The best side of Madrid is its dark side. It lies across the border of 10pm, where its denizens spring alive and fill the Spanish capital’s myriad cantinas and tapas bars. Its social nerve centre, Centro, is peppered with hostel bars and bistros in baroque buildings. Travellers navigate the maze of Mercado de San Miguel, piling their paper plates with bocadillos, before joining locals at their table for a bourbon borrachón. The drinking turns to dancing turns to daylight, all with a sensuality so easy, it’s infectious.
There is also an irrefutable intensity to the city, its veins pumping with a fervour for sport. There is the Real Madrid fan base and the rawer bullfighting – still legal enough in this city to warrant the 25,000-seater Las Ventas arena – as well as a museum to boot. It is that latent machismo that Bad Boy tries to bottle in its soon-to-be-iconic lightning bolt flacon – one that took 600 attempts to create, a number of rejected car and bike silhouettes preceding it.
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