The Secret Garden of Madrid
Madrid is famous for many things: art, markets, plazas...but tucked away on top of a shop in the middle of the city it has its own secret garden.
El Jardin Secreto is hidden away on the top floor of the Salvador Bachiller department store. And it is wonderful. If I was to plan the perfect relaxed day out in Europe I would start at Mariage Frères in Paris and head to Madrid for afternoon tea.
S discovered the Jardin Secreto and led me there, so all credit for this one goes to her.
You ascend through the shop on escalators to find a restaurant on the penulitmate level. If you are there for dinner, or in the cold, that is probably where you will stop. We headed on up for a midday brunch/snack.
The top floor is made up as an indoor garden - as the name suggests. Staff are clad in the most fetching jumpsuits, decorated with leaves, and the walls are adorned with climbers, while plants and trees decorate the room.
We took our seat on the garden furniture and perused the menu. We both ordered a pot of tea and a cake. We grabbed the carrot cake and the Secret Garden Special dessert. There is a very impressive menu of cocktails and meals, but we were in the mood for a treat.
As we were waiting for out food to arrive, a storm hit outside. The thunder cracked overhead and pouring rain bounced off the ceiling and outside seating area. It added to the experience.
The tea arrived in small glass pots and china cups. Not only were they beautifully quaint, but you could grab versions to take home in the shop downstairs.
The special dessert was amazing. It was mint chocolate ice cream base, topped with crumbled biscuit and a mint leaf. Best of all it was served with a mini spade to eat it.
Both cakes were incredible and the selection of teas meant event the most tee-total guest could find something interesting to drink.
After our meal we drifted down through the shop and back out into the daylight, feeling a bit like the kids coming back from Narnia.
If you are in Madrid, don't miss out on this one. But book ahead.