a fleeting visit to our house in spain as we are having some renovations done – which has resulted in part of our house having no roof; so we booked ourselves into the califa hotel, only to discover that due to a misunderstanding, we actually only had 2 nights and not the intended 3 nights! between visits to tile and bathroom shops, we managed to eat well in our favourite el campero, in barbate and la fontanilla. it happened to be carnaval – so you could spy people dressed in black with splashes of shocking pink and yellow – apparently its a major event in cadiz. carnaval is literally ‘goodbye to meat’ and announces the start of lent – a time of abstinence – an excuse to party.
resolving neighbourly disputes is an expensive business as well as stressful, but it appears that no matter what legal papers you possess, if a neighbour dislikes your plan or claims that you have damaged his property, you have to stop work and officially sort it out. after a lot of meetings, hopefully our roof will continue to be replaced.
as a result of being homeless and hotel – less, we decided to stay the night in seville. we opted for hotel palace villapanes – a more modern style palacio, rather than our usual choice of casas de la juderia. the rooms and facilities are more efficient, but for one night its perfect and we fancied a change.
we taper -ed our way around the beautiful streets of seville, noting some new recommendations – we ate extremely well, starting off in the traditional bodega gongora with spinach and chickpeas, to tempura in the modern Albarama and Ovejas Negras. we finished with the renowned ‘jamon’ in 5J, in the buzzing district of Arenal. pace yourself and just eat one or two dishes in each place – nobody minds – its what seville is about. if you avoid the immediate restaurants and bars around the cathedral, you will eat with the locals rather than with the tourists. the fried fish in freiduria el arenal looking appetising, but we were too stuffed to eat any more.
a bit further away, el rinconcillo is a must see bar with its original interior from 1670, its what makes seville so special – traditional and historical bars sitting side by side amongst modernity. i visited the bellas artes museum for the first time – the 17C paintings by Murillo and Zurbaran are plentiful and stunning – but its the highly ornate building with its numerous courtyard gardens that makes your visit a must.
lunch on sunday was again a new recommendation – casa manolo leon, a short walk from the buzzing residential square of alameida hercules. the restaurant is ore like a house with several rooms housing tables and a garden for the warmer months. the food was a perfect mix of traditional and modern, super delicious and very attentive staff.
make sure you don comfy shoes – seville is a city for walking, eating and getting lost……
www.andalucia-house-vejer available to rent from may2016