Monday, December 12, 2011


Wheels up! Today we're heading for sunny Seville, Spain, our next stop on our Home for the Holidays virtual dinner party. Our fabulous first course is hosted by the lovely Vanessa from Luxuria. Vanessa, a British expat living in Seville, is a Cordon Bleu trained chef and owns a chic jewelry business-my kind of girl! After my unforgettable trip to Spain this past summer, I'm content for now to live vicariously through Vanessa and her musings on her life in Spain. Thank you Vanessa for hosting our first course, I'm sure it will be delicioso!
 For our festive first course we will meet at the splendid Alfonso XIII Hotel in the centre of Seville. The hotel is a short five minute stroll from my house which means we can all walk in our chic high heels without too many problems or aching feet ;-)

 Once inside the historic hotel we'll make our way to the stylish Martini Lounge for cocktails. I love the modern, festive vibe, perfect for our celebration!

After a few cocktails, we'll hail one of the horse driven carriages that wait outside the hotel and cross the river to the acclaimed Rio Grande restaurant which is owned by my very good friend Marie Carmen (she is originally from Madrid and has won many awards since taking over the restaurant). Marie has reserved a special table for our meal with stunning views of the river and city.

Here in Spain, people rarely order individual first courses. The norm is to order a variety of small plates and everyone shares like a glorified "tapas-fest". During the Christmas holiday, shellfish and fish are served as part of the first course too. I'm famished so I have ordered several plates of traditional favorites for us to share:
A plate of the best Spanish jamon which should be cut so thinly you can see through it
 A selection of different varieties of gazpacho; just enough to wet our tonsils ;-)

Stuffed mussels-Delicious!

A fabulous plate of calamari stuffed with black rice (rice cooked in the ink from the the octopus)
 Croquettes-a decadent dish of mashed potatoes, bechamel sauce and Spanish ham, deep fried a golden brown-Ouch! It's the Holidays, so we won't be counting calories today! 
Of course, no Spanish meal would be complete without a glass or two of the best Rioja wine. I suggest a bottle from Vega-Sicilia for us all to share.

The perfect ending to our meal is a leisurely stroll through the streets of Seville, so bright and festive with Holiday decorations. I've had so much fun tonight-can't wait for dinner in Southampton with Hampton Hostess this Friday!

And the Christmas wreath giveaway winner is Teresa from Splendid Sass.  Congratulations Teresa!


Splendid Sass said...

I am so excited! I have just the place for this gorgeous wreath! I have had my finger crosses!
Such a lovely post today. I am going back and go through every line. Can't wait to visit Vanessa's blog.
THANK YOU! and have a great day!

pretty pink tulips said...

I'll live vicariously through Vanessa any day. What a whirlwind trip!

And congrats to Teresa!!

xoxo Elizabeth

I Dream Of said...

Oh! We were just in Spain last month, the decorations were up, but hadn't been lit yet. I can't tell you how happy to see what the lights look like all aglow in Seville. Makes me wish we would have stayed longer. Thanks for inviting Vanessa over for this lovely post!

Renée Finberg said...

what a fabulous place to be!!!!
it looks gorgeous
and delicious.

merry merry

Vanessa@Luxuria said...

Dear B'

TYSM for inviting me to guest post on your lovely blog. Just one small amendment; I'm a British expat, not American ;-)

Well, in case you ae wondering my main course here in Spain will be "Conchinillo" (suckling piglet) which is a tradition in many parts of Spain for Christmas.

Thank you again Barbara for inviting me to your virtual dinner-party. I just wish you lived close enough to pop round xx

Anonymous said...

Oh this was amazing! The carriage ride and the food have whetted my appetite for Seville, it's a stunning city and ages since I've been. Thanks V!

All in the Detail said...

{passport in hand - giggling}
Wonderful trip for all the senses... beautiful sights, smells, tastes, feels and of course, sounds of Christmas.
Thank you soooo much, I love traveling this way (especially with you!)
Merry Christmas -

Taylor Greenwalt said...

It looks beautiful.. I would love to go visit, but for now I will visit through you. Everything sounds fantastic, the dinner the horse ride and the beautiful surroundings. Just lovely!

Splendid Market said...

Oh my goodness, what a splendid getaway you have taken us on! Beautiful!

We are giving away a fresh Fraser Fir wreath on Splendid Market. Stop by to enter {often and SOON}, to receive the scent of Christmas!!

Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou said...

Wow ... two such lovely bloggers ... the Hampton Hostess and the Diva Vanessa herself! Loved this! A fabulous idea! Hope you're having a wonderful holiday season! xo

Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou
This Week: "It's Christmas Time in the City" with free taxi gift tag

designchic said...

What a treat today...loved "traveling" along with Vanessa!!

Barbara@HausDesign said...

The most beautiful city in Spain, IMO! It looks even more beautiful with the lights and such a fantastic dinner to go along with it too!

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

So excited for Teresa. She is such a dear person. what a beautiful prize. And I could definitely enjoy this trip right now. XO, Mona