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Elisabeth Horcher

Precision with taste.
The simple elegance of a descendant of Dynasty of Flavour.

Salvador Dalì and Charlie Chaplin, Sophia Loren and Jean Cocteau. It all began back in 1904, in Berlin, with the story of Gustav Horcher and the restaurant of the same name, later opened in Madrid in 1943, near the Puerta de Alcalá, and today run by a great-granddaughter Elisabeth Horcher, the fourth generation of a culinary legend.

In the inimitable atmosphere of its elegantly appointed rooms, platters of game such as partridge a la press or loin of deer alternate with seasonal dishes like gazpacho with lobster, all much appreciated by actors and matadors, politicians and the royal family, elite clientele from all walks of life, whose privacy is jealously guarded by the “Maison H”.

We chat with Elisabeth about Madrid and her lifestyle at the head of a business. Style is..? “To really feel elegant, you have to be able to move freely, so you must discover what personal comfort means to you.” Which to Elisabeth translates into daily trouser-suits with heels, alternated with ethereal, faintly hippie dresses in the summer and jeans and fluffy jumpers when she’s off. Style touches are added by men’s cut lace-up shoes, and self-assurance that comes from inner well-being. “We are fortunate here in Europe, quality of life in Spain and the Mediterranean countries is decidedly higher than in the rest of Europe.” For young Ms. Horcher, a stroll in the Parque del Retiro after breakfast, or at midday, is her favourite escape, as is the time she sets aside to read the papers: “Having time to dispose of as you please is true luxury.” Time to which she has recently added sessions with a personal trainer, who has also convinced her to change her eating habits… But if she’s doing the cooking, her favourite recipe remains mushroom risotto with white wine, and Spanish food like tortilla, of course.

The Horcher style, in detail.
I feel elegant: only when I feel comfortable.
My dream outfit: a black dress cut perfectly, high heels and one piece of jewellery at a time, preferably earrings.
Best gift ever: a letter and a trip to Tanzania with my father and my husband.
In my suitcase: lots of options. Jeans and trousers, trainers and heels, a dress and a blazer, lightweight jumpers and tops, a knee-length, oversize men’s overcoat. An evening bag, all brightly coloured.
Suitcase tip: before you close it, check the outfits one by one.
Don’t leave without: my jammies: I simply can’t do without them.
Music: house music when I’m walking around or playing a sport. I like David Matthew’s band, very instrumental. For dancing, Latin music: I adore Juanes.
The book: I’m reading “Entre Limones”, by Chris Stewart, with a very optimistic plot line, which relaxes me.
The movie: I love “Out of the Furnace”, a Scott Cooper film, in which good triumphs over evil.
Interiors: more full than empty, but no exhibitionism. I lean towards an abundance of light, high ceilings and pavements in wood or terracotta. My colour preferences are black, white and fuchsia.
Fears: towards all the people I love. And solitude: it’s positive, when it’s what you’re looking for, but when it’s imposed it can be horrible.
Never: wear too tight clothes.
Always: flats or high heels, choosing the right model for the occasion.
Most-used App: Whatsapp, although I hate to be reachable 24 hours a day. Shazam and Spotify I really enjoy using.
My Madrid:
- Sunday, the El Rastro vintage market, between Calle Embajadores and the Ronda de Toledo, including Plaza de Cascorro. It’s Madrid’s “flea market”.
- From Monday on. Breakfast at the great wooden tables at El Perro y la Galleta, in calle de Claudio Coello.
- Lunch at Juana la Loca, in Plaza de Puerta de Moros, the Tapas bar at La Latina, always full, have to book or you won’t get a table: the tortilla de papas with caramelised onions, courgette rolls stuffed with cod and peppers, jamon iberico and pan con tomate.
- Walk through the El Retiro park, opposite the Horcher restaurant.
- Shopping in the area around Calle Fernando VI, for perfume by Alvarez Gomez, too.
- Sweet afternoon snack at San Gines where you will get the best churros in town.
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