by Faye Davies
If my knowledge of flamenco (and pockets) were deeper, I’d be using this space to give you a concise and comprehensive review of Madrid’s tablaos (flamenco joints). As it is, this post is going to be more of a call for comparison. I’m hoping my ignorance will ruffle the feathers of some Andalusian culture vulture, who’ll spring forth and give us the lowdown…
Personally, I’ve only visited two of Madrid’s flamenco venues: Las Carboneras and El Corral de la Morería (see video above). The latter, as it’s fond of telling you, is the oldest tablao in Madrid, and a firm favourite with Hollywood stars. The décor is traditional, bordering on the twee; the costumes might be described as the same. Las Carboneras aims to be more hip, with a low stage and understated outfits. But both places offer essentially the same thing: dinner followed by an hour-long show. And both feature big stars.
Big prices too. A dinner performance will set you back around 75€. Better to opt for a very early or very late show and forgo the unspectacular food. 25€ (one drink included) is still steep for what you get; but if you yearn to see flamenco dancing in Madrid, Burger King is open until 1:30am.
See map below for locations (ed. I’ve added Casa Patas):