The day is Sunday. The place is Plaza del Banco in the centre of the city - a square lined with small cafes and sheltered by lofty trees. The central bandstand hasn't changed for generations. The cafes are filling up with locals sipping chilled fino, or a Brandy de Jerez, and dipping into small dishes of olives and tapas. Plastic chairs are arranged in front of the bandstand for those who don't want to pay for a drink. The Banda Municipal de Jerez assembles at midday and strikes up immediately. The free concert lasts an hour. The repertoire is varied - some traditional Spanish, some movie theme tunes, some well known classical pieces. However, enthusiasm rather than accuracy of delivery is the order of the day. If you're in the sherry capital of the world this is a free, weekly event not to be missed.
Plaza del Banco, Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia
Google map: bit.ly/Kst7rg
After I´ve seen this week´s theme, I´ve hurried to spread the word about a lovely hotel, Hotel Chancilleria, in the land of sherry wine - Jerez de la Frontera. This is a small new boutique hotel, that has a beautiful blossoming garden, a wonderful roof terrace with city views, including few main churches and well known flamenco birthplace area - Santiago. In summer, you can enjoy an exquisite dinner in a beautiful garden (Restaurante Sabores), and continue chilling out on the roof terrace accompanied by great cocktails and live Jazz music.. or just take a favourite book, sun protection! and spend your day sunbathing on the roof!
In my opinion Hotel Chancilleria has its all - friendly owners and staff, beautifully decorated rooms and areas, great location and just something different to anyone who visits it!
Chancilleria str. 21
Jerez de la Frontera
Traditional Spanish tapas with a modern twist and great price. For less than €15pp we ate to bursting point. I'd especially recommend the goat's cheese toasts, steak with Iberian ham and salmorejo, and potatoes with apple.
C/Consitorio, in a little square just down from the Ayuntamiento/Town Hall
New restaurant (opened Januaary 2008) attached to new 'eco-hotel' Chancileria on Calle Chancileria near the centre of Jerez. Chef Juan used to be a teacher at the local catering college but it hasn't stopped him producing great dishes in the modern Spanish style (good fresh local ingredients, traditional methods, attention to seasoning and detail, beautiful presentation.)
For example 'hamburguesa de cola de toro' - a little timbale of beautifully cooked oxtail off the bone with a perfect apple puree, brilliant combination - mouthwatering. Artichoke soup with foie and truffle oil also fresh and delicious. Main course fish fresh and delicious. Portions sensible size. Desserts looked good but need developing.
Mixed and slightly odd wine list (some good if predictable riojas and also lambrusco(!?) but all very reasonably priced (c.100 euros for an unstinting 3 course meal for two with aperitif and wine and dessert wine and coffee...) Much better than other recommended but more 'traditional' restaurants in the town. Go quick before everyone else discovers it and the prices go up...
Calle Chancileria, Jerez
A bit twee (you travel on a miniature train, there is a mouse trained to run up a ladder and drink sherry ...) but worth a trip. Jerez is a town entirely founded on sherry exports so it's good to come here and understand what it's all about. The tasting certainly challenges any preconceptions of sherry you may have had - it's not like granny's Christmas tipple. A glass of fino and a plate of tapas is your reward at the end of an interesting tour around the estate.
Small, completely unpretentious restaurant/bar serving a stunning selection of tapas, raciones, meals, including great ibérico hams, bull tail, lamb sweet breads etc. Good wines, and low prices.
C/ La Torre, 8 Jerez; tel: 32 29 15
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