III Feria del Pan, Aceite & la Aceituna

This weekend you can pop over to the lovely Patio de la Diputación in Sevilla to sample the best of olive oils, olives and bread and learn about their production at the III Feria del Pan, Aceite y La Aceituna.

Patio de la Diputación
Menéndez Pelayo 32
May 19th – 21st
Friday 15.00 – 20.00
Saturday 11.00 – 14.30 / 16.00 – 20.00
Sunday 11.00 – 18.00

Sevilla Feria 2016

feria sevilla 2016 (1)

Some scenes from the Feria de Abril in Sevilla. The portada this year was a “Homage to Dance” and the winning design, by Eduardo Morón Espinosa, was inspired by the Argentinian Pavilion for the 1929 Spanish American Exhibition, now the Antonio Ruiz Soler Conservatory of Professional Dance.

I was invited to have lunch one afternoon at the private (and massive) City Hall caseta, so I went along with my friend and colleague Aldara Arias de Saavedra from We Love Tapas and we were shown a fabulous time by Diego Torres, editor of Sevilla Selecta magazine, who was in charge of coordinating all the food for the event. Afterwards we took a stroll around the grounds. It was a lovely sunny afternoon but heavy rains earlier in the week had taken its toll and the thousands of colourful paper lanterns that typically cover the lights had literally been washed away. There are rumours that next year the feria may start on Saturday (instead of the traditional Monday at midnight opening) and last for ten days. We shall see…

feria sevilla 2016 (4)arriving at the feria

feria sevilla 2016 (6)flamenco in the Ayuntamiento caseta

feria sevilla 2016 (9)cold manzanilla served in a chilled metal teapot

feria sevilla 2016 (10)this year’s spring fiestas poster

feria sevilla 2016 (8)Andalusian products

feria sevilla 2016 (7)Inés Rosales for dessert

feria sevilla 2016 (22)Aldara

feria sevilla 2016 (5)Diego and Aldara

feria sevilla 2016 (19)lovely head scarf on this lovely amazona

feria sevilla 2016 (18)chatting each other up

feria sevilla 2016 (23)We Love Tapas chicas Ania and Aldara

feria sevilla 2016 (15)washed away paper lanterns

feria sevilla 2016 (24)feria shoes…

feria sevilla 2016 (29)kids playing outside a caseta

feria sevilla 2016 (17)two young girls singing sevillanas

feria sevilla 2016 (21)beautiful colours

feria sevilla 2016 (14)horse whisperer

feria sevilla 2016 (13)carriage ride

feria sevilla 2016 (12)hombres

feria sevilla 2016 (11)taking a break

feria sevilla 2016 (28)big and little

feria sevilla 2016 (27)amazona

feria sevilla 2016 (26)chicas!

feria sevilla 2016 (20)inside a public caseta

feria sevilla 2016 (16)late afternoon shadows

feria sevilla 2016 (25)the wheel – would’ve gone up but it was way too speedy

Feria de Abril Sevilla

Feria Portada 2016

portada 2016
La Feria de Abril, or April Fair, is Sevilla’s annual party to welcome the spring. This year it runs from April 12 to 17 (the alumbrao, or switching on of the lights, is at midnight on April 11), and for a week the fairground will be abuzz with people, horses and carriages, and the sound of flamenco.

Entrance to the fairground is through a specially constructed gateway, called the Portada, which is rebuilt every year with a different theme. This year’s theme is “Homage to Dance” and the winning design, by Eduardo Morón Espinosa, was inspired by the Argentinian Pavilion for the 1929 Spanish American Exhibition, which is now the Antonio Ruiz Soler Conservatory of Professional Dance, and can be found in the Paseo de las Delicias.

The design also includes two commemorative plaques, one to each side of the central gateway. To the left is one for the 4th centenary of the death of Miguel Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote. To the right is celebrated the 750th anniversary of the parish church of Santa Ana in Triana.

Feria de Abril 2016
April 12 – 17

Pre-Feria at Taberna del Alabardero

pre feria 2016

If you can’t wait for the Feria de Abril to start (this year it runs from the 12-17th) you can whet your appetite at Taberna del Alabardero, which is hosting is first ever Pre-Feria event. The gorgeous Salón del Magnolio has been decked out with colourful paper lanterns and banners and will be offering feria-style lunches (13.00 – 16.30) and dinners (20.00 – 23.30) until next Sunday the 10th. There will be live music and typical feria food (tortillas, fried fish, Ibérico meats) will be freshly made-to-order in the “caseta’s” pop-up kitchen, which will also be preparing various paellas during mealtimes. To encourage a proper feria “ambiente” a dinner for two will be awarded to one of the couples that come dressed in vestido de gitana and traje corte.

pre feria

Pre-Feria en el Magnolio
April 6 – 10
Taberna del Alabardero
Zaragoza 20
Tel. 954 50 27 21

ll Feria de Vinos & Ibéricos

feria vinos
The second Feria de Vinos & Ibéricos takes place this weekend in the patio of the Diputación de Sevilla. It’s a great way to sample the gastronomic delights of the province. And entrance is free!

Diputación de Sevilla
Avenida Menendez Pelayo 32
March 4 – 6
Friday 15.00 – 20.00
Saturday 11.00 – 14.30 / 18.00 – 20.00
Sunday 11.00 – 18.00

A Day at the Fair

feria 2015 (1)portada

feria 2015 (10)bubbles

feria 2015 (9)striking a pose

feria 2015 (6)elegant amazonas

feria 2015 (5)amazonas sharing lipstick

feria 2015 (4)thirsty work being an amazona

feria 2015 (3)mutual respect

feria 2015 (8)standing having a cold beer (while others had VIP seating)

feria 2015 (7)deceptively benign looking ride

feria 2015 (2)la noria

photos from my azahar Instagram account

Tío Pepe en Rama 2015

tio pepe en rama 2015[click on image to enlarge]

Three blog posts in a row about sherry! After starting last week with the Manzanilla 50 Years celebration at Hotel Alfonso XIII and then the Feria de Vinos Generosos at Voraz, this week it was the presentation of the 6th release of Tío Pepe en Rama (Bodegas Gonzáles Byass), held at the gorgeous Casa Guardiola.

Tío Pepe en Rama is a limited edition unfiltered/unstabalised fino chosen each year by master wineblender Antonio Flores @Hacedordevinos (AKA the winemaker poet) from two of the oldest Tío Pepe soleras, Rebollo and Constancia. Sixty casks made the final selection (from the 600 initially chosen by Flores last October) and were bottled on April 13th. This is the fourth time Sevilla has had the honour of being selected as the site for the first presentation of this unique wine, fittingly each time on the Monday of the April Feria.

We were treated to a special tasting by Antonio Flores in which three sherries were paired with flamenco: Tío Pepe en Rama with Bulerías de Jerez, AB Amontillado with Alegría de Cádiz, and Del Duque 30 year old VORS amontillado fino (“Tío Pepe grown up”) with Sevillanos [short Instagram video here]. It was a delight to be taken through the different ages of Tío Pepe (amontillados begin life as fino or manzanilla), though of course the star of the show was the youngest member of the family. Flores calls Tío Pepe “bottled Andalusian sunshine” and the en ramas allow people to enjoy a “straight out of the cask” sherry experience. This year’s edition has more nutty and yeasty aromas than the usual Tío Pepe. Fresh, citrusy and saline, it’s excellent with salty foods like almonds, olives, oily and smoked fish. Oh, and Bulerías.

Sevilla Feria 2014

feria sevilla 2014 (1)Looks like this is as close as I’m going to get to Feria this year. Slow-healing feet and ankles from my spectacular fall during Semana Santa has kept me less than mobile, including not being able to do all of my Sevilla Tapas Tours. But I did take out a tour last night and on the way home spotted the usual parked horses in the centre of town. It’s kind of a tradition that people trot over from the fair grounds and have tapas and drinks at Las Columnas in Barrio Santa Cruz – I used to live across the street and saw this every year. I also saw a group parked outside a bar in Cuesta del Rosario. Really it’s a long way to go just to show off, when you think about it…

feria sevilla 2014 (2)cold beer on a hot night… with horses

feria sevilla 2014 (3)parking Sevillano style

feria sevilla 2014 (4)

iPhone photos from my Instagram account

Ruta de la Tapa – Zona Calle Feria


ruta de tapa calle feria

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

Feria de la Manzanilla (in Sevilla)

feria de la manzanilla
The plan for yesterday was to take the bus to Sanlúcar de Barrameda to visit their Feria de la Manzanilla for the first time. Unfortunately the bus service to Sanlúcar was less than feriante friendly with one bus at 10 am and the next not until 2 pm and when I mentioned this on Twitter my friend and sherry expert Annie Manson said that, knowing me, I’d end up creating my own Feria de la Manzanilla here. So that’s what I did.  🙂

Sanlúcar de Barrameda is located at the mouth of the Guadalquivir river where it meets the Altantic and, along with Jerez and El Puerto de Santa María, forms the famous Sherry Triangle in the Cádiz province. It is also home to the oldest horse races in Spain, which take place just before sunset along the beach during the month of August. Another Sanlúcar event I have yet to witness. But I digress…

My companion yesterday was Peter Tatford Seville Concierge and at one stop Eduardo Blanco Different Spain also briefly joined us. Since my idea was to recreate being in Sanlúcar the obvious place to start was Restaurante Barbiana which not only features wines and seafood from there but also makes the best tortillitas de camarones I’ve ever had outside Sanlúcar. We started with a nice plate of jamón Ibérico de Bellota paired with a manzanilla fina from Bodegas Barbiana, served at a perfectly chilled 1ºC. For our tortillita I chose an amontillado to go with it which worked very nicely.

Then we went on to La Moneda, which was where we ment up with Eduardo. There we tried two different manzanillas (Solear and La Gitana) with fried salmonetes (which I was told came from Sanlúcar) and a very nice soupy rice with gambas, clams and monkfish.

For our third stop we taxied over to Taberna Chani in Nervión to try their manzanilla en rama from Bodegas Baron, which we paired with fabulous fried boquerones (also from Sanlúcar) and some grilled Almadraba tuna cheeks.

And then we were done. I have to say that although the food and wine were all very pleasant the whole Feria de la Manzanilla in Sevilla thing didn’t feel as successful as my recent impromptu World Sherry Day event because I didn’t feel like I’d actually learned anything new. Although I asked lots of questions about the different wines, and about which foods they would go best with, the response at these bars wasn’t as friendly or enthusiastic as I found last week. I mean, I know you can get palo cortado from Sanlúcar, and also some good dessert wines, but these weren’t suggested to me even though I’d told everyone I was trying to learn more about Sanlúcar wines. Bit of a shame, but ah well…