A table in the garden, please



Spring might have started with snowfall, but there is no turning back now. It is here to stay. The days are longer, the sun stronger, winter coats retire to the closet and out come the between-season jackets. Hot-blooded souls might even break out the shorts. The slightly less bold might opt for summer shoes with ankle-length jeans. What matters is that spring is here, and everyone gets to enjoy it in their own way.

At Jean Leon, we believe this is an excellent time to start eating outdoors. Especially at lunchtime. Whether its brunches, picnics or light, refreshing lunches, one thing is a must: when we look up, we want to see trees, sky and birds darting about. This is why we've put together a list of 8 garden restaurants in Madrid and Barcelona. As always, these are just a few recommendations, and we'd love to hear your suggestions! Here we go. Let's start in Madrid.

The Garden at La Máquina

A garden with a restaurant or vice versa, located in an old country house a few minutes from Madrid's city center. The restaurant evokes rustic rural living and has a charming pond as its centerpiece. The décor, featuring natural materials found at antique fairs throughout Europe, deserves special mention. The menu features rice dishes, fish and seafood, as well as a classic selection of Spanish meat.

Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques

Located a stone's throw from the Teatro Real, this spot is home to a 1000 m2 historical garden, a green expanse that houses the Torres brothers' Dos Cielos restaurant. The space takes up the old palace stables and serves a menu featuring some of the Torres brothers' most iconic creations, as well as a menu inspired in the eminently Castilian and historical Madrid de los Austrias neighborhood, offering classic notes updated with a dash of creativity.

Hotel Jardín de Recoletos

Being one of Madrid's best-kept secrets only adds to the exclusivity of this hotel.  It only has 36 rooms and its terrace, in the middle of the Salamanca neighborhood, just a few meters from Retiro park, is an absolute treat. The wonderfully lush terrace is very popular in the summer when people flock here for an evening out, work lunches, celebrations or a relaxed mid-afternoon coffee or refreshment. The restaurant also serves one of the best weekday executive lunch menus in the area with options like salmorejo, grilled vegetables or oxtail stew.

La Cantina

Located next to the cinematheque, La Cantina takes up the old boiler room at Matadero Madrid and is easily accessible from the cultural center's new entrance on Plaza de Legazpi. Occasionally, the venue also hosts presentations, events, concerts and screenings. The 300 m2 outdoor courtyard is an excellent spot to spend time with family or friends while delighting in healthy vegetarian fare prepared by Olivia Te Cuida.

Alright, let's move on to Barcelona.

El Jardí de l’Abadessa

This restaurant boasts one of the best locations in Barcelona. Few spots are fortunate enough to be in a place as peaceful and beautiful as this. Set amid 1000 m2 of natural green, El Jardí de l'Abadessa is a must-visit gastronomic gem in the elegant Pedralbes neighborhood. Chef Carlos Cases (who is also the chef at the Dos Torres restaurant) invites guests to drop in for breakfast, indulge in a delicious dinner or simply sit back and enjoy an aperitif any time of year. An incomparable spot, an exclusive concept and an unforgettable experience.

Roig Robí

This Barcelona spot never disappoints. The restaurant puts its experience and good taste at the service of traditional Catalan cuisine. As the weather gets warmer, the food takes an even more delightful turn when enjoyed on the garden terrace. Located close to Diagonal and Passeig de Gràcia, this is the perfect place for a romantic dinner or a meal with friends or family. Among the menu highlights: delicious rice dishes and cod variations, plus shrimp with crispy leeks and creamy garlic sauce. The restaurant serves four seasonal menus a year and has a particular gift for picking good wines.


One of the Eixample's most spectacular gardens can be found at the Windsor restaurant. Tucked into a small Modernista palace, it serves excellent Catalan cuisine with contemporary nuances. The lush interior courtyard is a true gem.

The Garden at Hotel Alma

One would never guess that this spot sits in the middle of Barcelona's Eixample district. The garden—wonderfully green, pleasant and private—is like taking a trip out of the city. The restaurant serves good market-fresh cuisine that changes with the season. Here traditional cooking meets a touch of haute cuisine. A culinary encounter that is sure to leave an impression.

This wraps up our 8 suggestions, which are wonderfully varied, but have two things in common: excellent food and outdoor dining. A real treat now that spring is here. Enjoy!


Categorías: Gastronomy