Santa Eulalia, a Parisian bakery in the center of Madrid
How do you craft something unique? Think about it, when is the last time, anything whatsoever made you go WoW? Well… this is what Santa Eulalia is all about. Surprise, but in an elegant, soft and french way. Ana, journalist and Jose-Alberto, lawyer, always felt they wanted to write stories and relieve stress in a different way.
Perhaps in a simpler and “sweeter” manner. So one day, Jose-Alberto starts to think that maybe his true passion, pastry and bakery, could turn into something more. With the support of his wife Ana, he starts reading and studying, hard. A workshop follows the other, classes, courses, until he finally joins the prestigious Cordon Bleu school in Madrid.
This very demanding school is not exactly just a longer version of what you imagine Master Chef looks like. No, this ecole de haute cuisine is only for hardcore, committed chefs of the future. 4 years, yes, 4 entire full time tough, but also “sweet” years, to reach that specific level of pastry perfection, that only top class, french patisseries can be proud of.
Just like a beautiful art deco vintage table, Santa Eulalia also rests on four solid legs of excellence: amazing french and spanish quality pastries, organic and naturally baked bread, delicious hand made premium chocolates and a selection of freshly toasted coffee.
I’m sorry to spoil the warmth you feel when you walk in for the first time, but in case you are in a different continent while you read this, I want these images to really motivate you to have a break, in this hidden corner of Madrid during your stay.
Santa Eulalia is situated in a tiny quiet street that you are very likely to miss if it wasn’t for us! Calle Espejo 12 is exactly between the Opera house and its metro station and Calle Mayor. On your way to this island of peace and sugary happiness, you also find Mercado San Miguel and Plaza Mayor. Oh, the Royal Palace is only a 3 minutes walk from here too. Do not miss that one!
I find this to be one of the main ironies of this Patisserie, it is between some of the most popular sights of Madrid where torrents of tourists walk up and down, yet the street it is in, and the few around it, truly feel like a small village, during public holidays.
Usually you don’t find years of hard work and study, a search for excellence in every detail, combined with horrible service and rather disgusting interior design, right? That is in fact also the case here. When you walk in, the particularly high ceilings are one of the first things that strike you. The sense of openness and the additional light you gain from the huge windows, are a rather rare feature in the old and narrow shops and locals of the center.
Of course, this is not just the lucky consequence of a few weeks of searching for the right place. But when you are a visionary, and you are driven by deep genuine passion, you can spend up to 8 months, searching for the perfect space. It’s quite a lot time to be just looking, for where to only start your adventure. That would have been easy though, if the place was just as you see it now. But nope, the space was originally an old education center for general workshops, rather in a bad state. Another 8 months of hard refurbishment were needed to get this place from rough coal, to diamond.
Inside,the classic music feels just like a hug from a beloved person, when you rest your first bite on the croissant de almendras.
It’s really hard to stop asking for a second identical order while you are still half way through your first one.
I know this review sounds slightly over enthusiastic compared to other ones, but ultimately when a place is truly amazing, someone simply has to state it, without being afraid of sounding too flamboyant, no?
The service is the cherry on top. I would say that generally between 80 to 90% of the times, when I go out I receive bad or barely sufficient service. Probably it’s just my face and I understand most waiters do not choose to be one, but it’s just a temporary gig and I totally get it.
But when I do go out on my sunday mornings, to enjoy a cafe con leche, read the newspaper or what not, and park some sweetness in my belly, a smile and some care is all I really ask for. And Santa Eulalia delivers here too of course. Since you walk in, more than one person casually dressed, greets you as if you were a regular customer. You just get the impression, spying through the large glass walls, that the pastry chefs are honestly having a great time. All so busy crafting sweet art and joking among each other.
The coffee is good, the chocolates are good (try the one with cognac and pear!), the music and the staff are good, and the pastries are divine.
Check it out if you want, they are open every day apart from Mondays, for most of the day.
I hope you enjoyed this article, please let us know how was your experience at Santa Eulalia and leave your comments below. Remember that you can always contact us if you have curiosities regarding your trip to Spain, we are here to help!