Travels with a Gourmet

a food lover's travels, memorable meals, culinary trials and gastronomic experiences

It feels like a house party at home with the arrival of two other good friends from Dubai, K and O with their six-year old daughter, C. Now, there are six kids all together having fun while we parents also enjoy ourselves. Tonight, we were invited to a special flamenco show by Grupo Juncal at the Roman amphitheatre of the hotel Villa Padierna.

All six of use were ready to go by 9:00 and we headed off to the hotel to enjoy some champagne, cocktails and canapes: salmon gravlax chunks on Melba toast, jamon bellota (acorn-fed pigs) rolled around grissini, shot glasses of gazpacho, boquerones (raw anchovies marinated in vinegar) and Manchego cheese. Most guests were wandering around the grounds, having a drink and enoying the warm summer evening.

The amphitheatre seats were decorated with red carnations and the effect was dramatic. As the sky darkened, the lights of the amphitheatre were switched on and we were ushered to our seats.

Flamenco is not just about dance but also about singing and music – there was a guitarist, a singer and a pair of dancers. The music was accentuated by syncopated clapping and the songs interpreted by the soloist were melancholic and talked of broken hearts and lost loves. While the guitarist and the singer provided the background music, the dancers moved around the stage in a frenzy of clapping, stamping and twirling. It was a fantastic evening of typical Andalusian music and dance made even more special by the impressive setting of the hotel’s Roman amphitheatre. The show finished at 11:00 and we went to nearby Trader Vic’s at the Laguna Village for a nightcap and were back home by midnight.

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