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Alma Aguilar: My Madrid

Madrid designer Alma Aguilar shot to fame in 2000 when Salma Hayek was snapped wearing her designs at the Oscars. She was featured in Young Fashion Designers, published by Taschen, and this year turns her talent towards childrenswear

City Guide
Laura Edgecumbe-Ansdell,

Where were you born?


Where do you live?

In Madrid, on the outskirts.

What’s best about your neighbourhood?

How close it is to Madrid and that it is also quiet and green.

If money was no object where would you live?

Exactly in the same place where I live and in the same house, but I would refurbish it comprehensively.

What’s your favourite Madrid neighbourhood?

My own: El Encinar de los Reyes.

What are your favourite Madrid stores?

The Ekseption concept store on Avenida Concha Espina, as it stocks the best international clothing and accessories from around the world. Baby Deli on Calle Lagasca; when you are a mother, the world of children becomes part of your life and his great shop stocks toys and natural products for your baby. Zara Home on Calle Hermosilla; I never need anything from here but I can’t resist buying anyway.

And your favourite restaurants?

Diverxo on Calle Pensamiento because I love the creative cuisine, passionate cooking and simple environment. En Bandeja on Calle la Granja because I love the space, which is a former bakery. It is a very special place, not far from my house, run by some friends and wonderful hosts, Rafael Garcia and Francine Roy. The food is French cuisine with Arabic touches.

Do you have a favourite local cafe or pub?

No, I love being at home with friends, in mine or theirs.

Any recommendations for local dishes to try?

Fried eggs with potatoes and cured ham, a Madrid delicacy.

Where do you take out-of-town friends?

The Rastro flea market, Retiro park and the Prado museum. 

Do you have a favourite walk in Madrid?

I love walking in Retiro park at Christmas time.

How do you like to travel around the city?

By car, but public transport in Madrid is very good.

What do you think is Madrid’s best museum?

The Prado.

Which person from your city do you most admire?

Former mayor Enrique Tierno Galván, who did much for Madrid.

Any secret spots you don’t you want out-of-towners to know about?

No, all that is great about Madrid I share with pleasure. It is a magnificent city that welcomes everyone.

Where are the best bargains to be found?

The downtown area of Madrid: Calle Preciados, Calle del Carmen, Puerta del Sol and Gran Vía.

Any advice for visitors?

There are pickpockets in the centre of Madrid but if you look after your bag and are cautious there is no problem. It is a fairly safe city.

Can you recommend any good hotels in Madrid?

I love the AC Palacio del Retiro, the Ritz, of course, and the AC Santo Mauro. There are many fine hotels in Madrid.

What can’t you live without?

My Mac computer.

Tell us a secret.

Madrid still totally collapses when there is a snowy day, but I do not want that to change. I love that about this city.



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