This morning the IKEA guys came with all the new stuff and put everything together within three hours. Me? It would have probably taken three days – or more! BUT it meant that at 12.15 Peter and I were not only ready for “Beer O’clock”, but also that we were more than ready for the breakfast we hadn’t had time for.
Great solution? El Patio San Eloy. This place has been going strong since 1992 and the original location (my favourite) happens to be in the new street where I live. It’s a simple and basic “cheap & cheerful” place which sometimes is just what you are looking for. Like us today. After a frosty beer and a couple of montaditos we were ready to face our next moving challenge… Movistar! 😉
With the new place now pretty much set up for the movers to arrive on Monday, we now have to focus on getting rid of stuff here. Luckily I have until the end of the month to sort all that out, which gives me a week after I move. I know I will still end up taking more than I should over to the new Casa Azahar, but I’m also pleased at how ruthless I have been (except for sometimes) about just saying “out it goes!”.
Meanwhile… woke up this morning to find I had no internet and that it turned out Movistar had disconnected my present contract without advising me, and also without telling me when they’d be reconnecting me at the new place. Using iphones as modems until it gets sorted – not ideal.
So anyhow, hope you’re having a better weekend than me! xx
So excited that my long-time Flamenco & Tapas Tour partners – the fabulous Museo del Baile Flamenco – have updated and upgraded their Momentos Flamencos show to include an extra dancer and singer. It adds not only more dancing, but more colour and passion. I mean, it was always wonderful, but now…? You really need to see this.
Ania & Delia
We did it! A very special night out with 45 guests who were here all week for conference meetings, and who asked me to arrange something nice for their final evening in Sevilla. And it was fabulous. But I couldn’t have done it without these two… nor without this guy…
And special thanks to the always fabulous Vineria San Telmo team. They are the best! And the best compliment ever? That we turned a corporate event into something that felt very personal. 🙂
Juan, me & William
It’s been quite a week for meeting up with people, either for the first time or after a long time. William @madguide1 fits into the second category. We first knew each other via social media as he is a Spain expert for the very famous Rick Steves global tours. Then one fine day we had time to meet up while he was in Sevilla… that was a few years ago. Then I saw on Instagram that William was back in town this week with a tour group, he promised me that FOR SURE when he was back in September that he’d make time to meet up.
Later that same day I was having lunch with my dear friend Juan Tarquini @jmtalexeew, at his fabulous Vineria San Telmo, when a guy sits down at the table next to us. Suddenly I hear… SHAWN??? Heh, it was William. He was there to meet two other mutual friends, María and José who, along with their partner Victor, run the excellent Taller Andaluz de Cocina cooking school. I mean, what are the odds? I love when stuff like this happens. 🙂
William, José & María
About a million years ago I met Nancy Li on a travel forum called SlowTrav (now defunct) but we ended up having several mutual virtual friends, and I finally met her when she and her husband David came to Sevilla in 2014. Meanwhile we stay in touch on Facebook. Nancy is a crazy cat woman wannabe (she loves them but is allergic) and in fact it was Nancy who first told about wet-combing cats. Guess what? It rocks.
Anyhow, Nancy and David are back in town this week, along with Nancy’s old school chum Phillip, and they were happy to come out with me to do some Tapas Research (ie have lunch) at a new bar I hadn’t been to yet. Happily the meal was very nice, as was the company. It was nice to reconnect. HOWEVER, something Nancy told me was quite disturbing, which is that the woman she is renting her holiday apartment from informed her that The Dude is actually a lady (???). I have yet to investigate this matter further, but will definitely be checking out The Dude a bit more carefully next time we meet up.
I first met Martha @marthakimes when she joined one of my tapas tours as a solo traveller back in November 2014. She then came back on her own last November, which included a memorable evening out with Ania @ania_marchlik at La Azotea (I think that was the night I sold Ania my old iPhone…) and since then Martha decided that Sevilla is where she would like to live when she retires. To wit, this latest trip Martha
dragged invited her husband Joe with her, hoping to get him to fall in love with her adopted city.
It’s quite impressive that Sevilla has won such an honour in Martha’s heart, since she has travelled pretty much everywhere, and has seen many amazing and beautiful places. And yet, this is where she wants to be. You can see how committed she is by the tattoo she had done between her last two visits.
NO8D0 … Sevilla’s official motto
Anyhow, Martha, Joe, Peter and I got together a few times during this visit, and we did our best to convince Joe that this is also where he wants to live when he retires. I hope we succeeded, because it would be great having M & J as neighbours.
Many years ago, on one of my first visits to Córdoba, Peter @SVQconcierge and I happened upon this tiny cul-de-sac alley (that just happened to have a little bar at the end – perfect for Beer O’clock!), which we seemed to only ever find again by chance on subsequent visits. Like this time. Only since we last stumbled upon it the name has been changed (a quick google tells me it was in fact changed in December 2014). What was previously Calleja de Arcos is now Calleja de Salmorejo Cordobés, or Tomato Soup Alley, and comes with a recipe for Córdoba’s famous cold soup. I actually prefer this to the more well-known gazpacho. Originally made with a mortar & pestle, these days using a blender or food processor is more common. Here is the translation…
- 1 kg tomatoes
- 200 grams bread
- 100 grams extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 10 grams salt
Wash and then mash the tomatoes. Strain to remove the skin and seeds, then mash the pulp again, adding the bread, oil, garlic and salt, and keep blending until smooth. Top with chopped hard boiled egg and bits of jamón Ibérico.
Salmorejo is a part of what I call the Córdobes Holy Trinity of tapas, which also includes flamenquín and berenjenas fritos. We ended up ordering all of these when we were at Taberna El Gallo the other day and – wow! – I have to say that all three were probably the best I’ve had anywhere. The salmorejo was delicious and had a lovely texture, not “over processed”, as if a mortar & pestle had been used. Also a nice touch – the hard boiled whole quail egg. The flamenquín was unlike any I’d had before, simply with pork loin and serrano ham rolled up, breaded and deep fried. Most places add cheese or other fillings, but the waiter at El Gallo told me this was the original version. Last but not least… amazing aubergine/eggplant frites! Crispy fried, tender (not mushy) inside, and – most importantly – no gacky sweet molasses (called miel de caña “cane honey” here) squirted all over them. I love this bar.
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