I’m taking a brief break from the videos, to make a very exciting announcement. It’s something that’s been bubbling away for a few years now and finally the time is right.
This September, my Devour Tours partner Lauren Aloise and I will be leading a small group on an exclusive, one-off 9-day gourmet journey through Andalusia!
We’ve designed our dream southern Spain trip, and we’re thrilled to share the incredible hidden corners, delicious tastes, and amazing stories of this absolutely magical part of Spain with a select group of guests.
Read on for more info!
Andalusia is simply dripping with colour and life.
A LONG TIME IN THE MAKING…
Five years ago we began leading our daytime food tours in Madrid. And we quickly learned that food tours are about so much more than just food. They’re stories about a place, told through local food, and through the family-run vendors we visit. And as we’ve expanded our daytime and evening tours throughout Spain, we’ve travelled (and eaten) all over this country.
The upshot? I’ve felt a growing desire to lead a tour that can go deeper, include more and tell a broader story about this country. As I hope my videos show, lend me your ear, and I’ll fill your mind with everything Spain. And so this Andalusia journey allows us to achieve that wish – to share everything we’ve learned, discovered and fallen in love with with a select group of people.
And the goal? To help our guests see Spain with local eyes, and help them understand the story of this country… while of course eating lots of amazing food!
The region’s white villages are almost dreamlike places. We’ll enjoy a private cooking class in one.
Andalusia was the obvious choice for both of us. This region is spectacularly ancient, and as a lover of history, it’s always thrilled me. Whether peering on Columbus’ tomb in the cathedral of Seville, exploring the date-palm-oasis-like Mosque of Cordoba or wandering the cracked pavements of ruined seaside Roman town Baelo Claudia, the sense of history here is palpable.
Cordoba’s Mosque-Cathedral is one of the world’s most remarkable monuments.
And the food. Oh, the food. Rich black-hoof jamón from Aracena, magical wines from Jerez, liquid gold olive oil from across the region, and market-fresh seafood pulled up daily all along the coast. This is like the cradle of so much of what we now think of when we think of Spanish cuisine. It’s a land that offers up such variety, with so many rich flavours. And we want to share all those flavours with our guests.
But Andalusian cuisine isn’t only about the past. This region is at the forefront of modern Spanish cuisine. Every time I head to Seville or Cordoba, I’m thrilled by the thought of tasting the dishes that are being produced right now by young, ambitious, and talented chefs. We’ll be tasting both the traditional flavours and the modern ones on the tour, giving our guests a true understanding of the food of this region.
And, of course, the wine. When the Phoenicians arrived in Andalusia 3,000 years ago, they brought wine-making knowhow with them. Which means the wines of this region have a long and fascinating pedigree.
Of course, Andalusia’s most famous and distinct wine is sherry, which many people think of as simply sickly sweet. Fear not, Lauren and I are both certified sommeliers and we will re-introduce you to this fabulous drink (most of it’s dry as a bone). And we’ll also be tasting more traditional red wines at one of my favourite wineries in all of Spain.
Exploring the sherry wineries of Jerez is like stepping back in time.
As a certified sommelier, I love demystifying wine for our guests. Not pretension allowed!
And what so fascinates me about Andalusia are its entangled origins. This region has been the home to Romans, Christians, Muslims, Jews and other, more ancient, people. And that melting pot of inhabitants has created a very unique and evocative modern culture. Of course, flamenco comes first to mind – an art form in which you can hear both the Muslim call to prayer and Christian Gregorian chants. And while the influence of the Moors on the the language, culture and architecture of Spain is clear, I’m also fascinated by the more hidden influences of Spain’s sephardic people. We will be exploring all of this on the tour.
Flamenco is a music that truly reaches into your soul.
SO, WHAT’S INCLUDED?
So what does this dream 9-day Andalusia trip include? Lauren and I have worked for some months figuring out a detailed itinerary that truly represents what is wonderful about southern Spain. It’s the trip that I would want to be on. It’s the trip that I want to take my parents on (maybe next year!). It’s the trip that represents so much of what is dear to me about this astounding country.
So, here are some highlights of the trip. I’m going to limit myself to 10 (and these are in no particular order!):
- You’ll be lead by me and Lauren, two people who have travelled this country extensively, read deeply and tasted widely. We love Spain, and, we’re excited to help you fall in love with it too.
- Taste Spain’s world-famous black-hoof ham at an organic family-run farm, and learn all about the fascinating process of making jamón.
- A private visit to the world’s only ethical foie gras producer (as featured on NPR by my friend journalist Lauren Frayer and in the New York Times) and taste the foie gras (without the guilt!)!
- Discover Andalusia’s ancient fish salting and smoking tradition (from the ancient Roman ruins of a seaside town to a modern facility) and indulge in a tuna-focused tasting menu at an internationally celebrated restaurant.
- Wander the groves of one of Andalusia’s famed olive oil producers, and enjoy a lead tasting of Spain’s liquid gold (plus learn lots of tips for using it back home).
- Head out for an evening of tapas and flamenco in Seville, where you’ll do tapas like a local and understand flamenco’s mystical origins before taking in a spectacular show.
- Descend into the astounding Cave of Wonders: otherworldly underground caverns, like something from another planet, that will truly take your breath away.
- Hone your skills (with a glass of wine in hand) on a private cooking class in the enchanting white hilltop village of Vejer de la Frontera – learning local recipes you can recreate at home.
- Explore a 19th century family-owned sherry bodega, where (we promise) if you haven’t re-discovered sherry yet, you will do on this incredible experience.
- While we’re talking about wine, we’ll also visit a winery that makes one of my favourite red wines right now in Spain and taste their rich, opulent reds.
- Explore the seductive historic centre of Cordoba (including the majestic Mosque-Cathedral) on a private walking tour, followed by a private Sephardic music concert in a beautiful patio.
- Enjoy a dinner of creative, modern tapas at the Seville restaurant that leads that way in innovative dishes (including a private conversation with the owners before dinner).
- Relax in hand-picked hotels that are not only sumptuous, but full of fascinating. stories – from Seville where we’ll stay in a splendid 400-year-old palace built atop 1st century Roman villa to Vejer where we’ll be in a fabulous boutique hotel housed in whitewashed buildings that date back to the 10th century.
OK, my 10 highlights became 13. While I could go on, if you’d like to learn all the specifics about the trip, please read on below.
INTERESTED IN JOINING US? HERE ARE THE DETAILS
Dates: 16-24 September, 2017 (9 days, 8 nights)
Price: €2,995 for double occupancy and includes accommodation in splendid hotels, all food & drink (apart from two free meals), myself and Lauren as your expert guides, and a host of private, exclusive experiences, visits and tastings! Price also includes all taxes and fees. Not included is transportation to/from the starting point in Seville but we can help you organise that.
Spaces: There will be only 12 guests on the tour so the experience is highly personalised and intimate.
Cities and villages included: Seville, Cordoba, Vejer de la Frontera, Aracena, Jerez de la Frontera, Arcos de la Frontera
If I’ve piqued your interest, and you’d like a little more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As I mention above, there are only 12 spots available, and as I write this, we’re filling up. So do send me an email, and I’ll get back to you ASAP. I’m also happy to arrange a Skype call if you’d prefer to chat with me personally about the trip.
I hope to see you in Seville in September for the start of an incredible journey!