Christmas is nearly upon us. And even if you’re holidaying in the Spanish capital, the frenetic rush of the (silly) season is inescapably contagious. There’s little time to spare. You’ve got gifts to find. And if the panic is beginning to set in and you’re all out of ideas then there’s only one solution: The Hovse.
Located on the quiet street of General Arrando in the well-heeled district of Chamberí, an entire apartment building of three floors (and a rooftop terrace) has been converted into a beautifully decorated depository of Spanish gifts, homewares, food, and fashion. This is one of the best semi-secret shopping events of the year – and there are only two days left!
If you’re in need of some Christmas gift inspiration.
If you’re looking for something special for yourself.
If you’re quietly curious about some of the best up-and-coming Spanish brands.
If you want to see what Madrid’s new generation of talented entrepreneurs are capable of.
If you need to escape the dense Christmas hordes crowding Gran Vía and Sol.
If you want to grab a quick bite to eat at the pop-up restaurant MEAT.
If you’re savouring a tipple of some of the best Jérez (Sherry) at the Sherry Salon.
Or even if you are looking to take someone special on a surprise (and surprising) date.
DROP EVERYTHING and head to The Hovse.
We understand that you’re busy and don’t have much time to waste. So below, all you’ll find are the need-to-know basics to give you a gentle (and jolly) push out the door and under this impressive retail roof.
You could simply walk from the city centre. Starting from the central Malasaña district you just need to head north up Calle Santa Engracia and turn right onto Calle General Arrando. It will probably take you 15-20 minutes. Let’s face it though: time is money. Catch the metro instead and it will only take you 5-10 minutes from a central metro station. Just remember to get out at Metro station Ruben Darío. It’s only a hop, skip and a jump from there. The address is Calle General Arrando 40.
BRANDS ON OFFER
Everywhere you look you’ll discover beautiful brands created by Spain’s new talented generation of artisans, entrepreneurs and daring designers. Marvel at the thinking person’s toys of Pico Pao crafted by hand in the town of Zamora. Carefully handle the sleekly shaped ceramics by Cookplay. Snap up one of the beautifully illustrated maps by Walk With Me. Treat yourself to an iconic garment by award-winning local fashion star Sybilla. Add a touch of modern glamour to your shopping basket with one of Helena Rohner’s colourful jewellery creations. Or simply wonder the three floors at your own pace and see what else tickles your fancy. There are 40 brands on offer, catering to all tastes, prices, and ages. The real challenge is not buying too many treats for yourself!
The Hovse opens its doors at 11am and closes at 9pm. This is the third year of opening at this location and the organisers (the talented group of retail extraordinaires who belong to the agency BETTER) have happily watched the number of visitors grow. Nonetheless, it is never uncomfortably busy – more like a cosy home that welcomes you in and lets you purchase (nearly) everything in sight. It will close its doors permanently (well, until next year) on Christmas Eve though, so for the third and final time: get over there! You don’t want to have to wait until the end of 2016.
AND WHAT IF I’VE ALREADY DONE ALL MY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING?
This is not just a quaint Christmas shopping destination. The team at Better are masters of decorating and have transformed this empty apartment building into a destination in its own right. The walls are works of art, the rooms a rich array of beautiful objects, and apart from being one of the most “instagrammable” locations in Madrid there is also a small eatery from the talented team from MEAT. This means that you can stop by to have a quick bite of a burger for lunch or an afternoon snack and then head over to the Sherry Salon for a sweet sip of Jérez. The team behind the Vermutería Pop-up will merrily explain why you need to be part of this delicious southern drink’s comeback. And if the winter sun sneaks out from the clouds, head up to the rooftop terrace for a well-deserved break. Sherry in hand, raise your glass to the end of the relentless rush on the eve of Christmas; because you’ve earned it. Feliz Navidad everyone!