Woweeeeee where to start? Firstly, happy September folks. School summer holidays are done and dusted and we are back into the old routine. Well old and new for us. Tilda has just started her brand new school this week and Ivy is about to start school for the first time, I still have her at home until next week though as they drip feed them in for the first term. She’s desperate to get there though so I wish she could start now!
The holidays now all seem like a dream but we have been left with the most amazing memories. I could have filled three blogs with our trip to Spain but I won’t drag it out!! So I decided to concentrate on my favourite part of the holiday, Seville. Oh my goodness what a beautiful city. I had heard, read and been told how wonderful it was and it didn’t disappoint.
Because of the potential plane strikes I didn’t book this before we went just in case we didn’t get to go so when we were actually on Spanish soil I went online and booked a family self-catering room with an online booking site. I found a great room for 150 Euros at The Central Arenal Suits, which was modern and clean and all we needed. If I had booked earlier I think we would have found something more traditional but it didn’t matter this was perfect.
We were walking distance from the old town and the cathedral which is what everyone told me to do and they were right. When we arrived we pretty much dumped our bags and went straight out, armed with suggestions from many of you.
Plaza De Espana – we took a horse-drawn carriage and took a wonderful tour around the main attractions of the city. All the major things, the University, Cathedral, Alcazar and Plaza De Espana. Our guide didn’t speak much English and my Spanish is very basic but we managed to get the gist along with the help of a tourist map. I highly recommend this little trip, it’s 40 minutes for 45 Euros and you get to see a lot in one fell swoop which helps you decide what you then want to go and see in more detail.
After this, having seen the stunning Plaza De Espana we went straight back there as it’s quite something. It was built in 1929 fusing Renaissance revival with Moorish influence. There is a manmade boating ‘river’ and central fountain which is a great place to cool down. Wait for a breeze and get sprayed by the water!
The most magical part of this was that there was a street performance of Flamenco over on the steps by the bridge in the shade. This was no amateur performance though, these guys were professionals and all it cost us was a few Euros in a hat. I wasn’t prepared for how emotive Flamenco singing is too. The passion and pain emoted by the singer was actually incredibly moving and brought a tear to my eye. Even if you don’t book tickets to a Flamenco night, particularly if you are on a budget, head here to see the street performers as it’s pretty special. We didn’t attempt the boats on the water but it did look fun and the market stalls have some lovely souvenirs. We bought parasols for the girls.
The Cathedral – now the immense size of this and the incredible detail of the building itself is overwhelming. It’s the focal point of the city and everything worth seeing surrounds it. If you think too much about how it was built it will make your head spin. We took in the architecture and headed inside to one of the chapels. A service was about to start so we didn’t stay too long but we saw enough to appreciate its enormity.
The main Cathedral is open in slots during the day and there are big queues so it’s worth booking ahead of time. We decided not to do the main part of the Cathedral as the girls actually found the displays/shrines in the chapel too scary and they also wouldn’t have lasted in the queues. I know it’s a must-see for many though so make sure to see it in some way if you go.
The Royal Alcazar – this was by far my favourite thing to see. I booked us in for the following morning, online, and I’m so glad I did. We didn’t book for a tour, as it would have gone over the girls’ heads. In any case you don’t need to fork out for this as there is lots of information at each point to read on the way round. It was definitely worth booking, again due to the queues. This is a world heritage site and one of the oldest palaces still in use in the world.
The Moorish influence, in my opinion, is what I think makes it so special, the tiling and stone work is unreal. It’s vast and incredible to think this is where royalty would reside and meet with delegates. If you think the building is wonderful, just wait until you walk out into the gardens. You will think you are on a film set, and you wouldn’t be far off. Parts of Game of Thrones were filmed here and they won’t have needed to add any false green screen backgrounds to anything. It’s sensational.
Tilda and Ivy loved the maze the most. There are little spots around the whole place that you can stop, sit and pause to take it in, I got some of my favourite photos with the girls here and as you can see Ivy was in her flamenco dress which just added to my love of the pictures. We spent about 2 hours here, I would have stayed but that’s the most I could push Ivy and Tilda. It’s an absolute must to see, no question.
Walking and Tapas – when you walk around Seville there is so much to see, even the trees are special!!! Look at this amazing old sprawling tree and its insane roots like something prehistoric. This is simply on a pavement on the walk back from the Plaza and we had to stop for some pictures. The best thing to do I think when taking in the city is to find a tapas restaurant that takes your fancy. This is no mean feat though, there are 100s and 100s of them.
They do offer different types of dishes so do stop to look at the menus. Some are more traditional and perhaps unusual dishes that won’t suit all tastes and some are your more obvious Patatas Bravas and meatballs. We had to make sure to find places that offered something for the kids but many do offer chips which is all Ivy really ate. At 4 she still isn’t as adventurous as her big sister who will join us in garlic prawns and plates of jamon and cheese.
My tip would be to start small. We ordered some plates in full size and it was too much and we ended up having to cancel one dish before it arrived! You can always order more. The crisp cold Rose is also the perfect accompaniment, Fred had cervesa (beer!).
Museo Del Baile Flamenco – on the second night we went to see a live Flamenco show at the Museum of Flamenco and it was fantastic. It’s a small intimate venue and it gets very hot so either take water or buy a drink in the bar before the show. It’s an hour long and consists of 3/4 musicians/singers and three dancers. One Male and two Female, (one younger and one more mature and vastly more experienced I must add!).
It’s a mix of solos, partnered and all three of them together. My favourite was the older lady, she was so strong and powerful and just mesmerising. Ivy was transfixed, and was of course still in full flamenco costume. I wish I could have taken some pictures but it wasn’t allowed. After half an hour though the girls were restless so if you are taking smaller children try and get as early a showing as you can. We had to book the later show as it was already nearly sold out and it was too late for my girls but they did so well to behave until the end so I bought them castanets and a fan in the shop.
We were in Seville for a day and half and we packed in a lot. One thing I wouldn’t bother with is the river cruise. There was very little to see and honestly the best thing about it was the breeze. I would rather have gone back and had another horse and carriage ride or gone back to the Plaza for the little rowing boats. Save your money and spend it on something else, it was 38 Euros for the 4 of us and the kids were free!
If you are interested and want to see more I filmed a lot on my Insta Stories and I have saved them in my Travel Highlights so you can have a look there to see more. Do add it your list of places to visit as it’s so worth it.
On my trip I brought a number of extra items from QVC with me to wear while I was away, these were on top of what I blogged about in my last post. So let me list them here so you can check them out yourself, they added some great colour to my holiday wardrobe.
My Yellow and Black Viscose Ghost Skirt – Laila printed Skirt. We only have one size left in XS but if that’s you then have a look.
Round Woven Straw Bag from Frank Usher – this style has been the bag of the summer and still in huge demand. It’s lightweight and packs in a suitcase easily.
Boho Betty Multi Layer 6 Row Wrap Bracelet – a fabulous rainbow of colour for your wrist, the one I am wearing is the ‘Multi’. It can also be worn as a necklace.
Boho Betty Set of 3 Summer Beaded Bracelets – I am wearing the Orange Option, I wore this with my bright orange/red dress at the Alcazar. Three separate bracelets, one of which can be twisted 3 times to make it look like you are wearing 5 altogether. Split them up or wear them all together as intended.
Frank Usher Kaftan – the lovely Blue and Turquoise Kaftan Style Cover up. Easy and lightweight, perfect to throw on to go from beach sun lounger to beach bar for lunch. I am also wearing more Boho Betty here with the Beaded Hoop Earrings which are a silver tone with blue semi precious gemstone beads.
Bibi Bijoux – finally, I forgot to take a photo when I wore these out one night, but I have photographed them laying on the straw bag. The Mother of Pearl Disc Pendant Necklace and Earrings. These are Sea/Beach themed with seahorse charms and Mother of Pearl so perfect for holidays!
What’s on at QVC – Benefit Boi-ing Cakeless Concealer
So I’m back to work with a bang and looking forward to all the fantastic shows and events we have coming up for the final part of the year! Our Beauty Pick of the Month is a brand new product from Benefit. It’s Boi-ing, Cakeless Concealer. I had a fun airing of it with Lisa Potter Dixon the other day and the before and afters are fantastic. As it says it doesn’t cake and crease into lines and wrinkles and the finish is just fantastic. It also brightens, making you look like you’ve had a great night’s sleep even if you haven’t! It comes in 12 shades and as it’s our Beauty Pick there is no P&P and it’s a great price too.
That’s it for this week, I would love to know if any of you might add Seville to your bucket list so let me know in the comments.
Lots of love Katy xx