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Madrid's annual 'Gastrofestival' to wow foodies again

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Attention globe-hopping foodies: Save a lot of room in your tummies for a chance to eat your way across Madrid – including stops at hundreds of famous restaurants, bars, sweet shops and the like – from Jan. 24 to Feb. 9. The event will be that city's fifth annual “Gastrofestival,” this time spotlighting five different themes: “Gourmet Madrid,” “Gastroculture,” “Gastrohealth,” Sensory Experiences,” and “Gastrofashion.”

Organized by the municipal company Madrid Destino in association with Madrid Fusion, Gastrofestival will feature 300 activities in all, from sampling the city's trendiest restaurants (at special festival prices) to enjoying cuisine-related cultural exhibits. Among 350 companies and institutions participating in the 2014 event will be two of the world's top art museums, the Prado and the Thyssen-Bornemisza.

In other activities, the “Sensory Experiences” theme reportedly will offer culinary tastings and routes through the city “inviting visitors and residents to sample and discover new ingredients and textures.” And the “Gastroculture” theme will showcase activities “that combine the art of fine food with disciplines like painting, photography, film, music, theater and literature.”

Palate-pleasing activities in the “Gourmet Madrid” venue will include the traditional DegustaTapas tasting route joined by Rioja wine, and the spectacular “Dinner With the Stars.” The latter will offer “the creations of international chefs” at a number of Madrid's finest restaurants.

Madrid Destino said the “Gastrofashion” theme will “unite the worlds of cuisine and fashion...at some of the most exclusive boutiques in the city,” while “Gastrohealth” will promote “a varied range of healthy recipes and dishes.”

Two novelty attractions that made a big hit in the event in 2013 will be back again. One, called “The Route for the Sweet-Toothed,” will take you to some of Madrid's top cake shops, while the other will delight coffee aficionados at popular spots on Madrid's “Colombian Coffee Route.”

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