Botin, the oldest restaurant in the world 

When we booked our New Year’s trip to Madrid, NN only had one request when it came to food and that was that we visit Botin, the oldest restaurant in the world, founded in 1725 and,as such, in the Guinness Book. This is not only a restaurant but also a tourist attraction.
With menus in most languages and tables turning constantly, the restaurant, set over four floors,is pretty and very traditional in its décor. We sat on the first floor and, I have to say, I wouldn’t want to be on the ground floor in winter, as it was pretty chilly when those doors open.

The food here focuses on the traditional and the menu is simple, the choices not overwhelming. 

We decided to keep it simple and go straight for mains. We ordered a couple of vegetable dishes which came first and not with our main meal. 

The white asparagus was served cold with a mayonnaise, the flavour delicate.

The artichoke hearts with Iberian ham were delicious, the ham salty and rich.

Our first main was the house specialty, suckling pig, served,very simply, with just some potatoes. The crackling on this was excellent, the meat was incredibly moist. Some of the cuts were nearly all crackling with very little meat. 

Stewed partridge was certainly not the most beautiful dish I’ll ever eat (we can’t all be beauty queens) but it was well cooked, the meat succulent and the white wine sauce flavourful.

Service is prompt and efficient, yet friendly and we never felt rushed. This isn’t fancy cooking, it’s simple, rustic home cooking. And yes, it’s a bit of a gimmick but you kind of have to give it a try if you’re in Madrid.


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