More than just a holiday
This small-group holiday promises to be magical. Not only will you be singing and performing with The Unthanks in Seville, but you’ll also be part of an extraordinary cultural and artistic fusion of Flamenco and British folk music.
Unique cultural experience
Over a decade ago, Témi and I were in Seville to witness Easter week’s incredible spectacle. We were two little pipas shells amongst thousands, squeezed into a tiny mediaeval side street, breathing in the atmosphere with excited anticipation.
Within moments, a magnificent wooden float, complete with mildly terrifying effigy, was expertly guided through the crowd on painful shoulders. It bobbed its way towards us to the accompaniment of marching brass.
I don’t know whether it was the music or maybe the elbows of a small but unusually strong, five-foot-nothing signora with her black-laced Peineta that did it, but the whole scene left us moved to the core. It was the very essence of Spain, served up on a platter. Literally.
A balm for the soul.
The concert on the last day was an emotional experience. Alex and Témi provide unparalleled service while making it look effortless.
The platter passed, and the squeal of the trumpets faded into the next street. Then, like urban synchronised swimmers, we all looked up into the night sky as an older man stepped out onto his second-floor balcony. Silence cloaked the scene. All eyes were transfixed. We waited. Then came the a cappella of Andalusia. The old man’s mournful and love-soaked vocal entwined itself around the last remnants of our incense-infused procession. It was moving. The real deal. It told us a story without the need for translation. It was flamenco.
A magical singing holiday with The Unthanks
In September 2023, we are returning to Seville for a very special singing holiday. It will be the sixth time we’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Rachel and Becky Unthank. On previous occasions in Italy, Croatia and Austria, we’ve connected and performed together with the locals. In doing so, we’ve been warmly welcomed into their culture and each other’s hearts. We shared stories and quiet moments that needed no words, no language, no explanation.
Our folk holiday in Seville with the Unthanks promises to be just as magical. Each day you will have a full morning workshop with Rachel and Becky that’ll commence with a vocal warm-up before learning a new style of music or perhaps expanding on a tradition you’ve already encountered.
On the final evening, you will perform in a unique concert in the heart of Seville with The Unthanks, including an enthralling collaboration of singing, music and dance from Andalusia and Northumberland.
This is more than just a holiday. It’s an opportunity to collaborate with and immerse yourself in two profound musical cultures. At the same time, you’ll be staying in superb luxury accommodation in the heart of the old town and eating the best, most authentic and delicious food Seville has to offer.
A brilliant and emotional experience.
An absolutely brilliant holiday. Lovely accommodation In a gorgeous location with the chance to learn about the local culture as well as about our own folk tradition.
Upper terrace Plácido y Grata
First floor Plácido y Grata
Ground floor Plácido y Grata
Café Plácido y Grata
bathroom Plácido y Grata
Breakfast Plácido y Grata
Plácido y Grata
A real gem
One of the most challenging aspects of organising a Singing Holidays event is finding the right accommodation. So often, we’re scouring the Internet and pounding the streets for weeks, looking for that perfect little gem. Not too big, extremely comfortable, ideal location, and most importantly, lovely people running it all. We’ve ditched entire projects, having done considerable research, just because we couldn’t find the perfect pad.
Speaking of perfect pads, in my opinion, I think we’ve found the most beautiful accommodation in Seville. Plácido y Grata is a stunning, small hotel in the heart of the old town and is the very antithesis of a hotel chain.
José and Maria (the owners) fell in love with a ruined palace, and with their daughter Marta (an architect from Barcelona), they reimagined and recovered a building that had been lost to years of neglect.
With Marta’s superb eye for contemporary design, she furnished the hotel in a Scandinavian/mid-century minimalist style. In doing so, she’s created a peaceful, almost Zen-like charm while retaining a feeling of welcoming warmth.
All the bedrooms are extremely comfortable, with superb bathrooms, perfect showers (I do love a good shower) and designer fittings. The super comfy beds have sustainable and natural COCO-MAT mattresses. Each of the bedrooms has been designed down to the last detail to make you feel at home – albeit a particularly lovely and glamorous home.
The heart of Plácido y Grata: José and Maria
What makes Plácido y Grata really special, though, are the owners, José and Maria, and their incredible team. Nothing comes close to their warmth and hospitality. They really are the heart of what makes the whole place so brilliant.