The morning after the night before


David de Cordoba

Our friends John and Lesley kindly offered to pick us up and drive us to the Flamenco Dinner at Bodegas Alceño.  Part of their kindness might have been due to the fact that they didn’t know where Bodegas Alceño are situated and we do!

Much to our amazement, we weren’t the first to arrive.  For once, many Jumillanos had actually arrived on time – possibly because of the free wine and nibbles on offer before the entertainment began.  Kathy and Tony, our new friends from San Pedro, were also there - having successfully persuaded the staff on the gate to let them in even though they only had a piece of paper instead of the proper invitations.  It probably helped that the boss of the bodegas had signed their bit of paper!

We spent too long lingering over the welcoming drinks as, when we eventually found our way downstairs, we discovered that all the seats had been taken and it was standing room only.  It was at this point that I wished I had worn flat shoes rather than the smarter-looking wedges that were on my feet.

We all agreed that the flamenco music, singing and dancing was absolutely amazing.  Kathy was rather taken by the dancer, David de Cordoba, whom she described as a young David Essex: I’m sure it was his considerable dancing talents rather than his good looks that enthralled her! 

Flamenco in Bodegas Alceño

Lesley and I agreed that the star of the night was the young guitarist Kiki Corpas, who had also been playing at the previous concerts in CAM theatre.  Kiki plays with great  feeling and has the ability to adapt his playing to the singers that he is accompanying.

We particularly enjoyed the powerful voice of Marta García, known as La Niña, with Kiki on guitar and Manuel Vílchez on percussion, playing what looked like a wooden box!

Much to our relief (especially to the relief of my feet) there was an interval.  After enjoying some more good wine plus more substantial food than beforehand, we managed to find a couple of chairs so that we could sit and relax while enjoying the second half.

I can’t remember what time this fabulous evening ended, only that it was late by British standards though not of course by Spanish standards.  We all agreed that we would be seeing each other later that day (as it was now past midnight) at the final event of the weekend at Bodegas Viña Campanero.

Bodegas Viña Campanero

Now it was the morning after the night before, so we headed towards the small and friendly Bodegas Viña Campanero for the final event of the weekend.  Our friends were already there, as they hadn’t visited this bodega before - not that the tour takes very long! 

The string quartet were already tuning up, which added to the sense of anticipation.  The Cuarteto Pedrera are young, very talented and we all loved the programme that they had chosen, which had been advertised as “classical music”.  Are Lennon and McCartney now considered classical composers?  Coldplay too?  That certainly made us all feel pretty ancient!

\”Yesterday\” – a true classic!

After the previous night’s experience, we made sure that we grabbed seats early on, so we could sit and enjoy listening to the excellent music.  If you have never been to a concert in a bodega, you should definitely take advantage of any opportunity to do so, as the atmosphere is wonderful, especially with an appreciative audience.

Cuarteto Pedrera

We had told our friends that the food would be particularly good here as they have their own kitchen on the premises.  Nobody disagreed with us as they sampled the tortilla, queso frito, baked potatoes, rabbit (Lesley and I both gave that one a miss!) and other tasty dishes.  Washed down with more superb wines from Jumilla.

One of our party suddenly commented on the fact that nearly everybody else had left, so we decided to leave in case we had outstayed our welcome.  Our Spanish hosts were having none of that, as they insisted on us having coffees, liqueurs, desserts and then indicated that we should join them as they were having their own meal!  Reluctantly we left, saying that two of our friends still had to drive back to the coast.  Superb hospitality from Bodegas Viña Campanero!

The wine was flowing, and more food kept coming...

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  1. Robert Leach’s avatar

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him haha!