March 26, 2018
Madrid for Foodies: El Canadiense

Madrid for Foodies: El Canadiense

March 26, 2018
restaurante el canadiense madrid foodies hamburguers hamburguesas
The owners of one of the most original restaurants in Madrid, El Perro y la Galleta, run three more restaurants in the capital of Spain. One of them is El Canadiense, the first Canadian restaurant in Madrid. The menu includes a selection of 13 different burgers, typical dishes from Canada and something that makes these restaurants so unique, a not-so-secret ingredient that appears in many of their recipes: cookies. This is a nod to their family link with the famous Fontaneda Spanish cookies company.

Having had a great experience at El Perro y la Galleta and loving burgers as much as we do, we knew we had to try this place. We made reservation for us and a couple of good friends who share our love for food.restaurante el canadiense madrid foodies hamburguers hamburguesas
restaurante el canadiense madrid foodies hamburguers hamburguesas
restaurante el canadiense madrid foodies hamburguers hamburguesas
restaurante el canadiense madrid foodies hamburguers hamburguesas
restaurante el canadiense madrid foodies hamburguers hamburguesas
restaurante el canadiense madrid foodies hamburguers hamburguesas
The place is really cozy and the homey decor makes you feel as if you were in a wooden cabin somewhere in Canada. The menu includes the aforementioned burgers, mouth-watering Canadian specialties like poutine or tourtiere and scrumptious desserts that are perfect as an afternoon snack with a cup of coffee as well. For starters we had eggplant slices battered in cookie with honey and maple syrup sauce on baba ganoush (first time we tried the latter, still not sure of what it is. If your know, please enlighten me). restaurante el canadiense madrid foodies hamburguers hamburguesas
Then we had two of their delicious burgers. Coincidentally, the boys and the girls ordered the same thing. Our guys got the Quebec burger: wagyu meat, provolone, goat cheese, onion, maple mayo and rocket. And the gals ordered the Montanesa burger: wagyu meat, cheddar, crunchy onion, berries (yes, berries!), rhubarb and lettuce. I never knew berries would go SO well with a burger, I liked it so much that I'm going to add berries next time I make burgers at home. That contrast of savory and sweet, DE-LI-CIOUS. Oh boy, I'm reliving it as I write these words...
restaurante el canadiense madrid foodies hamburguers hamburguesas
restaurante el canadiense madrid foodies hamburguers hamburguesas
For dessert we ordered carrot cake, cheesecake and mom's cake (chocolate mousse with a Fontaneda cookie on top). Just like red velvet cake, carrot cake is not that common in Spain, so if either of them is on the menu I look no further.restaurante el canadiense madrid foodies cheesecake hamburguers hamburguesas
restaurante el canadiense madrid carrot cake foodie
restaurante el canadiense madrid foodies hamburguers hamburguesas
restaurante el canadiense madrid foodies hamburguers hamburguesas
restaurante el canadiense madrid foodies hamburguers hamburguesas
Another amazing foodie experience to remember. We will surely be coming back to visit this furry friend at El Canadiense.
xo Cristina

RESTAURANT INFO
El Canadiense
Calle Carranza, 10
Madrid
Tel.:+34 669 46 58 86
March 19, 2018
How to Deal with Culture Shock

How to Deal with Culture Shock

March 19, 2018
stylish travel outfit parisian girl beret button cardigan
Culture shock is something you deal with when you live abroad. The cultural differences between your native country and your adoptive one can cause stress and accentuate homesickness. The process of recognizing, understanding, and adapting to these differences and changes is called culture shock.
There are four stages of culture shock:
  • The Honeymoon Stage: after arriving at your new home you feel happy and excited about all the new things surrounding you. Normally, when you are just on a trip you never go beyond this stage, that's why culture shock doesn't apply to vacation.
  • The Negotiation Stage: after a while, that initial euphoria diminishes. You start being irritated by those differences that you found charming in the beginning.
  • The Adjustment Stage: you start to relax and come to terms with your new situation. You undesrtand those differences and are not irritated anymore.
  • The Mastery Stage: you feel at ease in your new home and culture shock is over. That doesn't mean you won't be homesick anymore. You will surely miss your friends and family but you accept your new life and feel comfortable.

stylish travel outfit parisian girl beret button cardigan
CULTURE SHOCK IN THE US
The longest period I've spent abroad was my year as an au-pair in California. Before joining our host families we had a week of training where we were forewarned about culture shock. These were the things that shocked me the most as an Spaniard in the US:
  • Food portions are huge! I wasn't sure if I was ever going to finish a plate when I arrived. I did end up finishing them and I also put on a lot of weight (damn you, Cheesecake Factory!)
  • Touching people. Here in Spain we touch people a lot while we are talking, something I had to refrain myself from doing in the US.
  • Strangers talk to you everywhere: the street, public transport... Sometimes they ask personal questions which made me feel so uncomfortable. After a while I learnt that they didn't mean wrong and they weren't going to use that information against me. It's just the way they are.
  • Spain is famous for its late eating times. I had a hard time adjusting to those times and when I ate alone I went back to Spanish hours of meals.
  • I had never celebrated Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve was so different from what I'm used to.
  • Even though I was fluent in English when I went to the US, I know many people who move abroad to learn the language and therefore have a harder time adjusting. My advice is to learn things like false friends (a word that has a similar form to one in your native language, but a different meaning) before you leave to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Humour can lead to misunderstandings too. I don't think Spanish humour is so different from the US. Also, we are so used to American comedies that we are familiar with their jokes, but coming from other cultures different humour can lead to awkward situations.stylish travel outfit parisian girl beret button cardigan
TIPS FOR DEALING WITH CULTURE SHOCK
  • Avoid constant comparisons with home.
  • Keep in touch with your loved ones.
  • Make new friends, especially people in the same situation who can understand and support you. And do lots of activities together! Hobbies, volunteer work..., keep busy and in good company during your free time.
  • Share your culture with those arounds you. Host theme parties, show them photos...
  • Write down what you love during the Honeymoon Stage, and look back later when you feel irritated.
  • Travel as much as you can. Make the most of this wonderful oportunity.
stylish travel outfit parisian girl beret button cardigan
stylish travel outfit parisian girl beret button cardigan
Living abroad is not all a bed of roses, but at the end of the day the advantages are more than the disadvantages. So don't let culture shock put you off.
Have you ever lived abroad? Did you experience culture shock?
xo Cristina

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March 12, 2018
Madrid for Foodies: The Best Food Markets

Madrid for Foodies: The Best Food Markets

March 12, 2018
mercado san miguel madrid food market
Among our favorite places to grab a bite in Madrid are food markets. We love to take guests to see them when we are showing them the city as well. The great thing about food markets is that there's something for everyone and it's all in one place. Whether you are going with friends, family or your partner, you can all grab different things at different stands and eat together at the tables provided. 
These are our favorites:
  • Mercado de San Miguel
  • Mercado de San Anton
  • Mercado de San Ildefonso

For some reason all of them are named after saints. I have done some research to find out why but I haven't been successful.

San Miguel's Market is the best known gourmet market in Madrid. Built in the beginning of the 19th century, this unique building (best example of iron architecture in Madrid) has always served the purpose of a market, only the food stands have changed. Nowadays, you can find the widest range of elaborate tapas, delicatessen and gourmet products. From the best Iberian ham to fresh seafood brought from Galicia each day. It's one of the trendiest places to eat in Madrid and it's always packed with tourists and locals alike. It has 10 million visitors a year! If you are like me and don't like crowds, better to avoid going on weekends.mercado san miguel madrid food market
mercado san miguel madrid food market
mercado san miguel madrid food market
This market consists of three floors of delicious food. The first floor focuses on perishable food, the second one on take-away food and on the third floor you'll find Cocina de San Anton, a restaurant where customers can eat their goods bought on the first floor, cooked for a supplement of 4€. The restaurant also offers a vast menu based upon seasonal fresh and natural produce, with dishes inspired by traditional Spanish cuisine with international touches. On this floor there is also a rooftop terrace where you can have cocktails at the lounge area. As you can see it has all the things a true foodie needs.mercado san anton madrid food market
mercado san anton madrid food market
mercado san anton madrid food market
mercado san anton madrid food market
mercado san anton madrid food market
mercado san anton madrid food market
mercado san anton madrid food market
mercado san anton madrid food market
mercado san anton madrid food market
SAN ILDEFONSO
On Fuencarral street there is a street food market that offers dishes from all around the world and of course Spanish food too! If you've been to Candem Market in London, you'll find this place to be similar. A great place to meet up after work or for a pre-dinner drink. There are 20 stands with food that you can either take away or eat in situ. There are two indoor terraces and on the third floor is the cocktail bar where soft rock & roll is always playing.mercado san ildefonso madrid food market
mercado san ildefonso madrid food market
mercado san ildefonso madrid food market
mercado san ildefonso madrid food market
mercado san ildefonso madrid food market
mercado san ildefonso madrid food market
Images speak for themselves, don't they?
Do you like food markets? Tell me all about your favorite one on the comments below.
xo Cristina


March 5, 2018
An Organization Freak's Guide to Planning a Trip

An Organization Freak's Guide to Planning a Trip

March 5, 2018
stylish travel outfit
I organize my trips as much as possible. I like to be prepared beforehand even though some things will have to be spontaneous because you can't control everything (although the perfectionist in me would love to be able to do that).
Before a trip I outline everything: places to see, the best times to see those places and nearby eateries (even make some reservations). I also check out public transport and distances. This saves us a lot of time and also saves us from wandering the streets in empty stomachs.
stylish travel outfit
colegiata san isidoro leon
colegiata san isidoro leon
For today's post, I've rounded up my favorite resources to make a trip itinerary which are the following:

PINTEREST
This is the first place I go to when I start planning a trip. Pinterest has all the cool places. Plus, you can read the article related to a photo so it's an endless source of information.

THE NOTEBOOK
It may sound all fashioned but I love notebooks. I like handwritten pages and drawings and after the trip they look like scrapbooks. That's where I write the full itinerary: it's like a diary but before it happens. Having it written down also helps me organize photos and know what every place was once I am back home.

THE CITY MAP
Another oldie but goddie. After checking in our hotel we ALWAYS ask for a map. We have our phones for extra support but we use maps a lot. In fact, my husband loves saving battered maps after our trips.

THE COMPASS
This one is especially useful for photographers: know where the sun is. When you travel, you may only see places once so getting the perfect shot becomes quite difficult. Knowing the best time to photograph each place will raise your chances of getting the perfect photo and you won't have to go back at a different time of day. Bare in mind that the best time to take photos is one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset, also known as golden hour. Golden hour is great to take pics of people and places, your snaps will have lovely warm hues. The other important one to remember is blue hour, a period of twilight in the morning and in the evening that is a great time to take pics of buildings and landmarks because the sky has a pretty shade of blue, streetlights are on and buildings are still lit.

GOOGLE MAPS IS MY #1 ALLY
Even though we use the traditional map when we are at our destination, all my planning is done through Google Maps. The first thing I check is the hotel location. If it's abroad I'll also look for public transport from the airport to our accommodation. Then, the sights to see. I divide the map in areas and start working on the itinerary so that we don't go back and forth. Because we are usually tired when we reach our destination, we see the places closer to the hotel first. My planning also includes checking what is at walking distance and what is not.

A great thing about Google Maps is that you can download maps to use when you are abroad and don't have internet access. Maps.me is another great app that allows you to download maps.
basilica san isidoro leon
stylish travel outfit
stylish travel outfit
EXTRA TIPS
  • Start your research early! Don't wait until the last minute.
  • Check out as many blogs as you can. The smaller the blogger the better because that way you can be sure it's an honest opinion. 
  • If a recommendation pops up in a few travel guides, book it.
How do you plan your trips?
xo Cristina

OUTFIT DETAILS
Claudie pierlot top and pants (last seen here)

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