After two days on the sauce, and not eating much more than black pudding and chips, I felt in need of something a bit more nutritious than meat, beer and tapas. I'm not ashamed to say it, but I was seriously craving fruit and veg.
We had a few hours with the Doyles on Sunday before they made their way to the airport and we were left to fend for ourselves. The weather was great all weekend, and as we wandered the streets enjoying the sun, I was dreaming about sprouts, peas and broccoli.
I was also thinking the Madridonians don't do vegetables, or fruit, as I hadn't seen any since I got here. Dinner that night was going to be a healthy low fat option, with steamed vegetables and very little meat.
So much for that plan. What I ended up with was meat. Lots of meat and sod all vegetables.
I, for some reason, thought suckling pig would be a few slices of pork with some crispy crackling. That's what I would have got in London, but this was Madrid, where suckling pig means suckling pig. OK, so it wasn't exactly the whole pig, it was only a quarter. The back left quarter, including the trotter.
As they wheeled it out, I realised having a starter was a bad idea.
I broke into a sweat.
I have to say that this was the tastiest suckling or otherwise pig I've ever had, but it was also the biggest amount of meat I've every been presented with, and my weak hungover shaky body couldn't take it, as I begged the wife to help me out.
There was no cigar after this meal. I was a wreck, and needed to get back to the hotel as quickly as possible and pass out.
The next morning and I was feeling almost normal. The best eggs on toast in Madrid was once again served up by Benja, and with that inside me, we were off in search of a proper cigar shop.
I had googled this beforehand so I knew what I was looking for. The shop is called Cava Cardenal Cisneros, and the link will bring you to the cigar inspector site that contains the address on google maps.
We rang the bell and the guy in the shop opened the door with a smile and a hello, not an olá, but a hello. Ten years in England and I suppose I must look a little English by now. At least to the Spanish.
The walk-in humidor is pretty big with a good selection of Cuban and non-Cuban cigars. There were a number of seriously damaged sticks on display, which at the time I thought might be due to the humidity, but could also be from somebody dropping them, so benefit of the doubt was given.
I really enjoyed picking out the cigars, some Spanish market selection, some old favourites and some new ones, which I'll cover off next time.
I also managed to pick up the last box of Partagas Culebra in the shop, and for all I know, the last in all of Spain.
It's certainly the last box that shop are going to sell, as Partagas have ended production, so once the allocated boxes have sold, that's it, no more.
The guy in the shop was very friendly and had great English, and as he threw in a large humidor travelbag, Cava Cardenal gets the thumbs up from me.
The bag was a nice touch, but it also proved very handy, as the box of culebra won't fit in my humidor, so they've been living in the humi-bag ever since.
So goodbye to Madrid. We had a great time, with the highlight being meeting Raymond Blanc, and the lowlight being the queueing system at Spanish gigs.
|They paid him to leave|
|Sir Blinksalot in The Patriot|