The world's oldest restaurant: El Sobrino De Botin
While many restaurants come and go, Botin's is no flash in the pan! We take a look inside the classic Spanish eatery that holds the record for the world's oldest restaurant, and reveal why that historic status may be under threat...
Since 1725 the chefs of El Sobrino de Botin, the world’s oldest restaurant, have worked tirelessly to feed their hungry customers. But with this Hindenburg/Titanic/Game of Thrones season finale of a year we are currently experiencing, could this record holding establishment be under threat?
Introducing the World's Oldest Restaurant
As you walk through the varnished wooden doors, typical of the Madrid Old Town, a member of staff ushers you down a winding brick staircase. The spiralling tunnels taking you deeper and deeper under the cobbled streets above. But just before your claustrophobia has a chance to set in, the ceilings open out into what appears to be a cavernous old wine cellar.
However, instead of rows of Rioja, you are greeted by neatly made tables. Their crisp white tablecloths patiently waiting for the first spill of the day from an overzealous eater.
As you take a seat, the room fills with the sweet aroma of roasting pork emanating from the kitchen next door. From your table you catch a glance of the chefs busily reaching in and out of the giant stone oven, worn down and grooved from years of use. 295, to be exact.
This image has been the same since before George Washington crossed the Delaware, Watt invented the steam engine and Mozart tickled the ivories.
The Best Cochinillo in Madrid
Ironically, this typical Castilian restaurant was actually founded by a Frenchman called Jean Botin. Upon his death it was passed down to his nephew, when it gained its current name.
Having only changed hands once more since it first opened, this eatery has been run by three generations of the Gonzalez family, who are firm believers in the old ways being the best.
The roasted suckling pig, or ‘Cochinillo’, is their signature and is a quintessential dish of the Castille area. Just as they did three centuries ago, the chefs prepare the pork with Thyme, Bay, white wine, onions and salt.
The end result is incredibly succulent, tender meat you can cut with a fork, surrounded by a crunchy glass-like skin – roasted to perfection in the cooking juices.