• A coffee with Bea & María from El Hervidero de Ideas @ Bicicleta Café

    “More than anything, one is defined by the friends one meets for a coffee.”

    Manuel Vicent

    We love to be surrounded by inspiring, creative people, those that spread enthusiasm and joy. We always say that the best “side effect” of this blog is in fact the people we get to meet. So today we start a series of posts called “A coffee withwhere we will share with you these meetings in which each “guest” will bring us his particular vision of Madrid. Because if anything characterizes Madrid, it is a city that emerges from the amalgamation of very different perceptions but all interesting and worth discovering.

    We recently met María y Beatriz, entrepreneurs of a company that excites us and which philosophy we completely share: El Hervidero de Ideas (“The ideas’ melting pot”). We already followed them online and we were eager to meet them in person and talk about ideas, projects and unique places. They took us to one of their favorite cafes in Madrid, La Bicicleta, a cool place in Malasaña neighborhood where bikes and coffee are absolute stars. We lost track of time and enjoyed so much listening to Maria & Bea’s story, their plans, their upcoming challenges and discovering their particular Madrid, we have a few new places on our go-to list! You can also meet them this weekend (22, 23 and 24 May) at their COCOMARKET, an event where they bring together sustainable brands, handmade beauties, second hand treasures and organize creative workshops for both kids and adults.

    Tell us about you, how did you meet and how did you came up with El Hervidero de Ideas? What is the spirit of your project?

    We met in a program of Marketing Management of the Entertainment Industry, we had to work in the same team and it went very well. Besides, we had the same aspirations and values, we wanted to work around a project that will help creating a better world. We started El Hervidero de Ideas because we saw that many sustainable enterprises that did not reach the people and needed to be known. There was also a great unfamiliarity and mistrust in relation to these businesses, the certifications and the world of sustainability in general. Therefore, we decided to launch El Hervidero de Ideas to bring sustainable enterprises to responsible consumers.

    We have a motto: small people, in small places, doing small things, can change the world.

    What do you offer? Who do you work with? Tell us about COCOMARKET, why it is a unique event…

    We work with all kinds of sustainable companies by helping them to communicate their products effectively and with other companies that want to take steps to develop their business in a more responsible manner, through different tools: communication services, events and branded content for the enterprises to be increasingly more sustainable and base their communication strategies on sustainability as a differential value; and through the spreading of values ​​and sustainable habits, mainly through our blog and social networks.

    We also work on initiatives and activities promoted by us to raise awareness about responsible consumption, reuse, recycling and sustainability, as is the case  COCOMARKET, an event which discloses sustainable enterprises of all types and awareness about the importance of recycling and reuse. The market supports local commerce, crafts and of course, responsible consumption. It is the meeting point for responsible brands and people who want to consume with brains. This event offers a market of sustainable projects of all types (deco, children, food, fashion, footwear, cosmetics, etc) and an area of parallel activities that help us to communicate in a practical way the philosophy of the event through creative workshops for adults and children, talks about sustainability, recycling and exhibitions on art, film projections, concerts, tastings, musical performances, etc. But since a picture is worth a thousand words you better drop by this weekend (22, 23 and 24 May) to Calle Velarde 14!

    What makes you fall in love with Madrid?

    Bea: Here there are our origins, the two were born here and here there is our family. I love that you can enjoy the good things of a big city, but you can alsos “disconnect” just a few kilometers away. I am passionate about the mountains of Madrid, although the city center is also great.

    María: I what I like most about Madrid is its neighborhoods, each one gives you a different view of the city. Lavapies is multiculturalism and transformation, Chamberí is tradition and Malasaña is trendy… It is a very open city, where everyone is welcome, where you never get bored, you can have a drink any time, you always have new places to discover along with a huge cultural offer. And how beautiful it is!

    We would like to know what are the neighbourhoods of your life, where you have grown and lived… and which is your favorite, or what do you like about each one…

    Bea: I was born in Covarrubias, in Alonso Martinez. At that time I remember it as a very quiet neighborhood, I had to play on the swings of Chamberí and Colón. We used to go to the movies to Palafox cinema and I used to go with my mother to Barceló market. I have also lived in San Lorenzo de El Escorial. What I miss most of the time are the walks around “La Herrería” in spring and autumn… how nice! And also hiking on Avantos mountain. Now I live in the suburbs, in ​​Aravaca and I have to admit that I love it, there are places of Casa de Campo that are definetely worth knowing.

    María: I was born in Anton Martin and lived for a long time near ​​Atocha. I remember running down the Paseo del Prado, playing in the Retiro and go shopping with my parents to Anton Martin market or Pontejos, a place I loved… what a paradise! Now I live in Ciudad Lineal and it´s a neighbourhood that has surprised me a lot because it´s full of life, traditional shops, the Alcala street, the park of the Quinta de los Molinos, the Capricho park, small markets…

    If you wanted someone to discover Madrid for the first time, where would you take him? We are interested in those places that do not appear in the guides

    Maria: I would go for a walk around different neighborhoods as for instance Conde Duque, Las Letras neighborhood, or Malasaña, discovering their cool spots. And then I wouls show Madrid from above: the terrace of Circulo de Bellas Artes, UNED terrace, 9th floor of “El Corte Inglés” of Callao, Casa Granada. It would go for lunch to the the Arab House. And also El Rastro, because even though it appears in all guides, I think it is a plan to do from time to time whether or not you‘re from Madrid.

    Bea: Tough question, not out in the guidesLavapies area is always transforming and there are emerging funny business. Madrid Rio is also a great place and Matadero, where there is a great cultural activity. They are perhaps more innovative plans than those which normally appear in the guides.

    We would love to discover your favorite spots…

    … a place for inspiration: Eugenio Trias Library inside Retiro park, Paseo del Prado or Plaza de Oriente.

    … a place to relax: The café at the Museo del Romanticismo, the terrace on the Palacio de Telecomunicaciones or La Pedriza.

    … a place for long breakfasts: Verbena Bar, Magasand, and the Bar Carmencita for a brunch.

    … the restaurant that never dissapoints: Motha, but since it has recently closed… we would go for Mad Café or Bodegas Rosell.

    … a place for intimate conversation: Dray Martina.

    … a place for fun: Mercado de San Antón, Vacaciones or Ojalá downstairs, being able to have a drink with your feet in beach sand is so cool!

    … a place to buy a special gift: Caixaforum or Museo Reina Sofía shops, Panta Rhei bookshops or Cocomarket.

    … a “secret” must: La Ciudad Invisible.

    Finally, continue the sentence: “Madrid and I… fighting every day for a better world”.

    La Bicicleta Cycling Cafe & Workplace

    Address: Plaza de San Ildefonso 9, Madrid [Malasaña]
    Metro Station: Tribunal (L1, L10)
    Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, from 10 am to 2 am.

    21 May, 2015 • A coffee with • Views: 15034

  • La Fiambrera

    We discovered this wonderful new shop in Malasaña wandering around the lively Pez street. The truth is that we jumped into it as soon as we saw it from the other side of the street, and that’s because even though the neighborhood is full of design shops, it is actually hard to find something truly original. La Fiambrera (“Lunchbox” in Spanish) is clearly an exception: this bookshop, design store, art gallery and café is different for every other, and its hallmark is great design and a tribute to popular culture.

    All in this space, from the design and illustration books to the furniture, decorative objects, ceramics, lamps, vintage clothes and accesories, have one thing in common: they have been made by a small but very carefully selected group of designers (mostly from Spain), difficult to find in other stores in Madrid. And this is thanks to Maite and Ruth, and their well-experienced criteria as museologists. These two brave entrepreneurs have worked around the clock to make their dream come true and create a space of their own., and they’ve succeeded to do so. They are currently exclusive representatives of amazing artists such as Fernando Vicente, whose illustrations combining art and anatomy are wonderful.

    In fact, what it´s truly special about this shop is that every single item speaks for itself. In addition to the original works that can be purchased here, La Fiambrera is full of things that we would take home without a second thought. We are completely marveled with Antonio Serrano’s furniture, who after a lifetime working in design started Mad Lab, a small company whose main aim is to provide objects and timeless furniture with an inner value and to “make our lives kinderWe also liked the colorful and funny pop virgins by Props Malasaña, the vintage clothing by Rete Poino, the pieces of jewelry by the architect converted into jeweller Marta Fernádez de Lugo, the bowties by BoB of which we are absolute fans, and many other treasures to discover. Another of our findings has been the Lautem bags, a brand that creates really unique items.

    Maite Valderrama y Ruth López-Diéguez
    Maite Valderrama y Ruth López-Diéguez
    Maite Valderrama y Ruth López-Diéguez

    To enjoy everything this place has to offer, there is a small café where you can have breakfast, a coffee or a snack. They have different kinds of artisan beer, great coffee and artisan pastries. There’s also a delicious selection of gourmet products that you can take home, such as olive oil and preserves by La Chinata or the famous chocolates by San PancracioRegarding this gourmet side, for us it has been a great discover the designer David Santiago, from Cantabria, who makes wonderful wooden cutting boards, 

    La Fiambrera has opened its doors very recently and is currently presenting their first exhibition by Sonia Pulido. She´s become popular for her work in books like “Hunting Rabbits” by Mario Levrero or “The art of imperfection in the kitchen“. Here we have found that she also illustrates ceramics and the result is absolutely beautiful, don’t miss it.

    Visiting an exhibition, diving among treasures and enjoying a good coffee and conversation a great plan for a winter afternoon in Madrid, isn’t it?

    La Fiambrera is located in calle Pez 7, Madrid.
    Metro Station Gran Vía (L1 y L5) and Noviciado (L2).
    Opening hours: from 10:30-14:30 and  16:00-21:00. Saturdays and Sundays 12:30 – 21:00.
    Contact: Facebook / Phone +34 917046030.

    30 January, 2015 • Cafe, Shops • Views: 13611

  • Cervantes y Compañía

    The fact that we are passionate about charming bookstores is no secret, as you can tell by previous posts in this blog like Panta Rhei, Ocho y Medio or Tipos Infames (and so many more yet to come). We are convinced that, far from being in decline, bookstores and booksellers are more necessary than ever. We need more poetry and more stories, and from time to time some help in finding that special book that will move us and also fall in love with it from the moment it comes into our hands. We also need spaces for culture where one can not only buy books but also meet people -from the bookseller to writers and fellow readers-.

    This place is a true treasure in the neighborhood of Malasaña: Cervantes y Compañía is a bookstore that takes care of what matters: the owners are friendly and welcoming and they share their wisdom and sensibility to recommend a book, and carefully pick their selection, which is far from the all-known bestsellers. We also love their commitment to those books that are beautifully edited, those that will never be replaced by the e-books, the ones we adore. Publishers like Nórdica or Jekyll and Jill, who make of each book a jewel, have a very special place in Cervantes y Compañía.

    Behind this lovely project are Óscar and María, both passionates about culture from different perspectives. Óscar has been linked to the world of books and publishing for years and María is an actress, that appart from bookselling, focus her talent in developing creative activities like readings in the living room at the back of the room (which they call the “Back Cover“). Indeed you certainly won’t be bored in Cervantes y Compañía: besides having a space to sit and read with a coffee and a piece of homemade cake from Buenas y Dulces, they also organize all sorts of events we wouldn’t miss, such as book presentations, exhibitions, workshops and concerts. We have loved the initiative called “Reading oneself”, where an author reads his or her own texts. We’ve heard that upcoming visitors include Pepe Viyuela -well known spanish actor but truly unknown poet-, and Isabel Ordaz. Stay tuned and check their agenda from time to time, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

    Something we love about Cervantes y Compañía is its section “The Author of the Month” which reveals lesser-known literature with a 5% discount. We assure you that no book is here by chance and an example of this are the recommendations made through their Facebook page and often accompanied by fragments that have conquered us. So if you don´t know what to read, you have only to take a while in their page. What more could you ask from a bookstore? Just drop by, you will find a pleasant surprise!

    Cervantes y Cía is located in calle Manuela Malasaña 23, Madrid. Metro stations San Bernardo (L4 and L2) and Bilbao (L4 and L1). Opening hours: from Monday to Friday from 10:00 – 14:30 and 17:00 – 21:00, and Saturdays 11:00 – 15:00 and 17:30 – 21:30.

    Don’t miss their event calendar and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

    31 January, 2014 • Shops • Views: 7284

  • Mistura

    As we got back to the city from our summer holidays, Madrid gave us a really “warm” welcome worth great icecream. Although we are faithful to our all-time favorite icecream parlor Alboraya (and for some strange reason it is not yet in our blog, but it soon will be) we decided to broaden our horizons and went to the brand new Mistura.

    Madrid has been invaded by frozen yogurt, but Carlos and Carmelo have come to surprise everybody with their handcrafted icecream, both healthy and tasty. We loved the pistachio and chocolate chip one, creamy and rich, but not too sweet. What makes Mistura different from the rest is that they make your own mix in front of your eyes, with the flavor and toppings (nuts, fresh fruit, cookies or brownies, jams home …) of your choice on a frozen granite slab. The texture and flavor are just great. There are more options for lactose-intolerants: sorbets, juices and smoothies with fresh & seasonal fruit, good coffee and fair trade tea with some baked goods.

    We have been conquered by their good work but also their sustainability philosophy. They use top quality ingredients from local producers (such as milk and cream coming from a farm near Madrid) or fair trade goods (coffee and tea). Also, they make their own icecream, use recyclable packaging and even their shop has been made with recycled wood (by Madrid in Love interior design studio) following energy efficiency criteria.

    A discovery that will make us easier and sweeter coming back to the city. Enjoy!

    Mistura is located in calle Augusto Figueroa 5, Madrid. Metro: Chueca (Line 5), Tribunal (Lines 1 & 10). Opens 7/7 from 10am to 10pm, Friday & Saturday til midnight. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter or contact by mail or phone +34 91 755 63 91.


    30 August, 2013 • Cafe • Views: 7855

  • Tipos Infames, Books & Wine

    A few years ago, back in 2007, we enjoyed a summer in Berlin. That marked a turning point in our lives or at least in our point of view. Among many discoveries, we came across the bookstore-cafés.

    We fantasized about returning to Madrid and finding here something similar, or even ​be pioneers, and set up one, ourselves.

    That dream faded, but suddenly one day, just around the corner, we ran into these Tipos Infames (“Infamous Guys”). And we fell in love, of course, because beyond books and good coffee, they serve good wine, honesty and passion for their work. They personally choose everything they sell and they do it very well. They can recommend you THE book or the bottle you were looking for (either if you knew it already, or not), organize a concert or a poetry reading. And that’s what’s up.

    In time the idea spread around Madrid and nowadays there are many bookstores with great coffee and great things going on, each one with its own personality and its proper time: Italiana_Madrid for Sunday morning cappuccino or an Italian aperitivo, La Infinito for a late weekend breakfast with live music, La Marabunta for gatherings, La Ciudad Invisible for getting lost and found, Via Margutta for meetings à deux … And Tipos Infames for drinking, read and enjoy, and of course: see and be seen.

    Tipos Infames is located in calle San Joaquin 3, Madrid. Metro Station Tribunal (Lines 1 & 10). Open from Monday to Saturday from 11pm to 3pm and from 5pm to 10:30pm. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter, or contact by phone on +34 91 522 8939.

    30 May, 2013 • Bars & Restaurants, Cafe • Views: 9689

  • Aiò


    If you live in Madrid, we are sure you have passed by this place many times. And indeed, Aiò draws your attention because its façade and a vintage design we love.

    But the truth is that the best of Aiò is the food. They are specilized in Sardinian cuisine (the one and only in Madrid) and offer a menu that shows the true italian tradition in this place. Marcello and Andrea are behind this project (don’t miss their great videos below). These two italian friends decided to go for their own business in 2011, when times were already hard and you had to be brave or have a very good idea to make the move. And in this case it has probably been a combination of the two: Aiò’s philosophy is about homemade food, fresh products and bringing over recipes like the authentic italian pizzetta (around 3€) or giving a Sardinian touch to more classical dishes like lasagna (6€) or fresh pasta (7.50€) that changes every week. As one would expect, they also have a wonderful coffee (Costadoro), and other specialities from the italian island of Sardinia like Ichnusa beer or Fregola pasta. You can have all that to take away or stay. And for dessert: please do not miss the tiramisu!! Prices are also really affordable and they have a lunch menu for 9.50 euros, including two dishes, a drink and coffee.

    If all of this is not enough, we’ve also loved the “bicycle culture” here. In Aiò, you can order the italian handmade bikes ABICIS, not exactly cheap (around 800€ each) but a true treasure. They also promote exhibitions and crowdfunding projects inspired to promote bike culture in Madrid. A must for italian food lovers… although who isn’t really?

    Aió is in Corredera Baja de San Pablo 25, Madrid. Metro Station Callao. Phone number +34 91 009 6469. Opening hours: Monday – Thursday 12:30pm – 01:00am, Friday and Saturday 12:30pm – 2:30am and Sunday 12:30pm – 01:00am. You can also follow them on Facebook.

    * Special thanks to Morena for introducing us to this great spot, and Marcello & Andrea for making it possible. We’re big fans already!


    [vimeo 53570453 w=400 h=300]


    15 February, 2013 • Bars & Restaurants • Views: 6580

  • Bar Amor

    Bar Amor | Fotos

    Sunny winter days are one of those things that makes us fall in love with Madrid, and we enjoyed a spendid Saturday two weeks ago, exploring Malasaña. We were looking for a new place to have lunch and right at the corner between Manuela Malasaña and Monteleón street we came across this restaurant: Bar Amor. Just that name, those red open windows, and a sudden remembrance of a great recommendation invited us in, no second thoughts…

    It was even more appealing on the inside: simple, warm, bright, thoughtful, kind. We were welcome from the very moment we crossed the door, all was easy and relaxing, no hurries at all, just how we like it. Alberto -owner and chef- gave us some recommendations and we did not hesitate: burrata with sundried tomatoes and basil oil. Sounded good already, but oh my how beautiful that was and among all, how tasty. Something out of this planet. LOVE.

    We also tried the homemade “croquetas”, good ones are really hard to find outside your grandma’s home. Two varieties in one plate: ham and funghi porcini croquettes, both delicious, just great. Such delicacies were worth a good wine, and we loved what we got. They have an impressive wine list -let it flow and trust their recommendations- and a good selection of small brewers for beer lovers. Last but not least, a wonderful homemade apple and almond cake that tasted like grandma’s, cooked slowly, carefully, and with lots, lots of love. A place where we felt honesty, care and savoir-faire, and we couldn’t help it but falling in love. We wish a beautiful and long story to this place where we will definitely come back.

    Bar Amor is located in calle Manuela Malasaña 22, Madrid. Closest Metro stations Bilbao (Lines 1 & 4) and San Bernardo (Lines 2 & 4). Open from Tuesday to Saturday for lunch, from 1pm to 4:30pm and for dinner, from 8:30pm til midnight. Follow them on Facebook or contact by phone at +34 91 594 4829 or e-mail info(at) Check out their cool website:

    Bar Amor |

    Bar Amor |

    7 February, 2013 • Bars & Restaurants • Views: 9378

  • El Restaurante Vegetariano

    El Restaurante Vegetariano |

    Christmas time and meals are finally over and we are craving for quiet meetings with friends, enjoying comfort food -it’s still wintertime- but the kind that will care for our mistreated bodies. It’s about time we come back to our favorite veggie: El Restaurante Vegetariano.

    This restaurant, tiny and very cozy, has been here -in its corner of Malasaña- for three decades. The key to success is clear: simple cooking, honest and delicious, great attention and a warm atmosphere, everything to make you feel at home from the moment you cross your door. These winter days nothing feels as good as their veggie soups (we love pumpkin), their homemade quiches with no dairy or eggs but still delicious (with the mushroom quiche you can’t go wrong), homemade lasagna and desserts… after all, choosing is the only thrill. Definately a friendly place for all, including kids, veggies and folks that require special meals (dairy or gluten free, etc). Your pocket will also be happy, this deliciousness won’t cost you more than 15€.

    A place where you’re willing to come back over and over again. Satisfaction guaranteed. Just go and tell us…

    El Restaurante Vegetariano is located in calle Marqués de Santa Ana 34, Madrid. Closest Metro station Tribunal (Lines 1 & 10). Open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 1:30pm to 4pm and from 9pm to 11:30pm, Sundays from 1:30 to 4pm. It’s a small place, so it’s a good idea making a reservation in advance: just call +34 91 532 0927, or contact vía Facebook.

    El Restaurante Vegetariano |

    El Restaurante Vegetariano |

    11 January, 2013 • Bars & Restaurants • Views: 6762

  • Espacio Malmö


    Updated 22/04/2015: Espacio Malmö is now closed!

    It’s Christmas time and we are happy to keep finding wonderful places that may help us with Christmas presents supporting local brands and independent stores, just like every little present in our list of unique gifts. Today we’re bringing a new place that recently opened in Chueca neighbourhood, just a couple steps away from Fuencarral street.

    It’s Malmö, a collaborative shop where you can find a great selection of Spanish and Portuguese independent designers, treats to give or keep: a long list of beautiful things, from the accesories by Saako Design, the necklaces by Paseo en Poni, the notebooks and illustrations by Isabel Reyes Feeney and the dolls by Don’t Call Me Doll to the original clothes by ElSuso, Weekend Barber shoes, the amazing bags by Zubi or the ceramics by Aitor Saraiba. You can find more info and links to every artist here here.

    Besides all, in the back of the store there is a room where they organize activities like vintage design markets, happenings and workshops. These days you can enjoy a great exhibition: Les_Ciseaux collages.

    We love the spreading of places like this where you get warm attention and promote the work of upcoming artists who may not have a physical place to sell their creations. We truly recommend you not to miss this spot where you will find that special thing to surprise the people you love!

    Espacio Malmö is located in calle Hernán Cortés 14, Madrid. Closest Metro stations Tribunal (Lines 1 & 10) and Chueca (Line 5). You may contact them by phone (+34 91 522 9307) or keep updated via Facebook.





    28 December, 2012 • Shops • Views: 7065

  • Black Oveja

    Fotos: Madrid y yo

    So it seems fall is oficially here in Madrid, we are waving goodbye terrazas and picnics and looking forward for sofas and cafes. A good way to spend the evening and avoid bringing up another conversation about the crisis is keeping hands and mind occupied in a creative business.

    That’s how we got, a few weeks ago, to a calligraphy workshop at LabDIY, a great place for crafties (check it out here). Our neighbours were knitting their own scarves and we thought it was about time we learned too. That’s when we thought of Black Oveja, the place where we knew we would find everything we need, from the tools to the wool and the necessary knowledge to get the party started.

    We’re sure most of you are already familiar with this atelier & store, but it is without a doubt worth its own place in our inventory. For those who still do not know, Black Oveja is a store that provides best quality wool and fabrics, all kinds of tools for knitting and sewing, and a lot of beautiful things, many of them imported from Japan, USA, Germany and France. This is one of those places where you could spend the whole afternoon enjoying a good tea while learning to knit, crochet or sew and have a great conversation at the same time.

    Behind this great place there is great people: Merche and Alfonso, two creative souls that launched this project just one year ago and made it become a reference for crafties in Madrid and Spain. A place to learn and enjoy.

    Black Oveja is located in calle Sagasta 7, Madrid. Closest Metro station Bilbao (Lines 1 & 4). Open from Monday to Saturday, from 12 to 2pm and from 5 to 9pm. You can follow them on FacebookTwitterPinterest e Instagram (@blackoveja).

    Fotos: Madrid y yo

    Fotos: Madrid y yo

    26 October, 2012 • Shops • Views: 6088