Maria Luisa Pérez
+34 686 959 358
English Spoken
Going for tapas is one of the best customs we Madridians have. Whilst you are here you should try it for yourselves. Madridians go out to have a good time and not to waste time arguing about trivialities. Having enough alcohol to become merry but without getting inebriated is essential for this task.

Here is some advice we recommend you follow to take maximum advantage from the experience.

1. Number of attendants:
The ideal number of participants is 4. But it is acceptable to have a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 although a greater number is possible.

2. Standing up:
You should eat and drink standing up. At the bar or in a corner unless you are tired and if you can find a free table! Sitting in the last destination is allowed as you begin to go over your adventures and plan your next tour!!

3. Number of tapas:
You should not have more than one tapa in the same place. This defeats the purpose of the whole concept; however comfortable you are, you must keep moving, walking from tavern to tavern, discovering new places and meeting new people as, of course, going for tapas is a civilised way of hitting on or being hit on yourself!!!
4. Pay a "round":
It is expected that each person buy a round. Tight-fisted people and those that hide in the toilet when it is time to pay are seriously frowned upon.

In Madrid there is an old and entertaining custom to decide whose turn it is to pay the round. This game is called "jugar a los chinos"- a chino is an old fashioned coin and not a reference to our Asian neighbours!! The game consists of each player having the option to hide any combination from none to 3 coins in a hand hidden behind their back; the object of the game is to guess the correct total number of coins everyone has hidden in their hands. Once the closed hand is brought round to the front and the guessing begins. Whoever gets the total right retires from the game until only one person is left, this person having the "honour" of paying for the round. Try it; it is a lot of fun.

5. How to combine:
You need to learn how to combine the tapas with others as well as ordering the taverns' specialties to appreciate the experience to the full. The same needs to be applied to the drinks; for example you should not mix wine and beer in the same round. All beer or all wine and you will be fine.

6. Cheerful conversation:
The combination of the tapas and a little wine makes for a very enjoyable chat as we relax a little and forget the burning issues of the day.

7. Tapas tour times:
Don't freak out when you see the floor of the establishment covered in paper serviettes and toothpicks we are no more disgusting as the next person, it is simply a custom and the staff clean up after us quite often.

8. Keeping the traditions:
And finally, the startup time; you can start at midday until lunchtime (3pm in Madrid!) or from around 8pm to dinnertime (10pm). However, lets face it, the more tapas you have the fuller you feel. It is not unexpected in the least to cancel lunch or dinner and continue to savour the tapas experience.

To finish with, we think that the following text first seen in a local tavern sums up the spirit of going for tapas very succinctly:

"Don't bring your worries or problems into this place. Leave them at home!! If you forget this advice and bring them with you, step outside, look up to heaven, come back inside, leaving your problems at the door. This place is for friends and happiness only. The presence of anyone disobeying these rules in this establishment is completely forbidden!!

Don't bring your worries or problems into this place.
Leave them at home!!