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#30210 - 03/17/03 08:38 PM Madrid: The Wellington Society...Stephen Drake Jones
sel Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 459
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
I had hoped to do the wine and tapa tour with Andrés and the tour with Stephen Drake-Jones, but Andrés did not have enough people the Saturday I was available for a tour. About the tour with the Wellington Society .....I had a blast!!!!!!

I was able to join an already scheduled tour for Sunday afternoon at 1:30. I just called Stephen on the phone to make a reservation. Since I was traveling alone, I was really pleased to discover that he was doing an afternoon tour. There was another family of 6 on this tour so I made 7 in our group. Stephen likes to have 4 to do a tour and 10 is the maximum number.

He does a wide variety of tours including one on wines and cheeses. Our tour began in Plaza Santa Ana and included facts about the best Spanish authors, Hemmingway, bull fighters, Spanish royalty, Spanish government plus restaurantes, tapa bars, and of course the wines of Spain. Along the way, we stopped in two bars for wines and tapas. It was fun to sample the different wines and listen to the history of each place. The wine was more than ample and we were even served some seafood paella in one place as a little extra.

Our group was a wonderful mix and we all found we had a great deal in common. Stephen's fiance and her two kids joined us at the end of the tour in the Plaza Mayor where we continued our drinking and sampling of cheeses, jamón, and other tapas for several more hours. laugh laugh

After we said goodbye to Stephen and his new 'family', the rest of us went to a formal restaurante that Stephen had recommended for dinner. It was an excellent choice. More wine and excellent food!!!!

By the day's end, I had certainly had more than enough wine and I slept very well that night!!!!
I can't imagine doing this in combination with jetlag!!!! eek I was fortunate to be doing my tours at the end of my trip.

With out doubt, I will be calling to join another tour next time I am in Madrid!!!

(In addition to all this, Stephen is willing to help you with all sorts of other questions concerning Spain, history, food, and travel. If he does not know the answer he will find the answer and send it to you!!!)
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sel

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#30211 - 03/17/03 09:18 PM Re: Madrid: The Wellington Society...Stephen Drake Jones
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
sel, I couldn't have said it all better. HE'S GREAT and so are his tours ! I haven't done the tour which passes through Plaza Santa Ana! All mine always started at the Puerta del Sol. Nice!

I was also surprised to read that he's engaged!!! I knew there was someone new and very special in his life LAST year but hadn't heard he was engaged! What great news. Thanks for the review!

Saludos, MadridMan
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#30212 - 03/17/03 09:46 PM Re: Madrid: The Wellington Society...Stephen Drake Jones
sel Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 459
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
With all the demonstrations, Puerta del Sol is not an option for meeting anyone!!!!!

I was in Madrid twice this trip, and there was a huge demonstration each time I was there: one against the Spanish government for its role with the Prestige and the other against the American government. The huge crowds made it difficult to get around.
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sel

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#30213 - 03/17/03 10:02 PM Re: Madrid: The Wellington Society...Stephen Drake Jones
Booklady Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 1680
Loc: U.S.A.
Sel,
Thank you for your reporting on Stephen Drake's tours. I contacted Stephen the last time I was in Spain (12/2001) because my son and I wanted to attend his Wine & Tapa tour, but I was afraid that my son was too young (16). He nicely answered my questions and suggested that he come along on our next trip, which will be this year when my son will be 18!

May I ask, how reasonable are Mr. Drake's prices for the afternoon tour?

Thanks,
Carmen
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The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
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#30214 - 03/18/03 12:44 AM Re: Madrid: The Wellington Society...Stephen Drake Jones
el viajero Offline
Member

Registered: 09/15/02
Posts: 198
If I'm reading his site correctly, you have to join the Wellington Society of Madrid, and the tour is included in the 25 euro membership fee.

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#30215 - 03/18/03 12:01 PM Re: Madrid: The Wellington Society...Stephen Drake Jones
Rizos Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/13/03
Posts: 11
Thank you Sel! I will be calling Mr. Drake when I arrive.

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#30216 - 03/18/03 04:48 PM Re: Madrid: The Wellington Society...Stephen Drake Jones
sel Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 459
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
I paid 25€. The price is the same for all the tours. There is the possibility that there might be a small discount for a family. There was a family of 6 on my tour and they received a small discount.

If my young kids had been with me, I would have had a different experience. It still would have been fun, I just wouldn't have enjoyed quite so much wine!!!!! laugh
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sel

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#30217 - 03/18/03 05:39 PM Re: Madrid: The Wellington Society...Stephen Drake Jones
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
sel, didn't you pay for your membership PLUS your portion of the tab for the wine and tapas? Seems to me that's the way it worked on my previous tours. Maybe it has changed since(?).

Saludos, MadridMan
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#30218 - 03/18/03 07:14 PM Re: Madrid: The Wellington Society...Stephen Drake Jones
sel Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 459
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
No, the 25€ covered the membership and the tour with two stops for drinks and food. The final stop is where you invite him to join you and he then continues to share more information. I think our last stop lasted much longer than normal. Our group just fit well together, and it was really nice to meet his new family. His fiance is very nice and has two great kids about the same ages as my two youngest. I hope I can see them all again.
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sel

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