Category Archives: Malasaña

Intercambios and English Activities Madrid-Style

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This post is being dedicated to all of my past, present and future English students here in Madrid.

Also to many of my Spanish friends and other people who I know who are always saying how they need to practice their English.

Well, in Madrid there are TONS of activities and places where you can do just that.

The “Guiri” (or Foreigner) Community in Madrid is very large and we LOVE to plan and organize events that let us do the things we loved doing back at home. Something to get us out of our little circle. Something to mix up our typical tapas/disco dancing/dar una vuelta around the city day to day activities here in Spain.

If you are looking for just a good ole ‘Intercambio de Idiomas’ (or Language Exchange) check out these places:

Mondays

Tuesdays

Wednesdays

Thursdays

Fridays

  • Cafe Madrid (Metro: Opera)@9:30pm/21:30h
  • Cachibola Pub (Metros:Sol or Tirso de Molina—in the Plaza Jacinto Benavente to the right of the Yelmo Ideal Cine) @10pm/22h—this one is put on by ‘Multilinkual‘ and the intercambio is after the Movie Night (see below—Extra English Activities)

Saturdays

Sundays

(FYI: Weds.,Thurs. and Sunday nights have maaaaaaaaany options!!! So I’d say in general try a few out and see which ones you like. Intercambios are sometimes a gamble. Just try as many as you can!)

In General the Top Intercambio Groups..as in professional Intercambios are the ones listed below. When you go ask for these people and they are the organizers of these Intercambios and can help you meet new people (especially for those who decide to go solo to these events.)

Extra English Activities

Of course there are TONS of places in Madrid but these are some of the ones that I know or have personally been to.

If anyone has anything new to tell me about, or make any corrections to the info I’ve given above….please email me or comment on this page! Thanks!

Here are some other links to check out for more info on all of the above in English or Spanish!

Get out there….meet new people, get out of your shell and have a damn good time!!!! (And of course practice your English! ;-))

Love,

La Guiri

Pinta En Copas

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One random day I was walking around the area in Madrid called Malasana, which just happens to be right next to my casa (now my old casa) here in Mad-town…when I saw a wonderful little shop where you could paint and decorate your own pottery (cups, mugs, plates, vases, piggy banks, bowls, etc…) and the moment I saw it I knew I had to go check this place out!

You walk in and it’s full of little wooden tables and chairs with shelves of white pottery ready to be decorated. In the back there is room for a group to come and spend the day together painting. There is also a little table with a kettle and a coffee pot which is there for you to enjoy a cup of tea or a cup of coffee for free while listening to music and painting a gift for yourself or for someone you care about.

I decided to surprise my friend as a little Saturday afternoon activity. Something off the beaten path of the traditional meal and a movie kind of day date. We chose to paint a coffee mug each.

The way it works is you choose one of the pieces of pottery…each style is marked with the price and that is the price you pay. Nothing extra. Our coffee mugs were 14 euros each…which I find extremely reasonable and affordable for what you are going to do.

So you basically come in, choose what you want to decorate, decorate it (maybe have a coffee or tea), and when you are finished you pay for your piece and then you leave it there to be picked up 2 or 3 days later. It has to be put through the oven and glossed so it looks truly FABULOUS!!!! 😉

The best part about this place is that friends can come, couples and families too. It’s a place for everyone really and even if you aren’t very artistic. I love painting so for me this was a GREAT afternoon. My friend isn’t the artistic one….but he still had a great time and I think he appreciated that I found something new and interesting for us to do in HIS city.

My fav part was that I had a mini fan club of a group of 3 little Spanish ninos who loved my mug and were asking me questions about it in Spanish…haha! Yup, I felt like a painting superstar. Ya know, it happens….:-)

Here is the info:

Pinta En Copas

Calle de Velarde, 3

Madrid, Spain (Metro: Tribunal, Bilbao)

+34 914 45 33 43

Timetable:

Tuesday-Sunday: 11 :00 – 14:00h and 17:00-22:00h

Friday and Saturdays they’re open until 23:00h

*Children older than 8 years old are permitted.
**You don’t need to make a reservation—unless you are going to be a group of 5 people or more!!!!
***CREDIT CARDS are NOT accepted!!!! (So bring enough cash!)
Check out some of my pics!

The Beginning….

The pieces my little fan club (aka the 3 lil ninos) were making next to our table…

La Guiri working hard on her coffee mug…

La Guiri caught by surprise…Haha!!! 😉

All Things Ameri-cuh! (part 3)

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So a month ago I checked out a fun lil place here in the neighborhood of Malasana, next to my house here in Madrid.

I got so excited to find out they had Creole food here in Madrid!!!!

Creole food is a food made famous from Louisiana…especially New Orleans. And I LOVE it!!!!!! It’s got this rich flavor and can be spicy (depending on the dish). I LOVE Jambalaya and Gumbo (the inspiration for the name of the restaurant). And they even ha Fried Green Tomatoes and Pecan Pie!!!! I was seriously in heaven!!!!

The place is called….GUMBO.

Here is their info:

Gumbo Restaurante-Madrid

I think that if you want to try something new for the Spanish taste buds and something that is as American as hamburgers and hot dogs….then I think you should try out this place.

It is a bit pricey….but that’s because some of the ingredients are difficult to find here in Spain.

Gumbo Restaurant - Window Seat

 

Gumbo Restaurant - The Bar

I had a bowl of Jambalaya, which is kind of like the New Orleans style Paella. Lots of people like to eat it with Tabasco sauce (I only put on a little bit since I don’t want to lose all of the flavor of the food to the sauce). I want to go again this month and try their Gumbo. Gumbo is a stew or soup from New Orleans. And I also want to try out their Fried Green Tomatoes (yes, like the movie.).

Jambalaya!!!!!! (and Wine)

I did enjoy a nice wine with my meal and I totally gave in and got the Pecan Pie!!!! Hahaha…And I ate the WHOLE thing!!!!!

Delicious PECAN PIE!!!!!! YUM!!!!!

With only the Jambalaya and the Pecan Pie, I was stuffed but it did cost me approximately 15-20 euros for that meal.

But considering the place is owned and run by a New Orleans Native…..I rate it an 8/10.

I did enjoy the whole vibe from the place….lots of warm colors and funky furniture pieces. And nice music playing in the background. I think if it were more economic then I’d rate it a 10/10….but it’s something original for Madrid and Spain in general so of course their gonna make it into a posh place and charge more than most places.

Feel like trying some??? Let me know and I’ll join you. (It’s a 15 min. walk from my house). 😉

Check out some other reviews—

Trip Advisor Review of Gumbo

Google Review of Gumbo

Espana Profunda WordPress Review

NY Times Review of Gumbo

La Lolina

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Lolina Vintage Cafe

Calle del Espíritu Santo, 9

So, as I was browsing my friend Martina´s websites to see if she had posted any new things, I came across her article about this Funky Cafe in Malasaña that I love to go to when I´m in that neck of the woods. I love the colors and the people there are a mixture but a ton of them are Hipsters and a good majority of them live right down the street or around the corner in Malasaña.

Every time I go,  it´s packed and I end up in the downstairs room.

There is something about this little place. Everytime I go in I feel like I´m entering someone´s well-decorated home.

It´s comfortable. It´s cozy. And most importantly you FEEL like you are in Malasaña. It´s a neighborhood that is KNOWN for it´s artistic and fresh view on life.

I highly recommend stopping by, even if it´s just to look at it (but the food is yummy too!)

Check out Martina´s article about it on her website:

http://www.theforeignkitchen.com/?p=634

Also check out the official website for Cafe Lolina:

http://www.lolinacafe.com/

Also, here is another blog post in english with some cool pictures about the Lolina:

http://comosolo.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/lolina-cafe/

Here is a little visual for you!

Enjoy!