Having started the Seville Concierge blog on June 21st, the longest day of the year, it seems appropriate to start things off with a post about The Heat in Seville. The three months from mid-June to mid-September really do get hot (100ºF is common) and you do need to adapt your behaviour to deal with it. The standard advice you already know – drink lots of water, put on sun block, wear loose clothes and stay in the shade – but you’ll also want some things to do that keep you out of the midday sun.
Museums, galleries and palaces. Depending on your interests Casa Pilatos has shady gardens and Casa Lebrija a typical cool Sevillano patio. The Museum of Fine Arts, which has a world class collection of classical paintings, should keep you occupied for a couple of hours, and has a beautiful plaza with big trees and those ceramic tiled benches that stay cool even when it’s hot. The Museums of Archaeology and Popular Culture are another good bet, and you can walk back to the centre of town through the green oasis of Maria Luisa Park as it starts to cool down in the evening.
Cold beer. Cruzcampo’s Glacial beer is served at -2ºC and will slake your thirst like nothing else.
Ice-cream. There are lots ice-cream parlours with dozens of different flavours to choose from. Head to Ben and Jerry’s in the Campana, or for Seville’s own specialists, Rayas, in either Reyes Catolicos or Almirante Apodaca.
Go to a movie. The Avenida 5 Cines in Marques de Paradas shows films in English – and also in air-conditioned comfort.
Go shopping. This needn’t be as strenuous as it sounds. All the shops are air-conditioned, and department stores like el Corte Inglés are big enough that you can spend an hour or so browsing without feeling under any pressure to buy anything.
If shopping’s not your thing you may prefer to settle down in an air-conditioned bar with a glass of one of Seville’s summer coolers, tinto de verano (red wine of summer) and gazpacho soup. Tinto de verano is a mixture of red wine and fizzy lemonade served over ice, with a slice of lemon. It’s what the locals drink; sangría is for tourists only. Gazpacho is a cold refreshing tomato and cucumber soup, usually served with ice in a tall glass.
Once evening hits make it over to one of Seville’s rooftop bars, and upgrade to a cocktail. The EME hotel and the Doña Maria are the most obvious, but show you know what’s what by going to the Hotel Inglaterra in the Plaza Nueva, or my personal favourite, the Fontecruz in Calle Abades, which has the coolest ambience as well as the best views. Cheers!