Do you ever feel you’re living in London with your eyes wide shut? Oh, really? Perfect, I’m not alone. Arriving for our reservation, I suddenly realised I’d been to Varnisher’s Yard, on a number of occasions, getting lost in the superb bar/restaurant, Camino. I’d never noticed the charming Andalusian-style bodega just across the little courtyard, Bar Pepito…
My friend and I have a penchant for Latin culture and at Bar Pepito, our fantasies of Latin-living came true. We were convinced that some imaginary and gorgeous Latin gentlemen had whisked us away from chilly London, straight into the heart of a balmy, local Andalusian enclave. Warm, low-level spotlights and candles, polished barrel-lid tables, pleasingly-patterned tiled floors, abundant shelves of sherry bottles and a cosy array of high tables and chairs, this bar is a hugely attractive setting. If you’re offering a cultural culinary experience, it always tastes better with the appropriate décor. Your customers will always appreciate the immersion, as we certainly did.
I really do find the stories and inspiration behind a menu genuinely exciting. I loved the passion our lovely waitress and the wonderful manager, Dominic, had for the food and drink. They presented us with scores of tapas, tasting menus and an entire world of sherry to choose from, along with interesting tales.
We were firstly treated to the divine and diverse flavours of Sherry. I adore Port wine and was fascinated to learn about its Spanish cousin, Sherry. Who knew there were so many variations? It’s definitely worthwhile asking the staff for their recommendations. I particularly enjoyed the rich tastes of the East India Solera (75ml/£5.50).
Next, we were recommended five/six tapas dishes between two of us. I can confidently recommend the aubergine pieces, Escalivada (£5.50), the board of Chorizo Morcon Bellota (£6), and the delicious beef, Cecina de Leon (£6). The duck and chicken liver, Pate (£5) was also superb and the pate seemed infinite! Both desserts were devilishly delicious – the sweetly moist almond cake, Tarta Santiago (£4.50) and the luxurious Chocolate (£4.50) which we couldn’t resist with churros. It’s also particularly interesting to see how the dishes have been matched with a recommended sherry.
Sexy, buzzing and traditional. It was a Thursday evening and suitably packed. Everyone inside was comfortably sat at a high-table, barrel or counter and outside there were scattered smokers, enjoying a barrel to convene around. Groups of chatty friends, romantic couples, and odd pairs like us enjoyed an evening of tapas and sherry. The Spanish tunes with a baseline set a pleasant mood and it was clear everyone was relaxed and enjoying themselves. The fact that everyone is seated in close proximity also adds an extra feel, reminiscent of late-night Spanish tapas bars. There’s a certain stylish and communal feel to it.
There are barrels of authentic Spanish style and class to Bar Pepito. The venue is in a magical little corner, near London Kings Cross. The menu is well-sized and well-thought out while the staff have a friendy, warm charisma which creates a relaxed environment. Dominic, the manager, seems to make a real effort to chat with visitors which is a wonderful touch, as it makes this that bit more personal. As I said, this place is perfect for an intimate date, small and fun gathering, those craving authentic tapas and anyone looking to live an authentic Andalusian experience. Superb.