The train station in Jerez is a tourist attraction in itself; the ceramics on the platform walls are really beautiful. Click on the photos to go to a full screen slide show.
It was apparently designed by Gustave Eiffel, he of Parisian tower fame, although I’ve found it hard to confirm that.
The food in the cafes opposite the station is nothing to write home about but they do have WiFi.
So here’s a little tip for anyone passing through or changing trains in Jerez around lunch time; take a short ten-minute walk to this place…
Google map here.
La Carbona (High Intermediate B+), 2 Calle Francisco de la Paula, www.lacarbona.com
Recommended by Frommers and Fodor’s, this restaurant is located in an old bodega with rustic decor. It’s a big beautiful space (I’m guessing they could seat around 100) with lots of atmosphere. They have a €38 Menu de Degustacion that matches a sherry with each of the five courses, which of course I couldn’t resist.
After a complimentary potato salad (B) the menu proper started with Pastel de Caballa en Escabeche de Vinagre de Jerez, Foie, Cebolla Morada y Manzana, or mackerel cake in an escabeche of sherry vinegar, foie, red onion and apple (B+).
Which was matched with a Palo Cortado, quite a rare sherry and my next favourite after Oloroso (A).
Alcachofas Salteadas con Langostinos y Vino Fino, artichokes sautéed with langostino king prawn and fino sherry (B-).
This was paired with an Amontillado(B+), which is somewhere between a Fino and an Oloroso.
The Corvina, Tallarines de Espinaces y Pure de Guisantes, sea bass served with spinach noodles and a pea puree, was excellent (A).
Matched with Fino en Rama, a young, pale and dry sherry. En Rama literally means ‘raw’, or straight from the cask and unfiltered. As such, it’s quite hard to find. I only scored it a B but I’m an amateur when it comes to this wine.
The Chuleton de vaca de Cantabria, Cantabrian beefsteak (B+), with Chips (B+) provided the knockout punch.
Paired with Oloroso, my favourite sherry (B+). Oloroso means ‘scented’ and it refers to dark, aged sherries with a nutty flavour.
Helado de queso con coulis de frambuesa y coral de vino Fino, cheese ice cream with raspberry couli and a Fino biscuit (?) was also great (A).
This was paired with a medium Cream. Creams are a blend of dry and sweet sherry, usually Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez as in this case (B+).
Naturally this place also has an impressive list of brandies so I took the opportunity to try one I hadn’t had before; a Conde de Osborne Gran Reserva (B+).
With the homemade bread (A), water and a coffee this took the final bill to €50, which is very reasonable. The service was very good, if anything slightly overattentive (A-) but I was the only customer most of the time I was there due to arriving as soon as they opened at 12.30. The proprietress is lovely. Definitely a strong recommend.