The other day I came across a very unusual sight: a twenty-something, male of the Sevillano variety sitting alone, sipping Moroccan tea while reading a book. I know to any seasoned traveller, this is something one does all the time. And on moving to another country, I can´t tell you the amount of time I´ve spent in my own company, hoping that someone might momentarily consider me intriguing and mysterious rather than a slightly tragic, lone wolf.
But for the indigenous population of Seville being alone is something to avoid at all costs. Much better to be surrounded by a bevvy of family or your mates of ´toda la vida´. And if you do happen to be alone for a moment, well of course there´s the solace of a smart phone to take the sting out of the temporary solitary confinement.
But this dude was choosing his own company. The signs were there. The tea pot, the book, the concentrated brow, even a passing friend couldn´t break his dedication to ´him time´. And the location was carefully chosen; the newly opened juice cafe ´Al Baraka´ run by a Moroccan/Syrian team. Positioned in the buzzing little square at the top of Calle Regina, it´s the perfect place for a non-booze fuelled hangout, with friends, but also without them. As well as the usual gamut of juicing options, there are also north African/Middle Eastern standards like hummus, stuffed vine leaves and falafel, plus hookah pipes and Moroccan tea.
I love ´Al Baraka´ because they provide a refreshing alternative to the all too ubiquitous glass of beer, the owners are sweet, plus the location is one of my favourites in Seville. All forms of life unfold around you; nuns marching past in starched habits, children screaming at the top of their voices, shop keepers going about their business, dogs sniffing each others bottoms, confused tourists clutching parchment thin, ragged maps and hipsters on route to la Cacharreria. And it is all there to be savoured with a cool glass of freshly made juice of your choice.
Al Baraka, Calle Regina 1
Opening hours 9am – 1am