Andalusia

As you might have noticed, I haven’t been around much lately and I’ve neglected my poor blog quite a bit. But as with most things in life, there’s a good explanation. I’ve been very busy with other projects, such as renovating our house, finally moving in and most of all, getting married. So, life has been pretty crazy, with so many great and important things happening that you couldn’t possibly take it all in. I’m actually still having trouble realizing that I’m now living in a gorgeous big house (with a nice kitchen all to myself, I should mention :-)) and being somebody’s wife. But I’m glad I am every morning when I put my wedding ring back on.

To get back into the swing of things, I’m not going to post a recipe right now, but rather write a few lines on our honeymoon that we spent in Andalusia, Spain. Andalusia, the southernmost region in Spain, is absolutely breathtaking. I’ve rarely seen such beautiful and varied landscapes and as many interesting and vibrating cities in one single region. We were lucky enough to tour Andalusia for 2 weeks and visited many charming places, slept in wonderful hotels and ate in amazing restaurants and tapas bars.

As pictures often say more than words, I’m going to show you quite a few of the 1250 pictures we took during our trip (my husband is quite an addict when it comes to taking pictures and I’m not entirely innocent either). But I’m also going to write about a few excellent meals (and drinks!) we had, even though I don’t have that many food pictures. The problem usually is that a) I’m very hungry or b) the food looks just sooo yummy  (or c), where both reasons mentioned before apply), that I completely forget to take a picture and dig right in.

So, without further ado:

The city of Ronda

Bullfighting Arena in Ronda

Gardens of the Molino del Arco Hotel in Ronda

Orange trees grow everywhere

Sunset in Cadiz

Churros Shop Owner in Cadiz

Typical Tapas Bar in Cadiz

Barrels of sherry on the Gonzalez-Byass Bodega in Jerez

One of the numerous beautiful patios in the Hotel Casas de la Juderia, Sevilla

Another patio…

…and the Hotel Bar

Amazing Churros in Sevilla

One of the best eating experiences in Andalusia was the Vineria San Telmo in Sevilla. We went there for dinner based on a lot of great Trip Advisor reviews and it was absolutely fantastic! Their cooking is imaginative and original, especially after you’ve eaten “classic” andalusian Tapas for a few days straight. For most dishes, you can order tapa size, 1/2 racion or a raçion. We always ordered tapa size as you get to taste a lot more different dishes. We went back to the Vineria San Telmo the next day for lunch, so all together, we tried around 10 dishes and 2 desserts and everything was fantastic! They have a very nice outside space and the staff is very friendly and helpful. Below, you can see a few pictures of the dishes we were served, but as I said before, most of them were gone before I even thought about getting my camera out :-)

Melted cheese dip with caramelized onions

Salmon and mediterranean veggies quiche

Salmorejo

Lemon meringue pie

Banoffee Pie

And lots of sangria!

Plaza de Espana in Sevilla

Sevilla’s Bullfighting Arena

The Alhambra by night

Inside the Nasrid Palaces

Dark alley in Granada’s old town, Albaicin

Amazing roasted pepper salad

The best Mojitos I’ve ever had

Very nice tapas selection at Raro de Luna, Granada

Some more churros, this time with delicious hot chocolate, in Marbella

A glass of Cava in paradise

Costa del Sol

Aside from the Vineria San Telmo, I’d like to mention two other restaurants where we ate particularly well:

Balandro in Cadiz: They have both a restaurant with regular tables and a tapas bar where you sit at the counter and try all their delicious and inventive tapa sized dishes such as vegetable tempura, fried fish, secreto ibérico (pork) with caramelized onions and sherry sauce, tuna confit and so much more

Lola in Marbella: This was a great discovery on our last night in Andalusia. The restaurant is situated not far from the famous Plaza de los Naranjos in a side street. The very friendly belgian owners offer a very tasty cuisine with several specialties from their home country, such as three cheese croquettes or the chicken with “Leffe” beer sauce that I had. But you can also try some Mediterranean and even asian inspired dishes. Their sangria is exceptionally good, probably the best we’ve had during the two weeks.

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