A couple of weeks back I spent a very, very good London evening drinking white Rioja and eating plates and plates of tapas with Liz, (one of my great friends from university, who I don’t see nearly enough), as we checked out four of the restaurants that are taking part in today’s Tapas Fantasticas festival down on the South Bank.
We started out at Pizarro (Bermondsey), moved on to Bravas Tapas, in St Katharine Dock,hard by Tower Hill,
popped into Morito on Exmouth Market in Clerkenwell, before heading north to Bar Estreban in Crouch End. (Where we finished the evening off most successfully, with the delightful owner, talking about Spanish wine.)
We even managed to catch a glimpse of the Queen’s barge, Gloriana as we wandered around St Katharine Dock, looking for Bravas Tapas.
Although we were supposed to just be trying the tapas that were being served at Tapas Fantasticas, we went a little off piste, when we read dishes on the menu like these stuffed courgette flowers at Pizarro
ad the phenomenally good gazpacho at Bravas Tapas, with its croutons and sliced raw radish.
Although one of our favourites of the evening was Morito’s Beetroot borani with feta, dill & walnuts, which is being served at Rioja Tapas Fantastica. (My photos from the second half of the evening – Morito and Bar Estreban are very fuzzy. An effect of the late hour, rather than the amount of white Rioja we had drunk, I am sure.) So here are some pimientos padron from Bravas Tapas instead.
The festival itself is a free two day London-based event celebrating Rioja wine, Spanish food and lifestyle. There will be red, white and rosé wines from over forty Rioja wineries, as well as tapas from some of of London’s best Spanish restaurants.
Date: Sunday 15th June. 12:00 – 18:00
Location: Potters Fields Park, on the South bank of the Thames between Tower Bridge and City Hall (entry behind City Hall, accessed from the More London development)
Address: Potters Fields, Tooley Street /The Queenswalk, Southwark, London, SE1 2AA
Nearest tube station: London Bridge or Tower Hill
Price: £3.50 buys a tasting glass with four tokens exchangeable for samples of Rioja wine. Each wine walk and workshop is priced at £6 per person for a half hour session. Food and wine matching masterclasses in the Rioja Tapas Kitchen are priced at £10 per person (includes food and wine tasting)
Pizarro: 194 Bermondsey St, London SE1 www.josepizarro.com
Bravas Tapas, St Katharine Docks, London, E1W 1AT www.bravastapas.co.uk
Morito: 32 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QE www.morito.co.uk
Bar Estreban: 9 Park Rd, London N8 8TE www.baresteban.com