Thanks to the hospitality and gastronomic credentials of the people behind the recently opened The Corner House, this new Urban Hotel in Seville is already attracting plenty of attention, writes Andrew Forbes.
As its name implies, this 12 room hotel occupies a smart corner house, with a pavement terrace that spills out onto the famous ‘Alameda de Hércules’ city square In the heart of Seville’s historic centre.
The hotel’s foodie identity comes very much from its informal restaurant ‘el Disparate’. Here hotel the founders, chef Nacho Dargallo and his partner Sandra Rodríguez, are building on the success of their well-established gourmet restaurant ‘El Gallinero de Sandra’. They have ventured into offering accommodation above their latest restaurant, creating a foodie hub; a relaxed, young and dynamic environment in one of Seville’s coolest locations.
It’s said that, after Rome, Seville capital of Andalucia has the largest historical city centre in Europe. Arriving in this southern Spanish city, filled with spires, towers, palaces and even a castle that’s not hard to believe.
The Alameda is very much part of this historic centre, with its iconic Roman columns. Yet the area is a not a tourist trap, or a theme park. It is instead an authentic city centre neighbourhood, with a lively atmosphere thanks to many cafes, bars and restaurants. Once covered in the yellow Albero sand, (the quintessential colour of Seville – (it’s the material used in the bull rings) the plaza is now paved, yet retains its historic hue. Terrace cafes, bars and restaurants line the long Alameda, providing a sociable atmosphere from early morning breakfast right through to late night drinks. There are also some fascinating architectural sights too, including a few elegant noble houses.
The Alameda is about 15 minutes’ walk to the cathedral and 10 minutes’ walk to the Metropol Parasol, and right at the heart of the city’s nightlife.
The latest addition to the hospitality scene here is The Corner House. This cool urban space offers very well proceed accommodation right in the heart of the city.
I found parking in one of nearby underground car parks and walked in the shade of plane trees, and café awnings until reaching The Corner House. The entrance lobby is also a small library, stocked with books on travel, cuisine and cooking. The young man at reception was expecting us and quickly checked us in and offered us the keys to the room.
Each of the rooms are individually decorated, with a simple, light palate accented with a few signature items, such as a quirky, vintage headboards repurposed from originally materials of the house before it was renovated, colourful lampshades, or interesting wallpapers. The rooms are compact at around 16-18 square metres, but are filled with light, so feel spacious enough and are designed to make the most of the space.
The property has been completely renovated, including the installation of a new glass lift that takes you to all floors, and sparkling new showers, and bathroom fixtures in the rooms.
This is stylish, budget accommodation right in the city. Soundproofing from the lively Alameda is assured thanks to double windows and even in the height of summer, expect to be cool, thanks to super effective air-con. Free Wi-Fi was available the rooms and in the public spaces of the restaurant, and lobby library.
There is a decked roof-terrace and works are advanced at the time of going to press, to make this into a styles, low-key cocktail bar – something quick different from the other offerings in the area.
The team are relaxed and friendly and before long guests are chatting away to Yolanda on the terrace or Nare on reception.
The Corner House is all about the epicurean pleasures of its ‘El Disparate’ Restaurant & Tapas bar created by Nacho Dargallo and Sandra Rodríguez.
After settling into the room, we headed back downstairs to the try a few of the dishes. The menu is a celebration of the most successful dishes from over the years served at ‘El Gallinero de Sandra’; a very popular restaurant established nearby by the owners some years ago.
The selection of these ‘greatest hits’ are seasonal and served as half plates or full plates. It’s easy to also build up a sharing menu to enjoy with friends.
When we arrived Nacho was prepping in the kitchen with his team, fresh ingredients from the market laid out on the work surfaces.
Nacho suggested we let him prepare a few dishes for us, to give a feel of the menu – it was a splendid idea.
We kicked off with the fresh, summer flavours of sardines with tomato, watermelon & pesto. Then we shared the mouth-watering ravioli filled with prawns and vegetables, with an aromatic leak sauce.
We also tried the meaty, generously portioned cod, as well as the seared corvine white fish – both beautifully presented, cooked to perfection; truly delicious.
If you’re not interested in fish, then there different steaks, vegetarian dishes, as well as rice dishes with duck; as well as Yakitori chicken. We finished off the excellent lunch with chocolate brownie with white chocolate sauce…yum.
The menu which changes with the seasons is diverse not only in dishes but in terms of style – it’s contemporary, and dynamic.
What’s more is very reasonably prices with tapas starting 1.50 euro, starters from 7 euro and main dishes going up to 16.50 euro.
The quality, presentation and style is gourmet – the prices are not.
Maria the head waitress will help you navigate the menu, available in English and Spanish
‘El Gallinero de Sandra’
Nacho Dargallo’s and Sandra Rodríguez’s acclaimed restaurant is a short walk away. Sandra invited us to take a look.
The style of the restaurant is elegant and classic with contemporary use of a light colour palette. As we found at The Corner House, the team were friendly and genuine. Sandra is the boss, but clearly she has an excellent rapport with her staff and that means clients receive excellent, natural service from a happy crew.
Here you must try a cocktail; they are wonderful.
I have to admit trying a mojito with cava and also a Cosmopolitan – why not?!
Again dishes are well-priced for a capital city.
After our meal we strolled back to the Alameda de Hércules, which by now was animated with people. Visitors and city locals filled bar and restaurant terraces enjoying late bites and drinks. We of course headed to the terrace of The Corner House for a ‘penultima’ as the say in Spain – the drink before last…
Rooms are from 60 euros in low season.