Tablao Cordobes – unleashed passion in Barcelona

Tablao CordobesTablao Cordobés
Ramblas, 35
08002 Barcelona

Our table overlooks the Ramblas, Barcelona’s most famous boulevard, and we watch a parade of visitors and locals stroll up and down, side-stepping the makeshift shops of souvenirs being sold on the pavement while being entertained by the most ingenious mimes one could hope to see.  Although of newer construction, the décor of the Tablao Cordobes interior is quietly reminiscent of a Moorish palace, much like the Alhambra in Granada, built during the Nasrid period in the 14th century – with arched niches and decorative Islamic stucco work covering the walls. 

TC5The food is decidedly Spanish and very good.  Dinner is served buffet style, making it difficult to choose and a challenge not to overindulge.  The buffet would not disappoint a vegetarian; the meat-lover will leave here satisfied, and I do believe the seafood-lover will find himself in paradiso.  We sample a little of everything while enjoying a frosty pitcher of Sangria. 

Above the lively conversations in the dining room, I hear a rhythmic clapping and burst of heels hammering the wooden floor of a nearby room where performers are in the throes of their flamenco routine.  It reaches a crescendo and fades again beneath a blanket of guitar music.  My pulse quickens; although I cannot see or really hear the dancers – I can feel something stir in me.    My own excitement!


One of the most important Flamenco restaurants in the world, Tablao Cordobes has been hosting visitors to Barcelona for four decades, offering an evening of dining and flamenco that one will not soon forget.  When our dinner has ended we are ushered into an intimate space, a recreation of an Andalusian vaulted cellar hall, where a small stage is raised in front of a simple background painted to simulate an outdoor village scene.  This is not the setting for a performance with frilly, ruffled dance costumes and special effects lighting.  It is an invitation to see and experience extemporaneous and traditional Flamenco in its most authentic form.  Although these are renowned artists performing for us, the audience is invited to appreciate a group of singers, guitarists, and dancers who appear more like close friends who have met for an evening of music and dance – not actors that have rehearsed a performance.  It is an intimate unveiling of their inner souls through voice and movement.  Reflections of raw emotion.  A dance of unleashed passion!  An experience that should not be missed!



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