Sunday, 16 December 2012

The lifeblood of Madrid

The tiny, scowling waitress in the starched white apron plunks the chipped cup and saucer down in front of me.

Show some reverence, I think. This isn't just any beverage.

Why is it the most divine hot chocolate is always served by angry waiters? Is there some law of balance in the Universe, that says you can't have two lovely things in one sitting? Delicious, thick and dark chocolate... and a cranky waitress. A stunning sunset over a deserted beach... and so much sand in your swimmers that you want to crawl right out of your scratchy skin. A tub of Ben and Jerry's peanut butter ice cream... and a uncomfortable interview with your bathroom scales.

Life gives and life takes away.

Madrid is a deservedly-popular short break destination. It's lovely to look at (grand boulevards lined with belle epoque architecture, ornate fountains, and monuments). There are world-famous art museums to keep you amused during the day, and thriving night-life to keep you busy after dark. There are plenty of serious and cultured reasons to plan a visit to Madrid. But for me, if I'm honest? Forget about all of that – I'm only here for the chocolate.

Hot chocolate is part of the lifeblood of Madrid. It's available everywhere, any time of the day or night. The petite older ladies who lunch, in their tailored suits and their lapdogs - they have hot chocolate in their veins. The over-tired children, hocked up on too much sugar and too little sleep - molten cocoa courses through their little bodies (sorry, that analogy sounded less gross in my head....)

I'll stop talking now.

Anyway, what I mean to say is that the hot chocolate in Madrid was fantastic. I'm planning a full article about it, rather than the brief abstract which begins this post. I'll add the full text here when practical to do so (when it's either published or roundly rejected).

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