I love Spain and am passionate about Spain’s food, wine and history, so I wrote a very personal piece about Spanish food and some very traditional restaurants and I think you might enjoy it, its published on Catavino.com and you can read it here
Vinos de Madrid presented their first ever London event on 1st July 2009. It took place in the Century Club on Shaftesbury Avenue and was a great chance to try some wines from a region that was entirely new to me.
Firstly there was a mini wine fair tasting with wines from 9 of the 45 producers in the region. This was followed by an excellent tasting and presentation led by John Radford.
I found the wines to be generally of high quality and with some real flashes of elegance and refinement. Although wine has been made here for centuries, for the most part these were not traditional wines, but stylish, well crafted modern wines with abundant fruit and good balance. There was not a single over extracted, over oaked Parker points follower amongst them – although some acheive pretty high Parker points anyway! Continue reading
I am talking about the the world’s oldest restaurant, the famous Botín. It has always appealed to me, really traditional Spanish restaurants just do, they have an attraction to me that I cannot really define. I think it is the way the menus never change, food in some cultures is not an evolving art form, but a commitment to their past, almost an anchor to their traditions. Well good traditional Spanish food can be just that and I love the experience when it is done well, it is like being in a really good interactive museum.
The other week I was in Madrid and wanted somewhere classically Spanish, good quality and inexpensive to eat.
Well, my prayers were answered in the shape of the Museo del Jamon. There are some 5 branches of this strange hybrid of an establishment dotted around the centre of Madrid, I went to the original, in the Calle Mayor, just off Puerto del Sol.
It appears at first glance to be an overgrown deli, ham and cheese shop, but a closer look will show you that half the ground floor is also a rather excellent tapas bar, of the stand up variety. Just above this on a sort of mezzanine is a snack bar, while a staircase takes you to the “comedor”, the dining room. Continue reading