Things to do in Seville

Seville is a city of sunshine and sangria and it is impossible not to be enamoured with the bright blue skies and vibrant character of southern Spain. It is a place deeply immersed in its regional traditions, religious festivals, flamenco and tapas. Relying strongly on tourism, visitors to Seville are invited to experience all that’s on offer, but be warned English is not widely spoken. The winding cobbled streets hide many gems: museums, craft shops and a staggering 700 churches. Follow the obvious tourist routes or grab a map and discover your own Spanish secrets.

To eat
Puratasca: This eatery in downtown Triana is satisfying the stomachs of locals and tourists alike. Casual and reasonably priced with favourites like chorizo lollipops and vegetable tempura.
Bar Alfalfa: is the ideal cheese and wine stop. A very cute corner bar with an intimate ambience – for just a few euros you can munch on a plate of Manchego and sip Spanish wine.
Eslava: The best tapas we tasted in Seville. The cafe gets very busy, so arrive early to avoid disappointment. The star dish is without doubt the pork ribs with honey, even meat avoiders can’t resist this mouth-wateringly good recipe.
Egana Oriza: finding fine dining in Andalusia’s evocative capital is something of a battle. Egana Oriza is a rare exception to the rule offering traditional, fine Spanish food. Start the meal with a glass of Cava and enjoy the airy dining room and vibrant flavours.
Dulce Regina: the cities best cookies are found here; for two euros you can pick a flavour of homemade biscuit to nibble as you wander down the cobbled streets peering in the colourful windows.

To drink
El Garlochi – a fabulously kitsch bar dedicated entirely to the iconography, smells and sounds of Semana Santa; the ubercamp El Garlochi is a true marvel. A cloud of church incense hits you as you go up the stairs, and the faces of baby Jesus and the Virgin welcome you into the velvet-walled bar. Taste the speciality cocktail, Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ).

To see
Cigarette Factory: opera lovers will have this building at the top of their to do list. The famous site was used in Bizet’s opera Carmen as well as other operatic compositions. The building is now used as the campus for University of Seville… I can’t think of a more amazing place to study everyday!
Museo de Bellas Artes De Sevilla: This giant gallery displays an astounding collection of art. With old masters like Murillo, beautifully restored and hung high on the walls, it is an awe-inspiring experience.
Casa Anselma: When I asked where to see the best Flamenco everyone pointed me in the direction of Casa Anselma, a characterful bar in the borough of Triana which opens every night at 12am for a show of passionate dancing and singing.

To do
Horse and carriage ride: these tours are available to pick up all over Seville, and though touristy are a fantastic way to see the city and rest your feet. Rides can be personalized so it is an opportunity to see the attractions you may have missed. A 45 minute tour will cost you 45 euros.
Parque de Maria Luisa: take a stroll round the paradisical half mile of palms and orange trees, elms and Mediterranean pines,  flower beds and romantic sculptures.
Cathedral and Giralda Tower: Built in the 15th century to demonstrate the city’s growing wealth and prestige, Seville’s cathedral is the largest in Europe. Work up an appetite climbing the tower and see the whole city shimmering beneath you.

To shop
Delimbo: the concept store attached to this contemporary gallery space sells a range of creative goodies. We loved the thick brightfelt pens and the wacky Modernaked cat rings.
Antonio Garcia: this magnificent and historic shop sells authentic sombreros and jackets for bullfighters and dancers. The atmosphere is worth stopping by for, and if you want an affordable souvenir I’d recommend the gorgeous Spanish leather belts (costing around 20 euros).
Andalusian taste: for all your foodie needs this little shop is the best bet. Buy some irresistible Iberico ham and Manchego cheese to take home as gifts.
Laurel Antigüedades: a lovely little vintage shop selling old silk scarves, ornate hats and retro dresses. I bought a wonderful Toni Benitez fascinator and a simple retro cotton camisole top.

Personalised day trips can be arranged with – with an English speaking guide you can see whatever you choose.

AC Marriott Hotel, Seville

There are three Marriott hotels in Seville to choose from, each with its own advantages. We stayed in the most centrally located, convenient for both tourists and business visitors, though very much geared to the latter.

The facade of the building is attractive and charming, however inside the tone is muted with a dull grey colour scheme and rather tired dated decor. The Spaniards are not renowned for their English speaking and this was a bit of a problem at check in… the sweet girl tried desperately hard to understand us but it still took a while to communicate! Our twin suite was up a few floors in a very jumpy lift. The rooms were plain and anonymous though perfectly functional and clean. For a weekend break it is sufficient though with a little updating it could be remarkably improved.

Grey was the overall vibe of our private space too, with simple furniture and a few pictures adding a little colour to the walls. The beds were surprisingly comfortable with miraculous mattresses and plush pillows. The beds were topped with a light sheet and blanket which we found was enough once we worked out how to control the overactive air con!

The bathroom was big and bright with a comfortable bath and plentiful towels and toiletries for our use.

For those wishing to keep up their fitness routine a lovely outside pool and exercise equipment are located on the top floor. If we’d had more time I would have liked to explore this appealing area.

Breakfast is served in the basement, near to the conference rooms. With no natural light this could have been miserable but in fact the cheery staff and appetising food made the atmosphere very convivial. With a Nespresso machine and fresh croissants, I had everything I needed for my morning meal.

For visitors requiring internet you will need to find it in the lobby area where access is free and easy to connect to; in the rooms it is an additional cost and requires a special code.

Helpful and kind, it is the staff at this Marriott branch that make the hotel appealing. With close proximity to the airport and city centre this accommodation will be convenient for all Seville visitors, though the lack of character inside means that presently it suits business travellers best.

More information and book here.

Hot on the Highstreet Week 153

Mödernaked sounds Swedish, but it´s a Spanish brand
Mödernaked is not a porn site
Mödernaked is not H&M nor Zara
Mödernaked does not have a marketing department (we won´t be surprised if you never heard of us!)
Mödernaked does not have a sales department
Mödernaked thinks that people are wonderful (sometimes)
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Mödernaked listens to music all the time
Mödernaked dances all the time too
Mödernaked loves the little things in life
Mödernaked does not take drugs to create her designs
Mödernaked drinks 2 liters of H2O everyday
Mödernaked can be addictive
Mödernaked makes mistakes (big and small)
Mödernaked never loses the chance to go on vacation
Mödernaked loves happy endings

The statements above come direct from the Mödernaked website, an assortment of random facts that illustrate the quirky and unique character of this brand.

I discovered Mödernaked on a mini break to Seville with my mum last week, we both instantly fell for the adoring eyes of the cat rings. Sold in the ubercool Delimbo gallery-concept store, Mödernaked is just one of the tempting jewellery lines available to buy here.

A variety of animals are on offer, each handcrafted from polished brass and enamel with a varnish finish. They come in one size only but adjustable to fit any finger, making them incredibly versatile and wearable. Priced at 52 Euros, they are a lovely souvenir from our trip to Seville.

Buy your very own little cat ring here.

Follow Modernaked on twitter here.