18 Jun 2020

A few days in Málaga after COVID-19 lockdown easing.

After ten plus weeks in lockdown, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the prospect of a few days in Málaga was something to look forward to with relish. We normally tend to stay at   

Atarazanas Málaga Boutique Hotel
Calle Atarazanas 19, 29005 Malaga
+34 952 12 19 10

This is a nice, basic hotel, centrally placed next to the Mercado Central de Atarazanas (Málaga’s daily food market) and also near the oldest bar in Málaga, the Bodega Antiqua Casa de Guardia.

On leaving the hotel our first visit here is always to, 

Mercado Central de Atara...

29 Jan 2020


This place is a great little spot just off the calle Granada in the centre of Málaga old town. 

The decor is very clean, with a traditional twist. You can have tapas at the bar or sit in the main restaurant. There is also an outside terrace for warm evenings.

We returned one evening in January 2020 for a few late night tapas at the bar, where we enjoyed

Ensalada Rusa (Russian Salad)

 Bacalao (deep fried cod) 

Albóndigas de cola de toro en salsa (bull tail meatballs in gravy)

 Tres Picos wine from Campo de Borja

 This was followed by Queso Reserva de Familia

Tarta de queso (cheesecake)

 Service w...

10 Jan 2020


On our recent trip to La Rioja we decided to take a pinchos bar crawl down the famous Calle Laurel in Logroño. These were our favourite bars and bites on this very busy and pleasant evening in December.


Travesía de Laurel, 1, 26001 Logroño, La Rioja

Quite literally a hole in the wall and very easy to walk past. The very traditional Bar Cid has vines and grapes dangling from the wooden beam ceiling, above the same duo of old men hanging out at the bar every night.

Serving up one pincho only, grilled mushrooms (setas a la plancha).

Serving up one pincho...

14 Apr 2019

BARRAFINA          1 Michelin Star

Barrafina has moved to a new address in Soho, from Frith street to  

26-27 Dean Street, Soho, London.

We thought we would give the new venue a try on this midweek evening in March 2019.

As usual it was busy, so we had to wait 45 mins to be seated. Once we were, these are a few of the dishes that we tried.

Pimientos de Padron and Jamón croquetas.

 Paletila Ibérica

Lenguado en salsa de almendra (sole in almond Sauce)

Solomillo Rubia Gallega (sirloin steak from Galicia)

The food is still very good and the atmosphere is still very buzzy.

This visit is a follow up to...

14 Apr 2019


Tucked away in a corner of the bustling plaza nueva in the old town, this little bar was the winner of best pintxos in town for many years for a reason. They are the modern gastronomic type of pintxos.

The top two pictures are from a previous visit.

We Tried the following

Patatas rellenas con mejillas de cerdo y sal de vainilla (potatoes stuffed with pig’s cheeks and vanilla salt).

Foie con manzana y pedro ximenez (foie gras with apple and pedro ximenez sauce).

Txistorra a la plancha (grilled spicy sausage)

Patatas bravas (fried potatoes with ali-oli and spicy tomato sauce)

Sopa de setas y maíz con huevo de co...

7 Apr 2019

Tapeo & wine

This was our first visit to Tapeo & Wine in Deansgate, Manchester as a precursor to the football at Old Trafford.

The restaurant was opened 2016 in this buzzing heart of Manchester by the Mata family (The owners Son, Juan Mata, is currently a Manchester United football player).

There is a bright modern bar and restaurant on the ground floor which looks out to the busy Deansgate, which has another large restaurant bar downstairs, which also has a private room for hire.

The food served is fairly traditional and uses quality produce.

We had a table of eight for a couple of hours at lunchtime and manag...

21 Nov 2018


On a recent trip to Bilbao we had a little pintxo bar crawl around plaza Nueva. Our favourite places and bites were.

Plaza Nueva 12, 48005 Bilbao
+34 944 158 037

Winner of best pintxos in town over many years for a reason. 

Try potatoes stuffed with pig’s cheeks and vanilla salt

Foie con manzana y Pedro Ximenez

Corn soup with a submerged quail egg
Quail egg on crisps with Jamón and chorizo

Patatas bravas with aioli and bravas sauce.

 For dessert we had manzana (apple pie)

It was a very friendly service, with great wine also.


Plaza Nueva...

12 Jun 2018


Situated on a corner of the now trendy area of Bermondsey Street this cosy little tapas bar serves up excellent authentic tapas. Opened by José Pizarro with his eponymous restaurant, Pizarro, further up the street.

José is a buzzing spot for an atmospheric lunch or dinner.

This is not a sit down restaurant, but a Spanish bar, where you go to have a drink and some tapas, standing or sitting on stools with a barrel for a table. There are also window stools looking out onto the street.

A typical menu would consist of:

Baby spinach with honey dressing

Gazpacho, toasted bread

Boquerones con vinegre (anch...

9 Feb 2018


This is a very traditional, social club, old school style Pintxo bar. There are always many local families here, the young to the very old mixing amongst the tourists. The bar is big on boxing, rugby and Basque rowing with lots of old memorabilia on the surrounding walls.

It is run by owner Paco Bueno (who was a boxer in his younger days ) and his sons.

It's lively, entertaining and a friendly atmosphere.

The specialties are deep fried seafood like calamares, but the prized dish is the deep fried gambas, you need to wait for them to come up piping hot, but be quick as they are soon snapped up!  


3 Dec 2017

El Celler de Can Roca

3 Michelin Stars

The second part of the trip to catalunya in 2009, this time to the Roca brothers restaurant in Girona, which has been rated  number one in the world on a few occasions. 

El Celler de Can Roca is a restaurant in Girona, Catalonia, Spain which was opened in 1986 by the Roca brothers, Joan, Josep and Jordi. It was first located next to their parent's restaurant Can Roca, but moved to its current purpose built building in 2007. It has been received warmly by critics, and currently holds three Michelin stars.

Some of the 7 snacks plus 11 cour...

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September 3, 2020

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Renoir Spanish Guides  
Our own personal take on Spanish food and places. The obvious and not so obvious........    
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