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La Bulería – Flamenco & Dinner

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There aren’t a lot of Flamenco joints in Valencia, but those that do exist boast a high level of quality. We recently checked out La Bulería, near the Ciudad de Artes y Ciencas, and had a great time.

flamenco-Valencia

La Bulería provides a classier evening than Radio City or El Duende, and seems to be especially popular among sharply-dressed young adults trying to impress their dates. The comfortable and perfectly-lit dining room is small, which provides every table has an unobstructed view of the stage, and means that reservations are essential.

We sat down at 9pm, and had a wonderful meal… meats and cheese, and a salad to start, followed by an incredible roast cooked in red wine sauce, accompanied by potatoes. Delicious. Once we had polished off the dessert, a generous piece chocolate mousse cake, we lingered over our wine, enjoying the animated vibe in the room, and waited for the show to begin.

We didn’t have to wait long. As soon as everyone was done with their meals, the performers took the stage and put on an awesome show, split into two acts. Very dramatic, and a bit more flamboyant than the flamenco we’ve seen before. Two beautiful dancers joined a singer and guitarist on stage, and their performance simply didn’t have a boring moment. Laughing, smiling and shouting “¡Olé!” at each other, they were clearly having a ball, and that energy carried over into the crowd.

We can definitely recommend La Bulería, especially if you’ve got a new date you’d like to make a splash with. The full dinner and show will set you back €45 per person, though menus start at just €30, which is a decent price for an unforgettable evening.

La Bulería’s Website (in English & Spanish)
Calle Obispo Jaime Pérez 24, 46006
Location on our Valencia Map
963 153 058

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La Flamenca Tapas Bar Valencia


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June 8, 2010 at 1:46 pm Comment (1)

Granada – Sacromonte and Our Flamenco Disaster(s)

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One of the coolest most interesting neighborhoods in Granada is Sacromonte, famous for its inhabited caves. We found it fascinating. Sure, the caves have been decorated, painted and furnished, and facades have been attached, but there’s no getting around the fact that these people are living in large holes in the ground.

sacromonte-granada

Granada is one of the most important cradles of flamenco, and Sacromonte is famous for its performances. We’d been warned, though, that watching flamenco in a Sacromonte cave is a rip-off tourist trap. And we’re not silly tourists, who give their money out for no good reason! Right, Jürgen? … Jürgen?

Wait, Jürgen, what are you doing talking to that maliciously grinning gypsy lady? No! Don’t go in her cave!! Don’t wave me over! Don’t… are you accepting a drink?! Have you lost your freaking mind?

As a photographer, the opportunity to take pictures inside a cave proved more compelling to Jürgen than the need to avoid rip-offs. We knew that our “cave tour” of 2 minutes would cost us dearly, and it did. €7 per person. But, Jürgen got his pictures, and even talked the exultant scam artist into posing for a portrait. Enjoy:

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Our other encounter with flamenco came during our first night in the city. We found a blog that praised Peña Flamenca La Platería as one of the best, most authentic flamenco joints in the city. That blog will go unnamed, and we can strongly urge you to skip this place. What a joke! We were ushered into a huge room with 20 other foreigners, and given a glass of the most terrible, watered down sangria I’ve ever had. And the show was awful — they weren’t even trying. The hideous singer brayed like an ox, the guitarist was clearly drunk (he even stopped playing at one point), and the dancer was chubby, boring and unskilled. It was the worst flamenco I’ve ever seen, and we left during intermission.

The Canadian couple in front of us, though, had clearly never seen flamenco before. They clapped and hooted, and whispered excitedly to each other “Isn’t this amazing?” I wanted to clonk their heads together.

We prefer Café del Duende in Valencia for Flamenco.

More from Our Granada Trip

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February 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm Comments (3)

Flamenco en Café del Duende

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Flamenco en Valencia – Café Del Duende from Valencia Blog on Vimeo.

On Friday night, we checked out Café del Duende, which is a small flamenco bar on the western outskirts of the city center (location).

The bar is so small that you might have trouble believing that any sort of show could possibly take place — let alone a full performance with dancing. But the small stage, closely packed tables and the smoky, crowded atmosphere lend the performance a wonderful intimacy.

Friday night’s performance started at 11:30. By showing up nearly an hour early, we were able to claim the last open spots at a table, which we shared with a friendly Spanish couple. They weren’t the only locals in the place — only a small number of tourists seemed to be present.

The show was great; extremely lively, and the crowd was encouraged to participate during some of the more uptempo songs. The raven-haired woman sitting directly in front of the stage clapped along to the music the most insistently, pausing only to take another drag off her cigarette. But if a tourist were to clap, let alone shout out “¡Vale!”, she would spin around in her seat and punish him with a devastatingly haughty glare. Clapping and yelling was her domain! The Flamenco Queen!

We loved her.

Café del Duende offers a couple performances every week, so make sure to check their website if you’re interested. Entrance was €7, and drinks are modestly priced.

Café del Duende’s Website
Calle Turia 62
630 455 289
Location on our Valencia Map

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February 10, 2009 at 6:53 pm Comments (6)

Flamenco in Valencia – Radio City

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Flamenco Valencia-4

Every Tuesday night, there is a Flamenco session at Radio City (location). We went this week, and had an excellent time.

I’m not an expert in Flamenco (and in fact, before I bought a Camarón de la Isla album 4 weeks ago, I had never really listened to it at all), but I think the performance in Radio City was pretty great. The performers all seemed to be a part of the same, extended Gypsy family. There were two singers, an older matriarchal figure & a younger one who looked as though she was giving birth, so pained was her expression while singing. Two guitarists provided the accompaniment — a grizzled, older dude who didn’t look up even once, and a much more lively & handsome younger man. ¡Gitano que guapo!

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The musicians were fun enough to listen to (“fun” might be the wrong word — whatever it was they were wailing about cannot have been happy), but the highlight came when the dancers took the stage. First, a tall and very skinny guy stomped about, whipping his jacket from side to side and whipping himself into a frenzy. It was intense. At the apex of the dance he suddenly stopped and stared into the crowd, and at the same time the matriarch let loose with a wild gypsy howl — awesome.

And the second dancer, a woman, was even better. Every muscle was taut while she danced, and the tall guy was clapping the whole time for her, keeping the beat, yelling “Olé” and “Guapa” every once in a while. It really seemed as though the whole clan didn’t care whether an audience was there or not.

It must be said, though, that this was a stage performance, during which the audience was asked to remain quiet — not one of the wild, participatory sessions that can be found in Seville or elsewhere in Andalusia. Still, it was an incredible time.

The price is €7 and includes a drink. The show starts at 23:00, but show up a half-hour beforehand to ensure you get seats. There’s no need to buy tickets beforehand. As always, make sure to check the website of Radio City, to verify that this information hasn’t changed.

Link: Radio City
More information on Flamenco in Valencia, at ValenciaValencia.com
Location on our Google Map

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April 26, 2008 at 9:18 am Comments (3)