Blog, Madrid, Spain

Lunch at Hotel Orfila, Madrid

November 9, 2013

Madrid is one of my favourite European cities and in my eyes too frequently overlooked.  At the end of September (2013) we flew to Madrid for a long weekend and on the Friday were treated to a lunch at the lovely Relais & Chateaux Hotel Orfila.  It surpassed all expectations and was a fantastic start to what was to be a brilliant city Break.

Lunch a deux at Hotel Orfila

Lunch a deux at Hotel Orfila

Through work I was lucky enough to be given a guided tour of this boutique hotel and afterwards Rob and I gratefully accepted a complimentary lunch at their restaurant.  Relais & Chateaux hotels are known for being of an excellent standard, having character (no chains) and – most importantly – amazing food.   So we were much looking forward to lunch.  And it did not disappoint.

Relais and Chateaux Hotel Orfila

Since the weather was not its standard sunny self we couldn’t eat outside on the lovely terrace, so instead ate in their light and airy restaurant.  We were the only ones there for most of it (probably because we had lunch at 12:30, which is very early for Madrid standards), so it really felt like a private dining experience.

The service was impeccable and we were handed a rather large a la carte menu.  After long deliberation we asked the waiter for his recommendations and went for those.

What I love about seriously good restaurants is the amuse bouches you get served.  Unexpected and delicate, we were served a chic version of the very Spanish ‘patatas bravas’ and secondly a superb eel mousse in a lime shell.

Patatas Bravas Chess Board

Patatas Bravas Chess Board

Eel mousse in a lime shell

Eel mousse in a lime shell

My favourite part of the lunch were the starters.  I’ve never had this before, but the waiter recommended we shared two starters and instead of bringing out both starters and scooping half of one dish onto your plate, they prepared two plates each for us.  It felt like the courses were never ending.  The scallops were melt in your mouth delicious.

Scallops with balsamic and ginger

Scallops with balsamic and ginger

Steak tartare with crumbled truffle

Steak tartare with crumbled truffle

By the time the main course had arrived my appetite was sated but the food continued to be so good that I easily finished off my delicious braised steak with truffle (and also tried Rob’s grouse with oats).

Braised beef with caramelised shallots and fois gras

Braised beef with caramelised shallots and fois gras

Fois Gras and Quince Jelly (accompaniment to the beef)

Fois Gras and Quince Jelly (accompaniment to the beef)

The Quail with Scottish oats

The Grouse with Scottish oats on a bed of thinly sliced aubergine

We were seriously impressed by all the food and the beautiful presentation and very grateful to Hotel Orfila for such a delightful lunch.

The only downside is that it set the bar high in terms of food for the rest of the weekend…!

Hotel Orfila

http://www.hotelorfila.com/

Calle Orfila, 6, 28010 Madrid, Spain

The restaurant at Hotel Orfila is open to non-guests. 

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