Sometimes hotels are just a place to lay your head before an obscenely early flight – I mean, why else would you ever willingly opt to stay in a Holiday Inn? Then on other occasions, they’re the scene of pure indulgence and relaxation (that’s where Mr and Mrs Smith properties come into the equation). But more often than not, hotel restaurants remain unloved and overlooked in favour of their rooftop pools or swanky spas. The poor relation of the hotel bar as it were.
However, just last Tuesday, instead of dismissing Somos (the restaurant located inside the achingly chic Barceló Torre Hotel), I made myself a reso and headed towards the always vibrant Plaza de España to discover that Somos is very much the jewel in this hotel’s crown.
Not just a place to rest your weary self after a day pounding the city’s pavements, Barceló Torre can be surmised as a luxury designer hotel, located in one of the most iconic buildings in Madrid. At first this felt like a bold claim from their PR team, but one that I can attest to having enjoyed nothing short of 5-star treatment; something that I could easily get used to.
First things first, the concept of the restaurant is actually genius – when you eat out as much as I do it’s easy to get jaded by the standard gastronomical offerings, but not at Somos. Madrid is a city with a differing day and night scene which Somos sought to encapsulate through its very different menus.
I’m a sucker for attention to detail, but Somos has elevated this into an art form – let me explain. Somos is actually the first dual restaurant that evolves with the city. Everything from your plates (which I was quite tempted to shove in my handbag), to the menu, to the breathtakingly beautiful skyline that Somos looks out onto, changes over the course of the day.
Case in point: the evening menu looks like a CD – for those of you who’ve spent much time in my beloved Madders, you’ll know that Madrileños don’t shy away from a fiesta, or a dancefloor for that matter so this felt like a very fitting touch.
Back to the skyline, it’s worth noting the setting is nothing short of being truly stunning. Each table faces outwards, so should you be tired of looking at your companions chops over your delicious dinner, you can cast your gaze over the city which never fails to impress.
If you’ve read one of my previous restaurant reviews (cheers Mum and Dad) you’ll know that interiors are my porn. I mean it, I get giddy over a well upholstered chair like no other, therefore it’s necessary to note that Somos has been decorated by the prestigious designer Jaime Hayón; an international icon of contemporary design and considered by Time Magazine as one of the top 100 important creators of our time. They weren’t messing about with the dreamy decor.
What I ate basically reads like a roll call of my version of a last supper: cherry gazpacho, ceviche, marinated tuna with a delectable avocado hummus (yes that’s a thing), a perfectly seared ribeye fillet, finally rounded off with two puds as I sat and watched the sunset over Gran Via, Madrid’s answer to Broadway.
Somos is the most recent offering from Grupo Le Cocó and with there being whisperings of a new locale opening this September in Chamberí; it looks as though they’re set to become quite the foodie tour de force. The entire experience from top to toe felt like an ode to the city that I’ve come to call home.
Call me soppy, but a trip to Somos made me fall in love with this city all over again. Admittedly this happens fairly often but make no mistake, dinner at Somos isn’t an invitation – it’s an obligation.