Roger Davies is our food & gastronomy expert in Seville and Andalusia and regularly guides Totally Spain clients around the city and region seeking out the tastiest bites and interesting artisan food producers. We asked him to write about his favourite places in Seville and where he likes to take people in Andalusia. Go for it Roger!
“I have been living in Spain now for over 26 years. Apart from 18 months in the north, Iʼve been in the Seville area the whole time. I started offering food and wine tours over 11 years ago after a stint in the Spanish wine industry.”
“I realised the potential of the area for a number of reasons. Seville is considered by many to be the tapas capital of Spain, so there are lots of great tapas bars to take people to. The city is also a short distance away from the Jerez area, the only place where authentic sherry can come from; beware of imitations! It is also near to one of the areas that produces what may be Spainʼs greatest contribution to world cuisine, acorn-fed Iberian ham. And, not very far away, are some extraordinary producers of great olive oil.”
Insider Tips for Foodies in Seville
“If you are in Seville, don’t miss two historic bars. The first, El Rinconcillo, opened in 1670 and is a living museum. The owners (great friends of mine) are the 7th generation of the same family to run the place! The food is quite traditional and includes tapas such as spinach and chickpeas and Iberian pork cheeks, as well as fantastic Iberian ham and other cured meats. The second place, Casa Morales, opened in 1850 and still has the huge old ceramic wine containers called ‘tinajas’ which up until 25 years ago were filled with wine. Order mini-toasted sandwiches here called ‘montaditos’ or a cheese board.”
“Another place I love in Seville is La Azotea. This is a modern take on Andalusian cuisine with dishes changing frequently reflecting what is in season. They also have a great selection of wines by the glass which changes quite often.”
What Do You Eat in Seville in Summer?
“Summers in Seville can be quite hot and this conditions what we eat. At home, we always have gazpacho in the fridge, which more often than not is drunk from a glass and is far superior to any energy drink in revitalising tired bodies after a hard day. We also eat lots of salads, especially ‘picadillo’ which consists of chopped up tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper and possibly some tuna, dressed with fine extra virgin olive oil and sherry vinegar. We hardly eat meat but consume lots of fish, especially grilled sardines and mackerel, all very healthy!”
Your most-popular foodie tours of Andalusia?
“Totally Spain clients visiting Seville who are interested in gastronomy should go on a tapas tour the day they arrive. This is a great introduction to local cuisine and will give them plenty of ideas for the rest of their stay in the city. I also recommend they do at least one of the following chauffeur-driven (by me) tours which are always highly enjoyable:
– an excursion to the Jerez area to experience high quality authentic sherry.
– an excursion to the Sierra of Aracena to see how the worldʼs best cured ham is made
– a half-day tour to an olive mill that produces superlative extra virgin olive oil”
These trips always include a delicious lunch at a charming restaurant.
“Over the last year I have had the pleasure of accompanying many Totally Spain clients on boutique wine tours to the sherry region and the area around Ronda. I have also led Iberian Jamon tours to the Sierra of Aracena, visited olive oil mills and have hosted unique wine tastings in Seville. What makes these tours special is that clients get to meet the local people who are directly involved in making fine wines, producing first class olive oil, curing the best hams in Spain and more. Over the years I have built up very strong relationships with different producers which clients can sense and it definitely enhances their overall experience. Hopefully if you are reading this then I can look forward to sometime showing you around some of my favourite places in Andalusia.”