A SPANISH suburb has made the top ten of the world’s most fashionable addresses.
Embajadores in Madrid has been voted in at number nine in a list of the 50 coolest places to live around the globe.
The barrio – just a stone’s throw from the city centre, as well as historic Plaza Mayor – is awash with trendy restaurants, bars and shops, according to the poll by travel bible Time Out.
As well as including the Lavapies district, which came top last year, it also incorporates hip La Latina and the famous Rastro flea market area that has been going for a century in Madrid.
It was pipped at the post by Arroios in Lisbon and Wedding in Berlin, while Peckham, in London comes 11th.
‘Florists arrange their bouquets in Plaza Tirso de Molina next to the bold murals of street artist Okuda. Next to the Indian restaurants that have been popping up around Calle de Lavapies, you’ll find traditional eateries like the legendary Melo’s, where punters gather to order their famous zapatillas (two slices of bread, as large as a skateboard, stuffed with heaps of Lacon pork and tetilla cheese).
While many locals in Madrid warn tourists off the area, citing high levels of crime and drugs, the Olive Press spent a few days in the suburb this week finding, the very opposite.
The vast majority of residents were incredibly friendly and there was a real sense of an upwardly mobile, but above all proud and creative vibe.
Businessman Fernando Barandilla, 42, who owns a series of tourist apartments just off Plaza Cascorro, one of the area’s nicest squares said: “I love the alternative buzz and edgy feel – plus at the weekend it comes completely alive with the Rastro.”
Meanwhile, waiter Andres Torres, 48, from Cafe Cantalejo next to La Latina metro station, expressed a total lack of surprise at the award.
“It’s the perfect place to live. Not too expensive yet, with the royal palace on one side and historic Madrid on the other, while you can walk to the Retiro Park in 15 minutes.”
Lavapies off the top
Spain’s previous coolest neighbourhood in the world, Lavapies, has now been beaten to the top spot, much to the relief of locals.
The Time Out Index survey asked more than 27,000 city-dwellers around the world about the ‘best, most overrated and most undervalued’ neighbourhoods in their hometown.
They then asked their own experts – Time Out editors and contributing writers who know the cities – and asked them to ‘pinpoint the one neighbourhood in their city with the biggest buzz about it right now’.
The survey also, importantly, asked if residents could still afford to live there?
This could be one of the reasons why the Madrid barrio is not top of the list, seeing rents go up by 50-75% over the last few years.