Spanish Tapas Tour comes to London for a Week in June

15th of June is World Tapas Day and the Spanish Tourist Office, with the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, launches a Spanish Tapas Tour from Monday 12th to Sunday 18th June in London. 18 restaurants will offer an exclusive tapa and drink for only £7.50. Rupert Parker gets a preview

Hispania Sign

Hispania Sign

Hispania

Hispania

Hispania Menu

Hispania Menu

Hispania Tapa

Hispania Tapa

Tapas Revolution

Tapas Revolution

1906 Beer

1906 Beer

Croquetas

Croquetas

Tapenade

Tapenade

Sagardi

Sagardi

Sagardi Salt Cod Omelette

Sagardi Salt Cod Omelette

Before I set out, I download my Tapas Tour Passport from the official Spanish Tourist Board website. Restaurants stamp the passport with their logo and, once you have four or more and have voted for their favourite Tapa, there’ll be a prize draw to win a tapas trip for two to Granada.

Hispania, EC3

I start in the rather grand surroundings of Hispania, in the heart of the city. They’re offering marinated mackerel on a bed of Salmorejo with grapes and Tobiko caviar. It comes in an elegant cocktail glass and the Salmorejo, cold creamy soup from Andalucía, is rich enough to offset the strong flavours of the fish. Add a glass of Valdelosfrailes white wine and you have the perfect starter.

Tapas Revolution Shoreditch, E1

A short stroll brings me to Shoreditch and the funkier setting of Tapas Revolution. I’m immediately given a bottle of Estrella Galicia 1906 beer, brewed in the North West of Spain, plus some tapenade and bread sticks. Their tapa is a plate of three ham croquetas, crisply fried and pleasingly free of any hint of greasiness. They’re slightly salty but that’s balanced by the toasted malt flavours of the beer.

Sagardi, EC2

Close by is Sagardi which prides itself on its long aged Spanish steaks. The restaurant originated in Barcelona with a Basque chef and they now have branches all over the world. On offer is “Roxario”, a ciderhouse-style salted cod omelette, served with a slice of toasted sour dough bread. It doesn’t sound much, but the omelette is perfectly cooked, slightly runny with the cider, and the chunks of salt cod giving an intense flavour hit. Add a glass of house wine and I’m ready to wend my home.

Without any doubt, the tapas tour is excellent value for money, the wine alone worth the asking price of £7.50 and it’s a good opportunity to taste some of the best Spanish restaurants in London. Looking on what’s on offer, I’m going to have to set out on another night and taste the other tapas:

  • Arbina, W1: “Tazacorte” – Octopus ink tempura on a bed of Galician sand and plankton.
  • Barrica, W1: Aubergine, Jamón & Manchego ‘lasagne’ with an almond vinaigrette.
  • Boqueria (both branches): Suckling pig, aubergine torrija, quince and blood orange.
  • Brindisa (all five branches): Smoked anchovies, mojo borage, crostini.
  • Copita, W1: Sardines & beetroot-pickled egg with capers, membrillo & a black olive puree.
  • Drakes Tabanco, W1: Presa Ibérica with Cafe de Paris butter.
  • Ibérica (all four London branches): Baby carrot tempura with homemade tartare sauce

Further World Tapas Day celebrations will be taking place at this summer’s Taste of London Festival, running in tandem with the Tapas Tour event, from 14-18 June. Here, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy delicious complimentary ‘Pintxos’ (the Tapas of northern Spain) courtesy of the Spanish Tourist Office and Basque Country Tourism.

Click here for more information on World Tapas Day and the Spanish Tapas Tour, and download the passport.

Spain Info has information on travel to Spain.

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