there’s often quite a lot of sniffy comments about the food in spain – not as good as Italy, not a patch on France etc etc. Well, a weekend in Madrid will put paid to that argument. The tapas there is monumental and if you stick around the Santa Anna area, you really can’t go wrong.

On a boys book club trip last weekend, the food was excellent. Highlights were a Gambas bar that only served huge prawns and wine cooked to order (spanking fresh), a Jamon shop that stayed open late serving beer, wine, coffee and meat off the counter – bizarre but superb – and a sit down restaurant in a cella where the steaks and suckling pig were spectacular.

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