M. Canales

Updated Wednesday, February 28, 2024-00:09

When Marta Sebastián (46) and José Pérez-Piñar (47) were looking for a name to start their business, they came across the word Shangri-La, which was familiar to them as it was the title of the fourth studio album by

Mark Knopfler, leader of Dire. Straits


They investigated a little more and discovered that, in reality, it was the place name of a fictional place in the novel




by the British writer James Hilton, published in 1933. An idyllic place, where everyone who lives There he is happy, he enjoys health, he smiles permanently and where there is no violence and no evil exists.

The couple did not need to know more and named their business venture

Our Shangri-La,

with the idea of ​​offering a space where people forget about their problems, enjoy themselves and be at peace.

And they have been at it for three months, when they opened this

music club/restaurant

in Los Molinos, a town in the Sierra de Guadarrama where they moved to live just before the pandemic.

These two teachers by profession, lovers of the mountains, saw an opportunity when, at the end of 2022, the local restaurant they frequented ceased business.

They acquired and remodeled it with the intention of turning it into a

benchmark for live music

and leisure in the Madrid mountains and, although it is still early for that, because they are in the filming stage, it has aroused great interest among the public ( usually who has a house in the mountains or is spending the day from the capital) and, above all, among the bands that come to perform there.

Marta Sebastián and José Pérez-Piñar, owners of Shangri-La.

"The project arose from my great musical vocation; since I was little I have been fascinated by music in all its formats and the fact of having a space to offer it live and share it with people is a pleasure for me," says José Pérez-Piñar.

Located in a

building protected by National Heritage

with stone walls more than 80 cm thick and a gabled wooden roof, Our Shangri-La consists of two different spaces: an interior living room with a wood-burning fireplace, which houses the Music Club , with a bar area and dining area, and an outdoor terrace, with an air-conditioned dining area and large bar area.

The main focus is on

live music

, with concerts held every Saturday night.

"We take great care of the musical programming and the musicians who have come are giving important relevance to the venue. These are professionals who accompany big names like Rosario Flores, Antonio Vega, Miguel Bosé, Andrés Calamaro... important people," José assures.

In the short time that the venue has been open, groups such as the

Canal Street Jazz Band

, Mayte Pizarro have already performed... "We also have a list of increasingly high-level people interested in coming to perform, among them, the composer Fernando Girón , the jazz trumpeter Tony Glausi or Arturo Zaldívar, who is now leading the Bohemian nights of Recoletos Jazz".

Terrace of the premises.

Music is also the protagonist the rest of the days.

"On Thursdays we have an

open mic

in which we seek musical simplicity in a more singer-songwriter style, and on Fridays we have begun to contact new and local bands so that they have the space they need to make themselves known."

Although the concerts are of all types of musical genres, their owners ensure that there is no stridency, that the atmosphere is auditorily acceptable and fits with the venue as a whole.

"We don't program high sound pressure groups, with large amplifiers and distortions," says José.

After the performances, they have the support of a DJ to have a drink.

The gastronomy

The other bet of the business is gastronomy, although with a

simple and reduced menu


The star dish is the hamburger, with meat from the Guadarrama DO, but they also offer grilled meats, salads, toasts and vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes that are made to order, for an average ticket of 20 euros per person.

"We take great care of the product, which is mostly of local and seasonal origin, like vegetables," says Marta.

All of this is accompanied by a wide variety of gourmet and craft beers.

Burger with Guadarrama DO meat, the star dish of Shangri-La.

"Our goal is to offer the customer a complete

sensory experience

," agree Marta and José.

The first thing that catches your eye is the beauty of the place, with its fireplace and wood and stone walls.

"The visual experience is important, because people enjoy the beauty of the place."

And the auditory aspect is also very careful, not only with the concert music, but also with the ambient music, so that there is no strong contrast between what is seen and what is heard.

The smell of the fireplace and the wood and the flavor of the Guadarrama meats also transport the diner to their favorite corner of the Sierra.

"With this total experience we not only want people to come and eat, but to stay a while, reset and enjoy the music, the atmosphere and, of course, the food," Marta points out.

Our Shangri-La (Bodega, 22, Los Molinos, Madrid; Telephone: 676 421 642).

Hours: Thursdays and Fridays only dinners and on the weekend, lunches and dinners continuously until 2 am.