A taste of Spain



This time last year we were planning book launches, Christmas food festivals, wine tasting evenings, the restaurant was fully booked right through until January, life, to be honest was hectic. And now here we are creeping towards the end of this year and it’s all a bit, well…la basura…a bit rubbish!


It’s very quiet when I arrive at the restaurant, Maria and Vanessa are in socially distanced huddle, their voices muffled by their face masks.



“Morning!” I call and I think they shout Morning! Back. We try discussing the menu that Maria is creating for a client but we can’t hear each other. We move to the long table Marai in the middle Vanessa and I at either end and ditch the masks.


“That is better! Now we can speak! Ok, Wine tasting. We have an evening, 5th December. We have only tables of four. We bring wine to each table to try and we serve pintxos.”


“Pin what?”


Pintxos. It comes from the Basque region. Little bits of food, maybe cheese, jamon, fish on top of a small slice or bread. Then you hold in place with a cocktail stick. You can see the difference between tapa and pintxos – tapa is a small dish of food, paella or patatas bravas and pintxos are served on a small bread base with a cocktail stick spearing something like jamón, cheese, mushrooms or chorizo! Simple!”




“So, you will come?”


“Absolutely!”


And if you want to join us here's the details...


Copies of Tapas At Maria's will be available at the beginning of December.



Words/photographs/illustrations© 2019 Helen  Lewis