Came across these on Twitter the other day, posted as the only 4 maps of Spain you need to know. Not sure about that but they’re quite interesting for food and drink lovers, even if not exactly complete . They’re from a site called El Orden Mundial and if you’d like to see the maps enlarged then click on the links below.
Eva and the two Javis (Abascal & Vargas)
Although I have been invited to a few of Eva’s @FlamencaKitchen gastronomic events that she hosts as El Sur de las Estrellas (since such activities became allowed once again), I remained cautious and had to turn them down because they were before I was fully vaxxed. Happily Eva remembered me for the final event of the year which, as usual, took place at Platea Odeón, an old theatre space upstairs in the magnificent antigua Córdoba train station building.
This time my friend Javi Abascal and his new partner at Plato Jondo, chef Javi Vargas, were in the spotlight and we enjoyed an interview led by Eva, followed by some questions and comments from the audience. Then we were treated to canapés prepared by the two Javis, with live music and lots of El Sur cerveza. I didn’t stay too long once the food started coming out as this also meant people were gathering in the bar area and, although it is a well-ventilated space, I was aware that my booster still needed some time to kick in properly. But it was a lovely time seeing so many friends again.
Who knew that it would be more than two years before I’d get to visit – and taste – Cádiz again? Not me. And to be sure, there have been many changes there since lockdown March 2020. This was also my first time on a train since way back then, which was a bit nervous making especially because it meant postponing my booster shot until next week. Whatevs. I was on a train. I went to Cádiz. And hey, it was (mostly) just like it’s always been.
I was there to do research for my next Decanter travel article, which is why I chose this week. I’d have gone earlier but several of the places I wanted to visit were closed during November. My plan had been to visit a nearby bodega in El Puerto on November 30th, then a couple of regular spots in Cádiz that evening, and then the new places that had said they would reopen in December. EXCEPT I found out on the morning of December 1st that two of them weren’t actually going to reopen until the 2nd. WTF. Never mind. I had secured a reservation for the place that had most interested me… brand new Ciclo restaurant, run by chef Luis Callealta. And it did not disappoint. In fact it was pretty fucking amazing. So that made the other disappointments easier to take.
I wasn’t only disappointed by the ones that didn’t actually reopen on December 1st, but also by a couple of places I revisited (and used to like) that left me feeling like I wouldn’t be going back to them again. A bit sad, but overall it was a lovely overnight trip and it really did feel great to be travelling again. I have missed Cádiz so much. It’s one of my favourite places.
Sanlúcar de Barrameda will officially become the Gastronomic Capital of Spain in 2022. The city of Manzanilla was awarded this title by the Hospitality Industry Federation of Spain and the Federation of Writers and Tourism Journalists, which will also commemorate the V Centenary of the First Around the World Voyage of Magallanes and Elcano. I’m quite excited about this and hope to spend a good part of next year enjoying the Cádiz coast. Stay tuned…