Introducing the first guest blog by Lucy Carrington
I made it to the other side ……… of the Guadalquivir and am awaiting my papers for the Independent Republic of Triana. Yes, after nearly two and half years of living in the up-and-coming trend hub that is Feria Market, I’ve upped sticks and moved to Triana.
I had become very comfortable in the Macarena with all that the area between San Luis and Feria Market had to offer and (friends aside) I shall miss some important (to me) hot spots that were on my door step: Antonio the fruit and veg man, Pitacassa (falafels), Condende (arepas), Entrelineas (European style bar), Hercules Café (breakfast), the photocopy shop (ahem, photocopies), and El Gato Azul (pizza) to name but a few.
However, having been ensconced in Triana for a measly week only, I can safely say this ride is going to be memorable. You can’t fail to notice the overwhelming presence of ceramic shops plus of course the Centro Ceramica which is to be visited at a later date and the life blood that is Flamenco. Add to that the ‘drogería y perfumería’ that resembles Ronnie Barker’s shop in Open all Hours (is that Arkwright behind the counter or Nurse Gladys?), the many religious artefact shops selling the gowns and glitter of Holy Week, and here’s where things hot up, the EATING.
I like eating. I especially like eating in places where there is a bit of a twinkle, a shiver, a frisson, or whatever you want to call it, but somewhere you know that fun things happen whether you like it or not. They may not be the most glam, but boy will you always remember the fun. Here are three such places that I’ve been introduced to in my first week:
Pepote is the man here (if his rendition of Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees is anything to go by) with the sparkliest smile and cheeky chat
Corner bar behind the market with a shelf full of records and Spanish music memorabilia that (I imagine) takes you back to the dark days of Val Doonican. I’ve only had breakfast (good coffee and sliced tomatoes on toast) here but going by what is in the chiller cabinet, drinkie o’clock and tapas is calling me.
Calle Callao 5, 41010 (corner of Castilla and the market)
This is the original of the two bars (the newer, more visible bar is on Pages del Corro 76) and hidden somewhat down a non-descript street. If you didn’t know about it, I doubt you would go in. It’s not glam and the loo is to be avoided, but its grrrrrrr factor gives you a big old wallop of nostalgia, Triana style (maybe this is what the older generation here in Spain would have been wishing for, had they voted to leave the EU?).
Don’t be concerned about the banging in the kitchen, that’s the staff knocking seven bells out of the famous Punta de Solomillo (tender pork on a piece of bread served with crisps – don’t think too hard about that description, just believe me when I say ‘order it!’). There are huge bowls of smashing radishes, beetroot and carrots in a decent vinaigrette for the health conscious.
Calle Antillano Campos 26
This corner joint is spitting distance from my new flat. Packed to the gunnels, it can be a squeeze around the bar area, but I had the fortune to go with a friend who has lived around here for a while and we glided into a handy corner seat for two. The ensaladilla was heavy on the prawns and crab meat and light on the gloop; in my book that’s a good benchmark. The goat cheese with nuts and honey was tart and sweet, though not sickly, and the Iberian ham and pork loin sandwich (slim buns so you can eat a few with impunity!) was warm and light and hit the spot on a chilly Friday night. People watching is good here and the Saturday lunchtime crowd looks like something I’d like to join in on too.
Calle Alfareria 18 (closed Sunday night and all day Monday and Tuesday)