I’m talking tapas again but this time in Cheltenham. One of the main things I’ll miss about Bristol when we make the move to our new home on the outskirts of Cheltenham will most definitely be the food scene. We eat out at least once a week at the moment and rarely have a bad meal – the quality and variety on offer in Bristol is probably the best in the country!
Cheltenham as a town, isn’t too far behind though and has a growing food scene with more independent restaurants opening all the time. One of the most recent being a tapas bar called Bar Padron, located in the centre, just along side the Everyman Theatre. I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited for this to happen (and I know I’m not alone), the town has been crying out for some of that authentic Spanish small plate cuisine! The last time Cheltenham had something like that was when La Tasca was in town, but that was a long way from being authentic.
A few weeks ago I got invited along to the launch party of Bar Padron, bringing my sister along too for the sampling and an overdue catch up.
When we arrived we were sent straight upstairs to the function/events room that had all been laid out for our feast. We were offered some cava or vermouth, along with some nibbles whilst we waited for this wonderful spread:
The cold dishes came out first including the jamon, cut straight from this beauty.
The salad of baby gem and tuna.
Three different flavours of cheese, all of the manchego variety which is easily my favourite.
We then had a few speeches and heard about the owners travels around Spain, his passion for their cuisine and where he got his inspiration from before moving onto the hot stuff, including perhaps my number one side dish (after chips), Padron peppers.
Ham and melt-in-your-mouth cheese croquettes which I unashamedly had more than my fair share of.
The classic tortilla.
And finally, the grand finale… Paella.
The paella is served on Sundays and comes in four variations: carne, seafood, mixed and vegetarian to suit everyones requirements.
The food was all delicious and it feels as though the owner really wants to honour Spanish tapas food by only serving us the authentic stuff, which is especially wonderful whilst we’re having this heatwave so give them a visit and transport yourself to the streets of Spain.