How is the post-holidays going?
This year we took some extra time off from work to visit my family in Madrid and spent with them the 2 key days of Christmas: Christmas night dinner (with some board games & lots of food), Christmas morning (with the crazy opening presents by the family kiddos) & the family lunch.
It really felt wonderful to be with them at this time of the year, after so many years with heartfelt cards telling each other that next year we should celebrate together. Of course, not everything is picture perfect, always there’s some typical stress involved, specially with the holidays that put so much pressure on everyone. However, I was in the best of moods and I really enjoyed it very much because I made the best of all the hugs with our nephews, auntie and cousins.
It was great to see Madrid once again (love the city!) and be able to visit some shops, cafés and restaurants that are on my never-ending wishlist. I was specially excited to visit HanSo Café, which people from Madrid in my Instagram was raving about and that I have to gladly report that exceeded my expectations (check below!). Although some extra hours (or days!) in Madrid would had been great, we focused on being more with my family, walking around to see the Christmas lights, visiting a Lego exhibit which my nephew Samuel was obsessed about and spending some quality time at home.
If you read great reviews of Hanso café, please believe the hype, ha! This industrial meets Japanese café in Malasaña (one of the hip neighborhoods in Madrid) was delightful. Dani can report that the coffee was one of the best he has ever tasted, and so was the Matcha latte.
We came here after our lunch, so we finally had only enough room in our bellies to order a cake to share. I definitely need to visit again to taste more of them because the matcha one we took was up to our Usagui (our favorite cake shop in Barcelona) level, which, if you know me, is saying a lot. We also had a glimpse of their amazing-looking waffles with fresh fruit, from the table next to ours.
Grosso Napoletano was also a newer addition to our favorites list. This pizza place was recommended by a foodie Spanish blog I follow called O lo comes o lo dejas. They have several locations in Madrid, this one was in the Goya neighborhood, which I discovered that had lots to offer! The decor was top-notch, a good match to the amazing good Margherita Neapolitan pizza. I would skip the rest and choose the Margherita if you wish to have a better taste of their pizza dough.
My nephew Samuel is now 10, so he looks like a grown-up, but still he is a precious little kid that loves attention, which we give him heaps. When I look at him I try to guess how would he be in a few years, as a teenager. Crossing fingers the teen angst doesn’t come too bad, he is so very loving & affectionate right now. We took him 1 day-off by ourselves to the Lego exhibit and then for pizza & ice-cream (yes, doing our best to reach the aunt & uncle podium, ha!) and on our way back home he spontaneously gave us a super big thank you because he had a blast. My heart pounding, of course!
The Lego exhibit displayed 6 different dioramas created by Lego collectors. The most impressive was the city that included some hidden characters (mostly super heroes) that were a fun touch. All the kids tried to find all of them shouting: here Iron Man! look, Spiderman! The other dioramas included a Christmas town, Medieval Castle and a Greek temple. All of them with more than 90.000 pieces.
If you stumble by one of Mistura ice-cream locations in Madrid, please don’t skip it. They have artisan ice-creams and milkshakes, Daniel took Matcha and Red Velvet and believe me that you should try this combo. Then, you can choose a topping for each of your flavours. My toppings were butter cookie and white chocolate. Also, you can get good recommendations for the best mixings from the ice-cream scoopers, that’s what we did!
We couldn’t miss the opportunity to introduce my nephew Samuel to Ramen, it was his first time and he absolutely loved it (I knew it, ha!). Ramen Kagura offers an amazing tonkotsu soup ramen, and what surprised me this time is that you can choose the amount of ramen noodles (small – 100 gr, medium – 200 gr, large – 400 gr) which I think it’s a good way to go, sometimes I feel like there’s too much noodles in my soup. I ordered the medium, but I would go for the small next time. Also, we realized how much cheaper things in Madrid are (compared to Barcelona), a medium Ramen with two chasu pieces, mushrooms, bamboo & 1/2 egg, is merely a 7.8 euros ticket. In addition, they have Calpis soda! Can’t get any better for me.
On the Christmas morning we went to my older cousin home to open all Santa presents. The grown-ups had a secret Santa waiting for us, and the kids, well… all the rest of the presents you can see in the picture below, ha! They were super excited of course. I got from my secret Santa a Norman Bates Funko Pop (the exclusive one in black & white) and a DIY printer set. Dani got 2 Nintendo online store cards, definitely Santa knows him well *wink*
We ordered Santa a few presents for my family kiddos as well. We asked him to deliver to the little Oliver a vintage baby yukata from Kamakura (I don’t have a proper picture, but it was adorable!), a Lilo & Stitch house for Akane and (of course) a Lego for Samuel.
Afterwards, we went to a restaurant for the Christmas lunch, and then rushed to the train to go back to Barcelona to our Juno. I missed her so much!
How did you spend the Christmas? I would love to see your pics as well! Do you have your Christmas haul pictures somewhere? Leave the link, it’s one of my guilty pleasures.
Can’t believe the year will be gone in 2 days, we’ll definitely be back to wish you a happy new year very soon. Hugs!