Madrid – Lavapies and the galleries

Lavapies is well placed for all the main galleries and would make a good area for lunch after a long morning looking at the masters.

Everyone should try to see Picasso’s highly moving ‘Guernica’ at La Reina Sofia to gain an insight into Spain’s modern history.

I also personally love ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ painted by Hieronymus Bosch over 500 years ago and now hanging at the Prado along with the Spanish masters.

Lastra Sideria (Intermediate A), 3 C/Olivar, Tel. 91 369 0837, Metro Anton Martin (very handy for the art galleries).

Another brilliant Asturian place with great, authentic but cheap food that’s friendly and very popular. Some of the locals were still waiting in the bar at 3pm for a seat in one of the two adjoining rooms.

On arrival you immediately get a dish of Cabrales blue cheese (similar to Rocquefort but more creamy and spreadable) with a basket of bread.

For the main I had Pote Asturiano (only €12.50), similar to Fabada but with haricot rather than butter beans and the addition of cabbage, but still with chorizo, gammon and smoky Asturian morcilla. It would easily have been enough for two but I gave it my best shot.

To drink, a bottle of Cortina Sidra Natural, poured from high by my waiter to aerate it.

The Tarte de Santiago I had for afters was a slice of cake filled with soft almond flavoured mousse making a change from the dry versions I had had elsewhere.

Finally I got a gratis Paxharan (Basque aniseed liquer) with ice which finished things nicely.

The total bill came to €23.50 which is fantastic value.

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