Exchange English Speaking Skills for Local Culture at Restaurante Ancora Madrid

English speakers traveling through Madrid can meet fascinating locals eager to learn English and share conversation with native speakers every Friday night from 8-10 pm at Restaurante Ancora, Luchana 23, 28010, Madrid. Located near the Bilbao Metro stop, Ancora is the weekly gathering spot for Vaughantown Lite, organized by Vaughan Systems.

All are welcome. Coordinator Marissa Allen, a native Australian who has lived and worked in Madrid for many years, will greet you warmly and introduce you to the Spaniards. Twenty to forty people show up on a regular basis to meet and mingle, speaking only English. As a traveler, meeting these locals is a great way to enhance the Spanish experience.

Marissa Allen
Marissa Allen

Marissa Allen, a native Australian, is the host of Vaughantown Lite

This gathering is a wonderful opportunity to ask locals about the best places to visit, great restaurants or hot spots for nightlife. The locals are also very helpful if you want to learn where you can find a pharmacy or a place to do your laundry. Of course, deeper conversation on business, religion and politics, can also be quite fascinating. Quizzing the locals about culture, history, and all things Spanish will give you a perspective you might not get from a hired tour guide.

As a mono-linguist, I am always impressed that for many of the Spaniards who attend, English is not their second language, but perhaps their third or fourth. These are bright, educated, ambitious and worldly people of all ages, interested in investing a small amount of time each week to improve their skills and network with an international crowd.

Most have had formal English training, and make a strong effort to maintain their skills with activities like the Ancora evenings. One young professional Spanish woman told me, “Ancora is a great place for my friends and I to meet, speaking English for two hours before we begin our evening out. “

Restaurante Ankora

Native English Speakers meet Native Spaniards to help them improve their English speaking skills every Friday night at Restaurante Ancora in Madrid

Attending the Vaughan experience entitles participants to a special drink coupon offer at the Ancora discoteca next door. For the more subdued crowd, a 20% off coupon was given to those who chose to stay for dinner. The menu offers a variety of a la carte options freshly prepared. You might even make a connection with someone who wants to spend more time with you, and offers to show you around the city.

For someone working to master a foreign language, time spent with native speakers is priceless. The warm and friendly Spaniards consider it a privilege to have time to practice their English, and the English speaker benefits from the local hospitality of the natives.

There is no charge to participate in the program, and no reservation is needed. A 2 Euro minimum is requested, so this experience will cost you no more than the price of your drink. Simply show up, introduce yourself and immerse in an unforgettable experience. Whether you happen to be traveling through Madrid for a weekend or find yourself in the city for an extended period of time, Vaughantown Lite at Ancora is an experience you don’t want to miss.

Updated information on Restaurante Ancora Madrid and the Vaughantown Lite program can be found at

Victoria Hart
Victoria Hart

Victoria Hart travels the world looking for interesting life experiences. She loves to share her travel tips, bargains and strategies with her friends and family. Inspiring others to create their own adventures is her passion. Victoria’s desire to inspire a larger audience lead her to embark on a career in travel writing.

When Victoria unpacks her suitcase, she calls Dublin, Ohio home, where she lives with her husband John. Born in Los Angeles, California, Vicky’s family moved frequently, including stops in Wisconsin, England, Florida, Boston, Washington DC and Saudi Arabia. Vicky spent a summer term studying at St. Andrews University in Scotland.

She holds a B.S. in Communications from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Victoria welcomes your comments at [email protected]

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