Beautiful SevillePosted on: 04 November 2019 by mars webb
A weekend away with old friends in Seville that I booked ages ago in the January British Airways sale ended up being a foodie extravaganza.
We weren’t as organised as we normally are on this break, little researching ahead took place apart from looking at tapas bars. Our friends are also big foodies and there is no better destination than Seville, which is the birthplace of tapas. What is wonderful about this city is that you can literally just graze your way around and find the most amazing little tapas bars to sit and enjoy and the cost of food is very reasonable.
Plentiful in Seville but if planning to go from April to September it is hot so, if budget is available, I’d definitely book somewhere with a pool to chill out in the afternoon. We stayed at the The Meliá Seville,which we booked via BA. I’ve stayed in a few of these in Spain and they are excellent. We were very centrally located opposite Parque de Mª Luisa and Plaza España and near the University (Old Tobacco Factory). The rooms were elegant and simple but with everything needed apart from a kettle, which I did ask for, as I do love making a cuppa. The breakfasts were excellent value with a huge buffet and chefs on hand to cook fresh food. The swimming pool was beautiful, with a poolside bar and stunning views overlooking the Plaza España, which I can’t believe we didn’t go and visit.
Image by Adam Hill from Pixabay
By pure chance, we found the most amazing tour and tour guide outside the Alcázar in Plaza del Triunfo. The Alcázar is Seville’s UNESCO-listed palace and every corner of it is worth exploring. It really is amazing and has evolved right through different stages from the late 11th century to the present day.
It’s divided into sections dating from a succession of eras: Moorish(11th-12th century),Gothic(13th century), Mudejar (14th century), and Renaissance (15th-16th century). The Patio de las Doncellas courtyard, with its beautiful tiled plinths, the Mudejar Palace, the Salón del Almirante (Admiral’s Hall) and the Patio de las Doncellas (Patio of the Maidens) which is surrounded by beautiful arches, plasterwork and tiling. The Moorish tiling was truly wonderful, and I think I took hundreds of pictures of these.
We finished the tour in the stunning formal gardens with pools and fountains and there’s the Jardín de la Danza (Garden of the Dance) which is a passage that runs beneath the Salones de Carlos V to the photogenic Baños de Doña María de Padilla (María de Padilla Baths). These are the vaults beneath the Patio del Crucero – originally the patio’s lower level – with a grotto that replaced the patio’s original pool.
This is a must see if going to Seville. Allow yourself a half day to really enjoy it and I would definitely book a tour guide before, we were just lucky.
Seville is compact and super walkable, so you don’t have to worry about public transport. Wide, sweeping streets graced with Moorish/Arabian and Gothic architecture there is much to feast your eyes on.
A true tapas haven
It’s hard to find bad tapas in this city. The first night we had no idea where to eat so headed out on foot and found ourselves in Puerta de la Carne and literally ate our way around. We stopped along the way to sample a few dishes of Espinacas con Garbanzos (Spinach and Chickpeas) and some fabulous Iberian ham, squid, plus a media ración or ración, which are just larger plate sizes than a tapas and, of course, we enjoyed a few glasses of the local wines along the way.
Some foodie hotspots were the wonderful Triana Market, an indoor market where the guys at JAMONERÍA José L. Romero took time to talk us through all the different Iberian cured meats and we sat savouring the delicious locals wines, cheeses and hams.
The market is in the Triana area, which is the former Gypsy quarter that sits across the Guadalquivir river from the city’s main tourist attractions, and is well worth wandering around if you like ceramics. I found some lovely old shops to visit.
Across the river from Triana is the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla, it’s the grand royal bullring dating to 1761, still used for bullfights, and a museum of bullfighting art if you like that sort of thing. Beautiful looking building.
La Flor de Toranzo (Calle Jimios, 1, 41001 Sevilla, Spain) just by Seville’s Cathedral is a must to try with unusual and surprising tapas dishes. On one of the nights we strolled along Calle Pureza in the Triano area and spent hours stopping and eating at various tapas bars along the way.
Casa Morale is an old restaurant and we sat in the back with the locals and the massive terracotta wine urns. Fabulous salt cod with salmorejo, tortilla de patatas, paella that was fabulous - this place as a big favourite and the staff were wonderful. Perfect stop on our “tapeo” tour of Seville.
On our last night, we went to Torres y Garcia which has a Michelin Bib Gourmand and it was exquisite, the menu was wonderful - the zucchini papaya salad bursting with flavours and the burrata and eggplant, was sensational as was the lamb. Relaxed, trendy interior, it definitely deserves its Bib. Great wines and staff were excellent. Loved it and it wasn’t over-priced for the quality of the food.
Santa Cruz is a delightful area to wander around it’s the old Jewish Neighbourhood and is really colourful but is quite busy with tourists. The narrow, cobbled streets and romantic squares are wonderful to sit in and again there’s a maze of little tapas bars and a great vibe at night to sit and watch the world go by.
Looking back now at the weekend in Seville, I realise we spent the whole weekend eating our way around the city and I haven’t actually seen that much. For foodie lovers it has a fabulous gourmet scene.
Charming squares, tranquil parks, the city feels very spacious and grand. Loved the medieval lanes, Gothic Cathedrals. This is a truly magnificent city to explore and with only two days I felt we hardly seen it. Definitely one to go back and visit.
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