Friday, 9 July 2010

Tio Pepe Tapas Trail - London

The overriding foodie theme of the summer so far, for me at least, has been all about tapas.

I attended various events leading up to the recently held
Tapas Fantasticas event at Tower Bridge (Which was bloody superb by the way, loved it…if you didn’t go this year, make sure to go next year!).
I’m off to Barcelona at the end of the month for a break, and that is surely going to involve eating loads and loads of the stuff
And earlier this week, to publicise the forthcoming London based ‘Tio Pepe Tapas Trail’ I was invited along to a couple of rather decent tapas restaurants to sample the trail for myself.
(I basically staggered around between places, eating tapas and drinking sherry for free – hard life eh?).

I almost never write about PR led events, don’t get me wrong…I love a freebie as much as the next food blogger, but its rare to get invited along to something that you’re actually able to write about without appearing to be a paid up mouthpiece of whatever product or restaurant that smooth talking Public Relations snake oil salesman is trying to push that week. It rarely, if ever feels right.

But, saying that, I’m actually going to talk about this particular event as it appeals to me in a number of ways: -

Way No. 1 - The Spanish, when eating tapas famously go on bar hopping tapas ‘crawls’ – They’ll move from place to place, only eating a plate or two of what’s especially good at that particular bar, before moving on. This event encourages that in London, which to my mind is a good thing.

Way No. 2 - I’m quite a big fan of Sherry.
In the UK, up until fairly recently, its suffered from a bit of an image problem…. being perceived somewhat unfairly as the favourite tipple of your Grandmother, but it has gradually been reclaimed from the OAP’s and is once again hip and trendy. This event allows you to drink it for free.
Drinking for free is always good.

Way No. 3 – A number of restaurants participating in this event are places I like, or want to visit….Barrafina, Fino, Iberica, Camino and Moro to name but a few. This is a good excuse to visit, and get a feel for them.

Basically, next week, between the 12th-18th of July, if you order a tapas dish costing £4.50 or more at any of the nine participating Spanish restaurants in London you’ll get a glass of Tio Pepe for free. Nice.

Although I should point out - this is one glass per person, per restaurant.

But, it does encourage you to move around, and try loads of places – whilst getting spannered on free sherry! Yay! The PR was very keen to stress “sensible drinking”…I on the other hand am very keen to stress “unsensible drinking”, so don’t let me down people.

There’s a map of the participating restaurants and more details here: -

It’s been helpfully organised into two ‘Trails’, Central and Northern – all of the restaurants are within perfect stumbling distance of each other. So get out there one scorchio evening next week – eat loads of nice tapas, a dish or two of whatever’s considered best at each place,and claim you’re free glasses of Tio Pepe.

By the way, based on what I sampled, I can recommend in particular the Arroz Negro and Pan Con Tomate at Fino and the Albondigas de Cerdo y Rabo de Toro (Pork and Oxtail Meatballs) at Barrica.

Have fun!


msmarmite lover said...

Sherry! Fucking love it!

Northern Snippet said...

Oh. so its OK for me to admit I like sherry?
Love tapas sounds great!

Dan said...

Msmarmite lover - about as a concise as comments get. I second that.

Northern Snippet - Yes come out of the shadows and openly cavort with the other trendy sherry drinkers.

Pavel said...

Firsts things first Dan, are we talking Schooners here or those piddling little ones?

Dan said...

Pavel - I'm from Essex so I got my sherry in pints, natch. Anyone else may get piddling little ones.

Pavel said...

Well I love Tapas and Sherry so I might try this out.

Anonymous said...

Add Pinchito to that list! Loved it on Friday.