sherry week 2017

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Mark it in your calendar! The fourth International Sherry Week is coming up soon, and as always, I’ll be offering my Sherry & Tapas Tours for anyone who would like to learn more about these fabulous wines. You’ll be able to see all the Sherry Week events on the website as they are registered, so you can check to see what’s happening in your part of the world.

Also something very cool this year – you can win an exclusive place at the highly coveted Certified Sherry Educator course in 2018, which was truly one of the most special experiences of my life.

sad making

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This makes me so sad. For as long as I’ve lived here (and probably much longer) there has been a stork nest on top of that chimney. And then suddenly there wasn’t. I have no idea why they would rip out a decades-old nest, especially as the building – the Atarazanas – isn’t actually in use. Does anybody know why this happened? It was always such a joy to see the majestic stork couple up there.  😦

they’re baaaack…

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The last time Sara & Steve were in Sevilla was five years ago, though I have met up with them in London twice since then. Much has changed since their last visit, including lots of new tapas bars for them to try out. Here they are after our fab lunch at Palo Santo… I’m really looking forward to spending time with them over the next week or so, possibly even taking a day trip to Jerez.

24 years ago…

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first home sevilla.jpg
… I moved into that studio apartment up there. It was a memorable day for many reasons, arriving in town at precisely 8 pm on September 16th after a long drive from Salamanca with two howling cats. And THEN having to wait in the car for three hours because the landlord was late. But that was how I first met the gang at Bar Campanario, who brought food and drink out to the car so we didn’t have to leave the cats alone, who became (and still are) very dear friends.

This year’s anniversary (as so often happens now) was spent celebrating while on a Sevilla Tapas Tour. I was supposed to be throwing a big party to celebrate 25 years in Spain (May 1992), but somehow this hasn’t happened yet. Maybe I’ll wait for 25 years in Sevilla? Anyhow, it was the best move I’ve ever made.  🙂

alex

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About a million years ago (okay, it was 1998) Alex was my flatmate for six months when I was living in Mateos Gago and had to take in lodgers to help pay the rent. Anyhoodle… imagine my surprise when Alex got in touch a few weeks ago and said he was coming back to Sevilla for a conference and that he’d love to meet up.

Since I am still battling that pesky cold thang – and also working – we planned to meet up later in the week. But he ended up surprising me while I was “on tour” last night. He had gone for tapas with some colleagues at Vineria San Telmo, and while they were enjoying their dinner on the terrace he asked one of the waiters, “So, do you know Shawn?” and he said “Yeah, she’s sitting inside”. Ha!

And so at one moment when I got up from the table to get something for my clients I turned and literally bumped into Alex. Wow. BIG HUGS all around. What a lovely surprise. And after the tour we went out for a couple of penúlitimas, talking well into the wee hours. It was so great catching up and sharing our memories that we’re planning to do it again tomorrow night.

#beeroclock

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I’ve been doing the Beer O’clock thing on my Sevilla Tapas Instagram for years, and can’t even imagine how many beer pics I’ve taken, but this is definitely one of my favourites. In fact I’d love this orange tree tile panel in my living room.

Then it occurred to me that if I ever wanted to see all those beer pics again (you never know), I should have been adding a more specific hashtag, other than #beeroclock. So I came up with #azaharbeer and added it to a few of the older photos, but it would take hours (days?) to re-tag them all. I know this because I remember it took forever when I re-tagged ALL my Instagram cat pics with #azaharcats, and there weren’t nearly as many as the beer ones. Maybe I’ll save this activity for when I can’t sleep at night – it should surely put me back to sleep.

steph

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The other day I got an email from Steph, an Australian woman who is travelling around Spain this month. She had just spent some time with my friend Gabriella @tenedor in San Sebastián and asked if I had any tours available for her to join while she was in Sevilla. Well, the only possibility was for her to join another couple on a Flamenco & Tapas tour on her last night in town (yesterday), which she happily did, but we also got together for lunch on Sunday – that’s Steph up there happily chowing down on some fried blood and onions – and I also gave her my handy tapas bar “short list” for her to use before the tour.

It was so much fun meeting her, and then last night going out with Diana & Peter, who were also lovely. I honestly feel so blessed that my work (including social media stuff) puts me in touch with so many amazing people.