Friday, May 18, 2018

Sunday Brunch at the Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville

Sunday brunches are a sumptuous affair at the Restaurante San Fernando in the exquisite Hotel Alfonso XIII, serenaded by live piano. The best part of the brunch in Seville's most famous hotel, apart from the setting and the well-dressed company, is the impressive selection of freshly prepared salads and fabulous seafood, followed by several choices of main course, including paella and perfectly pink beef tenderloin, and an array of bite-size dessert pastries and fruit, all for an astonishing €50 per person, including limitless glasses of champagne and Mimosas. In addition to classic scrambled eggs, sausages and bacon, there is also a selection of cold dishes prepared in individual portions, including salads, sushi, and gazpacho to delicious lobster ceviche with guacamole, salmon roe and foie gras, as well as a spectacular Valencian paella, fresh pasta, poached fish and grilled vegetables. As sweet final, there are local sweets such as a silky sweet Spanish Flan which is similar to Crème Caramel, Arroz Con Leche, a lovely Andalusian Rice Pudding and Empanada de Manzana, a delicate Spanish apple and walnut galette plus a staggering selection of Spanish and French cheeses. Overlooking the inner courtyard where festivities were underway for Seveille's annual Feria de Abril, we admired ladies dressed in their traditional "traje de gitano", literally "gypsy outfits" or flamenco dresses, typically designed with bright colours or jazzy polka dots and accessorized with matching flowers tucked in the hair with a decorative comb, jewellery and topped off with a tasselled shawl and fan. Arriving in Seville during the city's most anticipated event, we sipped our prosecco and watched the magic unfold before our eyes.

Endless glasses of sparkling Spanish Cava and Mimosas were a restorative tonic 
after our 3-hour drive from Granada 

Sunday brunch is a sumptuous affair in the magnificent colonnaded Andalusian-style courtyard of Restaurante San Fernando in the exquisite Hotel Alfonso XIII, serenaded by piano 

With great buckets of chilled cava 'at the ready', staff took their jobs seriously, keeping glasses topped up with the sparkling elixir 

The inner courtyard of the hotel was bustling with those celebrating Seville's annual April Fair, the biggest event of the year where locals dress in traditional Andalusian outfits

Enormous prawns with gravlax and lobster ceviche

Spanish Flan which is similar to Crème Caramel, one of my favourite desserts

Arroz Con Leche is a lovely Spanish Rice Pudding

Empanada de Manzana, a delicate Spanish apple and walnut galette

Looking down over the courtyard festivities from the balcony of our suite

Bacalao en Salsa Verde con Gambas y Verduras
(Cod in Green Sauce with Prawns and Vegetables)
Serves 6
Recipe courtesy of chef André Tabouret, Restaurant San Fernando

2 lb fresh cod
1 oz flour
1/2 cup olive oil
6 oz prawns
1/2 oz finely chopped garlic
7 oz green peas
1 cup white wine
2 cups fish broth
2-3 cocktail tomatoes
3 oz leeks, finely sliced
6 fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the chopped garlic. Place the cod filets in the pan and fry on both sides. Add the prawns, leeks and peas and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour in the fish broth and follow with a dash of white wine, then add some flour to bind the sauce. Serve with cocktail tomatoes and basil leaves.

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