The last time I saw Jeremy @jeremyhead, Karen & Joe was almost exactly two years ago, when we met up for tapas and ended up on an impromptu Triana Tapas Tour. This time we managed to meet near the end of their week-long visit in Sevilla and had a lovely lunch at the recently renovated La Azotea Zaragoza. Good times.
Ramón & Phoebe at La Abacería Antigua de San Lorenzo
Phoebe @plemess is yet another friend I met through Twitter, but indirectly, through – yep – another Twitter friend (and now her husband) Oli @CoteDuPy. We met in person in London (August 2015) when Phoebe very generously offered to host a rooftop dinner for me in her home. So when I heard she would be visiting Sevilla I was happy to play host one afternoon and introduce her to some of my favourite tapas bars (and tapas). Phoebe is also a sherry addict like me, so I made sure we went to places that have a nice range of sherries, but I hadn’t expected to find this year’s latest bottling (autumn 2017) of Solear manzanilla pasada by Bodegas Barbadillo at La Antigua Abacería de San Lorenzo. What an extra special treat that was.
fabulous sherry and tapas at Eslava
We finished up with a penúltima at La Tienda de Azotea, by which time Phoebe’s friend had arrived in town, so she went off to meet him and I made my way home. All in all, a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
One of the perks of my job is walking into a bar and having the owner thrust a glass of THIS at me, saying “tell me what you think”. Okay, it doesn’t happen very often (okay, hardly ever) but on this occasion it was a wonderful surprise. And the wine was exquisite. A 30-year-old VORS palo cortado from Bodegas Osborne. If you’re in Sevilla you can try a glass at Las Teresas. I recommend pairing it with their fabulous carrillada or grilled tuna morillo…
Remember back in August when I finally got to meet long-time Twitter pal Francisco and his friends Eduardo and Miguel at La Grulla? Well he sent me this mention in the ABC newspaper today and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Having my work recognised is always an honour, but it feels extra special when this recognition comes from my “fellow Spaniards”. So I especially liked the “Sevillana since 1993” bit. 🙂
For those who don’t speak Spanish here is a translation…
Although several neighbouring cities (which we are not going to name – these are not the times for more regional rivalries) have long been trying to snatch the title of “birthplace of the tapa” from Seville, the truth is that little or nothing is done by our city council to exploit said claim.
In fact, just one person, Shawn Hennessey – Sevillana since 1993 – has done more to make our tapas known (through her blog, organizing tapas tours for foodie tourists, and social media activity…) than the entire tourism delegation.
We continue to be a country of solitary Quijotes, and it always takes somebody from outside to remind us of it.
Aunque varias ciudades “vecinas” que no vamos a mentar – que no están los tiempos para más rivalidades autonómicas – llevan tiempo intentando arrebatar a Sevilla el origen de la tapa, la verdad es que poco o nada se hace desde nuestro ayuntamiento para explotar dicho reclaim.
De hecho más hace una sola persona, Shawn Hennessey – sevillana desde 1993 – por dar a conocer nuestro tapeo (a través de su blog, organizando rutas de tapas de guiris-foodies, moviendo contenidos en redes sociales…) que toda la delegación de turismo.
Siguimos siendo un país de quijotes – o quijotas – solitarios, y siempre tiene que venir alguen de fuera para recordárnoslo.
… or at least one of them. This is Rafael’s jamón cutting station at Bar Las Teresas. I’ve been coming to this bar for over 24 years now and, while I have seen some changes over the years (not all of them good), it remains one of the places where I feel relaxed and at home. Like I’m with family.
In fact, this is something I hear a lot from women from other countries – how they feel so comfortable going out to bars on their own here, unlike back home. And it’s true. You don’t feel weird or worry about being hit on. More than likely you’ll end up chatting with the people sitting next to you at the bar, though if you want to just enjoy your tapas and wine on your own, that’s also quite acceptable.
Anyhow, I’ve spent many a happy hour sitting at this very spot, watching Ramón deftly wielding his cutting knife, chatting with the barmen, enjoying lovely tapas. I’m often asked which is my favourite tapas bar in Sevilla, which is an impossible question for me to answer, but this is definitely one of them.
More images from this year’s Andalucía Sabor (click to enlarge). You can also check out the #ASabor17 hashtag on Twitter to see what other people were posting during the event. I had a great time, though two days out of three were all I could manage this year.
As part of Pando Restaurant’s series of “Gastronomic Schools” – educational tastings – the latest was a cheese and wine tasting, hosted by Diego Ruiz de Terry of Pando (Grupo San Eloy) and presented by Antonio Rodriguez Vacas of cheese distributors TGT group.
Peter @SVQconcierge and I were invited, along with several other local “influencers” for a tasting of three delicious, and very different, cheeses: Queso Ibores (goat), Queso Roncal (sheep) and Queso Mahón (cow), paired with white and red wines. I’ve been to several of the Pando events in the past and they are always excellent. Also – bonus! – since I moved the venue is just a few steps from my new home.
You can read the full report on the Azahar Sevilla blog.