Madrid is the most wonderful of cities, there is so much to see and do, the Palaces, the museums, the churches and the squares. There are wonderful restaurants and bars, shows and the shopping is as you would expect in any capital city. Its hussle and bussle every which way you go and you retire to bed each night tired but happy.
The weather is always good as with only around 50 days per year when it may rain... sounds perfect... This means that besides the hussle and bussle the parks, gardens and open spaces in Madrid can be enjoyed to the maximum, and wow what parks they have. Parque del Buen Retiro, Parque del Oeste, Parque Madrid Rio, The Casa de Campo, Campo del Moro & the Sabatini Gardens, Jardín Botánico and Parque de la Dehesa de la Villa to name just a few all have thier own identity, history and are wonderful spaces to be explored...
And everyone loves a picnin, there is no better way to spend an afternoon or evening than relaxing in a shady spot, enjoying the weather and relaxing so at Eat Play Stay Spain we could not wait to have a picnic provided by PicnicMadrid.com and wow what a picnic.
So to set the scene, as every picnic needs a stunning vista, our chosen destination was Parque del Buen Retiro, which means Park of the Pleasant Retreat or simply El Retiro. We chose El Retiro as it is one of the largest parks in Madrid and we wanted to explore and what an exploration it was. We were so surprised to find ourselves in such peaceful surroundings and it was a much welcomed escape after two days of wandering around this great city. It was as if the city had stopped for the afternoon.
In every park you expect to see children playing, families having an afternoon together enjoying each others company, couples walking hand in hand and dogs enjoying a walk and a game of fetch with their owners. This park however brings more than is to be expected. There are woodland walks, boating lakes, monuments galore, a garden of remembrance, trees and plants to be in awe of, gardens after gardens each with their own character and botanical significance, palaces, wildlife and even an Astronomical Observatory. And turtles... yes that's right turtles which were totally unexpected.
The park is so vast that it would be virtually impossible to see it all in one day, so when we made our way to the meeting point with PicnicMadrid.com we had no idea where we would spend a couple of hours to watch the world go by in this beautiful park. The day before we had received an email from PicnicMadrid.com that had a map telling us where to meet, which was ideal due to the size of the park and we didn't need to worry about where to settle for our picnic as right on time at 2.00pm PicnicMadrid were there to meet us, and they kindly told us where they recommended we go. The Crystal Palace... and what a recommendation. He explained to us what goodies were in the picninc bags and how to get to the location all I can say is WOW!
The temperature on this day was 39 degrees so we found a spot under the trees on a hill looking towards the palace and we opened the picnic. This was no ordinary picnic it was quite simply a banquet and we did not know were to start. The Gourmet Picnic had been delivered and it really was a gastronomic sensation. A cheese board with 5 different cheeses that were magnificant, there were 4 different Pâtés that were delectable and so rich, a loaf of rustic bread, smoked salmon and capers, anchovies, gourmet vegetable crisps, a platter of spanish cured meats including Iberico ham and Cecina de León and a platter of Spanish Sausage. Quite simply put this picnic was divine.
And this was not all we had, there was a bottle of water and an ice cold bottle of white wine to wash it all down with and if this was not enough there was an enormous piece of cake each, fruit kebabs with chocolate dipping sauce, Ferro Roches and Chupa Chups lollies and chocolate bars. Cutlery, plates, glasses, napkins a picnic blanket and even disposal bags were all included. A picnic with PicnicMadrid.com is totally and utterly effortless.
Next time you are in Madrid take time out to enjoy the parks and especially with a picnic from PicnicMadrid.com you will not be disappointed!!!