The essence of Madrid
The Puerta de Alcalá stands proudly in the centre of Madrid. Erected in 1778 and the first triumphal arch to be built in Europe since the Roman period, it is a symbol of Madrid, the subject of popular songs, and – in the three tall, elegant rounded arches – inspiration for the Salvatori apartment in the city. Reaching up to the double height ceiling from a floor in Stone Parquet Crema d’Orcia, these archways offer a perspective through the apartment and encourage moving around the space: from the hallway with Balnea drawers with facings in Bamboo texture, Omaggio a Morandi stone vases and the Pietra L tray, through to the minimally anointed living room, where inserts of dark Pietra d’Avola limestone in the honed Crema d’Orcia floor are echoed in Elisa Ossino’s stone wall art, and out onto the terrace and the view across the city.
Here – the morning light playing off the plunge pool and a feature wall clad in Romboo in Silk Georgette® – there’s time to plan out the day over coffee: a walk in Buen Retiro park before roast suckling pig at Sobrino de Botin, the oldest restaurant in the world and mentioned in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, or a stroll through seven centuries of art at the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum. Nothing should be attempted, however, before leisurely preparing for the outside world in the simple, contemplative bathroom, the Balnea shower tray carefully nestled in the wall beneath a Fontane Bianche shower tap and TABL-EAU shower hooks – a space completed by a Stiletto basin and Quadro mirror.
However the morning passes, the afternoon should be spent exploring the design and high-end fashion stores of the Barrio Salamanca district, or else making a day trip to El Escorial, the royal palace and icon of Spanish Renaissance architecture, to tour the grand, imposing buildings. Having worked up an appetite, it’s time for dinner at DiverXO, Madrid’s only three-Michelin-starred restaurant, where chef David Muñoz brings an irreverent approach to world cuisine.
Bringing the day full circle, it’s back to the terrace, now with a glass of Toro from just outside Madrid, to take in the city as it changes in the dying light, before relaxing on Piero Lissoni’s Curl chaise longue and looking at the stars, the candles in the lanterns flickering.