My old Bristol pal Kate Hawkings has just published this wonderful new book – Aperitif. Very happy to be mentioned (thanks for the photo Lizzie). Can’t wait for my copy to arrive! You can get yours on Amazon. 🙂
Pretty much the only fluids I drink are water and wine. Okay, I have a cup of coffee and small glass of juice each morning, but really that’s about it. During the winter I drink room temperature water, and a lot of it, at least two litres a day. And sad to say, I drink mineral water, which makes me feel guilty about ALL THAT PLASTIC (even though I do recycle). It’s just that at room temperature the tap water can taste a bit weird. But in summer I do this! And I love it. Jugs of chilled tap water filled with lemons and limes. It’s not only delicious but I can drink it guilt free. Though I still take a bottle of mineral bottle to bed with me at night…
During Vinoble there were several tastings and cooking demos. The tastings were immediately sold out as soon as they became available online, which was frustrating because the site was down most of that morning. Tickets for the demos became available an hour before the presentation, which seemed more reasonable, though in the case of the jamón demo all the tickets were gone well before the appointed time.
Anyhow… we did manage to get into this “show cooking” by a restaurant in Cádiz called Código de Barra (which has been on my “to do” list for awhile now). Chef Leon Griffioen prepared some exceptional dishes which were paired with spectaclar wines from Bodegas Piñero, Urium and Las Botas. Next time I am in Cádiz this will be my first stop. Well, after Casa Manteca. This was the menu…
I first met Laura @laurawburgess and Erik @thewhiskykiwi at Bodegas Urium in Jerez in September 2016, and would have met them a few months earlier in Sevilla, but I was hit with a random 24-hour bug and ended up giving them a “remote” tapas tour from bed via my iPhone.
Happily they were in town again yesterday and we were able to meet up for a fabulous lunch at Bodeguita Romero. They also joined me on last night’s Sevilla Tapas Tour with two other couples, and well, the chemistry couldn’t have been better. Right from the start everyone started talking and joking with each other. It was a great evening.
I will be seeing more of Laura & Eric at Vinoble, which starts tomorrow and is actually the reason they are here now. Can’t wait!
A delightful surprise visit from my friend José Pizarro @jose_pizarro yesterday. He is on a research trip around Andalucía and had one day (not enough!) in Sevilla. He asked me to take him and his team to a few traditional tapas bars “con solera” and I was more than happy to oblige. It was a fun and slightly crazy afternoon, and sadly I had to opt out of going to the Cathedral with them (after which they were heading to Jerez) because I had a tapas tour in the evening and needed to rest up a bit. Still, it’s always lovely to see my lovely friend.
So there I was just minding my own business and wondering what to do after a long day of photo editing and writing (catching up on my websites!) when I got an email from a guy called Steve from Australia, who asked if I was free to do a “last minute” tour that evening. And you know what? I really wasn’t up for it, so I said I wasn’t available for a tour but, because my friend Phoebe put him in touch with me, I suggested meeting up for a late afternoon drink.
Steve had just come from judging wine with Phoebe at the IWC in London, and then took a trip to Jerez to visit a few sherry bodegas. He was on his way home with and this was his last night in Sevilla, so he was in a very sherry mood. We met at Palo Santo for a nice chilled manzanilla and a chat and then – somehow! – one thing led to another and we ended up on a Tapeo Extremo. Well, sort of. We only went to two bars – Eslava and La Azotea – but there was definitely extreme sherry involved. And as always, lots of fun talking with the bar staff at both places. An unexpected treat.
The other day someone got in touch with me by email. I didn’t know this person, but it turns out they come to Sevilla every spring and spend a month in Triana… and they often check my tapas bar info against their perceptions. Fair enough! This time they wanted to tell me about a new discovery of theirs, a new vermutería that just happens to be in my barrio. So of course I had to check it out.
It’s called Yo Soy Tu Padre (I Am Your Father) and the name stems from what Venezuela born owner Esteban’s grandfather always liked to say to his father, and also is in no small part a reflection of Esteban’s obsession with Star Wars. Below you can see a photo of Esteban’s grandfather, who also became the image for his logo. This is the third location and the newest. I am thrilled! Because not only does Esteban create all his vermouths from sherry wines, but they also do breakfast at this bar … with bagels! Did I mention it’s just down the street from my house? Will be breakfasting there soon, I think.
Meanwhile, how cool that someone I have never met went out of their way to put me in touch with this wonderful place. Thanks Sally!
After scoring a prime window seat at Flores Gourmet on Friday evening – all the better to see my favourite Semana Santa sculpture of all El Cachorro – Peter @SVQconcierge and I settled in to await its arrival. The great thing about this situation was that we could sit comfortably with drink in hand and, just as the pasos started passing, I could whip out the door and take my photos.
But I didn’t expect the other bonus of our situation. We ended up chatting with a few people who were in town for SS, and then another guy started talking with us. Albert @amennyc was here on his own and trying to get the most of the whole SS experience. So of course I recommended some of my favourite bars, then later on that same evening we all met up again at La Azotea Zaragoza. From there we made a plan to meet up the following afternoon to tapear and see a few more processions…
We had a great time. I was lovely to meet a new friend and spend the afternoon enjoying the best that Sevilla has to offer. And also a few processions! Albert is living in Lisbon and so plans are afoot to go an visit him there soon.
A bit of a déjà vu experience, as Peter and I were just in Cádiz a couple of weeks ago during Carnaval Chiquito, but other than a couple of the “must dos” we ended up having quite a different experience. Also it was the first visit for Jane and John, and we were happy to show them around. After a quick trip to the central market, this was the rest of our day…
cold beer o’clock at La Sorpresa
snacks and sherry at Casa Manteca
tapas at Antonio Del Palillo and El Faro followed by a walk to La Caleta Beach
picatostes at Café Royalty
I had been wanting to visit Bodegas Luís Pérez for a while, and finally got my chance on this trip to Jerez with friends Peter @SVQConcierge and John and Jane Bachner King. Although firmly inside the Marco de Jerez, it’s not, in fact, a sherry bodega, but rather produces red wines, once just as important as the white Palomino Fino sherry grape, but lost long ago for a variety of reasons, the coup de grace being delivered by the phylloxera virus that devastated European vines at the end of the 19th century.
The bodega was founded in 2002 by Luis Pérez, former enologist at Domecq and professor of chemistry at Cádiz university, when he bought the Hacienda Vista Hermosa, a farmhouse on the hill at the top of the Pago de Corchuela outside of Jerez, and began the work of planting the new vineyards with red grapes. These days the bodega is mostly run by the Pérez children, Willy and Fátima. Willy’s new project is producing vintage unfortified sherries, as they used to be made before the trade and shipping demands of the last few centuries that led to the development of the present day solera and criadera ageing system. I tasted some of these sherries at the Cuatro Gatos Wine Fest a couple of weeks ago and they are very special indeed.