Spring has sprung and my fabulous barrio Soho Benita is celebrating this Saturday April 26th with a full day of special events, starting at 10 am. Totally something for everyone. So pop over and see where I live! Take part in the activities, enjoy some great food, or just go shopping.
This is definitely something to keep in mind for this coming weekend. During the 25, 26 and 27th of April there will be a special tapas route in the Calle Feria area (comprising Feria, San Luís, Relator, and Correduría streets). More than 20 bars and restaurants will be participating with each one offering a special tapa for you to try with either a beer or soft drink for just 3€.
You can find a full listing of the participating bars and a map here… LaCalleFeria.com
Or more specifically, signs of Easter Week in Sevilla. For the first time this year I noticed these new signs up and thought – Aha! City Hall must’ve been sued over falling down accidents (this was just before my own non-wax related falling down incident). But in fact the accumulation of wax on the streets from thousands of penitent’s candles is no laughing matter. Just today (on the way home from getting my ankles x-rayed at the hospital) I saw TWO ambulances next to wiped-out motorbikes and as we got close to one intersection a policeman slowed down a guy on a motorcycle and told him to be very careful as that bit of road was very very slippery. Curious that there are no signs with motos on them.
I am so going to this! A three-day Gourmet Market kicks off this Friday at noon at Puerto de Cuba (San Telmo bridge end of calle Bétis) in Triana. There will be oyster and sushi stands, wines, cheeses, cured meats, olive oils, cakes and pastries… with drinks and cocktails available at the Puerto de Cuba bar. Weather forecast is looking good too!
Puerto de Cuba Gourmet Market
4 – 6 April
12 pm – 1 am Friday & Saturday / 11 am – 7 pm Sunday
Yesterday the winners of the Orange Day Tapa Competition were officially announced. Prizes were given out at a presentation at the Alfonso XIII Hotel. Over 30 local bars and restaurants had participated and I was honoured to be one of the judges this year. There was also a special prize awarded based on public votes received on the Visita Sevilla website.
Congratulations to all the winners!
Naranja de Oro:
- Restaurante Agredano. Chicken thighs in Sevilla orange sauce (70 points)
- Taberna Chani. Presa tataki salad with orange salmorejo (70 points)
Naranja de Plata:
- Puerto Delicia Bar. Mini foie magnum with Sevilla bitter orange crumble (68.5 points)
Naranja de Bronce:
- Bar Europa. Marinated mackerel with Sevilla orange gelée. (62. 5 points)
- Dmercao. Orange salmorejo with bacalao strips and leek textures. (62.25 points)
Premio especial del público:
- Los Corales. Pork solomillo with raisins in bitter orange honey (11.76% online votes)
- Robles Laredo. Cochinillo a la naranja at 65º ( 11.76% online votes )
This is a reblog/guest post by my friend Peter @SVQconcierge about our recent visit to the Antiquarium for a very special wine tasting (words are his, pics are mine). Many thanks to Cotidian Vitae for the invitation!
As all you erudite folks probably already know, Seville was in antiquity a Roman city, probably the most important in Western Europe outside of Italy itself. It’s official name from the time of Julius Caesar was “Julia Romana”, but as often happens it was the city’s older name, Hispalis, which remained in popular use, and is preserved in altered form in the modern name. It was an important trading, manufacturing and administrative centre with extensive commercial links with Rome, exporting wine, oil and fish products back to the Imperial capital.
But what was daily life like in Hispalis during the six centuries of Roman domination? Recently my friend Shawn @azaharSevilla and I were lucky enough to be invited to a rather special wine tasting event at Gastrosol, atop the Metropol Parasol. It was put on by the people responsible for Cotidiana Vitae (Daily Life) at Italica, the well-preserved Roman residential city at Santiponce, just outside Seville. Roman wines were provided by Baetica, who have done excellent work in recreating the styles of wines that would have been drunk in those far off times, drawing on the knowledge of winemakers, historians and archaeologists to make them as authentic as possible.
First though, it was down into the basement for a tour of the Roman ruins discovered when work to redevelop the site of the old market in Plaza Encarnación began back in the nineties. The ruins are now a well restored and preserved archaeology museum with some fascinating things to see. These include a fish salting plant that must have been a smelly neighbour for the residents, a house with an unusual (to me at least) raised platform for dining set into a semi-circular alcove, restored mosaics, and some crude gaming tables, as well as glimpses of the stratification (new bits built over old bits) of the site as it developed.
Then it was time to go upstairs for the wine tasting. Our hosts, Manuel León Béjar and Alejandro Vera had chosen four wines for us to sample, Mulsum (fermented with honey), Sanguis (steeped with rose petals), Antinoo (steeped with violets), and Mesalina (flavoured with cinnamon, and named for the wife of the Emperor Claudius), which became very popular in the later Roman Empire. It’s not really known how close these are to the Roman originals, especially as many of the old grape varieties have sadly disappeared, but extensive research into the wine making techniques of the time and descriptions of the grapes that were used gives us considerable confidence, and the use of the various flavourings is well attested to by writers and commentators of the time.
Now, I have to admit that I’m not really a wine expert, so for proper tasting notes and pairings I’m going to send you over to these good people (the notes are in Spanish), but I will say that it was a fascinating experience, and that the wines were quite distinctive compared to modern ones. My favourites were the Mulsum, which did have a definite tang of honey without being overly sweet, and the Mesalina, which was the most intensely flavoured, and was apparently mainly used at the end of, or even after, the meal. Maybe next time we’ll get a complete Roman banquet, though I’m still not convinced about the advantages of eating lying down.
For more information about activities at Italica, including tasting events, you can visit the Cotidiana Vitae website.
Originally posted on the Seville Concierge blog.
my first ever stalkers Maria and Anna at Las Teresas
This story began last December. Maria and Anna, originally from Poland and now living in Sevilla, had been following my Instagram for awhile and knew that I went to Las Teresas quite often. So one night when they were there they asked Rafa the barman if he knew anything about a Canadian woman who did tapas tours … and just at the moment I walked in the door! I mean, what are the odds? Rafa introduced us and we had a lovely chat during which it transpired that the girls actually knew quite a lot about me and my online doings. My first ever stalkers! I was then invited to their next pot-luck dinner, which to my delight would include perogies, but it turned out I was working that night and couldn’t make it. Finally this past weekend there was another perogy party at Maria’s place in the fabulous Corral del Conde.
It was my first time there and I loved it. From the austere exterior you would never guess that such a lovely courtyard existed beyond the solid imposing wooden doors. A grey rainy morning had given way to blue skies with pretty white clouds, which meant we could eat outdoors. Maria and Anna had set up a large table next to the fountain and my friend Peter @SVQconcierge and I, along with the other guests, ten of us in all, sat down to a fabulous fusion lunch with plenty of wine, great food (spinach perogies, olive pâtés, lamb tagine, almond pastries) and conversation.
The Corral del Conde, a 16th century “corral de vecinos”, was historically a worker’s residence holding up to 15 people in each room. It has since been converted into 70-plus apartments of various sizes, but most of them small (20 – 30 square metres). The idea being that people’s personal and social lives would spill out onto the balconies and into the large central patio, creating an unusual communal atmosphere. After lunch I took a little tour of the balconies with Maria and her boyfriend Alberto and I found myself wishing I could live in this very charming spot, though I’d need at least 2-3 apartments and a few sky lights (not much light inside the homes there). But it was a lovely afternoon and once again I found myself grateful for “twitterpower” and the other social media networks that over the years have led to me meeting so many wonderful people in person.
Next time it’ll be my turn to invite Maria and Anna to a rooftop BBQ at casa az.
The other day I spent a lovely afternoon at Chef & Company, a new culinary school started up by Carmen de Lara last December. Carmen has lived abroad for many years, a large part of that time in Portugal, and has recently returned to her native Sevilla. The concept of Chef & Company is a simple one: to create a comfortable and relaxed environment in which to teach people how to enjoy making food. It’s a lovely ambiance, like walking into someone’s home, first passing through the cosy living room and then into the cheerful well-equipped kitchen.
I love how relaxed and “Julia Child” Carmen is in the kitchen, easily chatting and pouring wine while preparing dishes. We enjoyed a special “St Patrick’s Day” lunch, which included pumpkin, turnip and portobello soup with Guinness bread, Irish beef pot pie, and apple crumble with ice cream for dessert. As this was a media event for food journalists and bloggers some of the food had been previously prepared, but we all had a chance to get involved.
Chef & Company classes and workshops are limited to 12 people and last approximately four hours. Custom cooking classes are also available, as are private dinners, and can be given in Spanish, Portuguese and English. I had a great time and look forward to trying some other classes in future.
Chef & Company
Jesús de la Vera-Cruz 27
Tel 697 118 252
Yesterday evening I popped over to the opening of the La Libélula Art & Gastronomy week. I was particularly keen on seeing the dragonfly (libélula) sculpture by Chiqui Díaz, as I have always loved his caracol on calle Puente & Pellón. I was also impressed by his Tío Pepe sculpture, which won a competition to grace the Rotunda Tío Pepe in Jerez. So imagine how thrilled I was when it turned out that not only was the dragonfly going to be on display, but Chiqui was going to assemble it right then and there. So I got into a “front row” position and proceeded to watch the show. I am totally in love with this sculpture and think it would look amazing on my rooftop terrace.
This evening at 8.00 pm Art & Gastronomy week will begin at La Libélula, Sevilla’s first multi-functional art-fashion-decor-gourmet-lifestyle space. It promises to be a great opportunity to see the best works of artists Christopher Donaire, Barea Balcris and sculptor Chiqui Díaz (looking forward to seeing his dragonfly – libélula – sculpture), as well as enjoying a wide array of gourmet food and wines.
Throughout the week there will be various tastings: wine, cheese, olive oil, gin & tonic and coffee. Check the poster above for tasting times and prices. There is limited space available so if you’d like to attend you can reserve your place by email: email@example.com