Since I was visiting Jerez with two flamencos
nuts aficionados, Jo @missbishopsgate and Eva @ishowusevilla it was inevitable that we’d end up at Tabanco El Pasaje. Tabancos are traditional bars in Jerez that also bottle and sell the wines they offer by the glass, and El Pasaje is famous for its spontaneous flamenco performances. They also have programmed ones (which you can see above) but people also just drop in and take over the stage, with patrons joining in on the fun by singing along, hand-clapping and dancing. The video below is from my last afternoon in Jerez. I’d stopped by for a bit of amontillado before going to meet Jo for lunch and suddenly this happened! Unfortunately it hadn’t happend the day before when I was there with Eva or for sure you’d see her up there dancing too. Good times. #JerezGetaway #Flamencation
Say hola to Amoreena @amyalena and Quentin from Texas. I was out for lunch with my friend Eduardo @EBlancoTravel and these two were sitting a couple of tables over. We ended up chatting and were having such a nice time that we also ended up going out to bar Las Teresas for cava afterwards. I gave Q & A some tips on where to have tapas on their last night in town and they had a great time going back to Teresas for jamón and then over to Bodeguita Romero for – what else? – their famous pringá (and a few other things). Lovely meeting new friends over good food and wine.
Of course Edu and I foolishly went on for more cava afterwards… #deperdidosalrio
Last week while Anna @annalibera was here I also had a long-awaited visit from Naomi @gingergourmand and her husband Andrew @andrewknill. Naomi and I have been Twitter pals for years, so I was very excited when I found out they were coming to Sevilla to celebrate Andrew’s birthday. The night they arrived Anna and I crashed their first meal at Eslava and then we dragged them over to La Pepona because, well, Anna ALWAYS has to go to La Pepona. It’s a beard thing ;). Next day I met up with Naomi & Andrew in the evening for a spontaneous “gourmet tapas tour”, which took us to a few of my fave places. Usually I like to mix things up a bit, but that night we ended up at favourite traditional bars since N & A had already visited a few trendier places. It was lovely.
The cool thing about all the Twitter pals I’ve met over the years is that not only do we have a love of travel, food & wine in common, but usually we’ve been in touch for ages, and know a lot of the same people (either virtually or in person). So when we do finally get to meet up it’s like we’ve known each other for ages. Especially because ALL of us post photos of what we’ve had for lunch. :P
Awhile back my friend Anna @annalibera (@thekilomeaters) requested a night on my sofa bed as she was just doing a quick overnight here in Sevilla to pick up kids and head back to Galicia. So hey, no problem. Though it must be said that it is only a select few for whom “mi casa es tu casa” applies. Mostly because I don’t have a spare room and – more importantly (for me) – an extra bathroom. But one night is one night, right?
It ended up being a wonderful visit. Though the day had got off to a rocky start when I received a message from clients waiting for me at the market to start our tour… the one that I had in my calendar for the following morning!!! So… PANIC. I quick-showered and raced over to the meeting point only to find four lovely Aussies totally relaxed and not concerned at all about the slight delay. Phew! And we had a great time, even going over-time because we were enjoying it all so much. So I got home with just enough time for a second proper shower and quick tidy up before Anna arrived at 4pm.
After a late snacky lunch we went out to do a bit of shopping, then a quick cold beer stop before meeting up with Twitter pals Naomi @gingergourmand and Andrew @andrewknill for tapas (more on them later!). We finally rolled home sometime after midnight and drunkenly made up the sofa bed with curious cats all around us. Luckily Anna is a cat person, as you can see, so she wasn’t concerned about random cats sleeping on her head. I just love those pics of her with Loki. Two gingers. Which I know is going to make Deb very jealous. Sorry Deb…
Since launching We Love Tapas I’ve been thinking a lot about the relationships I’ve built over the years with the owners of my favourite bars in Sevilla. My connections with these people goes way back, long before I started doing my own food tours about six years ago. So it’s not just “business related”. Actually, it’s not based on business at all. We all just like and respect each other. So when I started my Sevilla Tapas blog back in 2007 they were keen to be a part of it, and when I began doing tours they were all very supportive.
With We Love Tapas I’ve been very fortunate, with everyone welcoming my fabulous Team just like they are an extension of me, and showing them every courtesy. You have to understand that these people don’t need my business. They are all very successful, with packed bars and regular clientelle. So it’s not like I’m doing them any favours by bringing my tours to their bars. Turns out that they end up doing me favours, by holding tables for me and making sure my people get top service, sometimes with a few perks thrown in. Blows me away. Especially as they are constantly being pestered by new food tour companies showing up and wanting deals. I don’t ask for deals. But they help me out and every now and then I’m asked a favour, and of course I’m always happy to help. Because we’re friends. It’s a wonderful working environment… stopping in to visit your friends all the time. I love my job. :)
I first met Ana & Teresa of @FlavoursofSpain a year ago when they were doing food & wine research near Sevilla. They really only had a few hours here before catching their plane home to the UK, but that was time enough to meet up for a nice lunch at La Azotea.
This week they are back – on holiday this time – to celebrate Teresa’s sister’s 30th birthday and I was delighted to be invited along to be a part of the festivities. We did an impromptu two-stop tapeo, going first to La Pepona and then finishing the evening at Eslava. As you can see, we ate very well (and this wasn’t even all of it!) including finishing off with Eslava’s amazing MANCHEGO ICECREAM. Wow. But Sixto had a special treat up his sleeve, and came out a bit later with a lovely creamy cake and candle.
As you can see, a wonderful time was had by all, and I hope I’ve convinced the girls that they need to come down to Sevilla more often.
This is Julie & Steven’s (aka @cheeky_pigs) last day in Sevilla. Well, for now. I first met them when they took a tapas tour with me a couple of years ago. They’ve been back now twice and I know they’ll be back again, but it still feels sad to say goodbye. So I’ll just say hasta pronto! xx
Wednesday was a bit crazy. I left home at midday not really sure where I was going to go, but then ended up in Soho. As it was getting close to lunchtime I stopped in at Rex & Mariano for a “light lunch” because I knew I had to have a seriously Fast Feast later on at Kitty Fishers, one of London’s trendiest restaurants, before heading out to a meet up of Twitter pals at the Canton Arms. The Twitter meet up had been planned for awhile, and when Jeffrey from @FoodieHub invited me to KF at first I thought I would have to choose one over the other, but since people eat SO EARLY in the UK, I ended up being able to do both. Even though I had to eat and run after having one bite – and taking a photo – of the final fab dish served at KF (and skipping dessert) it was still a great experience. Of course then I got on the wrong subway and ended up even later for meeting the Twitter gang, but in the end it was all good. Some of them I’d met before when they visited Sevilla, others I’d known for ages on Twitter but met in person for the first time. Once again the time went by too fast and soon I was making my way home, getting lost yet again. I think I should only ever take taxis in London.
Jeffrey and fellow FoodieHub Experts…
we ate the entire Kitty Fishers menu in less than two hours