LUXE City Guides
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Meet the Editor: Lou Stokes, Madrid

Long-time Madrileño, pro stylist and shopper Lou Stokes spends much of her time trawling the streets of Madrid hunting down fashion finds for clients. A recent contributor to LUXE, Lou shares five of her favourite Madrid haunts. 

El Paracaidista

Located in a stunning historical building that once housed the royal wax factory, El Paracaidista is more than your average concept store. Here you’ll find an unusual, well-curated combination of music, beauty, fashion, art, gourmet, decor, technology and culture all under one roof – seriously, shopping has never been this much fun. After you’ve browsed the edgy exclusive collections and limited-edition items from emerging designers (both local and global), you can enjoy films in the sophisticated 30-seat movie-bar, which was rescued from an old cinema in Valladolid, plus there’s a Cuban-inspired cocktail bar on the 3rd floor and el Parq restaurant on the 4th. I could easily spend hours in this place; it’s a great find for unusual products and gifts.


This multi-brand store is one of my top 10 go-tos when shopping for clients. NAC stocks fashion labels usually hard to come by in Spain, from simple basics to elegant evening wear, along with footwear and unusual accessories. Although it’s mainly womenswear, there’s also a decent men’s edit. The interiors are luminous and cosy, decorated with natural materials, making the stores (there are 6 around the city) a delight to shop in.


El Camoati is a charming resto-bar tucked behind Plaza de la Paja on the quaint cobbled streets of La Latina and pulls in a fashionable, artistic crowd. Marrying Argentine cuisine with Italian flair, the service is impeccable, friendly and fun; the decor is truly divine and there’s a warm, bohemian vibe. Everything in this place from the interior to the food is made with love.

Toma Café

My favourite place to sip an almond milk latte before hitting the shops, Toma is a pioneer of coffee art and roasting. Riffing a New York vibe, the original branch is in hipster locale Malasaña, and another has recently opened on Calle Santa Feliciana. Apart from delicious coffee, they serve decadent homemade cakes, while the tostas are out of this world.

Ginkgo Sky Bar

Who doesn’t love a rooftop bar? This on the 12th floor of VP Plaza España Design Hotel is the ‘newest’ sky-high hangout and has breathtaking 360-degree views over the city. The bar staff are experts in crafting cocktails designed to suit your personality and taste and there’s live music, be it jazz or disco, most nights of the week. While the views are spectacular, the interior is equally appealing – sleek, Asian-influenced design dotted with plants. I highly recommend it!

For more tip-top picks in the Spanish capital, nab a copy of the LUXE Madrid guide

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