My favourite version of how Tapas originated hails from the reign of King Alfonso XIII, who on a visit to Cadiz in Andalucia stopped at a beach bar to rest and asked for a glass of sherry. At that a gust of wind entered the bar, prompting the barman to cover the glass with a piece of cured ham to prevent sand from ruining the King’s sherry. His Highness summoned the barman over and asked what the piece of meat was doing on his drink and upon explanation drank the sherry, ate the cover ‘tapa’ and then asked for another sherry with another cover. Keen to follow his example the courtiers in attendance made the same request and Tapas was born.
Keep the tradition alive and use my list below to try out the various Tapas serving joints in Brighton.
Special Offer: Garlic bread, patatas ali oli or bravas and 2 tapas £10.50 per person
Valentine Day special 3 course menu with entertainment from Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra £17.50 per person
01273 711660, 18 Meeting House Lane, Brighton, BN1 1HB
Casa Don Carlos
|Casa don Carlos|
Indisputably a Brighton staple, it is one of the places in Brighton that the locals keep going back to and to which out of towners return. Always busy, the atmosphere is buzzing, the staff friendly and the interior decorated in an unpretentious simple Spanish style. It is so popular that booking is essential and the albondigas (meatballs) are a winner every time.
Special Offer: They don’t need any
01273 327177, 5 Union Street, Brighton, BN1 1HA
Hailing from Almeria in the South East of Spain where the owners had a restaurant opposite the beach for nine years AguaDulce brings a whole load of authenticity to Brighton. Sit up at the bar and enjoy a glass of tinto de verano (red wine with lemonade) and tapa or head into their restaurant for further delving into their raciones, paellas and chef’s suggestions.
Special Offer: St Valentines Day – 3 courses plus a glass of cava for £24.99 per person
01273 328672, 10 – 11 Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 1NE
With over 60 restaurants in the UK, La Tasca are obviously on to a winning formula. Located centrally, it is close to bars, restaurants, clubs and other venues and is decked out in an authentic style bordering on pastiche. La Tasca offers a wide selection of dishes representing the different cultural identities across the 17 regions in Spain, from jamon serrano in the mountains to manchego cheese from the land of the windmills, La Mancha.
Special Offer: Join La Tasca Club on their website and receive £5 when you spend a £20 voucher
01273 737342, 165-169 North Street, Brighton BN1 1EA
Bodega de Tapa
Petite and tucked in between the Waggon and Horses and the Cote Brasserie. This place definitely divides opinion and I think it is a hit and miss option. My experience of it was of feeling squashed in a corner of a tatty patio, next to the drain pipe and eating average tapas that wasn’t particularly cheap. Although I did not feel the restaurant offered anything unique to entice me back I have friends who love it’s size and feel the place offers a warm and intimate setting. You decide.
Special Offer: Call direct
01273 674116, 111 Church Street, Brighton BN1 1UD