Foodies take note. Two must-stop places to eat in two of your favourite Spanish cities.

If you’re in Madrid, enjoying the sites, the wonderful vibe and the tapas bars, you might like to plan one of your meals in the ‘Mercado de la Reina’ restaurant (http://www.mercadodelareina.es/) on the central Gran Via. You can try typical dishes from most of Spain’s regions all in one place without having to travel around the country. For 35 euros, the restaurant is offering an ‘Un país a la carta’ (‘A country à la carte’) set menu.

Savour, amongst other dishes, appetizers of olives from Campo Real and sobrasada sausage from Mallorca, Gazpacho soup from Andanusia, octopus from Galicia and lamb from Aranda, all washed down with excellent Duero, Rioja and Rueda wines. And if you fancy a pre-dinner Gin and Tonic, the full name of the restaurant is Mercado de la Reina & Gin club. The bar offers over 20 different types of gin!

Alternatively, if you’re visiting Valencia, try the new-gastro bar, Vuelve Carolina (www.dacoandco.es), where the Academy of Gastronomy held its annual awards recently. The menu features haute cuisine meat, fish and rice tapas at prices that won’t break the bank. The bar is owned by Quique Dacosta who is known as one of the region’s best chefs. Looking for a more traditional restaurant? Why not try the one that won the above mentioned award, Richard Camarena’s Arrop (www.arrop.com) in the wonderfully atmospheric old town!

A number of low-cost companies fly to Madrid and Valencia, including Easy Jet and Ryanair.

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