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More than once we’ve lost our minds over light fixtures in a boutique hotel and pined (no pun intended) for reclaimed wood in a neighbourhood eatery. We’ll admit to grabbing extras when we see particularly artful matchbooks at check-in desks, and even cop to slipping away with creative coasters from lobby bars. It’s hard to travel and not appreciate good design, which is why we’ve paired up with the global editors at Houzz – the site devoted to architecture, decorating and interior design – to hear what they find aesthetically dazzling in cities around the world.

Up first, in his very own words, we have Rafael Fernández Bermejo – editor of Houzz Spain – with some design-minded places to eat, drink and stay in Madrid

Rafael Fernández Bermejo, editor Houzz Spain

Rafael Fernández Bermejo

Drink: Celso y Manolo
Libertad, 1

‘If you want to experience a contemporary version of a typical Spanish bar (a tasca), head to Celso y Manolo. The interior is warm and simple, with a marble bar and flooring. But it also has a contemporary twist, thanks to the posters, careful lighting and accessories, including Adnet mirrors. Celso y Manolo is bright and fresh – perfect for an aperitif.’

Eat: Bodega de la Ardosa
Colón, 13

‘If you know the right places, eating in Madrid can be a real experience. Bodega de la Ardosa, in the Malasaña neighbourhood, is a must for lovers of good food. It’s a 100-year-old tavern that offers a juicy omelette, which is, in my opinion, the best in Madrid. Make sure to order una cañita, too. The interior can be described as ‘typical Spanish’, with a bar crowded with bottles from floor to ceiling.’

Hotel Urso, Madrid, Spain

The bar at Hotel Urso

Stay: Hotel Urso
Mejía Lequerica, 8

‘A five-star boutique hotel in a prime location, Hotel Urso is just steps away from the Plaza de Alonso Martínez, Chueca and Tribunal. Perhaps the most beautiful element of the building is its facade, particularly the decorated balconies. The architect, Antonio Obrador, was responsible for the renovation. Inside, it manages to be modern and elegant, but warm at the same time, thanks to the colour palette and natural materials. Especially interesting is the bar area and the restaurant, which has a more contemporary and fresh feel.’

Eat: Fox Cook & Sound
José Abascal, 44

Fox, a fashionable place in Madrid, is a good place to eat, have a drink or sip a coffee. It has the feel of a private house and its decoration is impeccable: from the industrial air of the British living room, to the handmade lamps and wicker chairs in the Porch restaurant. Alba Hurlé and Alicia Martín, from Cousi Interiorismo, have achieved a thoughtful interior in which no foodie will feel disappointed.’

Fox Cook & Sound, Madrid, Spain

The Porch at Fox Cook & Sound

See: Matadero Madrid
Paseo de la Chopera, 10

‘Music, theater and design can all be found in Matadero Madrid, a public space that hosts art events, concerts and exhibitions. It’s just steps away from Madrid Río: the most important urban intervention in Madrid in recent decades. For those interested in contemporary culture, this area is well worth a visit.’

Matadero Madrid, Spain

Matadero Madrid

Eat: Platea
Goya, 5-7 

‘Here’s an elevated food hall – created by interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán and inspired by the glamour of the 1950s – that’s built in the former Carlos III cinema. The stage and stalls have been preserved and give the space charm; in what used to be the moat, you’ll now find a series of small stands. Stop by and shop for fruit and vegetables, or enjoy a meal from a celebrated chef, such as Paco Roncero.’

Featured image is Celso y Manolo

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