Rouge et Noir
The best kept secret in this town is the after-office happy hour on Wednesdays at Santa Engracia 24 (in the corner with Españoleto) named after the pen-name of Monsieur Marie-Henri Beyle. Went there with the Garden Biker who's still recovering from the only truly trendy form of self-abuse (a ski accident, that is). Nice warm dwellings. Pompeii-Blood red walls, very good neo-tapas nibblings and good looking high spirits in abundance. Golden-Young clever girls, including a NewAge-ish looking intellectual, dressed in black, with stunning eyes who is studying the works of Pierre Louÿs ( http://www.proverbes-citations.com/louys.htm) at the Complutense. Louÿs wrote about the essential human experiences of both carressing and kissing. "L'Amour humain ne se distingue du rut stupide des animaux que par deux fonctions divines: la caresse et le baiser".
Can you really find yourself gin&tonicking at the heart of Imperial Spain, 28º C outside, evoking André Gide's friend? Yes, it can happen. At the "Stendhal".