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Setas – home of popular dissent in Seville, and a bird’s-eye eaterie

June 20, 2011 – 1:41 pm

This will be the restaurant(s) with panoramic views - window table a must.

You may have noticed I’ve been a bit quiet about the Setas/acampada Sevilla/15M of late. Which isn’t because I’ve lost interest in the movement – far from it; I’ve just been too busy with other work projects to get down there myself and see what’s going on.

Yesterday evening saw the biggest march so far – somewhere between 12,000 and 50,000 (the column was 700m long apparently) demonstrators walked from Plaza de España to Encarnacion, and the spiritual home of Seville’s 15M: Metropol Parasol. I was not among them, since going on foot anywhere in this heat (36 degrees yesterday) is not something I do if I can avoid it. I will go to another of these rallies with my family sometime – my daughter loved the last one, clapping and cheering along with the chants.

These marches and rallies continue to draw a wide section of society, fed up with corrupt politicians who think they’re above the law, and who come across as not understanding, or empathising with, the cares and concerns of normal Spanish people – getting a job, paying the mortgage, getting by. As the march passed the Ayuntamiento, they shouted “No son los dueños, sino los empleados” (they’re not the owners, they’re just employees).

As I’ve mentioned before, it says plenty about those involved that the march went off so peacefully, with no incidents, as have other such events held in Seville. Just one car from the Policia Local accompanied the thousands of participants.

As I said, I can’t report back first-hand of my own experience as I wasn’t there – my young daughter had a nasty heatstroke episode on Saturday afternoon (not even from being outside in the sun – she was in bed having her siesta, clothed, and her room got too warm). So I didn’t want her to be in the sun at all. Some bright sparks took their brollies along on the march, to keep the sun off their heads, and stuck their slogans to them.

Another view of the restaurant space, due to open in September, with walkway snaking above and around it.

And what of the much-touted mirador restaurant 21 metres up in the Setas? This will offer a view of Seville rivalled only by that of the EME hotel’s roof terrace bar right opposite the cathedral, and the Abades Triana restaurant’s top-floor riverside location. This is now planned for September, while the plaza where the acampada currently is, will have a terrace bar with two kiosks.

Plaza Mayor/15M, currently home to the Sevilla acampada, will have its own cafe too after the summer.

But the cherry on this particular pie is the 800m2 restaurant – the mirador had 70,000 visitors in its first 20 days of opening, so whichever of Seville’s leading restaurant groups which are fighting furiously for the space, manages to secure the lease (you can only imagine that bargaining process), will be onto a surefire winner. As well as having picture windows all the way along the wall, its ceiling reflects the waffle design of the mushrooms themselves. The space is large enough to be divided into several restaurants, or different areas – such as more formal, and tapas.

In any case, I’ll be there as soon as it opens. Let’s hope the food and service both match up to the views, since many places with clientele guaranteed by such a stunning location tend to be either complacent or exploitative in the extreme about their product, hiking up prices and offering below-par fare

The view from the top of Metropol Parasol.

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