many branches of Mango, H&M, Sephora etc were that due to some unknown feature of currency conversion, things in shops that I can get to in England were actually more expensive in Spain - so I had to hold fire and only go to shops I'd only seen in Spain, so that I wouldn't overpay. Also, the fact that I am desperately saving my pounds for running my car, going on a gap year, and studying at uni for at least 3 years, means that I am trying to be a little bit sensible with money.

First off, this striped midi pencil skirt from Stradivarius ( - colour blocking in a more retro shape. Even if I'm not sure about the orange belt with the skirt, it was such a little bargain, and it'll be a fun, playful piece to wear.

These 3 tees all came from Pull & Bear ( - I've been saying I needed more staples and these were perfect, as well as totally affordable and good quality.

Okay, ignore the strange colouring in the picture, this blouse is actually a cute reddish-pink.. The bow and floaty quality just drew me in, and again it was another affordable find, this time from Lefties.

I can't resist cute, kitsch socks, and these pairs from Blanco ( were too funny to pass up.

See, I didn't go crazy! But this post doesn't simply stretch to wearing and buying, there is so much more to Madrid.. Even without shopping & style, the food would have been enough to keep me entertained for the whole trip. Despite being vegetarian, I managed to eat myself into a total food coma in the four days I was there, because everything was so delicious that I just couldn't say no. 

Panaderias and pastelerias were everywhere (bakeries to you and me), and pastries were basically the only thing to have for breakfast, so we kicked the days off in incredibly unhealthy style with Napolitanas de Chocolate (like croissants with chocolate sprinkles on top), but not too early thankfully, because the Spanish seem to like their lie-ins.. most bakeries or coffee shops weren't opening up till about ten AM! That mid-morning cake run basically set the tone for the day.. 

Then somewhere between 12 and 3 we would have some variation on lunch - one day it was a 3 course menu of the day with wine/beer and bread too, another day it was yet another pastry, and another day it was a salad with falafel from an amazing little company called Maoz. - check it out. Dinner was just as varied - ranging from chips and pizza to a buffet libre from Salad&Co. This all-you-can-eat idea was possibly a mistake in retrospect.. I saw it as a challenge, and ended up eating so much I could barely move. But you gotta get your Euros-worth!

I don't even know where to start on snacks.. Well, think of a quintessentially Spanish snack - that's right, churros! The only place in Madrid to get your doughy, chocolatey junk food hit is the Chocolateria San Gines, yes it's a little pricey, but it is also totally delicious.

How delicious does that look? Just make sure you do plenty of walking round the city to burn it off!

Besides churros, the numerous ice cream shops will help keep you cool, if you don't mind paying over a Euro a scoop that is.. And if you don't mind price, and fancy feeling a little healthier, then you need to hit the Mercado de San Miguel, where there is a frozen yogurt bar. My obsession with this ice-cream alternative is no secret - I went three times - and now I just need to find one nearer to me than Madrid. I went for strawberry and caramel on my yogurt (possibly killing the health factor), but was sorely tempted by the chocolate brownie.

I think that was the mainstay of my food in Madrid, and if there's one thing I regret not trying, it's veggie paella - but hey, there's always next time.. And I did get to have a glass of Sangria, so that's one typical Spanish thing done!

As well as all that, the culture was awesome too. We took a day trip out to Segovia and marvelled at the original Roman aqueduct that is still standing, as well as the Alcazar and Cathedral - then back in the city centre, the squares, architecture, palace and convent kept my culture-loving dad happy enough to put up with my love of just walking the streets, occasionally shopping and eating.

Phewww! Now that is a monster post. If you read it all, I congratulate you on your stamina. Now I'm back within range of my computer, I'll be blasting my fashion ramblings at you every day again.. Love and kisses, Tara xox


  1. You have some lovely clothes! Madrid looks really nice, glad you had a good time xx

  2. thankyou! it was amazing, wish i was back there already xx