"It will certainly become one of my favourite West End drinking spots when I am out with my Spanish friends..."Review Rating: Reviewed by KimT
We had met in Covent Garden on a cold, rainy evening and everywhere was super-busy. We wanted to sit down, with a great glass of wine, in a buzzy environment and have a good chat.
We almost passed this place which is literally next door to Leicester Square tube station. But we noticed a blackboard outside and as my friend is a fluent and regular visitor to Spain we decided to take a closer look.
At street level all you can see is a tiny vestibule containing an entry stand and a large dark wood dresser containing some invitingly-lit candles. So we ventured inside. The chap there was on the phone but indicated with a smile and a wave that we could take the wide staircase down into the dark cavern below. We liked that there were rope lights along the side of staircase which gave it a warm ambience.
Once downstairs, I immediately recognised (there is an unusual central rotunda “folly” with space for six people around a table) as a place where I had attended a private party a few years back. Must have been a good party as my memory was dim – but I do remember great music and dancing…
There are long, wide tables bedecked with red candles (a bit gothic) with benches either side and an assortment of smaller tables and chairs scattered around. The large, well-stocked bar in the corner provides a focus. I liked the large “Tio Pepe” labelled barrels dotted around the place.
The walls are brick and adorned with an assortment of framed mirrors and black and white photos. There were also tiny TV screens hidden amongst them – showing black and white film clips. It all screams “Spanish” but quietly and tastefully.
My friend returned triumphant from the bar – as it was “Happy Hour” she had a bottle of El Muro wine (“It’s dry, excellent and I’ve had it before” she said) which had cost just £10 – cheaper, no doubt than a couple of glasses. My liver sighed. It could have been worse, I suppose, if she had started on the extensive cocktail menu (from £8) with martinis from £8.50 and champagne cocktails from £9. But there were only a couple of beers offered (Sol, Dos, Estrella Damm – from £2.30).
The music was that interesting “chill out” stuff that forces you to relax and feel much younger and wilder than you are. When we arrived around 6pm there was a fair amount of space, but it quickly filled up. It would have easy to settle here for the evening. If I’d been, oh 20 or so years younger.
As we had only popped in for a drink, I didn’t get a chance to sample the food. But the menus looked good – extensive fresh tapas dishes as well as a good variety of mains. Apparently, every Tuesday night at 8pm there is a participatory flamenco show and there are also paella nights and late night events which look – from the videos – pretty lively.
I shall remember this place and make a point of returning in the not too distant future to try out the food. And it will certainly become one of my favourite West End drinking spots when I am out with my Spanish friends. They will feel right at home.
KimT reviewed Salvador & Amanda on Wed 27 Mar 2013