Last weekend we went to Madrid to Intergift 2021, an exhibition where we can see several of the decoration trends, which is always a pleasure for a decorator (from Porto to Madrid is fast). We took the opportunity for a walk for two around the city, to relax and see some places that I love.
The decision was made at the last minute. Due to the fact that decoration fairs have been cancelled in recent years I was already missing making one of these visits. In fact, I couldn’t go to Maison et Objet in Paris, or even Milan to the Salone del Mobile, because I had projects to finish and appointments with clients. When I realized that I had the weekend free I decided that going to Intergift was a good idea, because I had never been. Despite being a much smaller decoration fair (and this year it was even smaller due to the context) it is always good to see new products, understand what is being the focus of some suppliers, meet new ones and support the usual suppliers. As a decorator and since there was no exhibition in Porto, I believe that we have to be more and more aware of this. Who participates in the fairs makes a financial and personal investment (because it is very exhausting) and I like to support whenever I can.
The stands that I liked the most were the ones that had opted for boho, kinfolk or tropical style decorations (if you haven’t seen my reels on Instagram with these examples go there to understand what I’m talking about), with natural textures and ethnic elements. The stands that were looking for mid century modern or classic luxury were not sophisticated enough or had the luxurious look that I like to see.
I had to score everything. Problem? I couldn’t get a flight for Friday morning anymore. To go Friday night was not worth it, as it would waste the day. The solution was to go by car and Zé Alberto (dear husband) said he would go with me, so we could use the weekend in Madrid to date. Problem 1 solved.
Second issue: Hotel and restaurants. I decided to ask on Instagram for tips on Hotels and restaurants in Madrid. I received several suggestions that included the Urban Hotel, the Only You Boutique Hotel Madrid, One shot fortuny, VP Jardin de recoletos, The principal Small luxury Hotels, the NH chain, the Vincci Soho or the Four seasons. All very interesting with different characteristics and prices. I suggest that anyone who is thinking of going to Madrid should check out these options, as there are very cute ones for all tastes. We ended up choosing another of your suggestions, the Intur Palacio San Martin. The location is very central, the room good for a city center hotel, which we only really use for sleeping and showering, and a very good breakfast. The fact that it has several decoration details that have been kept from the palace such as walls and ceilings, the elevator, a very cute common area and a room in light tones, helped in my choice.
Where to have dinner? Once again the suggestions I was given were great. The only problems were: as I had booked everything on the top, several options were already sold out. Options like the Amazon, Rosi La Loca and Lateral had no availability. Platea was closed and would only open in October. So we chose Ten con Ten a super cool restaurant in the Salamanca neighborhood with super fast and friendly service, good food and beautiful people. A good mix of locals and some tourists (like us).
The other dinner was at La Fonda Gironda. A ‘fashionable’ restaurant as the Spanish say. Very cute decoration, with a DJ and making for a super lively night. The food was not as good as the one at Ten con Ten, but it was worth it for the cheerful and relaxed atmosphere to the sound of music louder than usual for a restaurant, but which we were already missing.
La Fonda Gironda is right next to Habanera, which was also suggested to me. Although we didn’t have dinner there (we only had 2 dinners) the restaurant is super cute and a very cool place to have a drink.
Friday was spent at Intergift, so Saturday would be the day of the tour. Since we have been to Madrid several times before, though we always like to revisit some places. Leave from the Puerta del Sol through Calle Arenal to the Teatro Real. Pass the Royal Palace, the Cathedral (it has some beautiful and super inspiring ceilings for decoration and color combination) and go to the Plaza de España. (The Plaza de España is under construction (all dismantled), so for first time visitors I don’t think it’s the best time. I would wait for the end of the works).
Then we headed to the temple of Dedod. We went back to Gran Via and took the Metro to Cibeles Square and decided to go visit the Prado Museum. Definitely the hours we spent in the museum were not enough. The museum has wonderful works, by painters that I admire and love. I don’t have a single picture because I was so overwhelmed with the amount of wonderful artwork there. I definitely have to go back.
We then went for a walk to the Barrio de Salamanca. My favorite in Madrid. I still looked for some ateliers of decorators that I love, but they were closed because it was a Saturday. The decoration stores I saw didn’t charm me, to be honest, but I couldn’t see everything or walk around the whole neighborhood. However, the decoration of the griffe stores are always a delight and excellent sources of inspiration (and the collections too, but let’s move on to that part). Sunday, the day we returned, we still had time to walk around Gran Via, very close to the Hotel. It was very crowded, even though it was early and that was one of the things I found in Madrid: too many people.
I think you have already noticed that only on Saturday we must have walked about 20km, but we loved it. It was a weekend full of decoration inspiration, I found new suppliers, reviewed some, met a new fair that I had never visited before. We went through areas we didn’t know so well and from a childless perspective, which is always different. A good lovers’ weekend.
I hope you enjoyed following our weekend in Madrid and that the tips can help you on a future trip. Thanks to everyone who responded on Instagram, they were great suggestions.
BE HAPPY, BE PERFECT!