First Taste of Toledo

On his first evening in Toledo, DonQui trots down towards the Plaza de Zocodover which he is led to understand in a hive of local activity.


His heart sinks when he sees the place dominated by McDonalds and Burger King. Although Toledo was the capital of Visigothic Spain, DonQui takes strength in the certain knowledge that the Spanish could not wholly succumb to such barbaric invaders so he wanders on.

El TrebolThere, just around a corner and tucked into a most inviting courtyard, he stumbles upon the delightful Cerveceria El Trebol. He has enough grasp of the Spanish language to feel certain that a cerveceria would serve beer and that is exactly what he wants.

Domus Toledp

Not only do they have beer but they have a rather nice local brew. It may not quite stack up to a Southwold Adnams but it is far better than your average industrial lager. Encouraged, DonQui decides to stay a while and have a bite to eat as well.

He goes for a plate of grilled Iberico pork with potatoes and tomatoes. Coming from a special breed of acorn fed pigs, the pork is dark, rich, tender and utterly delicious. DonQui is not normally a great fan of potatoes but any he has sampled in Spain are much more to his taste that those he has at home in England. He does not know if it is the variety, the soil or the climate but they are firmer and nuttier in flavour. The tomatoes too are deep red with none of the insipidness of those picked green and transported from many miles away.

Iberico porkBetter than your average tapas, it is a simple and flavoursome dish which leaves DonQui feeling utterly satisfied. And at €7 it is a bargain.

He rather expects that he may be paying a return visit.

Drinks and Tapas

One of the best things about Granada is that whenever DonQui goes for a drink in the evening he is offered free tapas. His favourite haunt is Torcuato at the top of Cale Pagés in Albayzín which seems to be primarily frequented by locals.


From 9pm onwards the atmosphere is buzzing and DonQui spends several happy evenings here whiling away the hours sipping wine, savouring the free tapas, and occasionally ordering a dish or two off the menu. It is the sort of casual place DonQui likes — good food and drink without any pretension or fuss. It would probably not appeal to those who want slick service or an orderly meal.


The tapas varied each evening – DonQui’s favourite was a plate of grilled squid on  crispy cabbage salad bed.


Further down Cale Pagés there is a small square (Plaza Aliatar) where the bars start up a bit earlier. The tapas there is not as good but DonQui rather liked the ice cold beer served in a clay beaker at El Panero. So a beer there first and then up to Torcuato for wine and food.


The Mirador San Nicolás is the place to go for a sundowner with unbeatable views of the Alhambra as the setting sun catches the walls.


Many people simply gather on the wall of the square…


…but DonQui prefers to have a drink at either El Balcón de San Nicolás or the El Huerto Juan Ranas next door. Neither of these places have free tapas but they have great views of the Alhambra and comfortable seats.


In the square a number of artisans set up stalls to sell their wares to the tourists. It is all quite atmospheric.

On to Seville

It is a bit crowded in here DonQui thinks to himself while wondering at the propensity of humans to squeeze themselves into very small places.

fly to Seville

He is flying from Barcelona to Seville on Vueling Airlines. They are a budget airline apparently. As a creature who likes his comfort DonQui does not like the sound of that. First Class is the style he wishes to become accustomed to.

premium traveller

Fortunately he has a little black card which gives him free access to airport lounges. Earlier, when he showed it to the nice lady at the desk he suddenly became a ‘premium traveller.’ DonQui was very pleased that the humans treated him as special rather than herding him around the terminal like any ordinary donkey. With the help of a glass of cava even forgot for a moment that he would soon be flying on a budget airline.

The flight actually wasn’t bad and 90 minutes later DonQui is in Seville with plenty of time to explore and have a drink or two before tucking into tapas. First impressions are favourable: interesting narrow streets with something new to see around every corner.

seville street 2

More importantly there seem to be lots of tempting bars and restaurants.

Seville street 1

A beer or two later at the rather pleasant Milagritos Restaurant in sight of the cathedral, DonQui saw a sign advertising local flamingos at 21:00. This rather puzzled him. It was not clear whether they were on the menu or on show. Either way DonQui decided he needed to find out.


Duchess told him that he was a silly donkey and that flamingos and flamencos were not in any way related. Neither were on the menu but one was on show. And a very impressive show it was too.


It could have been cheesy and overly touristy but instead it was a very intimate performance delivered with great passion and emotion. The evening included 3 tapas per person for €15 and the food was good if not truly excellent. DonQui particularly liked the chicken with ceps (a type of mushroom), the pork in sweet wine sauce and chicken paella were also very good.


After the meal DonQui was offered a brandy on the house. It was a very nice gesture even if it did taste of toffee and old straw with a bouquet that reminded him of his stable back home.


All in all a very good night out.

DonQui Recommends:

Milagritos Restaurant (Alemanes 35, Seville) for its excellent location, friendly staff and wonderful flamenco. Despite the prime tourist area the prices were reasonable and there was a wide variety of descent tapas on offer.

Priority Pass is definitely worth having if you can get one free with your bank account or with some other incentive. It lets you into lounges worldwide even if traveling on cheap fares and budget airlines. Whether it is worth the full list price of £250 (prices vary according to country) is another matter altogether.