Where were you born?
I was born in Madrid and, though I’ve travelled the globe, Madrid remains one of my favourite cities in the world.
Where do you live now?
I’m settled in Madrid now and love it for its vitality and tolerance of other cultures.
If money were no object, where would you live?
If money were no object I’d live between Madrid, Paris and New York and travel constantly in Italy and Latin America. I would be completely nomadic.
Which city is your favourite shopping destination?
I cannot choose just one as I love the shopping in Madrid but also Paris and New York.
Which are your favourite Madrid stores?
Lemoniez in Calle Argensola, Angel Schlesser on Calle Don Ramón de la Cruz and jeweller Helena Rohner on Calle Almendro. The shops have a very personal atmosphere and their creations are very good value and quality.
And your favourite restaurants?
La Ardosa on Calle Colón for its croquettes; Alkalde on Calle Jorge Juan for its tortilla; and Sinfonia Italiana on Calle Medinaceli for its warm atmosphere and Leo the chef’s excellent cooking, as well as the magnificent Italian produce.
Do you have a favourite local café?
Harina at Puerta de Alcalá for its magnificent breads and Pasteleria Mallorca in the upscale commercial centre of Jardín de Serrano for its cakes and excellent chocolate. I also love the legendary Embassy tea house for its delicious biscuits.
Where do you take out-of-town friends?
La Ardosa, because it is a corner of traditional and authentic Madrid that still survives.
Where do you like to celebrate?
For classic gastronomy in the super-stylish Retiro neighbourhood, you cannot go wrong with Horcher.
Do you have a favourite Madrid walk?
Early in the morning I like to walk from my home in Calle Valenzuela to the botanical gardens behind the Prado museum, through the Academia de la Lengua and into the beautiful Jeronimos church.
In your opinion, which are the best landmarks in Madrid?
Puerta de Alcalá and the Cibeles city hall.
Which do you think is the best museum in Madrid?
The Prado – one of the most important art museums in the world.
Which person from Madrid do you most admire?
The anonymous citizens who make Madrid such a wonderful city, from those that go out to clean the city at six in the morning to the waiters and waitresses that stay up serving in restaurants and bars late at night.
What insider tip would you offer to visitors?
Madrid takes time, it is a city hidden behind the façades. Wander through the streets, go into to the bars and shops, listen and talk to its people.
Where do you like to travel for inspiration?
What can’t you live without?
The sky, the light and sunset in Madrid.
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