Spain

ANDALUCIA

My most recent visit to the places below (Jerez to Sanlucar) was on the ‘Marie Claire’ sherry trail – a brief driving holiday I’d read about in the mag. I did the trip over 5 nights, which is fine in terms of getting round, but you could easily stay much longer, with a few more days in each place. The other obvious addition is Cadiz – we popped in for a sundowner, but didn’t stay overnight.

Jerez de la Frontera

La Fonda Barranco – slightly tricky to find (it’s on a small back alley behind the police station and very near to the cathedral), this is a stylish restored merchant’s house with an elegant, minimalist style. The owner, David Murray, is a mine of information on the area and serves a great breakfast on the hotel’s tranquil roof terrace. www.lafondabarranco.es

Bar Albala – modern, quite trendy. Lovely food in tapas style, some traditional, some more experimental. You can eat either at tables or perched up at the bar. Impressive wine selection. http://www.verema.com/restaurantes/52885-albala-jerez-frontera

Tarifa

 Hotel Escondite del Viento – laidback, modernist. Incorporates the town’s infamous wind into its name (literally, ‘the wind’s hiding place’) and hands out wind forecasts to guests each night.www.elesconditedelviento.com

Vejer de la Frontera

Hotel Casa del Califa – gorgeous Middle eastern style food in a beautiful garden or inside the underground restaurant. Also a boutique hotel – I’m sure I’ve stayed there before, a long time ago, and it was very comfortable. A unique place. http://www.lacasadelcalifa.com

Convento de San Francisco – stayed here on my most recent visit. Great location on a central square, comfortable rooms. But the restaurant area is drab and in need of refurbishment, so have breakfast elsewhere. An institutional, bureaucratic feel but a very atmospheric building. http://www.charmingsmallhotels.co.uk/cgi-bin/articles.pl?id=700&section=49&action=display (For the Convento deSan Francisco, where we stayed in Vejer)

Sanlucar de Barrameda

Posada de Palacio – a very odd but sumptuous place to stay,  this is an old palace. Feels a bit like staying in a museum and it is a bit creaky and dusty in places, but renovations were going on when we were there, it has a faded luxury about it and I’d definitely stay there again. The rooms are comfortable, spacious and retain their original style with modern comforts like underfloor heating added. http://www.posadadepalacio.com/

Bodegas Pedro Romero – one of the town’s many sherry ‘factories’, open for visits at set times. This one also has a self-guided tour, which we did: you are given a map and brief guide, plus a key to open some of the massive doors that open out from the bodega on to the street. Price includes a tasting of the different types of sherry at the end. Well worth doing. http://www.pedroromero.es

El Inesperado – a great beach bar with lots of fish, cold beer and sherry and a prime spot on the sands with views across to the National Park. http://sanlucar-de-barrameda.salir.com/chiringuito_el_inesperado


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