Jerez de la Frontera - Trip Report

Old Jul 4th, 2024, 06:07 AM
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Jerez de la Frontera - Trip Report

Jerez de la Frontera was stop six of our Andalusian adventure. Check out the trips reports of our previous stops of Malaga, Granada, Ubeda, Seville, and Sanlúcar de Barrameda elsewhere on this forum or by clicking on my profile name.

We arrived in Jerez via taxi from Sanlúcar de Barrameda. The ride took 35 minutes and we paid €50.

The phrase "de la Frontera" in Jerez de la Frontera's name harkens back to its past as a frontier town. During the Reconquista, when Christian forces were steadily reclaiming land from the Moors, Jerez stood on the dividing line between Christian and Muslim territories. This historical significance is captured in its name, with "de la Frontera" translating to "of the frontier" in Spanish.

Today, the city of Jerez de la Frontera is known for its rich cultural heritage, including its historic center, sherry production, and flamenco music. We found the city to be charming, welcoming, and fascinating.
Jerez de la Frontera - Trip Report-f79f5e_1a33bc35a13a4465a8edb81fa6d99ade-mv2.jpg


We spent three days in Jerez, which felt just about right to get a good feel for the city and see the main sites. We met several people who have come back time and time again to enjoy its many charms. I’m sure we will also visit again.

In the sections below, I have only listed places personally visited.


STAYING (PRICES ARE FROM FEBRUARY 2024)

Hotel Bodega Tio Pepe (map) ( Pl. Encarnación)
  • Bodega Tio Pepe is a lovely hotel in the historic center of Jerez de Fronterra.
  • The hotel is perfectly located next to Jerez Cathedral and the Alcazar; is just a short walk to the many bars and restaurants of the old town; and is connected to the historic Bodega González Byass.
  • Our room (23) was extremely comfortable (the bed, in particular, was wonderful). The bathroom was large, luxurious, and well equipped with amenities.
  • The hotel has a large rooftop terrace with the most amazing views over the Catedral, Alcazar, and Bodega. The terrace has bar service in the late afternoon / early evening and a nice pool for the warmer months.
  • Breakfast (which was included in our stay) was served in the breakfast room and consisted of both hot and cold choices. It was perfectly decent.
  • The best thing about Bodega Tio Pepe was the welcoming, relaxed, and calming vibe which was entirely due to the truly excellent team of staff.
  • We paid €160 per night including taxes.
  • When we come back to Jerez, we'll choose this hotel again.
  • Highly recommended.

EATING (PRICES ARE FROM FEBRUARY 2024)


Pedro Nolasco Restaurant (map) (Pl. Encarnación)
  • Our first evening in Jerez was that of the dreaded Valentine’s Day. We went for the easy option and made a reservation at Pedro Nolasco, conveniently attached to the Hotel Tio Pepe.
  • This is a lovely space focused on traditional Jerez cuisine. Predictably, they were pushing a tasting menu with a wine pairing that evening. We chose one fish forward menu and one meat based. I must say that they had some of the best gluten free bread I have tasted.
  • Overall, the food was lovely, but we regretted not choosing to go with the flexibility of a la carte dining. The service was a tad slow, but the restaurant was busy with every seat taken.
  • Paid €90.
  • Recommended
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Chicuelo (map) (C. San Pablo, 20)
  • A rambling walk fortuitously landed us in front of Chicuelo at lunch time.
  • The dining room has an open, courtyard like feel, with lots of light and greenery. It was quite full giving the place a welcoming and upbeat vibe.
  • We shared a wonderfully fresh tomato and tuna salad to start and then shared some half portions of grilled artichokes, tortillitas de camarones (shrimp fritters), and some crispy cheese and shrimp pastries. Friendly and attentive service.
  • Paid €45 (including 4 glasses of wine).
  • Highly recommended.
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Rigodon (map) (C. Basantes, 2)
  • We loved this restaurant on the lively Plaza Plateros.
  • We had been searching for some spicier food and stumbled across Rigodon. The menu is eclectic and offers tastes from around the world including many vegetarian options.
  • We ordered a tartiflette (a creamy and comforting oven bake of potatoes, cream and bacon) to start and then a chicken curry and a chicken and plum tagine for our entrees. All the food was delicious.
  • The space is cozy, with a nice ambience. Service was on point.
  • Paid €55 (including two glasses of wine each).
  • Highly Recommended
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DRINKING (PRICES ARE FROM FEBRUARY 2024)

Tabaco San Pablo (map) (C. San Pablo, 12)
  • A traditional tabanco, which is a Jerez institution, not far from Plaza del Arenal. We stopped by for a couple of drinks and some tapas in the middle of the afternoon.
  • A great house fino (€1.70) and ok chicharrónes (€3.20).
  • Recommended.
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Tabanco El Pasaje (map) (C. Sta. María, 8)
  • You really should visit this tabanco while you are in Jerez. As well as being the oldest in town, Tabanco El Pasaje is famous for its flamenco shows, of which there are three a day (2:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m). You can book both shows and food in advance, or like us, you can just turn up.
  • By now we had become accustomed to the tabanco vibe and happily squeezed into the small, crowded bar, made our way to bar and ordered some drinks and plate of cheese. As you would expect, they have excellent sherry, try the fino and amontillado (€2.00 a glass).
  • Walking in without a dinner reservation meant that we had only had a glimpse of the performers, but we were able to hear and feel the passion in the voices, guitars, and percussive clapping. It was more than amazing.
  • Highly Recommended.
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La Frontera de Jerez (map) (C. Angostillo de San Dionisio, 2)
  • This is a lively bar with a great selection of beer – including local craft brews. We went on Sunday afternoon and the place was heaving, luckily, we were able to score a table outside and in the sun.
  • Nice energy and great people watching.
  • Expect to pay €5.00 for a glass of their beer (I tried and enjoyed the “Brutus”) and €2.50 for a white wine.
  • Highly Recommended.
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Tabanco Plateros (map) (C. Algarve, 35)
  • We really enjoyed Tabanco Plateros, located just off the Plaza Del La Yerba. We visited on a Friday night as the good people of Jerez were starting their weekends.
  • To say the place was buzzing would be an understatement! It was crowded both inside and outside, but we managed to nab some standing space inside and just enjoyed watching people enjoying themselves.
  • Expect to pay €2.50 for a white wine and €1.60 for a house sherry. Try a fino or manzanilla first and then do try the oloroso de la casa. Delicious!
  • Highly Recommended.
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DOING (PRICES AREE FROM FEBRUARY 2024)

Alcazar of Jerez (map) (Calle Alameda Vieja, s/n)
  • The Alcazar of Jerez is small compared with those we had previously seen in Malaga, Granada, and Sevilla, however, it is still very much worth a visit.
  • We enjoyed exploring the palace, the old pharmacy, the ruins, baths, towers and gardens. Great vistas across the region and lots of really interesting history.
  • Give yourself up to two hours.
  • Entry is €5 per person with a free audio guide - make sure your phone is charged.
  • Highly recommended.
Jerez de la Frontera - Trip Report-f79f5e_be73d8e1e1ff4c83adc5e0d5d97243c8-mv2.jpg


Jerez Catedral (map) (Pl. Encarnación)
  • The Catedral of Jerez de la Frontera is wonderful, blending Gothic, Baroque, and Neoclassical styles.
  • Like so much of Andalusia, the Catedral stands as a testament to the region's rich and complex heritage, with its octagonal dome and separate bell tower originally built on the minaret of an old mosque.
  • This is a beautiful building of worship and worthy of a visit.
  • Give yourself up to 1.5 hours.
  • Entry is €8 per person.
  • Highly recommended.



Bodegas Tio Pepe Tour (map) (C. Manuel María González, 12)
  • Jerez is one corner of the sherry triangle (the cities of Sanlúcar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa María being the others) and is especially known for its fino sherry.
  • Bodegas Tío Pepe is a must-visit destination for anyone curious about sherry and the history of Jerez itself.
  • This historic winery, part of the renowned González Byass, is next door to the Hotel Tio Pepe and offers tours for visitors to explore its vast cellars (the signed barrels are fun), learn about the solera aging process, and enjoy tastings of their finos and other sherry varieties.
  • Entry is €20.80 per person (which includes two tastings and a short ride on the Tío Pepe express!).
  • Highly Recommended.
Jerez de la Frontera - Trip Report-f79f5e_229dd05aa3dd4174b47afd058b01722e-mv2.jpg

Last edited by amardhaliwal6609; Jul 4th, 2024 at 06:10 AM.
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Old Jul 4th, 2024, 07:20 AM
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Thank you!

In my opinion, Jerez is a vastly underrated travel destination. And the posters here mainly go to the city on day trips so nice that you spent some time there...
I spent only three nights there in 2023 (I think!) and hope to return sometime soon.

I never visited any of the tabancos and will have one or two on my list for next time......I liked my visit to LUSTAU they were lovely although I had not booked in advance....
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Old Jul 4th, 2024, 07:30 AM
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Very nice report on an under-the-radar city that I love, and the "cradle" of flamenco.

ekscrunchy,
If you only visit one tabanco, I'd make it the Tabanco El Pasaje a priority, not just for the flamenco on their tiny stage, but for the variety of sherries available and the very traditional tapas. I stopped here every night after the performances at the International Flamenco Festival in Feb-March (before meeting you at midnight!).

And the cathedral has a lovely pinoteca, in its Museo Catedralicio, to the right of the main altar, which includes a priceless work of Francisco Zurbarán, La Virgen Niña Dormida.
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Old Jul 5th, 2024, 08:13 AM
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Amard, thank you this is excellent and very helpful.
We plan on spending a good a of time there early 2025

Maribel and Eeks, Am I to understand that you were both in Jerez during the flamenco festival? Ok i need to know who or what you saw that was part of the festival presentations por favor!

Amsdon
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Old Jul 5th, 2024, 08:38 AM
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Hi amsdon,
My DH is sending you soon an article from Repsol about Vejer and surroundings and I'll be sending you my Cádiz and Jerez dining guide soon.

Yes, I´ve been to the Jerez flamenco festival several years running and last year I attended 5 performances there, plus Sara Baras´s show "Sombras" in Madrid and her new show ¨"Vuela", dedicated to Paco de Lucía, in Pamplona. We're huge Sara Baras fans and will cross an ocean just to see her! She'll be back in Madrid with her Vuela show in September, but you can check her "gira" and see if you might be able to catch her somewhere during your 2025 trip.

In all these years I've never, ever been able to coincide with a Rocío Molina show, I'm afraid.

Saw the Ballet Nacional de España's show Afandador and we have tickets for their other show later this month, their "Generaciones", and in August, in El Escorial we'll see Carmen Cortés in Memorial.

In Jerez, I saw Eva Yerbabuena, Olga Pericet in La Leona, Israel Galván, Patricia Guerrero and David Coria. Some performances in the Teatro Villamarta and some in the Sala Compañía. I love Jerez during the festival!

Last edited by Maribel; Jul 5th, 2024 at 08:48 AM.
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Old Jul 5th, 2024, 05:38 PM
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Oh yes Thank you Maribel 🙂
I do remember your favorite was Sara Baras.
She was at the NYC Flamenco festival last year as you probably know. But I didn't make it sadly boo
Hopefully i'll get to see her soon.

I did go see NYC Festival this year in March but they had split billing with two different programs over two weekends and we could only do one.

Since we had to choose one of the two flamenco festival concerts in New York I opted for "Gala Flamenca" which included a variety of artistas plus my guitarist friend Javier Ibañez who lives in Jerez. Dancer Manuel Liñan was also featured & directed the show and did a killer finale complete with black bata de cola and mantón. We saw the program twice & It was really great to get DH 's perspective on Manuel Liñan in particular. D H was surprisingly impressed.

It broke my Heart not to be there for the weekend of the Spanish National Ballet.
Fodorites .... If you have an opportunity to see the Ballet Nacional De Espana either in Spain or your home country you should definitely go!! 💃

BTW Eva Yerba Buena will be featured in the 2025 New York City Flamenco Festival late february this time.

I did not mean to hijack this post . I just could not believe that Maribel & Ekscrunchy BOTH were in Jerez at the same time during the yearly Jerez Flamenco Festival.

Since we're on the subject of Jerez on this most helpful trip report, would you say that accommodations are priced at about 20% higher during the Feb flamenco festival in Jerez?

Please excuse any typos I'm still struggling with this on my cell phone.







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Old Jul 6th, 2024, 01:37 AM
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Hi amsdon,
I can't say definitely about the hotel rates, but if I recall, the Eurostars Astia Regia, right smack dab in the center of town, was above my budget. So... I did find a very reasonable rate at the Suites Alfonso X, a new property, whose suites are serviced daily. They gave me their best room, with separate lounge and little kitchenette and a bedroom with canopy bed.

This was my room at the Suites Alfonso:
https://suitesalfonsox.com/habitacio...banera-exenta/

I think that the majority of flamenco students who come for the entire festival stay in apartments.

My budget didn't allow me to stay at eks's very, very lovely 5-star Casa Palacio María Luisa, which is the city's very best hotel. But I did get to hang out there with eks.

My friend, Shawn, of Azahar Tapas, stayed recently at the Palacio Corredera, if I recall.

I forgot to mention that we'll be able to see Yerai Cortés at the Thyssen on Sept. 13 and again, yeah!, on Oct. 17, at the Teatro de la Abadía during Suma Flamenca.


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Old Jul 6th, 2024, 08:43 AM
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Wow!! Maribel i'm so excited that you're going to see Yerai Cortez perform ! i'm curious to see what you think of him.
I drove him and some of the other performers around
Hermosa and Santa Monica when he in LA performing.

Re Jerez hotel, at the moment we do have a refundable reservation at the Asta Regia with a decent rate but I will check out your other new hoteñ recommendation it looks fabulous! But location is a big deal for me at the moment.
You are right Maribel, the flamenco students stay in apartments or share other accommodations im Jerez.
Some go independently and some go with groups .
They have all loved the walkability and community feeling of Jerez. And not all of them go to take class some just go to accompany others and enjoy their time watching the shows and shopping.

And I forgot to mention i loved the hotel that Eeks scrunchy stayed in !! Palacio Maria Luisa looks like everything I had hoped for ! at least looking at the website and going by Scrunchita's most recent trip report. The Palacio was not available on our dates however now i am starting to wonder if perhaps the January dates are simply not out? I assumed because booking com says " you are too late" that the hotel was booked..
I have learned to the contrary by calling that they are simply not available YET for January.







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Old Jul 6th, 2024, 08:44 AM
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Again thank you so much to amardhaliwal6609 for this great trip Report about Jerez de la Frontera!
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Old Jul 6th, 2024, 09:13 AM
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My pleasure. I have enjoyed the conversation and learned much!!
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Old Jul 8th, 2024, 10:29 AM
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amsdon,
The Casa Palacio Maria Luisa is to die for! And it has the most beautiful décor, the dining room is superb and the interior garden, where I waited for eks and chatted with the friendly waiter, is just dreamy. I would prioritize it, as it will be so memorable. And just so you know, the very aristocratic female owner from Jerez has created a mini hotel group, the Kaizen, and her latest project, opened last year, is the Casa Palacio Don Ramón in Sevilla, which we were lucky enough to tour during Holy Week. She has placed many very valuable pieces from her personal art collection there, and every detail is perfection, including the lovely roof top terrace. It just oozes with character.

Speaking of the flamenco festival, I enjoyed chatting with several of the American students, one who has attended the festival and taken classes for several years. And the great thing about signing up for the classes, is that it includes tickets to several of the performances. Jerez is really a gem.

Last edited by Maribel; Jul 8th, 2024 at 10:32 AM.
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Old Jul 8th, 2024, 01:06 PM
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Jerez IS a gem. I wish the festival had existed when I was actually dancing. My ego would not have prevented me from taking classes as a heavy older person.
( Actually there are many senior citizens that dance)
But at this point I would simply be observing because of my orthopedic issues. The other good thing about the festival is that so many fantastic teachers congregate. It's literally HEAVEN for any dancer
and sacrilegious not to go but timing never worked out for me.
My next dream is to learn a little bit about singing.
But as you know that is much more difficult and will never be attained in my case.

Thank you for the information about Palacio Maria Luisa in Jerez It was showing not available on my dates but I will check again. We reserved Eurostar Asta
Regia ( But have cancellation options)

Apart from location can you tell me more in comparing the 2?






One of my favorite teachers of all ( Manuel Betanzos of Triana) It's always invited to teach in the festival.
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Old Jul 9th, 2024, 07:14 AM
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It´s really apples and oranges, amsdon. The Astia Regia belongs to the Eurostars hotel chain and is fine as a chain hotel with a location dead center, but doesn't have that "aristocratic" feel of staying in someone's private mansion or little palace.

The top tier of the Eurostars group are its Áurea hotels, which you'll find in Granada, Toledo, Lisbon, Segovia, Ribeira Sacra (Sober) and other places in Iberia.

But the Casa Palacio María Luisa is steeped in history and exquisite decorated, as to the taste of its aristocratic female owner. It´s Jerez's only 5-star hotel other than the little mansion-like Villa Jerez, out by the fairgrounds (where we have stayed, but with a car), and it's where the nobility stay when attending "society" weddings across the street (Hola magazine gossip!) . It also has an excellent restaurant. Everything the lady owner touches is perfection. That's the difference. And the location also can't be beat. Ekscrunchy can tell you more about the white glove service, but I do know that the bellman escorted her personally to Restaurante A Mar in the rain! I was impressed.

Last edited by Maribel; Jul 9th, 2024 at 08:00 AM.
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Old Jul 9th, 2024, 12:08 PM
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Thank you Maribel
Currently booked at the Eurostar In Granada & Jerez BUT may change to the Palacio ML in Jerez If pricing allows once they start posting it.

Thank you for your amazing help.
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Old Jul 10th, 2024, 06:00 AM
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Hi amsdon,
You know where to find me always, and more to come!

There are several Eurostars properties in Granada (not including the lower tier, budget EXEs that also belong to this chain): the Aurea Cathedral, downtown close to the cathedral (very nice with lovely rooftop terrace), the Aurea Washington Irving, right below the Alhambra Entrance pavilion on the Alhambra hill but not within the complex (with seasonal pool), the Eurostars Puerta Real (nice) and the Eurostars Gran Vía (that I haven't toured).

For years I used to say for the "romance factor", stay on the Alhambra hill in summer or on the Realejo slopes below the Alhambra at the Carmen de Alcubilla del Caracol, when it's much cooler up there and when one can stroll the grounds at night (romance factor).
But....I've now changed my mind, especially outside of the hot summer.

We usually go in February or March, and we now prefer to stay in the center of the city so as to enjoy walking around, taking a hike through the ancient Arab quarter of the Albaicín (or one can take the minibus 32 or 31), stopping there at the Carmen de Max Moreau (a beautiful carmen/art museum), touring the downtown monasteries/basílicas (San Juan de Dios) in addition to the Cathedral and Capilla Real, and to do a tapas-wine crawl at night. So, as I know when you'll be there, I certainly recommend that you stay downtown in either the Aurea Catedral or the Eurostars Puerta Real, of all the Eurostars properties there.
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Old Jul 10th, 2024, 10:28 AM
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Amsdon, our long lost friend!!

Maribel is spot on about the Maria Luisa. This is one of those rare hotels that would delight you even if the location was mediocre which, of course, it's not; it's in one of the loveliest cities in Spain. I can't remember staying in a hotel anything like this one. I've had all those luxuries in come very high end flash hotels but this one is high end without being flash, and the service is so personal. Everyone knows your name from the moment you check in. The architecture, exterior and inside, is superb.....not one tacky plastic product to be seen. I have never stayed in a hotel before when, before my arrival date, I received an e-mail asking me which type of bathroom products I wanted: Molton Brown, Nuxe, or another one. How's that for personalized service???? They even asked about the pillows, of which II have no idea...

But besides all those fancy amenities, the staff is just out of this world and I was very happy to see the there was at least one male from sub-Saharan Africa (The Gambia) working the front desk.....not sure where I'd seen that before out of Africa (no pun intended there!). And yes, the first night it was drizzling so I took one of the guest umbrellas lined up in the foyer. "OH, no, Señora x..it will be much better for you if you do not have to carry the umbrella. Abdul will carry it and make sure you do not get lost on the way to the restaurant...".(about 10 minutes away..)

And, I've mentioned this before, but every guest at the time I stayed, was given a furry companion to accompany us on our further travels. I won't say more on that but trust me, he is still with me every night!!! (Not a handsome matador, but he is 100% faithful!).

In short....ten stars for the Maria Luisa. I'm sure it's wildly expensive during your time period but you could have a drink at the bar where Maribel and I finally had our midnight rendezvous!
Or maybe just splurge., You will not forget this hotel.

To give you an idea of the hospitality of the Jerezanos (??), after my final dinner, the owners of the restaurant (Marcos and his wife) walked me all the way back to my hotel, in effect giving me a tour of the city...
and this was late in the evening after they closed!


One thing I should say is that the room I had at Maria Luisa was not large....it was gorgeous but people needing huge rooms would not be happy. (I doubt if you fall into this category). And I don't think I had a view.....I will look through my photos and see if I can find any of the hotel, and the room. I probably had the least expensive room category. The bathrooms are sumptuous. If I find any photos I will post them soon,..

Did you see the poster I included in my "report" on my 2024 trip (not including Jerez)..a famous flamenco person was one of the stars..along with Tom Jones!!!!!

Do you all know LA PERLA DE HUELVA?
And have you seen the Cameron documentary on Netflix???


Hola to Jerez..first night in Spain!!! Note handbag made in Spain, which is the BEST purse I've ever owned!!! (Jacket: Uniqlo; $19 USD on sale). Oops, sorry I am not writing copy for HOLA! here!

Entrance to Maria Luisa

Outrageously lavish breakfast...this is the place where a gentleman approached me to let me know how much he enjoyed watching my delight as I sampled all the local foods on offer..no wonder I an never eat lunch...

Some of the front desk staff.
The best of the best!!!

I am sorry---cannnot imagine why I took no pics of my room......





This is the poster about Estrella Morente, this summer......sorry about the porta potties in the foreground!!

I know as much about flamenco as I do about classical Greek but will aim to learn much more as I have an aficionada in Vejer, hence the earlier reference to La Perla de Huelva...
Just picked up a few Paco de Lucia CD's at a yard sale last weekend...






Last edited by ekscrunchy; Jul 10th, 2024 at 11:15 AM.
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Old Jul 10th, 2024, 09:11 PM
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Hi Scruncita!

Thank you for all this information .
We do have reservations tentatively for Jerez is but let's see what the prices are for the Palacio M L
It would be for early January & not available yet.
( or sold out)

Yes I did see the posters those were amazing and I would have suffered through the heat to see anu of those at that famous bodega. Vicente amigo
comes often to the US and is wonderful
But I would definitely be up Estrella Morente & Pitingo. Pirtngo style more rhythm and blues Flamenco fusion. I forgot which airport he used to work at as a young person and somewhere along the line he inherited some CDs of R&B which he listened to and loved. He is not that type of " puro" Flamenco singer but I like him and what he does in his own style. Lots of people would be surprised to hear that come out of my mouth.
As for Tom Jones DH & I have been trying to see him for years! Timing has never worked at and the one time that it did Santa Barbara he canceled. But it definitely seems to be doing very well on TV and live performances In his 80s.

Estrella Morente beautiful & emblemic of Granada
Most moving video of her is on You Tube when she sang at the funeral for her famous father, Enrique Morente. She married a bullfighter I believe...?

As for LA Perla the flamenca singer do you mean la Perla de Cadiz? If so then yes she' was very famous. If it's not that one then I'll have to get up to speed.

Yes saw anything and everything flamenco that's ever been on Netflix. Some only stay on for a short time.
But the documentaries on Camaron are there permanently I think. Did you happen to go to the Camaron museum? You can also find very rare videos of his mother singing on YouTube.






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cruiseluv
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Feb 7th, 2011 07:11 AM
Eric
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Jul 23rd, 2001 08:10 PM

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