A Date: 26th of August 2006.
A Place: Hacienda Benazuza elBulli Hotel.
A Chef: Ferran Adriá.
A Dress: Valentino.
A State: Bliss.
Wedding gown in the trunk: check! Jewellery: check! Something new, something borrowed and something blue: check! Invitations sent: check! Car running: check! Let’s go! Coming out of the boiling madness of Seville’s weather just 22km away is Hacienda Benazuza, a little slice of heaven previously lead by the El Bulli Group.
Where it all started… Sanlucar La mayor, not just a wedding ceremony but all through a gastronomic journey! This five star 0asis, home to 44 rooms, worthy of kings and queens, a gourmet paradise of two Michelin starred restaurants and a bodega/ cigar bar, was the venue to my wedding, eight years ago, gosh, it’s been eight years? I remember the punishing heat, as Bruno made my hair while Rita fed me crackers and someone ordered more champagne! Everyone else was by the pool sipping mojitos or relaxing in the sunbeds… A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do! Well worth it in the end!
Under a 40ºC heat, at 20.30p.m. I got married by Father Manuel in the Hacienda’s Chapel. Wind speed? I’de say zero! I have never felt more grateful for a fan in my live, big shout out to the gentleman who invented this marvellous thing! Ladies, I bet you are also grateful that I think about everything, and that you all got a fan in your gift pack, right?!
Unpretentious (as it should always be) this 10th Century haven did not fail me, La Alqueria provided the food, scratch that, the Best food in the world, for the cocktail, feast and supper.
As you mingled through the crowd you could nibble Gordale olives – stuffed with black olive, Boquerones marinated with raspberry, Manchego cheese, Cod nuggets with pine nuts fried in an squid ink tempura, Smoked ham creamy croquetas, Puntillitas – Fried baby squids and Tomato and tuna puff pastries, exquisitely served by the ladies in flared skirts and white gloves.
The party is just started! The cocktail took place around one of the many ponds that dabble the hacienda. Where a man with “manitas de plata” played the Spanish guitar and another thinly sliced a leg of pata negra! After the photo penitence, me, my fan and an endless glass of cava walked to the Moroccan tent by the pool, don’t tell anyone, I was already barefoot, piece of advice? Get a big wedding gown, it’s a life saver! Now without a veil the pool breeze gave us room to breath, and well, to enjoy the menu: Potato and black olive foam, Crawfish with ajillo cauliflower followed by White veal entrecote al Pesto and to close up a Black forest cake. Almost an oneiric experience. Fantasies that use to only inhabit colours and shapes in the imagination of surrealistic artists. All cooked under a microscope, escorted by scientifically prepared side dishes, if there was someone who could make this day any more special, it was the so many times bestowed best chef in the world, Ferran Adrià!
Drinks flowed on, as we danced through the night, in the Moorish gardens.
Enough remenissing… happy birthday baby, many more to come!
“Why an hotel? Perhaps because cuisine is not something to be had, but a state to be in.” – Ferran Adrià
xo See You In Sanlucar ?