Accidental Museums

The vintage barber’s that survived being on the frontline

20 February 2018

Peluquería Luis Martín is one of Madrid’s last remaining vintage barbers. It survived the frontline of the Spanish Civil war, the requisition of its beautiful chairs, and the untimely death of Don Luís Martín himself. Yet, 93 years later, and still having never given in to the hipster beard, this niche men’s hairdresser’s is still going strong.

Untold Stories

The story of Madrid’s most controversial prison

16 February 2018

La cárcel de Carabanchel, Europe’s biggest and most notorious prison until its closure in 1998, was built under General Franco’s watch. Between 1940 and 1944, every wall was raised and every metal door was fitted by the same prisoners who would eventually do their time here. None dared lay a brick loosely or leave a screw untightened – this prison was a star-shaped fortress, and nobody was escaping.

Lost & Found

Madrid’s lost stories (Vol. II)

5 February 2018

Did you know that there used to be a huge, octagonal market in Chamberí, or that the first passengers of one of Madrid’s metro lines were actually dead? Here are six old photographs and the forgotten stories behind them, but if you believe in ghosts, I recommend you scroll past number 3.

Food gemsLost & Found

10 offbeat finds in Usera

30 January 2018

Usera, just south of Madrid’s Manzanares river, is a fascinating neighbourhood that feels like a completely different continent. Join us as we explore some of the lesser-known corners of this barrio, including some wonderfully no-frills Chinese and South American eateries.

Food gemsUntold StoriesWorld

Peruvian soul food with a conscience

21 January 2018

In the darkest days of Spain’s financial crisis, Catalina Lescano Álvarez and a team of unemployed women from Peru and Colombia set up a little restaurant in Madrid’s Oporto neighbourhood. Going by the name of Sabores del Mundo, it was a brave and passionate project with two key objectives: to create employment for immigrant women and to provide a filling meal every day to vulnerable members of the local community.

No-frills bars

La Figal: the charming 1940s bar opposite the Brutalist church

15 January 2018

One of the best things about this accidentally retro bar is how much fun it is to explore. There are secret, time-bending portals connecting the endless labyrinth of dining rooms… or so it seems. When the same short, middle-aged waiter in a waistcoat kept appearing every time we entered a new room, we wondered how else he could have got there so quickly.

Untold Stories

Casa de Baños: washing with Madrid’s homeless

7 January 2018

I’ve always been curious to see inside the Casa de Baños in Lavapiés, and the opportunity finally arose when we returned to our flat after a week away to find that the boiler had exploded. As you’d imagine, very little gets done over the Christmas period, so we were to embark on yet another fascinating no-frills adventure, and what an insight it’s been.

Lost & Found

10 offbeat finds in Madrid (Vol. II)

3 January 2018

Let this collection of offbeat finds inspire the new year’s resolution you never made: to slow down (or even stop) and look at the Madrid around you, and you might just see something you never knew was there.