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chocolate & sherry & whisky & brandy

December 11, 2014

chocolate sherry whisky brandy
So you FINALLY get to take a week off for yourself and then end up HAVING to attend a chocolate tasting by one of the finest chocolate producers in the world (Neuhaus), paired with sherries, whisky and brandy from an equally revered house in Jerez (Gonzalez Byass). Suffering for my art. Just saying. Look out for a proper review over at Azahar’s Sevilla Blog. Meanwhile, don’t you wish you were me? ;)

old habits die hard

December 10, 2014

old habits

Really it’s been ages since Morcilla has done this and I had hoped that she’d grown out of it. But then all of a sudden there she was, racing up those curtains in a flash… it always kills me how, once she gets to the top, she does this look-around thing like “oops, now what?”. I don’t let her stay there feeling foolish. I go over and give her a “proper chastising” (with a kiss on the head) while disconnecting her claws and helping her come back down to earth. She ends up thinking she’s got away with something, and I melt in a puddle of love. Goodness this little girl has completely stolen my heart.

hanging out

December 9, 2014

hanging out

Believe it or not I have TAKEN A WHOLE WEEK OFF. And I am basically just hanging out like this guy and his owl, except I’m actually catching up on a massive backlog of blog posts and other work. At home. In my PJs. When I feel like it. And I can’t tell you how fabulous that feels. I don’t have to actually BE anywhere at any given time, unless I choose to. One day can be a total slob day in front of the computer, the next can be running around town doing errands or attending lovely events. The point being… it’s totally up to me! This is totally the up-side of working freelance. Plenty on the down-side too, but for now I’m just enjoying the freedom. How are you guys doing?

a sherry dream come true

December 8, 2014

sled's sherryphotos by Sledpress

They say it’s better to give than to receive, and all I can say about that is that I had so much fun putting this together, frustrating glitches notwithstanding, especially as several people ended up ensuring a very happy ending. Some background…

Ever since my Sherry Epiphany on the first World Sherry Day I’ve become intent (obsessed?) about sharing the sherry love in the way I discovered that day was really the best way to learn about sherry… poco á poco, with friends and with a few tapas. And I know that my friend Kate (sledpress) has been intrigued by my now popular Introduction to Sherry tours and also by my many tweets and blog posts about sherry events I end up at and the bodegas that I visit. So when I realised it was going to be Kate’s big 6-Oh birthday in November I decided to send her a selection of my favourites, one bottle for each decade, to begin her sherry education. Which turned out to be a lot more complicated than I thought it would be.

I contacted some of my favourite bodegas, finally settling on the one (which shall remain nameless) that promised me the full range I wanted with no problem of the delivery being made in time for the big day. Well, the big day came and went. I had been constantly checking up on this and each time was told that the order was being processed and there was nothing to worry about. Until the umpteenth email informed me that the order hadn’t actually been placed in the States and instead I would have to send the six bottles from Spain with a shipping cost of 120 euros. WTF?  Meanwhile, I had been back in touch with other bodegas and two of them came through big time, giving me the names of their distributors near Kate. BUT, then it turned out that neither had the full range I wanted to send, and one was actually a wholesaler so it didn’t seem like this was going to work out after all as I obviously wasn’t going to buy a case of each sherry. And then a wonderful thing happened. The wholesaler and retail outlet got together and, with their help, this is what Kate received just two days later…

sherry for sledBodegas Lustau: Manzanilla Papirusa, Palo Cortado Península, Pedro Ximénez San Emilio
Bodegas Gutiérrez Colosia: Fino, Amontillado and Oloroso

These two bodegas couldn’t be more different. Lustau is one of the largest wineries in the sherry triangle, comprising several bodegas in Jerez and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Gutiérrez Colosia is family run – and I mean run by the four family members and a couple of employees – in El Puerto de Santa María (remember the video?). But when I got in touch with the people I know at both bodegas they were quick to respond and help me out, as were their fabulous distributors, Elite Wines and UnwinedVA. Special thanks goes to Vanessa at Unwined who – countless emails later – patiently put all this together is that cute green bottle carrier and got it over to Kate’s in time for the weekend. Mil gracias a todos! And now it’s time for me to start educating Kate. This is going to be fun!  :)

If you want to know more about the wonderful world of sherry, follow me on Twitter @SevillaTapas and also on my AzaharTravels and AzaharSevilla blogs. You know you want to…

sunday song – jingle bell rock

December 7, 2014


The Bobby Helms classic with a slightly annoying Disney thing going on…

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loki is 5!

December 7, 2014

loki 5 years oldSo this is what five years old looks like. My big handsome Loki on his birthday.

Shortly after I took that photo he decided it was time for a snooze, so here’s another photo of Loki being ROUND, just like in last year’s birthday photo! This could become a tradition…

loki ballHappy Birthday my large & lovable galoot!

christmas lights 2014!

December 6, 2014

christmas lights 14 (1)Christmas lights were turned on this past Thursday. These are some I saw on my way to pick up Tapas Tour clients. I’d actually gone out earlier to get some pics but – being a public holiday – it was total madness and I got away from LA BULLA as soon as I could. I’ll try again on Tuesday… christmas lights 14 (3)

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