Journalist and producer based in Spain working for UK press. My focus here is safe travel and tourism in Spain. I also cover current affairs, business, architecture and rural regeneration, and work / have worked for The Guardian, BBC, FT, The Times, Conde Nast Traveller, Business Life, Reader's Digest, Evening Standard.
Ecija (A4 from Seville to Cordoba), and Marchena and Osuna (A92 from Seville to Malaga / Granada) are long weekend destinations in La Campiña de Sevilla (see my Guardian piece for more), but if you are only passing through at least stop for lunch. Along with Arahal (also off the A92) each has a place serving food that makes you happy.
Casa Machin, Ecija
Elegant dining rooms, best to eat in the muted light of the bar. Starched tablecloths, formal service – with confident recommendations, good wine list, and a menu including deceptively simple large tapas done well e.g espinacas labradas (soft scoops of creamy spinach mixed with fried bread, cumin, garlic), salmorejo, and flaky cod on a slice of buffalo tomato. www.casamachin.es, C/Galindo,4.
Dark wood bar and high tables at the front, dining rooms at the back. Orders for any of the 200 tapas listed on blackboards are shouted through the hatch and slapped hot, fresh in minutes. Fantastically diverse and exotic – huevos de cordoniz y jamón iberico, rosada al cava con pinoñes y pasas, foie de pato trufado con gelatina de oporto y semilla de amapola, pork cheek in sweet and sticky Pedro Ximenez sherry, wild boar – to be washed down with plenty of good, affordable wine. https://www.facebook.com/restaurantecasacurro, Plaza Salitre,5
Opposite the Museo de Torre, this pleasingly dark, old-fashioned bar and tiled dining room is packed with families at weekends. It’s a place to induce gratitude and joy. Have sweet crunchy ensalada de broccoli, flakey hake in caramelised onion and homemade tarta de canela. https://restaurante-casa-carrillo.business.site, C/ Las Torres,39
Currently open weekends only, Luis Portillo has returned home after working in Michelin-starred restaurants to pioneer gastronomia alta, and while the setting is plain (there’s outdoor seating) a better, more imaginative set menu of carefully created dishes at a lower price is not to be found. Plenty of fish, and wines from local bodegas. http://elpulpejo.es/arahal/ C/Chiclana,13