I´ve just had my birthday, happy birthday to me, another year older, somewhat wiser, blah blah blah. And for over a week, I´ve had 150 Euros of birthday money burning a hole in my pocket, a sum destined to find some new modelitos for my modest wardrobe. But here´s the thing. The retail big boys that dominate the Spanish high street just don´t do it for me. Zara I can live with, but so does practically every female under the age of 60. But everything else, Mango, Stradivarius, Pull and Bear etc just don´t have my name written all over them. So what´s left?
Well quite a lot it would seem, and all scattered around the streets of Alfalfa. This is where a little enclave of cutesy, cool boutiques, gallery spaces and gastrotapas bars that have banded together to brand themselves as Sevilla´s SoHo. Collectively known as SoHo Benita, they are ´working together to create a new shopping and culture centre in Seville´. The initiative started in April, and to be honest, I must have taken my eye off the ball, cos I missed it, but now I´m firmly on the SoHo Benita bus.
In particular I have acquired a retail crush on Isadora on Calle Perez Galdos. It isn´t the first time I´ve been in this shop, but today for some reason, I found myself laden down with vintage style blouses and dresses and kitsch knitwear, perfect for the sudden chill that has enveloped the city. I could have come home with about a grand´s worth of items, but luckily some self control overcame my unexpected shopping frenzy, and I managed to limit myself to LBD with cute white neckline detail, and a christmasy pail blue jumper with white dogs on it, perfect for a fully grown adult such as myself, or indeed a 6 year-old-girl.
Across the road and also part of the SoHo Benita Collective is La Importadora, which again is brimming with gorgeous garments, but with a slightly more classic style than its neighbour opposite. Like many places in Seville, this shop also doubles up as a gallery, with local artists exhibiting on a regular basis. As does Vestida de Azul, just the other side of Alfalfa, which as well as being a purveyor of fancy attire, also bedecks its walls with cool art for sale.
So this one is to all the ladies out there, say goodbye to the marauding crowds of Tetuan, Sierpes and Velazquez and say Buenos Dias to the little piece of shopping heaven that is Alfalfa.