Tapas in Seville (Sevilla, Spain)

After our three days of adventures in Madrid we packed our bags hopped on the train and made our way south to Sevilla.

Sevilla was all that I imagined it to be and more: bursting with color and antique charm, beautiful historic buildings, endless rays of sun and flamenco. The Alcazar Palace Complex is a stunning collage of architectural styles and beautiful green gardens took our breathe away and the Cathedral was impressive you with its beauty and its status as the burial site of Christopher Columbus. We spent our days touring the town on foot and nights eating tapas in only a few of the more than 4000 tapas bars in town.  On the first day that we visited the town  we ended our walk at the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza. Around the corner from the Plaza de Toros we found a restaurant called Baratillo dedicated to the art of bull fighting and decided to give it a try.




Bull heads lined the walls and locals and tourists alike crowded the room. As a newbie to the art of tapas we werent too sure of our selections but there was one thing that I discovered while in Sevilla which was so delicious that I ended up having three servings per day.I wish I remembered the name but only have the photos to remind me of the taste. Fries served with a meat stew and gravy. Very simple but simply  delicious.





The dish called Broken Egg or Huevos Rotos  is quite popular all around Spain consists of fried eggs, fried potatoes and pieces of Iberico ham. It is simply delicious and made it to our list of orders on every occasion.



The house special- the Berenjenas Baratillo was to die for. Not sure what the sauce that covered the thinly sliced eggplant dish consisted of but whatever it was- it was so delicious we had to order more.










Baratillo restaurant is located at: Calle Adriano, 20, 41001 Seville, Spain, El Arenal


Continue Reading

Tapas at Casa Lucas (Madrid, Spain)

The hip neighborhood of La Latina is covered with bars, restaurants and tapas bars. One tourist friendly tapas bar that should not be missed is Casa Lucas. A cozy, sleek tavern offering a range of wine and innovative yet traditional tapas. On our quick stop we ordered in broken Spanglish the fried calamaris, served whole and chopped up bar-side and generously covered in black squid ink. Fresh, tasty and delicious.


2-P1010582 3-P1010583

4-P1010587 5-P1010588


Casa Lucas is located at: Cava Baja, 30  28005 Madrid, Spain, +34 913 65 08 04


Continue Reading

Tapas at Quimet y Quimet in Barcelona (Spain)

Barcelona is filled with tapas bars, wine bars and restaurants making it extremely hard for those of us incapable of making decisions when provided with too many choices. After a long day of exploring the magnificent works of Gaudi it was quite tempting to stop at one of the many places along our walk. But I needed to check out one of the most famous yet hidden tapas gems in Barcelona, Quimet y Quimet.



And so we walked through many neighborhoods, across the red light district, into the North African district with halal shops and finally made it to Quimet y Quimet in the El Poble Sec only to find that it was closed. Shocked and horrified as only the Hungry Nomad can be when placed in a state of extreme hunger, I was not sure what to do. The restaurant would open in an hour and we had come too far to turn back. And so we waited…waited…and waited until the tiny little bar finally opened its doors.


Once open the place was packed within 10 minutes.  Super models, tourists and locals all swarmed the place and yelled orders to the man and wife duo at the bar. We were one of the first ones there so we had bar side spots making it quite easy to point and order in a shop where Catalan language is strictly abided by.


We drank and looked around to get inspiration on what to order. A lot of finger pointing was done but the gentle man at the bar understood each and every order and spewed out open faced tapas that looked too good to eat. A piece of art waiting to be devoured.  The smoked salmon with Greek yogurt and truffled honey, which brought together  the milky fresh yogurt, the smoky salmon and sweet honey making it a contrast between savory and sweet and the Montado de pate with onion marmalade and balsamic drizzle are only a few of the innovative plates we tried that night. If you happen to make it to this tiny little gem your best bet is to point to the flavors you want and let the owners surprise you. You will not be disappointed.


08-_DSC0395 09-_DSC0396 10-_DSC0397 11-_DSC0398 13-_DSC0400 15-_DSC0402 17-_DSC0404 18-_DSC0405 19-_DSC040621-_DSC0409 23-_DSC0411 24-_DSC0413

Quimet y Quimet is locatd at: Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes 25, +34 93 442 3142. Open Mon-Fri noon-4pm, 7pm-10.30pm, Sat noon-4pm, closed August


Continue Reading

A Walk Through Moorish Granada (Andalusia, Spain)

Stepping off the train into the heart of Spain’s Moorish country was an all at once intoxicating feeling.  The dramatic setting of Granada in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada with its steep climbs and eclectic neighborhoods crowned by the mystical Alhambra Palace  makes it one of those places that takes your breath away at first sight.

The UNESCO Albaicin district rising steeply is covered with powder white houses and slender streets and turns filled with North African shops, tea houses and nargilleh bars.   Walk a little further past Albaicin and you will reach the most underrated but most interesting and picturesque neighborhoods in Granada, the Sacromonte. Sacromonte is located on the Valparaiso hill and is known for its gypsy population. Homes are set up in whitewashed caves cut into the mountain and still used as residences. At night the sounds of the spanish guitar and flamenco performers vibrate through the neighborhood.

Walk further and you will officially make the religious pilgrimage to the Abbey of Sacromonte and the College of Sacromonte founded in the 17th century.

For where to stay see my post on Hospes Palacio de Los Patos

19-P1020134 18-P1020128 17-P1020126 16-P1020101 15-P1020096 09-P1020068 11-P1020074 10-P1020069 12-P1020075 13-P1020084 14-P1020086 08-P1020067 07-P1020065 06-P1020063 05-P1020061 04-P1020059 03-P1020058 02-P1020057 01-P1020053

Continue Reading

A Foodie’s Guide to Tapas in Madrid (Spain)

Day 1: 

Madrid can be summed up in one word: energetic. As soon as we left our luggage at our hotel we were off to discover what was in store. Of course, we were more interested in food than anything else and after inquiring were told to walk to La Latina-  a neighborhood in Madrid known for its wine, innovative tapas bars and night life.  Also in the same area are many famous restaurants offering traditional Madrid fare.  On our way to La Latina we made a few pit stops to fill our empty stomachs and just because we couldnt resist all the seducing window  displays of cured legs of ham.  It was hard to focus and get to our destination without caving in and walking in to one of the many jamonerias and tapas bars.



We worked backwards. Our first stop was dessert. It looked so good it was hard to  resist this pastry shop on an empty stomach. This dessert shop has been around for centuries and is located in the west end of Plaja del Sol.  Two orange balls covered in sugar and a Napolitanas de Chocolate were quickly inhaled and we were off to our next destination.



Next while criss-crossinng through the streets while attempting to find our way to La Latina we arrived at Plaja del Mayor. A large pedestrian square, lined with restaurants and  is surrounded by three-story residential buildings having 237 breathtaking balconies facing the Plaza.  Sounds of foreign men selling annoying whistles and flying glows also covered the square (we were soon to realize that at each tourist filled square in each town and city in Europe we would again run into these men).


The square was so beautiful that we had to stop again. “But we haven’t reached La Latina” I complained to the Count. “Have you seen the inside of this place?” he said.  The place he was referring to was the Museo de Jamon, translated to the “Ham Museum”.  Seriously? A museum dedicated to ham? The place was covered with cured meats on walls and ceilings, slot machines and men carving legs of ham under bright lights.  A large crowd of tourists and locals filled the restaurant and filled every empty seat available on the outside facing the Plaza.  It was intoxicating. This was our first exposure to the ham obsessed Spaniard culture, one that both of us adapted to with ease and passion. And one that while I write this I wish was a daily part of my life.


We were seated facing the Plaja del Mayor and ordered a plate of jamon and a basket of bread served with two cervesaz. It was the perfect introduction to our Spanish adventure. But I was a woman  on a mission: destination La Latina for some world famous tapas!


We passed through one of the many arches of the square and walked a few more minutes down to Cuchilleros, crossed Segovia and continue on to Cava Baja, the main street famous for its tapas.  We first walked in to a jamon shop. The Count who at this point was only familiar with the Italian term ‘prosciutto’ was in Jamon-heaven. He even approached a salesman to ask whether he could ship a whole leg to America, sadly he was refused. “Lo Siento” said the Jamon man. That was the first Spanish phrase the Count leaned on our trip.



I was a kid in a candy store.  Well, more like a carnivore in a butcher shop. But you get the gist. A foodie’s paradise (and not your vegan or veggie foodie, but your meat-loving one). So many great places to choose from. But that was the thing. We had to choose one.  Based on recommendations we walked into Casa Lucas, a cozy, sleek tavern offering a range of wine and innovative yet traditional tapas. Here we got the fried calamaris, brought to us served whole and chopped up bar-side and mixed with the black squid ink. One word: amazing.

Casa Lucas is located at: Cava Baja, 30  28005 Madrid, Spain, +34 913 65 08 04



After our calamari dish and wine we walked down a bit further and had more Spanish wine.  I was floating on cloud 9, so happy and so in love with Madrid. We were the only foreigners in a sea of spaniards which made ordering somewhat of a challenge but I’ve found pointing to objects and using hand signals really work in these dire circumstances.


We spent the evening in La Latina, walking back late at night to our hotel located by Plaja del Sol. Except, it didn’t feel so late. Crowds of people roamed the streets and the squares were filled with performers (and those undesirable salesmen mentioned above).

Day 2: 

Our tapas adventures continued on the next evening starting off with the famous fried cod at Casa Labra. I had read about this place in travel guides but came about it quite randomly while taking a wrong turn off of Plaja del Sol. Cod an cod croquettes are the specialty served in a room that has remained almost untouched since the 19th century.  The crowds and the smell of fried cod made it hard to resist. We walked in and ordered from the friendly man at the counter. Beer and delicious, hot pieces  of fish were served to us at the standing bar.

Casa Labra is located at: Calle Tetuan 12, close to El Corte Ingles Store located in Sol

18-P1010694The night then turned into a sea of tapas when we made our way to Mercado de San Miguel. Crowds of hungry and thirsty people stormed the various tapas bars lining the glass walls of this foodie market. I felt right at home and ordered one dish from each and every merchant, making this foodie experience deserving of a post of its own.

Mercado de San Miguel is located at: Plaza de San Miguel,  (+34) 915 42 49 36

Continue Reading

A Feast for Your Eyes (and stomach) at Mercat de la Boqueria (Barcelona, Spain)

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria located off of Las Rambla is a 17th century marketplace housing everything from candy stands, butcher shops, fresh fish, fruits herbs and best of all tapas bars.  If you are looking for boundless supply of fruits, fish and even a sheep’s head with eyes in tact you will find it here at the Mercat de la Boqueria.

01-P102018609-P1020196 08-P1020194 07-P1020193 05-P1020190 04-P1020189 03-P1020188 02-P1020187 Dirección:
Rambla, 91 08001 Barcelona  Google Maps

93 318 25 84

Lunes a sábado: 8:00 – 20:30 h

Continue Reading

An Exceptional 5 Star Boutique Hotel- The Mercer Hotel (Barcelona, Spain)

If you want to experience true Gothic Barcelona in a luxurious, design-driven setting then Mercer Hotel is just the place for you.  Built in 2012 into the ancient Roman walls that once enclosed Barcelona, the Mercer Hotel is one of the most exceptional boutique hotels to hit town and is even listed as a historical monument.



Located at number 7 on Calle Lledó, the building incorporates part of the Roman walls of the ancient city of Barcino, some of which date back to the 1st century A.D. What’s more hotel guests have exclusive access to the medieval paintings of the 28th defence tower.  Another of the historical features of the hotel is the library on the ground floor. This part of the building has great historical significance in that it used to be on the sentry route between the 28th and 29th watchtowers of the Roman walls and features mediaeval frescoes uncovered during the renovation process.  This means you will absorb history and culture in your sleep!



Imagine Spanish meets Scandinavian. Not sure what that means? You will once you stay at the Mercer Hotel. Medieval columns and restored frescoes have been brought up to date by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo’s streamlining of old and new.  The glass courtyard, Scandinavian furniture and pale wood floors create a contemporary vibe.


The Rooms:

The guestrooms are spacious, and the beds are supersized not to mention the egyptian cotton sheets and down blankets which really made it hard to get up in the morning. Although sleekly minimal in style, each of the 28 rooms has its own special feature, such as Catalan vigas, exposed brickwork, a private terrace or a two-person bathtub. Luxe detailing abounds, from the touch-sensitive Finnish beechwood bedside lamps and deep-pile rugs to the Loewe products in the minimalist bathrooms.







The terrace is located on the fourth floor of the hotel, between the two watchtowers, from where you can pick out the dome of the Santa María del Mar church, the Basilica of San Just i Pastor and Barcelona’s Gothic Cathedral. Here you can take a refreshing dip in the pool,or enjoy a drink at the poolside bar. At dusk, the terrace opens to the public, providing a unique setting for enjoying a cocktail whilst taking in the unparalleled view over the most ancient rooftops of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter.

08-P102023406-P1020231 07-P1020232


The staff is exceptionally professional, courteous and friendly. Everyone from the doorman to the concierge were more than helpful, giving us insider tips on how to get around and where to go to dodge the crowds. The concierge was fluent in several languages and made sure that we were comfortable and had everything we needed everyday. He even went out of his way to get us into our room before check-in time. They upgraded us to one of the nicer suites without us even asking. Every evening we walked in to our room to find a little treat. The first night was a bottle of champagne and strawberries with a personal note from the staff. We really could not have asked for a better experience.

12-P1020241 13-P1020242 14-P1020243



The breakfast was served in the glass enclosed gallery in the middle of the hotel. While a table of cakes, cheeses and fruits was displayed in the middle, it was in no means a buffet style service. Each guest was asked to choose from the table along with anything else from the wide range of options on the menu.


More information:

The Mercer Hotel


Calle dels Lledó 7

08002 Barcelona (España)

Tel +34 93 310 74 80    Fax +34 93 310 23 87

Notes: This review was written for our stay in July 2012. 

Continue Reading

Chocolate Con Churros at San Gines (Madrid, Spain)

Madrid is a foodie haven. Especially more so for tapas loving foodies. While tapas hopping around the city it is an absolute must to finish off with some Chocolate Con Churros. Madridians have this sweet dessert usually after a long night out at the bars on their way home at dawn.  Tourists like me on the other hand seem to enjoy it after a nice meal (or endless tapas). he most popular place for this delicious treat is San Gines -one of the oldest churrerias in Madrid serving one and only one thing: chocolat con churros.   A warm crispy deep fried dough served with a cup of thick chocolate. The reason why this place is so special? The dough and cup of chocolate seem to have the perfect balance of sweetness. Not overly sweet but enough to leave you wanting more. The location is quiet hidden on the end of a side street yet with good directions and a sense of smell you will find your way there.


4-P10107222-P1010716 3-P1010717


San Gines is open everyday 24 hours

Pasadizo de San Ginés, 5 · 28013

Phone: +34 91 365 6546

Big Groups Booking Phone : +34 91 366 3733



Continue Reading

Hospes Palacio de los Patos in Granada, Spain

The Hospes palacio de los Patos was the perfect choice for our stay in Granada. The hotel is set in a 19th-century palace, 650 meters from the Granada Cathedral and steps away from one of the main shopping streets.   The UNESCO-protected building features a garden with Arabian-style fountains, spa and dining.

Location: The location is perfect. A 10 minute walk to the main square leading up to the Alhambra but along the main street which is lined with shops, restaurants and cafes. It is the perfect way to see a bit of Granada outside of the tourist trap shops and restaurants. A few minutes walk from the hotel is City Hall behind which  is one of the main tapas streets crowded with locals and tourists that have ventured far enough to enjoy some authentic food.

Hotel Decor: The hotel is split in to two separate buildings housing 42 beautifully decorated rooms. One is the restored mansion which is connected to a modern new wing through a garden and courtyard with pools and fountains. It is really nicely done and the architectural coherence between the buildings is impressive. Inside the mansion large central marble stairways led up to a very limited number of hotel rooms. Large doors opened into spacious bright entrance. The bedroom was separate from the bathroom and closet area. It was just perfect. The design is modern yet extremely elegant. The room had laundry and dry-cleaning service, free wireless Internet, flatscreen television, office area, coffee machine, complimentary coffee, tea and water. The hotel also has a spa and full dining area and bar in the new building and in the beautiful courtyard.

Service: Staff members went out of their way to make us feel at home and comfortable. They were all very nice yet not over bearing. They gave us advice as to where to dine and gave us clear directions each day on how to make the best use of our time. Each evening the shades were pulled down and lights turned on for our return. They really spoiled us.


_DSC0316_2 _DSC0318_2 _DSC0324_2 _DSC0327_2 _DSC0328_2

Hospes Palacio de Los Patos is located at:

Solarillo de Gracia, 1
18002 Granada
T +34 958 535 790 | F +34 958 536 968

Continue Reading

An Andalusian Gem- Corral del Rey Boutique Hotel (Seville, Spain)

Tucked away in the narrow cobbled stoned labyrinths of the old quarter (Barrio Alfalfa) lies the Corral del Rey, a beautifully restored 17th century palacio converted into a bohemian chic boutique hotel.

The location

The Corral del Rey is located in the Barrio Alfalfa quarter, just minutes away from the Cathedral on foot but enough distance to make it a cozy retreat from all the noise and tourist traffic.

The Decor

The hotel is elegant, modern and wonderfully restored. The architectural highlights include the atrium patio, Roman marble columns and the original wooden carved beams.  We walked in through moorish studded doorways to the atrium lit lobby with roman marble columns, terra-cotta tiles and rustic theme furniture.  It was visually stunning and at first sight we knew that it was the perfect way to spend our sejour in Seville.

The hotel is divided between two adjacent buildings incorporating an exclusive 12 bedroom hotel and penthouse suite.  The bedrooms are divided into four categories; superior, deluxe and junior suite and penthouse suite. Each room has its own creative design in which interior designer Kuky Mora-Figueroa has stamped her individual and particularly appealing style, combining an eclectic mix of ancient and modern.  Our room was breathtaking and it took a lot of effort for us to gather the courage to leave every morning to visit the town. A large room with the most comfortable king sized bed at one end. A wood carved headboard accentuated the bed. The high ceilings were covered with original wooden beams. On the opposite end of the room was a kitchenette with all the amenities that one could need as a hotel guest. Across was a small work desk and lamp with international plug outlets for convenience. Through large french doors was the bathroom: my favorite part of the hotel room.

The outside of the hotel is discreet with no signs to lead the way.  We were welcomed with a glass of freshly made lemonade while waiting for our luggage to be taken up to the room. In the meantime, we checked out the roof terrace with plunge pool where you can enjoy your breakfast while looking over orange tiled rooftops of Seville.


Our hostesses went out of their way to make our stay as comfortable as possible. They took their time to show us the property and our room and later made sure we knew where to eat (away from all the tourist traps). We were welcomed to the hotel and Seville with a personally written card and a gift of estate pressed olive oil. Every evening we walked in to our room where the shades were pulled down, our ice bucket was full and chocolate was waiting at our night stands. It’s all about the personal touches at the Corral del Rey.

Food and drink

The bar/restaurant serves breakfast in a small area just off the central lobby. While the hotel does not offer a full service restaurant it does offer drinks and tapas. Not a big concern since minutes away you have the best tapas bars in the city.

The negatives

Our room was so special it was hard for us to leave.


Private airport transfer service

Valet parking in nearby public under ground car park

Private guides

Tailored made excursions & activities for clients

Massages on the roof garden or in your room

Personalised Check In

Room service

Wireless Internet Access

Unique rooftop terrace with plunge pool

Laundry, dry cleaning & pressing

Building complies and adapted for disabled guests

Art gallery

Room Amenities

The details

Corral del Rey, Calle Corral del Rey, 12, 41004 Seville, Spain

Phone 954 22 71 16
Email info@corraldelrey.com
Website http://www.corraldelrey.com

See photos from our stay below:

01-_DSC0658 02-_DSC0660 03-_DSC0661 04-_DSC0662 05-_DSC0673 06-_DSC0674 07-_DSC0675 08-_DSC0677 09-_DSC0678 10-_DSC0680 11-_DSC0682 12-_DSC0686 13-_DSC0688 14-_DSC0690 15-_DSC0694 16-_DSC0696 17-_DSC0702 18-_DSC0706 19-_DSC0708 20-_DSC0712 21-_DSC0716 22-_DSC0717 23-_DSC0719 24-_DSC0721

Continue Reading