When Lorraine (aka @voraciousgirl) was planning a trip to Spain a few months back her friend Rachel (who had been on one of my tapas tours in 2013) convinced her to also spend a couple of days in Sevilla. A food & drink (and cat!) enthusiast, Lorraine and I obviously had a lot to talk about when we met up for a few tapas and a bit of sherry education…
That’s Richard @lucidcontent on the right, with his friend Neil. I’ve “known” Richard on Instagram for a couple of years now, the connection between us being his best friends David & Julie, who came out with me on a tapas tour a couple of years ago. Anyhow, Richard was passing through town this week and we got a chance to meet up in person. A very nice evening!
Dave, Julie & family
Last week I got BACK TO WORK and couldn’t be happier. It was great having a whole month off the tapas tours. I was still working on other things, and was actually able to focus on those things. I was also able to relax. Though I also get to relax at work… this pic is from last night’s fab Flamenco & Tapas Tour. Olé!
You know I love my job, mostly because I’ve been telling you for years now how much I love my job… but I even more especially love my job when I am asked to do sherry & tapas tours. Here are some scenes from last night’s fabulous Sherry & Tapas Tour, which ended up with three new sherry converts.
I think what I love most about these tours is that I am usually taking people from almost zero knowledge about sherry to a totally new and unexpected appreciation of these unique wines. I never tire of watching people’s expressions upon trying something new, be it jamón or some unusual seafood item, or sherry.
Unfortunately last night’s enjoyment was marred by a copycat food tour that, over the past year, has invaded all the bars I’ve been working with for years. When we showed up at our final stop for desserts and sweet sherries this group was at a table next to us, being exceptionally loud and obnoxious, and the “guide” not in control of the situation at all. I wouldn’t have said anything but my guests actually complained about them, saying how unpleasant it was having them next to us. My feeling is that – hey – there are over 3000 tapas bars in Sevilla. Can’t these people use a bit of imagination and go somewhere else, rather than just copy everywhere I go?
Meet Emily! The newest member of my fabulous We Love Tapas team. I’ve known about Emily for quite some time as she is good friends with a few other good friends of mine. Awhile back she was recommended as a possible guide for WLT, but at the time there were no openings. Lately a new position has become available and, although I have received several CVs, I wasn’t “feeling” the applicants, if you know what I mean. Then my friend Juan reminded me about Emily and I knew from our first meeting that she would be a perfect match. It also fits with the way the original WLT team came together, very organically, with one connection leading to another. Just like this time. We are all very pleased to have Emily with us.
Become a part of the We Love Tapas Team!
These past couple of “weeks off” have been both relaxing and very productive. Lots of time for new ideas and research with some exciting new stuff coming up soon. As a result, We Love Tapas is now looking for enthusiastic local guides with food and wine experience for our team in Sevilla. After full training, guides will give both lunchtime and evening tours (number per week depending on the season), each lasting 2.5 to 4 hours, and will be expected to attend monthly staff meetings and periodic (delicious) training sessions.
- Bilingual English / Spanish
- Native or long-term resident of Sevilla
- Registered as “autónomo” for freelance work
- Genuine love of Spanish cuisine and excellent people skills
You will also need to have access to internet at home, and a smartphone, so that you can be kept up to date about your tour bookings, changes and other information.
For more information contact us at:
So yeah, the BIG NEWS is that I’ve decided to take a couple of weeks off, and possibly longer. Well okay, not exactly OFF in the sense of not working, or going away somewhere, just not doing my tapas tours for awhile so that I can focus on getting caught up on my other work (massive backlog of blog posts and photo editing) as well as work on some new ideas for We Love Tapas. Re: the latter, there are a couple of things coming up this autumn that I think will be very exciting, but I do need some time to get those going properly. Yeah, I know my Trip Advisor rating will probably suffer as a result, with all the posers racking up fake reviews on a daily basis but, to borrow the pithy words of the Divine Marina O’Loughlin… “I don’t hate it because it enables reviews of and tickets for cruel animal attractions, or for its climate of blackmail-enabling entitlement. I hate it because it’s shit.” Suggest you read this article.
Of course it’s great that while I am “away” I can steer my clients towards We Love Tapas, because the team is going to be working all summer long. Meanwhile, my summer getaway plans are still going ahead, with Galicia Getaway booked for the end of August, though I may swap San Sebastián for London, not sure. Or do them both?? Really no idea at this point. All I know is that for the next week or so I am on “hols at home”, which is mostly about doing a lot of research and writing. But it feels great, and I’m also focusing on healthy light eating at home. Feel very privileged that I can work like this, doing things I love, in the way I want to do them. Anyhow, watch this space…
A few years ago I helped my friend & flatmate Peter set up a website offering various types of walking tours, and we called it Seville Concierge. Because Peter does in fact advise people as well as give tours. Then the other day I was looking at his site and realised it just looked like a boring old blog that he barely updates (and nobody reads 😉 ), when the whole point of the site is to promote his tours. So this morning I started looking around for some fresh ideas that might help him get more work, which meant totally revamping his website.
Unfortunately a whole two hours were wasted on what looked like a cool theme, but it didn’t actually WORK in terms of what it promised. I think there must have been some sort of bug involved, because I couldn’t even get the page menu to show up. AND SO… I ended up finding this theme, which I think is pretty nice.
I’d love some feedback on it, if you don’t mind. In terms of how easy it is to navigate, and all that. By chance I discovered that each page could have its own featured image as a massive header image, so I think that makes it more interesting (present images subject to change – they were the best I could come up with so quickly). Peter is still working on some missing text, so really just want to know what you think of the design. Also, how does it work for you on a phone or tablet?
Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny after two long weeks of solid rain, and I woke up feeling great. But after my morning coffee I felt a bit odd, and at lunchtime I didn’t have much appetite. Then I started feeling all weak and woozy, so around 4 o’clock I thought I’d better lie down for a bit, because in the evening I had a special tapas tour lined up with Twitter pals @EricBurgess and @LauraWBurgess (and their new mascot Kev the Kiwi), something we’d planned months ago. Well, when I woke up again at 6 o’clock I was shivering and nauseous and knew there was no way I was going to make it. So I did my first ever Sevilla Tapas Tour from my bed!
First of all, Peter met up with Eric & Laura a half hour before his own private tour started, brought them to their first stop and got them set up with starter tapas and sherries. After that I took over and, staying in touch by Twitter DMs, I helped them find Bodeguita Romero after previously getting in touch with Alejandro. Luckily I’d just had a sherry-filled afternoon the week before with José & Peter, so Alejandro knew what to do and he took very good care of them. It was kind of fun, doing a virtual tour, and better than not being with them at all. But I do look forward to finally meeting them in person when they come back in September.