If you were thinking I finally hit the writter’s block, sorry to disappoint you…but I was on holidays in Spain. Coming back to the UK, I normally get asked “Don’t you miss the weather!?” and the answer is clearly yes. However, I missed even more the food. Thankfully, my wife and I have put some effort into finding our “Spanish fixes” in London, and here are some tips on how to eat and drink Spanish style without travelling far.
Good Tapas come at a price!
You will learn quickly that good tapas come at a price. While the chain La Tasca do a decent job on bringing spanish tapas to the table at a reasonable price, they are far from satisfying my cravings! additionally their gluten free menu has got worst recently (my wife is a ceoliac).
For a real tapas fix, dust your wallet and head to El Pirata. Nice food, good wine list and authentic spanish atmosphere… Surely it can’t get better that this?
Well it does. On the heart of Borough Market you can find the Brindisa Tapas bar. You don’t only find the hanging hams there, but you also find the real tapas experience…queueing for a table. You are not really on a true Spanish bar if you don’t have a beer or two at the bar with a tapa of Iberico Ham while you wait.
Buying Spanish locally
I have mentioned that Brindisa do great tapas, but they also run a “corner” shop in Borough Market where you can find pretty much anything that you like. From Pipas (sunflower seeds) to Spanish hot chocolate (very thick stuff).
Also, nowadays most supermarket chains carry a large variety of good quality Spanish products, including paella rice. Although I am still importing the spice mix from Spain. However, I haven’t been too impressed with the wine selection, either due to their prices or their quality.
Digging around I found that Majestic has some well-priced quality wines: Senorio de los Llanos (Valdepenas), Marques de Riscal (Rioja -red and Rueda-white) and Marques de Caceres (Rioja). My favourite Catalan wine is Raimat Abadia and you can get this from most Oddbins.
Spanish food is more than tapas
There is more to Spanish food than tapas! There is a Catalan cuisine restaurant called Mar i Terra near where I work, and I have recently heard of an Asturias cuisine one called el Camino that I hope to tackle soon!
I am always looking for some good restaurants in London, so I would appreciate some suggestions!