Plenti, a great new café & brunch spot in Barrio de Las Letras


I love seeing new family-run places like Plenti pop up in Madrid. Opened just two weeks ago in Barrio de las Letras, the café already feels like it’s been around for a while thanks to the friendly service and comfortable ambience.

Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Before opening Plenti, owners Sophie (England) and Gonzalo (Spain) had both worked in the restaurant business for years, and spent last year training at Sophie’s mom’s café in Brighton.

They found most of the furniture and decor items at flea markets and antique shops in England, and brought it all back with them in a van. That’s why the menu is written on an old chalkboard that reminds me of my elementary school days.

Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

And the food is served with vintage cutlery and tableware.

Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

There’s also a long bench in the back from Munich, the typical kind you’d see at a German beer garden.

Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

The menu features a nice variety of fresh and tasty dishes at great prices, so you can try a few different things, or just have a light snack. There are three types of main dishes – huevos a la cazuela (egg casseroles), open sandwiches and salads – all ranging from €4-6. Breakfast items include yogurt cups with fruit, nuts and cereal, and different types of toast, ranging from €2-3.50.

We ordered two “huevos a la cazuela.” The first had tomato sauce, peppers, green onion, black beans and guacamole. So simple and delicious.

Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

And the second had tomato sauce, mozzarella, pesto, black olives and cherry tomatoes… also excellent.

Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

We also tried the open sandwich (similar to a “tosta”) with guacamole, cherry tomato, green onion, and Greek yogurt – my idea of the perfect snack.

Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Lastly we had a fresh salad with cherry tomato, green onion, avocado, and celery. As you can see I have a weakness for avocado and this all hit the spot entirely.
Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

As for drinks, Plenti offers freshly squeezed juices, typical sodas from England, and excellent coffee. You also can’t miss out on the desserts that Sophie makes from scratch. We had the homemade flapjacks and banana cake, which reminded me so much of my grandma’s recipe.

Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

So folks, all I can say at this point is I’m happy to now have Plenti in Madrid, and know you will be too.

Photography by Jose Luis Magaña from A Second Art (Facebook & Instagram)

Info:




Museo Cerralbo, an art lover's dream house


If you’re looking to explore Madrid’s museum scene beyond the famous Prado and Reina Sofia, I recommend starting with Los Cinco Museos, five former mansions that are all perfectly restored and house outstanding art collections: Cerralbo, Lázaro Galdiano, Artes Decorativas, Sorolla and Romanticismo.

These five museums take you on a journey to a different era, allowing you to see and feel what life might have been like when they were occupied. While each one is worth visiting, Museo Cerralbo is my personal favorite. I’ve been here twice – first on my own and then on a guided tour – and both times I was blown away by the museum’s special charm.

Museo Cerralbo by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Tucked away on a side street near Plaza de España and Templo de Debod, this museum is one of the former residences of the Marquis of Cerralbo, who lived here with his family in the 19th century. Today, everything remains exactly in tact, from the furniture and art pieces to the wall colors and lighting.

Museo Cerralbo by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

As you walk through its many rooms and corridors, let your imagination run wild, picturing what life was like when this house was actually a home.

Museo Cerralbo by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

The Marquis was a well known archeologist and passionate art lover. He amassed a collection of art, furniture and objects from Spain and around the world that you can see in every nook and cranny. You’ll see beautiful paintings, mirrors, chandeliers and clocks dispersed throughout, and so much more.

Museo Cerralbo by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

The house has two floors. The first floor was where the family actually lived their normal lives, while the second floor is where you’ll find the extravagant ballroom and dining room, for example, that were meant to be shown off to guests.

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Each particular room had a different purpose and decor, acting as a unique exhibition space. Here are a few examples.

The armor collection

After going up the gorgeous stairway (the house was actually designed to accommodate for a unique wooden banister), guests would step into the hallway displaying the Marquis’s armor collection. This is my favorite exhibit.

Museo Cerralbo by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Museo Cerralbo by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Museo Cerralbo by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

The ballroom

To the right of the armor collection you’ll find the stunning ballroom. I would certainly like to dance here one day…

Museo Cerralbo by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

As you can see, the Marquis was particularly fond of playing with lighting and mirrors to add as much depth to each room as possible. And not an inch of the house was left unadorned.

Museo Cerralbo by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

The library

The library features British-style decor and houses an impressive collection of books in several different languages, some dating back as far as the 15th century. Here you’ll also find one of the largest coin collections in Spain.

Museo Cerralbo by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Museo Cerralbo by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

The billiard room

Right off the dining room you’ll find the billiard room. In that time, women weren’t expected to join in on the game, so there was a seating area designed just for them to watch as the men played.

Museo Cerralbo by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Snapshots of more rooms and objects

There are so many little rooms and corridors to check out, each one providing a window into another era and giving your eyes plenty to marvel at. I don’t want to give away too much, so here are just a few more images to give you a glimpse of the Cerralbo Museum’s collection. But please don’t pass up the chance to see it in person!

Museo Cerralbo by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Museo Cerralbo by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Museo Cerralbo by Naked Madrid and A Second Art
Museo Cerralbo by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Photography by Jose Luis Magaña from A Second Art (Facebook & Instagram)

Info

  • WebsiteFacebook & Instagram
  • I highly recommend booking a guided tour in English, Spanish or French
  • Address: Calle Ventura Rodríguez, 17
  • Hours: Tues–Sat 9:30am-3pm; Thursday also from 5-8pm; Sundays and holidays from 10am-3pm
  • Metro: Plaza de España
  • Los Cinco Museos pass: if you want to visit all five of these former mansions turned museums, you can purchase a €12 pass called Los Cinco Museos at any of their ticket offices. The pass gives you unlimited access to all five museums for 10 days, and after that you can enter on Saturdays with a plus one for the rest of the year.

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Street spotlight: Calle Ruda, a tiny portal between La Latina & Embajadores


It goes without saying that there’s no shortage of things to do in Madrid. In fact, sometimes there’s so much, you don’t know where to start. On those days when the sun’s shining and you’re itching to get out of the house, sometimes it’s best to just walk to a cool part of town and let the city do its thing. We’re here to give you some inspiration.

Calle de la Ruda

La Latina and Embajadores—bustling multicultural hubs—are connected by a string of tiny streets full of surprises. One of them is Calle Ruda, which takes you straight from Mercado La Cebada to Plaza Cascorro, and makes the very short walk well worth it.

Calle Ruda by Naked Madrid

Onis, for old-school charm

If you enter the street from Calle Toledo, you’re greeted by the classic corner bar, Onis.

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This place is the definition of castizo. Tapas in the glass display case, tobacco machines, weird arcade games, and a grumpy server who has probably been here since the place opened (which was 1976, I’ve learned).

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Ruda Café, for coffee

Looking for something more modern? We got you. Keep heading down Ruda and you’ll come across Ruda Café, a new (opened last year) coffeeshop that’s riding the wave of java experts that has hit Madrid in recent years. We’re not mad about this trend. And yes, they have wifi. They also sell packaged artisanal coffee and tea, jam, art, and coffeemakers.

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De Piedra, for handmade jewelry

But there’s only so much coffee you can drink (unfortunate, I know). So now that you’re fueled up, you’re ready to browse the cute little shops of this gem of a street. If you’re a fan of jewelry and creepy mannequins, pay a visit to De Piedra, an artisanal jewelry shop at C/ Ruda 19. They haven’t been at this location long, but the store has been open for some 15 years.

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Molar, for records, books and cassette tapes

Next you’ll come across my personal favorite place on the street, Molar. Think record store meets bookshop.

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They even sell cassette tapes, which is not something you see every day in Mad City.

Mamá Elba, for something sweet

Got a sweet tooth? Mamá Elba has been open a mere 3 weeks, and is already drawing a loyal customer base. Their selection of ice cream (including vegan and gluten-free), cakes, and coffee will leave you overwhelmed by heavenly choices.

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Erre Catorce (R14), for art and design

R14 is another brand new spot on the street, just open for a month. It’s a modern interior design shop, with local art, restored vintage furniture pieces (from around the world, namely Scandinavia and the US), apparel, and lots of cool home decor.

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Soon they’ll be putting on events to promote and discuss interior design and art, so keep your eyes peeled and follow them on Facebook.

La Tienda de Cerveza, for craft beer

Next up: craft beer. Okay, I lied before, THIS place is my favorite. La Tienda de Cerveza is a must in La Latina (and in the city, really). The shelves are lined with hundreds of bottled or canned craft beers and ciders from both Madrid and around the world. They have a few tables in the back, and they hold tasting events often. An absolute must for cervecerxs.

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Tienda Biológica, for something healthy

Something I love about Madrid is that you can eat healthy without going bankrupt. Tienda Biológica is living proof of this. This small organic food shop sells health products at reasonable prices, and it’s run by the sweetest lady.

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La China Mandarina, for a great meal in a modern space

And last but not least (and not even covering half of the street’s spots), for a great meal and a laidback ambience, visit La China Mandarina at the end of Calle Ruda (closest to Plaza Cascorro). It’s one of those places that masters the art of offering both very traditional and very modern cuisine on the same menu. So if you’re craving a tortilla de patatas but your friend has a hankering for a vegan burger, there’s something for everyone.

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They have great wifi and won’t roll their eyes if you work on your laptop all morning (I know from experience).

Calle Ruda is just one of a plethora of tiny goldmines in Madrid. If none of these spots call your attention (tough crowd!), we suggest you still come to the area on a beautiful day and just get lost. You can’t go wrong.

 




L'Artisan Furansu Kitchen, a Passionate Mix of Japanese and French Cuisine


Take the light, subtle flavors of Japan and the rich, expressive taste of France. Add the culinary artistry and craftsmanship of acclaimed chef, Stephane Shoji, and you’re in for a dining experience that’s nothing short of spectacular.

L'Artisan Furansu Kitchen by Jose Luis Magaña A Second Art 2

L’Artisan Furansu Kitchen offers a mix of traditional Japanese and contemporary French dishes, featured on a parallel – not fusion – menu. The 14€ menú del día (set lunch menu) changes daily, offering original creations that stay true to the restaurant’s dual heritage while featuring international touches, keeping patrons coming back for more on a regular basis.

Decor

A charming red door on an unassuming street in Barrio de Las Letras provides the first hint of L’Artisan’s unique character.

L'Artisan Furansu Kitchen by Jose Luis Magaña A Second Art 2

As you step inside, the simple decor imbues Japanese minimalism, with an unadorned bar area and a long table with the open kitchen in the back.

L'Artisan Furansu Kitchen by Jose Luis Magaña A Second Art 2

By contrast, downstairs you’ll find a warm, romantic atmosphere, with Japanese-inspired art and exposed brick walls that are typical of traditional Madrid cuevas.

Story

L’Artisan Furansu Kitchen was opened four years ago by Paris-born chef Stephane Shoji, who has both French and Japanese heritage. Shoji refined his culinary skills in kitchens around the world, before bringing his “passion project” to life in Madrid. In every dish he expresses his international culinary background and philosophy on cuisine as a craft that brings people together.

Cuisine

We went for dinner and followed our server’s recommendations wholeheartedly, dish by dish, wine by wine. While waiting for our starters we were given delicious tomato soup with an unexpected garnish – popcorn!

L'Artisan Furansu Kitchen by Jose Luis Magaña A Second Art 2

For starters, we ordered the ají no tataki, mackerel tartare with green onion, ginger and aubergine caviar. It was so light and refreshing, the kind of dish I’d order every time and never get tired of.

L'Artisan Furansu Kitchen by Jose Luis Magaña A Second Art 2

We also had the oh-so-rich buta no kakuni, soft pork belly slow cooked for 12 hours in sweet soy sauce. The meat was extremely tender and served in broth that retained all its flavor.

L'Artisan Furansu Kitchen by Jose Luis Magaña A Second Art 2

For entrees, we tried the oven-roasted butterfish marinated in saikyo miso which was our favorite dish of the night – simply out of this world.

L'Artisan Furansu Kitchen by Jose Luis Magaña A Second Art 2

We also had the lamb chops offered as a special that night. I just don’t think you can go wrong with any dish here.

L'Artisan Furansu Kitchen by Jose Luis Magaña A Second Art 2

For dessert we ordered the apple crumble which came highly recommended. A happy silence came over our table as we took the first bite. No words necessary, just go and try it!

L'Artisan Furansu Kitchen by Jose Luis Magaña A Second Art 2

Photography by Jose Luis Magaña from A Second Art (@asecond.art)

Restaurant info

  • Facebook
  • Website 
  • Instagram@lartisanmadrid
  • Address: Calle Ventura de la Vega 15
  • Reservations: reservaslartisan@gmail.com
    +34 91 4203172
    +34 626 792 905