Ask any local about the defining qualities of being a Sevillano and featuring pretty high up the list will be ´we love being in the street´. Precisely what they mean by this is that come rain or shine you will find every square, corner, pavement and alleyway crammed with people drinking cervecitas outside of the city´s countless selection of bars and cafes. What´s inside the bars is immaterial, as long as they have Cruz Campo on tap (or maybe Alhambra if you´re trying to attract a slightly more upmarket crowd), and copas for under 5 Euros. The consequence being that Seville does not do cosy, it does not do interesting interior decor and it is not remotely interested in investing in decent music. Why? Because no one´s inside for more than the time it takes to order a drink or use the loos.
Yeah a few places try to make an effort, aping their cooler cousins in Madrid and Barcelona, but they just don´t seem to be able to pull it off. Until that is Red House Art and Food. Opened just a few weeks ago on Amor de Dios, it bills itself as an Abeceria, but it´s much, much more. From the street you are instantly drawn in through the immense glass fronted windows to the huge spacious interior inside, that´s packed full with a achingly cool jumble of eclectic furniture, giant works of art and urban clothing that despite its chaos, creates a relaxed, lounging vibe.
It´s essentially a day time/ evening joint, opening at 9am with the usual offering of breakfasts with their own twist (such as a little serving of hummus), but there´s also tapas and mostly importantly CAKE! I got there at prime ´merienda´ time, and the place was heaving with Seville´s cool and hip, sipping on assorted flavours of tea and devouring cake. I had to practically rugby tackle the waiter to get my sticky paws on the last two portions, a deliciously moist carrot cake and fluffy pumpkin variety, which were perfectly washed down with a metal mug of chocolate and orange roiboos.
We didn’t managed to bag a sofa this time, but one day I’ll get lucky and actually be able to lounge to my heart’s content. But I felt pretty at home as my skinny jeans fitted seamlessly in with those around, although I would have probably have benefited from wearing a pair of ‘interesting’ spectacles for the occasion. But the whole experience made me happy. Mostly for the guys who’ve branched out from the tried and test formula rolled out by most Seville bars, and that it was being embraced so openly by everyone around. I hope for them that as the warm, balmy evenings approach, indoor lounging still proves to be such a big draw, but who knows come the summer, the coolness of the clientele will keep everyone’s temperatures down.
Red House Art and Food, Amor de Dios 7