I was never in doubt that I would instantly warm to Seville, but the fact that it was actually warm in December and January made me fall for it even more. Those heading there in the height of summer best be prepared for some serious siesta time as the temperatures can soar into the 40s, so I would suggest that if you can, save your Seville sojourn for autumn or winter. At this time of year, the famous Seville orange trees are still laden with fruit, and while the mornings and evenings are a little chilly, the afternoons are often bathed in sunshine – perfect for sightseeing and tapas bar hopping!
However, weather warnings aside, I would whole-heartedly encourage everyone to visit Seville, whenever they can because the city is quite a looker and brimming with a sparkling personality. The city’s star attractions do not disappoint; the Cathedral is rather breath-taking, Plaza Espana is as grand as they come, the Real Alcazar is probably one of the most stunning sites I’ve visited to date, and even the divisive Metropol Parasol has a certain charm and appeal.
All this recent sunshine might have gone to my head, but I am going to be exceptionally bold and announce that the prosecco party has peaked and this summer, we should be sipping on cava instead! I think this Spanish bubbly tastes better than prosecco, is more akin to champagne, but (and here’s the sneaky little bonus) is generally more affordable than both! In Catalonia, the home of cava, it’s absolutely acceptable to pop open a bottle at any time of the day, and for no reason other than the fact you’re thirsty. It’s an ethos I can get on board with, and totally did on a recent trip to Barcelona – there was cava at breakfast, a sneaky glass or two in the afternoon, and a few more with dinner!
But Barcelona is not the only place where you can indulge in this cava-filled lifestyle… we Londoners can now raise a glass of the Spanish bubbly at the new Anna de Codorniu Terrace on the Thames. Doubletree by Hilton London Docklands have given their terrace an Anna-makeover – casual and comfortable seating, light and airy atmosphere, plenty of Anna cava on hand! When we found ourselves there on a beautifully balmy evening, we immediately felt like we were far, far from the hectic pace of the city, even though it was just a short ferry ride from Canary Wharf!
A certain someone once proclaimed that dining ‘tapas style’ was his favourite way of eating. This might be controversial as I know the small plates ethos isn’t for everyone but I would happily agree with him here. It’s absolutely perfect for someone like me who suffers from incredible plate envy, has major menu indecision, and quite frankly, sometimes just wants to order everything. With tapas, you technically can… if money was no object. That’s really the only downside to this wonderful way of eating, get too carried away and sometimes the bill can sting you!
So to save you from diners regret and tapas induced crimes against your bank balance, I’ve got three places where you should splash your cash for small plates of goodness. Of course, London is loaded with Spanish tapas restaurants but here are a couple of my favourites…