Madrid’s avant-garde Las Salesas district runs alongside Paseo de Recolectos and is best known for its two main streets, Calle del Piamonte and Calle del Almirante. Brimming with boutiques, jewellers, stylish eateries, lavish bakeries and artistic draws, Las Salesas is Madrid's equivalent of New York's West Village or Shoreditch in London.
The best place to start a visit to this area is Plaza de las Salesas. The complex that sits at the top of the square is a former convent founded in the 18th century by the wife of King Ferdinand VI, Bárbara de Braganza. Today, the building houses the Spanish Supreme Court.
Paseo de Recolectos
Located at the bottom of the square is Cosmen y Keiless, a charming local bakery chain that serves up fresh artisan breads and sweet, great for a quick breakfast. Northwest on Calle de Fernando VI you can start exploring the local designers boutiques, like Yube offering original youthful clothing for both men and women.
Turning left onto Calle de Belén, you’ll find Oak which sells hard to find luxe indie labels such as Belgian brand Bellehouse. Further down at number 2 is Galería Masha Prieto, one of Madrid’s best known modern art galleries.
The rooftop bar at Mercado de San Anton
Continuing down, the street becomes Calle de Luis de Góngora, where at this point you have two choices depending on whether you are more foodie or fashionista...
Option one: head further down and turn right on Calle de Augusto Figueroa to the reinvented food market Mercado de San Anton. San Anton boasts an array of small dining venues, a trendy rooftop bar and a basement supermarket that stocks a wide variety of Spanish products.
Option two: Turn left onto the tree-lined Calle del Almirante with its handsome residences decorated with black wrought iron. Spanish jeweller Luxenter is at number 8 as well as high street brand Zadig & Voltaire and legendary shoemaker Castañer. For a drink or spot of tea, head to Bristol Bar with its richly upholstered interior and old English influences. El Bogavante de Almirante is a prime candidate to return to come dinnertime thanks to its sleek décor and seafood, especially the arozzo (lobster) rice.
Intersecting Calle del Amirante is Calle del Conde de Xiquena, another picturesque street that features a curated Spaniard selection such as the innovative Lurdes Bergada whose multi-level space is at number 8 and La Próxima Parada, a boutique slash couture salon that is a firm favourite among Spanish celebs and socialites. At the top of the street is Beni Room, an ultra pretty space with pink sofas and floral printed walls. Vintage pieces are sold alongside designer labels such as Sonia Rykiel, Isabel Marant and Beatriz Nicolas.
Returning back to the top of Las Salesas you can now explore more global designer brands. Turn right onto Calle de Doña Bárbara de Braganza where you’ll see Marc Jacobs on the left. Proceeding further down, make a left onto the lovely promenade of Paseo de Recoletos where you’ll get to marvel at the stunning national library.
After the library, make a right onto Calle de Jorge Juan where you’ll find Italian brand Etro at number 9. The boutique’s rich interior makes you feel as though you’ve entered another world, hallmarked by dark walnut and contrasted against orange and fuchsia carpets. A short way’s down the street on the left is Brunello Cucinelli on Calle de Lagasca 25, another Made in Italy label known especially for its elegant ready-to-wear and plush cashmere.
If you’re still craving a broader selection of luxury labels, Calle de José Ortega Y Gasset is literally straight up from here with the likes of Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton and the newly-opened Roberto Cavalli flagship store at number 25. This two-storey space carries women’s men’s and children’s prêt-a-porter as well as eveningwear displayed in a dedicated VIP room, accessories, underwear, beachwear and the new Roberto Cavalli Home collection. “I have always loved Madrid, which to me represents a very glamorous and cool market,” says Cavalli. We hope you will love Madrid too after this retail introduction to one of Spain’s chicest areas.
Roberto Cavalli flagship