Saturday, 9 July 2011

Jerez Feria in pictures

For three days in mid May, I was lucky enough to experience the unbridled madness of the Feria de Jerez first hand. During a year abroad in Spain, I'd made it to both the Seville and Granada ferias, but they pale in comparison to Jerez. The Jerezanos live and breathe the feria each night as if the world were about to explode. Following the bright lights, on arrival you're greeted with a cacophony of Spanish sounds, as Sevillanas flamenco music blasts from the hundreds of casetas lining the sand-filled main stretch.

The party lasts a week. By the end, everyone seems to have lost something – Gonzalez Byass GB head Martin Skelton lost his voice, John Chapman of The Oxford Wine Company his passport – and me, my Jerez feria virginity. But perhaps it's in pictures that the feria can best be captured. Below are the edited highlights from three intoxicating days under the Spanish sun. Hemingway would be proud...

The sea of lights make the night appear day, illuminating the casetas
Lanterns adorning the ceiling in the Gonzalez Byass caseta
GB's Andrew Sinclair initiating me in the ways of the Rebujito (Tio Pepe & Sprite), and incredibly popular and refreshing feria drink
In the early hours of the morning, a señorita belts out a flamenco tune
A lady in traditional flamenco dress takes time out from dancing
A galleon full of prawns at the Gonzalez Byass winery, where we ate our way around the world
Caviar canapés in engagement ring boxes - a quirky touch during a curious culinary adventure
I got two proposals that night!
Gonzalez Byass GB head honcho Martin Skelton enjoying the puds
Toothpaste tubes filled with chocolate begging to be squeezed...
A señor enjoys a Cuban cigar while awaiting entry into the bullfight
With the sun high in the sky, the seats quickly fill up and the flags come out in anticipation of the matadors
Dressed in their trajes de luz (suits of light) the matadors file out and do a pre-fight glory lap of the ring
A pair of señoritas dressed in opposing orange and green make their way to the feria through the sun drenched streets of Jerez
A besuited caballero takes a break from parading through the feria
At night the feria comes to life, when the lights look almost lace-like
Soaking up the experience: my Shawshank Redemption moment


  1. V interesting post, love the photos - yes it's very different from the Seville feria, which is my local one. Loved the beautifully presented food and drink - GB know how to do things in style! Gonzalo del Rio has two gorgeous hotels, in Jerez and Sevilla. Do you know them?

  2. Hi Fiona, glad you liked the post. Had the most amazing three days out there - you can't not have a good time in Jerez. Adored my visits to Seville when I was living out in Granada. One of the most enchanting places on earth. GB can certainly lay on a good spread! I did hear about Gonzalo's hotels, hasn't one just got eight rooms? Sounds divine. How did you wind up living in Seville? I hope to return to Andalucia permanently one day...