SORREL DOWNER

Journalist, film producer, and media consultant, mixing it up for TV, online, newspapers and magazines. I cover travel & tourism, lifestyle, and design. Mainly. This is the HQ for previous work, and an introduction to current projects. I work all over the world and live on a farm in Cadiz which I write about at www.somewheresville.org.

WHEN IN SEVILLE

Far too much to recommend in beautiful Seville. I could have filled double the space in The Guardian City Guide. Start there, but here are four more top places.

Las Casas de la Judería

Screen shot 2017-04-08 at 16.08.13Ambling through the old Jewish quarter is an essential part of the Seville experience. You can do that without leaving this extraordinary and unique property in the heart of Santa Cruz, described by the owners as a ‘3D collage’ encompassing 27 houses (from the 15th to 18th centuries), medieval flagstone streets, and 40 courtyards filled with so many palms, vines and flowers it takes two full days to water them. Meticulously restored, with fountains and arches, Roman remains, millstones, art, tiled panels and antiques at every turn (and there are many) it’s like a museum or a film set with beds, but there’s also a spa in there, as well as friendly staff, contented dozing guests, a Piano Bar with gleaming wooden floors and sometimes a pianist, and a roof top pool with bar (May-Oct) from which to view the Giralda.
Plaza Santa Maria la Blanca, 3; T+34 954 415 150; lascasasdelajuderiasevilla.com; doubles from €80 B&B

Restaurant Maria Luisa, Hotel Mercer Sevilla

Screen shot 2017-04-09 at 21.16.45
A unique dining concept that, as a bonus, offers an opportunity to see inside the seriously swanky and newly opened Mercer Sevilla. The idea is you choose a minimum of two courses (one being dessert) which are then proceeded by a succession of 10 appetisers (oysters, salmorejo, pickled carrot) served in the bar, each one amusing or surprising and presented on an endlessly imaginative array of objects, culminating in a pair of molletes de pringa (ground chicken, beef, black pudding sunk into a doughy mini roll) perched on a fleur de lis. Obviously, this is a tough act to follow. Phase two, the meal proper, served in the small, expensively elegant restaurant is a bit of a serious business, although young local chef Rafael Liñán’s food (bass, bream, lamb, lobster to share) is seriously good. Phase three of the moveable feast takes you back out to the central courtyard for petit fours served on a mini replica of the burbling fountain where you can look up to the balconies and wonder what the 12 – just 12 – rooms are like. Sashaying through to the NY style Fizz bar afterwards is not part of the programme but recommended.
C/ Castelar 26, Weds to Sun 7:30pm – 11pm. Menu prices according to the number of courses chosen, followed by price: 2 – 36€, 3 – 45€, 4-54€ 5-63€, 6-72€.

Red House Art + Food

Big, friendly cafe with a satisfying youthful and artsy, verging on hipster, grunginess. They offer an extensive menu of juices (as well as craft beers), good-looking cakes, and fat bagels. The space is filled with benches and shared tables fashioned from recycled materials, some plain old ugly old armchairs and sofas, plants, backlit retro signs, curios, ingenious lighting – and people, because it’s popular. And rightly so. Live events include book and beer launches, live music and fashion shows –most recently featuring flamenco vintage fusion. Very Seville.
C/Amor de Dios, 7; T +34 954 38 88 10; facebook.com/RedHouseArtFood Open Sat 1pm-1am; Sun-Mon 3.30pm-10pm, Tues-Thurs 11.30am – 12am, Fri 11.30-1pm

Heladería Freskura

Screen shot 2017-04-08 at 21.51.48Seville is blessed with many ice cream shops, but this Italian one is special. Ice creams are homemade, light and fresh with plenty of sorbets, and classy flavours (try the grapefruit and ginger) as well as gluten-free, lactose and sugar-free options. It’s also super friendly and unusually relaxed, and just off the Alameda, a place designed for eating ice creams while people-watching.
C/Vulcano 4

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This entry was posted on April 9, 2017 by in Spain, Travel and tagged , , , , , .

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