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November 10-17, 2013

Oldways spent a glorious week in and around elegant and interesting Madrid, with excursions to El Escorial and Toledo, led by Oldways and Ronni Baer, Senior Curator of European Art at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

The day-by-day schedule included:

Sunday, November 10 — Bienvenido a Madrid!

All day Hotel Wellington Check In
Late afternoon Welcome session at the Wellington Hotel
Early evening Introduction to Spanish Wines, with a Guided Tasting. Welcome Dinner:  An Introduction to the Foods of Spain

Monday, November 11 — Madrid Classics

Morning Breakfast at the Hotel Wellington. Walking orientation of Old Madrid and a guided visit to Reale Academia de Belles Artes (Royal Academy of Fine Art).  A favorite of Ronni’s and Oldways, this palace and school in the heart of Madrid includes many important works of art.


Noon Food Tour of the Mercado de San Miguel, the last iron covered market in Madrid. Founded in 1916, and restored and reopened in 2009, this market was the start of our Tapas Hopping Lunch.

Afternoon Siesta or shopping and strolling.
Evening Dinner at one of Madrid’s treasured restaurants.

Tuesday, November 12 — Treasures

Breakfast at the Hotel Wellington.


Noon/Afternoon Session and Tasting of Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Spain. Cooking Class and Lunch:  Learn to prepare several classic Spanish dishes.  After class our creations were served for lunch, followed by a visit to one of Madrid’s finest kitchen stores.
Evening Flamenco and Dinner

►Wednesday, November 13 — Travel to Toledo

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Morning/All day Breakfast at the Hotel Wellington. Depart for Toledo, a UNESCO World Heritage city just 43 miles south of Madrid for a day of history, architecture and art. We visited Alcázar, an ancient castle and emblem of Toledo, the Cathedral and other important sites. We were guided through the former home of the painter El Greco. Now a museum, the house has an impressive collection of his paintings, as well as exhibits of other artists. We also had an opportunity to sample local products, including a tasting of cheeses, and a lunch focused on the cuisine of Castilla La Mancha.  
Evening Free evening

Thursday, November 14 — Food in Art – Art in Food

Morning Breakfast at the Hotel Wellington. Ronni Baer guided us through our visit to the Prado Museum, with an emphasis on both the treasure of the Prado and the food-focused art, and the stories behind the works.
Evening Guided tasting of Spanish Sherry from Jerez, followed by dinner

Friday, November 15 — Manuscripts and Crafts

Morning Breakfast at the Hotel Wellington. A visit to El Escorial, a second UNESCO World Heritage site, which is a monastery, museum and a royal palace and known for its priceless manuscripts and great works of art.
Late afternoon Lunch at Charoles, a restaurant adjacent to El Escorial
Evening Free for a restaurant of your choice


Saturday, November 16 — Food and Cooking
Breakfast at the Hotel Wellington.
Noon Choice of: Hands on Cooking class and lunch, Walking Food Tour and lunch, or a cultural visit with lunch
Afternoon Free time for shopping, packing or resting
Evening Gala Farewell Dinner

Sunday, November 17 — Adios
Breakfast at the Hotel Wellington