You know how it goes… you have that one extra glass of wine at lunch and then on your way home you see something in a shop window that catches your eye. Luckily it wasn’t shoes (that never works out well – tipsy feet are much less fussy than sober ones) but these super cute, and totally unnecessary plates. Actually it’s a fish dinner plate, a fish soup bowl, and two smaller plain blue plates in between. They make me smile. What’s the best/worst thing you’ve ever bought while under the influence?
One of these could come in handy for taking in all the nearby ferias in May. Unusually, Sevilla’s famous Feria de Abril mostly took place in May too this year as it traditionally begins two weeks after Easter Sunday. I tend to prefer the smaller ferias and will try to get to at least a couple of these ones. Maybe see you there?
- Jerez de la Frontera May 13 – 20
- Dos Hermanas May 18 – 21
- Córdoba May 20 – 27
- Sanlúcar de Barrameda May 23 – 28
- El Puerto de Santa María May 24 – 29
That’s the three of us – Caroline, Sonja and me – getting nicely squiffy last Sunday afternoon in Sevilla. Where to start with these two? Caroline first got in touch with me mid-September 2011, asking about booking a tapas tour for the end of that month. And since then they just keep coming back! To date they have taken THREE different tapas tours with me. The last couple of visits we just ended up meeting for tapas, and they have always been happy to help me out doing Tapas Research. Which is really what we were doing on Sunday. Honest. So five visits in total. So far.
On this occasion Caroline was here to celebrate a Very Important Birthday and she had invited 15 other friends to join her. I helped her with organizing the group dinners, and then we finally were able to get together, just the three of us. It’s funny how time goes by but then you meet up with people again and it just feels so comfortable. Anyhow, I am now being threatened with a SIXTH VISIT 🙂 in September. Can’t wait. xx
Vermouth (or vermut in Spanish and vermú in Andalú) has become a big deal lately, with vermouth bars popping up around town and now almost every sherry producer coming up with their very own “special recipe” version, blending sherries with botanicals and fragrant plants. Bodegas Lustau was one of the first with their red vermouth (amontillado and PX). So I was happy to be invited to the launch party for Lustau’s new white vermouth (fino and moscatel) for two reasons. First, to try the wine, which is delicious. And second, to finally go inside the
most hideous eyesore tallest tower in Sevilla, where the event was being held. Although we were only about half-way up, on the 21st floor, the views were quite spectacular, but I’m afraid my opinion of the Torre Sevilla hasn’t changed.
Fun event though! As usual I got to see and chat with many of the usual suspects who attend these things, as well as make some new contacts. A nice evening. You can read more about the event (more pics too!) over on the Azahar Sevilla blog.
Peter & Luís at La Azotea
I’ve known Luís (and his biz partner David) from Really Discover for many years. So it was great to run into Luís at The Office (AKA La Azotea Santa Cruz) during a meeting there with the We Love Tapas team. After the meeting Peter and I ended up having lunch with Luís and “talking shop”, which proved both interesting and illuminating. We may also end up collaborating as our tour companies are complementary rather than being in direct competition. Love chance meetings like this…
Honestly, could this be any uglier? The new riverside Tourist Centre is already an eyesore and it hasn’t even opened yet. It will eventually house a tourist office, a flamenco museum and a couple of bars.
But just look at it. It’s not only hard to believe that it’s a new building, but even that it was built in this century. There are actually two of those hideous massive wonky ramps. And the space for the tourist centre, etc… to be honest, words fail me.
So you know, this is located next to the San Telmo bridge, where the old port warehouses used to be. When I first moved here the warehouses were still in use and, although quite run down, they had character. Now they are gone and replaced by this horror. I still can’t believe it. It’s heartbreaking.
You can find snails year-round in some Sevilla bars, but the best time (apparently) is NOW when they are in season. The secret is in the sauce, as the snails are cooked in a broth that is unique to each bar that serves them. I don’t mind them, but I’m not a huge fan, so I don’t have a photo of a big plate of snails to show you. And so this fabulous snail sculpture by Chiqui Díaz will have to do…
It was touch and go there for about 24 hours as I wrestled with the notion of taking in Pinza, this tiny 3 week old kitten found in the street by my friend Elena, outside La Azotea where she works. I mean, I knew that I shouldn’t, and really possibly couldn’t, since I’ve always said that having 4 cats would be that slippery slope to officially being a Mad Cat Woman (waves to @sledpress!). I was also thinking that while this apartment is actually big enough to house another cat, my next one might not be. Anyhow, I was steeling myself and checking Elena’s instagram regularly for updates. And then finally I saw this photo of Elena holding Pinza, wishing her well in her new home. Phew!
I got a call from my friend Juan from Vineria San Telmo the other day asking me if I’d be interested in giving a sherry tasting to a group of 15 people from Australia and New Zealand and so of course I said YES. Though I was also a bit nervous as it would be the first time I’d be doing this with a larger group, and also as a “presentation” rather than as part of a tapas tour. My Sherry & Tapas Tours are just as much about the food pairings as they are about sherry, so this would be something quite different.
As you can see, it was very nicely set up by Juan and we also included snacks (olives, cheese, almonds, chocolate) and some printed material for the guests to take home. And they were a great group. Not total “sherry virgins” and clearly quite knowledgeable about wines, so they asked a lot of good questions.
We tried 5 different sherries, talking about each one along with the history of the region and the sherry making process. I soon forgot about being nervous and the time flew by. Hoping to do it again now!