Being an expat in Madrid seems to equate to a couple of things; you’re highly likely to favour drinking a caña over a coffee (it honestly works out cheaper), most of your wardrobe will consist of Zara purchases (although that may just be me) and I’m pretty sure that come Autumn time, you start to long for Sunday afternoons curled up in a pub with a fire and a glass of red for company. Whilst Madrid can offer a visitor many things (often wall to wall sunshine), it doesn’t really pack a punch on the pub front…
However, Ana La Santa has been become my default option for when I’m craving cosiness, and there’s good reason why.
Situated in what is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful plazas in all of Madrid, Ana La Santa, the bar and restaurant that occupies the ground floor of the hard to miss Hotel ME, is without doubt the chicest (and next best thing) that’s akin to a Gastropub that you might find back in Blighty. Picture a roaring fire, squidgy sofas, easy on the eye staff and the kind of simple style that is more often found in Scandi-land and you’d be on the right page.
This season’s buzz word for urbanites is hygge.
Pronounced hoo-ga, this Danish word defies literal translation. In essence it means enjoying life’s small but soothing moments – perhaps nibbling some croquetas de jamón with one hand, whilst sipping a perfectly mixed Gin and Tonic in the other…
It’s about investing in emotional well-being through the simple and homespun. That’s exactly what I managed to achieve there on a bitingly cold Tuesday evening. I left feeling with a slightly larger waistline and feeling that our host (the wonderful Alba) was a new friend – the service was THAT good.
When Spain’s not sunny (and trust me it happens) I urge you to bunker down amid soft cushions, flickering candles and bask in the warmth of Ana La Santa. All that’s left on your part is to find yourself a Spaniard to snuggle with.