It’s been raining pretty much non-stop since Saturday. Not in a light drizzle or occasional showers kind of way, but in a tropical storm, sting your face and eyes kind.
I know, I know, I live in a part of Spain that’s known more for being the frying pan of the world than the soggy arm pit of Andalucia. But here’s the thing, all that hot weather means that people always hang outside bars, only entering to order their beer or use the facilities. Some places barely even have an inside and at a pinch squeeze in a bar man and a couple of punters, as long as they’re all breathing in.
But little by little a hint of cosy has crept into Seville’s hang-out joints. It began with the hipsters, after all it always does. They’re the ones who spend long summers in Berlin, lounging in converted warehouses, cultivating a handlebar moustache and comparing skinny jeans.
Red House Art and Food was the trailblazer. Originally there were heaps of old sofas and arm chairs to flop out on, although now they’ve plumped for the whole sharing long tables vibe. But a few cosy corners remain.
In a similar vibe is Metáforas just off the Alameda. They’re dropping the whole ‘is it a shop? Is it a gallery? Oh look there are some sofas and some tables, it’s actually a bar,’ thing.
I’m not 100% sure about Metáforas opening hours as I have passed by on a Saturday afternoon and it was shut, but if you go and they’re closed I can definitely promise you sofas and lounging at La Sra. Pop, inhabiting the space once occupied by Alameda legend, Utopia. They do the whole coffee and cakes thing, plus weekly flamenco performances and music concerts.
Somewhere that doesn’t get any cosier and that’s La Cacharrería on calle Regina. There are no sofas to stretch out on, but the bare stone walls and random collection of ornaments makes you almost imagine a roaring fire, as you watch the bedraggled shoppers march past the window, umbrellas bent out of shape by the gusting wind.
El Gallo Rojo, just round the corner of La Cacharrería combines current hipster obsession, craft beer with big-windowed, stylish interior, the ubiquitous leather arm chairs and regular cultural events. It feels modern and cosy at the same time, a difficult balance to strike.
And finally, I’m leaving the original home of compact cosiness to last and that’s the womb-like Bicicletería. Alright, I can’t remember what it was like in the womb and probably it wasn’t inhabited by the gothic horror characters that frequent Bicicletería in the witching hours on any given night. But it is a place that lures you in, only to spit you out hours later, the worse for wear and oblivious to the meteorological conditions outside.
I personally will only be leaving the house in between showers to take the dog for a pee, but if you happen to be feeling more intrepid, you know where to go.