Architecture in the Parque de María Luisa in Seville.

Greetings from Seville

Architecture in the Parque de María Luisa in Seville.

The Andalusian city of Seville is steeped in rich history and tradition. It was once the opulent capital of Moorish dynasties whose mark you can see everywhere especially in magnificent architectural accomplishments like the Royal Alcazar.

This is a city where the sun never sleeps, it is a city of intense heat, with passion and emotion running through its veins. The people, the food, the sun, the way of life are all too inviting here so I am excited to share some of my personal recommendations with you.

Food at the bar in Es Salva restaurant in Seville.

Eslava and Flores Gourmet

As always, I will start with the food. There are an abundance of bars and restaurants in Seville serving incredible tapa and beautiful wine. One of the best places I found was a tiny restaurant called Eslava where tradition and innovation seamlessly intersect. Modern in décor with options to eat at the bar or on a small table inside. The restaurant is so popular that there are ques almost every night for this place.

The concept is simple, dishes are made from top quality and locally sourced ingredients. Every tapa I had was amazing. I’ll start with the cigar, this is a smooth bechamel with squid ink, cuttlefish and algae wrapped in pastry. Next, I’ll take the Rosemary honey ribs so tender that they literally melt in your mouth. Then I’ll take a Carrillada, Iberian lean pork traditionally stewed. I’m still hungry so I’ll have a zucchini shallot, a pudding made with layered zucchini, vegetables, and a thin sheet of cheese. I’ll wash each course down with a glass of wine from the fabulous wine list. In a city of tradition Eslava stands out from the crowd, established for more than 30 years it has passed the test of time. You must try this place. You won’t regret it.

Another place I love is Flores Gourmet. This is a delicatessen with a few seats outside to dine. The produce they sell is fresh, organic, and genuine. There is a great selection of Iberian ham and cheeses, and everything is high quality. There are lots of good tapa options on the menu, the pork ragu is sensational.

Croissant in Campana cafe in Seville.

La Campana

The next place you will find me probably every day is La Campana a traditional style café founded in 1885 and located in the heart of the old town. This place has master pastry chefs creating with pure love and devotion to their craft. In the morning I like to take coffee here, it’s really good. I’ll have a light snack perhaps a sugar glazed croissant which strangely resembles a chicken in shape and a glass of freshly squeezed Seville orange juice.

The interior and exterior are exquisite, there is a ticketing system in place and the service is friendly. This is a spot where you’ll see locals taking the weight of their feet with a beverage at the bar and enjoying a catch up with the staff. Everyone knows each other and their extended families here, it is great for people watching. Finally, you must also try the preserved and candied fruits that they sell, they have an incredible range and are irresistible.

My last food recommendation, ham sandwiches. To be more specific an Iberian acorn fed ham in toasted bread with a light layer of olive oil with or without chopped tomato. This is a staple snack for me when in Seville and there are lots of places you can find these. The simplicity of the sandwich relies on the quality of its components, and when it’s good it’s very, very, good.

Painting of Flamenco dancer - Baile por bulerías, por José García Ramos. 1884.

Painting: José García Ramos. Baile por Bulerías. 1884.

Museo del Baile Flamenco

Whilst in Seville you must experience live flamenco. A great place to see it is at Museo del Baile Flamenco, where you’ll find daily shows from accomplished performers who will take your breath away.

Be prepared for spirited rhythmic sounds that will take you on a journey through raw emotional states and situations. Expect sweat, hand clapping, percussive footwork and meticulous hand movements that will bring musical stories to life in visual form.

At Museo Del Baile Flamenco your experience will be intimate, a small stage with benches close by you will feel the heat of the dancers, their dresses may sweep past you and the percussion will reverberate through your soul.

AIRE Ancient Baths Sevilla

If like me, you love traditional thermal baths and happen to be in the Santa Cruz area (where you will also find the flamenco museum) I recommend visiting AIRE Ancient Baths Sevilla. This is a Mudéjar style place where you can restore and rejuvenate by candlelight. There are thermal baths and a salt flotation pool, where you can lie back, relax, and lose yourself for a while.

Large pot in the courtyard of Museo Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija in Seville.

Museo Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija

My next recommendation is Museo Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija this is a historical house full to with brim with antiquities. When the house was established, it was divided into two separate residencies: one for winter on the upper floor and one for summer downstairs. Although the house dates back to the 16th century it came to be what it is today when it was purchased and lovingly restored by the Countess of Lebrija who filled it with artistic treasures. In the house you will find an astounding collection of Roman mosaics and archaeological artefacts from various periods and cultures.

Alcázar of Seville.

The Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo

An art gallery that is well worth checking out is The Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, established in 1990 this gallery not only showcases an impressive permanent collection, it is also an institution for research and has a programme of lectures, events, workshops and film screenings. The Cartuja Monastery is the headquarters of this gallery so whilst you are there you should also check out the historical grounds. These include an atrium and chapels of Santa Catalina, San Bruno, Santa Ana, Profundis and La Magdalena, priory cell, church, cloisters, gardens, and orchard.

Lemon and orange trees in the Parque de María Luisa in Seville.

Parque de María Luisa

My last recommendation is the beautiful Parque de María Luisa. This is a stunningly beautiful sprawling public park stretching along the Guadalquivir River. In the park expect to see the impressive gardens of Palacio de San Telmo, tiled fountains, exquisite pavilions, decorative flower beds and lush Mediterranean pines. It is a great place to escape to if you want to eat a picnic, draw, read or just take time to relax.

Crimson Rose Ibiza silk scarf featuring drawing of flamenco dancer in the Parque de María Luisa in Seville by Crimson Rose O'Shea.

The Greetings from Seville scarf

Bright and vibrant in colour the design reflects a kaleidoscopic scene that is saturated by the sun. Oranges appear like polka dots decorating the sky complementing and contrasting intense azure. Palm trees and foliage add texture to the scene which is set in Parque de María Luisa. A flamenco dancer strolls through the gardens in the early evening cooling herself with a fan. In the evening Seville comes to life through sights, sounds, aromas of culinary delights and intense anticipation of what the night may hold.

I hope this has inspired you to travel to Seville to experience it for yourself.

Crimson Rose. xx

Shop the Greetings from Seville pocket scarf.