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Poncelet Cheese Bar is one of the most interesting spots I’ve ever discovered. First of all, I love the concept: a café-restaurant open all day until late in the evening, a cheese shop and an event space for quesos lovers in Madrid – all under one roof!

From the first minute you step in it’s clear that the owner, Jesús Pombo, has paid attention to every single detail. The design of the space is impeccable: stylish and sharp-looking furniture, carefully chosen fabrics, welcoming details in neutral pallets and a living green wall get you in the mood for a dining experience of high standards. I was impressed by the big display window/fridge displaying all the different types of cheese available – the definition of heaven for cheese lovers! Upstairs you can find the library and reading room, full of foodie books and a special space for foodie events and tastings.

Trying to make the most of my time in Madrid, I booked a table for an early breakfast. This proved to be a smart choice since the restaurant was very calm, only to make the whole experience even better! Our waiter kindly explained to us – in fluent English may I add – the different options on the menu. Thruth is, we had a really hard time narrowing it down to a just few dishes.

Our plan was to share a little bit of everything, starting from the breakfast cheese platter – délice dété, mozzarella di bufala, queso de Madrid de cabra and  lingot des Causses accompanied by dried fruit, fresh bread and artisanal jams and chutneys. We also received a detailed print-out with all the relevant information about the provenance and individual characteristics for every cheese we were served. It is actually possible to customise your platter by choosing among 140 varieties of cheese hailing from 17 Spanish autonomous communities and eight European countries, but since we were in good hands, we decided to go for the suggested selection. The flavours worked perfectly, from the lighter the most intense one. We also had the sourdough bread with mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, salad rocket and olive oil (good but not memorable) and the sautéed mushrooms with tomato sauce and Comté (delicious and highly recommended!). We finished our meal with the mini lemon cakes with mascarpone and vanilla creme (yes, yes and yes!) and the scumptuous Poncelet cheesecake. The bill came at just 33€ for all these including our beverages – best value for money I’ve got in a long time.

The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner or after work drinks and tapas (their wine selection is definitely worth trying). In case you don’t have enough time for a proper visit, you can always buy online your favourite products or go to their acclaimed cheese shop, Poncelet, for a greater variety.

Address: Calle de José Abascal 61, 28003 Madrid, Spain
Telephone: +34 913 992550
*UPDATE: Unfortunately, Poncelet Cheese Bar is now closed.*
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Sandy (@smarksthespots)