For date nights that sit you at a small, candlelit table tilting towards one another, speckled with your favourite mouth-watering bites. For sultry music that creates an exotic haze, gently separating you from the other diners, it has to be an authentically Spanish date night. Tapas restaurants provide the perfect setting for a date; the perfect mix of delicious food sharing, some of the world’s best wine, with the added energy that the sound of a tambourine brings to an evening.
Social Wine & Tapas
En lo primero position is Social Wine & Tapas, James Street, Marleybone, which welcomes you to an impressive layout across both the ground and first floor. On the ground floor watch head chef, Frankie Van Loo, dance between sizzling hot pans, charcuterie boards and grills, creating a mouth-watering aroma to match flavoursome delights. Seat at the dining counter, or follow the narrow staircase to the basement wine bar tucked away. Swirl, clink and savour some of the rarest wines together, as the glimmering light from the original 1920s theatre chandelier dances across the room.
39 James St, London W1U 1DL
Kings Cross: Camino
Tucked away from the busy streets of WC1 lies Camino and Bar Pepito amicably sharing an intimate courtyard filled with huddles of people, wine in hand, faces lit up with laughter – or the prospect of smokey flavours and delicious tapas. It’s hard to tell the difference. Once you’ve stepped into Camino, the restaurant, the volume level touches down a notch and you’re encouraged to choose between 2-3 dishes each. A challenge at best, but H&L recommends the Octopus served with chickpea and beetroot purée and the tortilla de patatas as must-have dishes. As the evening settles around you, slip out to the neighbouring wine bar, Bar Pepito, for a tipple and sensual dance to the mix of Spanish and current tunes.
3 Varnishers Yard, Regent Quarter, King’s Cross, London N1 9FD
Confidence can be attractive and Barrafina knows it, boasting a no reservation policy, with the smug ability to always fill its seats with discerning foodies. If you’re both lusting after a holiday or want to indulge your senses, reminding them of your latest trip to a Spanish-speaking country, head over to one of the Covent Garden locations for this chic tapas bar. The whisperings and friendly Spanish chat between chefs and waiters across the beautiful marble-top bar will send you back to sunnier, warmer days all before your taste buds have even been treated with the delicious cured meats, garlicky prawns, and fresh tomato flavours with lashings of olive oil. Delicious.
54 Frith St, London W1D 4SL
As the sunset gently falls outside the lights dim a little lower too at La Farola, a small bare-brick-walled tapas restaurant in Islington. La Farola (translating as the street light) creates a romantic, intimate setting for a date for impromptu diners and committed tapas lovers. The slight change in lighting only enhances the atmosphere, the air rippling with the sounds of gentle chatter, cutlery clinks, relief from wine corks and the gentle glug of filling glasses. With a tricky-to-choose from cocktail menus and beautifully presented dishes this on-the-corner favourite is perfect for a long-awaited date night for couples to ‘catch up’ after a busy week.
101 Upper St, London N1 1QN