I will be in Madrid for ten days (3-14 January). The responses to my other questions, and the past posts on this forum have been been really helpful, and I've now got what may sound like a silly question. The places I want to try - e.g. EL Ventorillo Murciano, Marisqueria Ribeiro do Mino, La Bola, Asador Tierra Aranda, Jose Maria in Segovia, Hierbabuena in Toledo - mostly specify that reservations are necessary, and posts here have suggested that too.
Generally speaking, are reservations for lunch really going to be necessary in mid-winter? On weekdays? At weekends? I'm hoping that outside the tourist season there is a bit less pressure on such places (I know that the folks who live in these cities need to eat!) Could I turn up at any of them say, at 3 pm and be able to get in without having booked?
I'm embarrassed to admit it in this company, but food isn't really my priority. I love good food, but I don't love planning ahead, deciding where (or what) I'm going to eat days (or even a day) in advance. Especially, I want to do the trips out of Madrid when it's dry, and stay cozy in the Prado or the Thyssen when it's raining, so they're likely to be spur-of-the-moment decisions.
Thank you in advance for your thoughts. In advance because I can't seem to post "replies" (nothing happens when I hit the reply button) - does anyone have the solution to that?
Final question: If I want to take an early AVE train to Toledo, do I need to book in advance, or can I just turn up at Atocha on the morning?