Sometimes I feel a bit guilty about revealing Seville’s secret corners. I mean they’re secret for a reason right? I’ve even had the odd Sevillano giving me a hard time about lifting the lid on their favourite local haunt, which until then had been free of tourists or foreign faces.
But some places need to be discovered and Peña Flamenca Los Cabales is one of them. Set within spitting distance of the 15th Century Monastery of San Jerónimo, in the neighbourhood sharing the same name, it’s technically a flamenco social club. But in reality it’s a glimpse into a time gone by, when Seville was rough around the edges, tapas were gigantic and a night out cost you next to nothing.
It’s a funny little place, with all the action taking place in the plastic chair strewn, shaded terrace, replete with exuberant children and the odd toothless local. You’d be hard pressed to find somewhere more spit and sawdust and free from pretension. Which is of course just the reason to go there.
Open only at weekends from September to the end of June, you’d never happen upon it by chance. San Jerónimo is a good half an hour walk from the Alameda, past the Alamillo Bridge, but it’s worth the trip out of your comfort zone.
Food wise, you still get to see some tapas under the 2 Euro mark and there’s everything you can possibly imagine for the meat lover and vegetarian alike. I had a massive tapa of chargrilled hake and chips and cauliflower aliñado, which were the satisfying combination of sturdy yet tasty.
The flamenco bit isn’t so active as other peñas. Once a month on a Saturday afternoon they have live flamenco but there won’t be anything now until September.
But don’t let that deter you; entertainment comes in many forms at the peña, not just flamenco. Today for example, a family turned up in their horse and cart, tied up aforementioned steed and had lunch – just an average afternoon at the Peña Flamenca Los Cabales.
Peña Flamenca Los Cabales, Calle Marruecos 31, San Jerónimo
Open: Friday evenings, Saturday lunchtime and evening and Sunday lunchtime (closed July and August).