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Europe Food From Travels Ibiza

La Bodega Talamanca

Much like it’s impossible to cook the correct amount of pasta, has anyone ever ordered the right amount of tapas? I mean, of course the ‘right’ amount of tapas is ‘all of it’, but I do try not to over-order because wasting food is A Bad Thing.

I first read about La Bodega Talamanca well over a year ago, on Twitter somewhere I think, and have been wanting to visit this little boho restaurant since then. Ibiza is full of glamorous beach bars and gorgeous fine dining restaurants, but I do favour somewhere a bit more chilled and laid back, which is certainly what La Bodega Talamanca is. The powder blue gates and turquoise walls lead to mismatched chairs, moroccan lanterns and cushions strewn with colourful woven blankets, giving off a distinctly bohemian vibe. As if it couldn’t get more idyllic, the sea is just across the path, and my experience of Talamanca beach was that it’s very quiet and lazy, not the Ibiza I knew on my first visit five years ago. You can get peace in Ibiza, you’ve just got to pick the right place.

Settling in immediately by ordering half a litre of perfect ice cold Spanish sangria (€12.50) I sat down to choose my tapas from the extensive menu, a part of me wishing I was dining with someone so I could order more, but mostly utterly content that this evening was just between me, my book, the view, a lot of sangria and even more tapas. How to choose what to order? Manchego – done, obviously (€7). Chorizo – I’m in Spain, so of course (€6). Got to be a bit of tortilla patatas (€3.50) in there, too (aka ‘Spanish omelette’ – God we know how to class things up don’t we?) The truly painful part was choosing between pan con tomate (€2.50) and pan con aioli (€2.50), because the way the Spanish turn tomatoes on a bit of crusty bread into an art is truly something to behold, but also, aioli until I die. The kind (and probably bored of my dithering) waitress sorted me out by insisting she’d bring me a pot of aioli to go with the pan con tomate instead of me ordering both. After asking how many dishes she would recommend, I reluctantly abandoned about three dishes I had planned but threw in the meatballs for good measure. How often am I in Spain, anyway?

Firstly I need to talk about the manchego. The manchego was of such good quality, and – plot twist – served with walnuts, which was a combination I’d never had before but will absolutely continue to do so. Teamed with the chorizo and pan con tomate the manchego pretty much made my life that evening, it was that good. The tortilla was expertly cooked, not at all dry and falling apart just so. The meatballs I wouldn’t bother with next time – there was nothing at all wrong with them but I gave up prawns for them, you know? An error on my part. The pot of aioli I was served was so big I could barely make a dent in it alongside my other twenty eight dishes – and how I tried. So thick and garlicky – it’s the first thing I want when I land in Spain. This was the perfect first stop in Ibiza and I would absolutely return to La Bodega. The views are wonderful, the restaurant is chilled enough you can stay for hours without bother, the sangria is perfect and the tapas excellent. It’s also great value for Ibiza, where meals can easily add up to €100 a head in other fancier places by the sea. It’s worth noting the restaurant also have an outpost in Ibiza Town which I’d like to try next time – perfect pit stop after exploring those cobbled streets in the sunshine, wouldn’t you say?


La Bodega Talamanca, C/ Ses Figueres S18 Talamanca, 07800 Ibiza, +34971192740
La Bodega Ibiza, C/ Bisbe Torres Mayans 2, 07800 Ibiza +34672494847

Open every day from 6pm until late.

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A Bit Fancy London


For two people who have a shared brunch wishlist at least thirty restaurants strong, my best friend and I can take an astonishingly long time to choose where to eat. It took an hour’s debate to land on Jose in Bermondsey for a midday lunch post yoga (her) and chore morning (me) one sunny Saturday.

Jose is the first of chef Jose Pizarro’s three outposts of excellent Spanish food, set up on a cosy space on the corner of Bermondsey Street under the watch of The Shard. I’d been keen to try it out for a long time, and at Alli’s suggestion (likely to prevent her from having to travel no more than two minutes from her yoga class) I jumped at the chance to finally go.

Keen as ever, I was the first person there when they opened the doors at 12pm, quickly parked myself at the end of the window bar, catching the spring sun that poured through the floor to ceiling glass and ordered a bottle of their blanc de blanc (£36 a bottle). A regular prosecco drinker, it was a good change to have something a little drier and the blanc de blanc was an solid choice. Later in the day we would try the English sparkling Nyetimber down the road, and both agreed it’s one of the best sparkling wines we’ve tried. But back to Jose.

Of course, being tapas, sharing plates is the go to here, so we ordered a selection to start with including croquetas (£6.50), mixed cheeses (£12), pan con tomate (£3.50) and the inevitable cuts of cured meat: jamon iberico (£13) and cecina (£8), which came topped with bright red pearls of pomegranate seeds and turned out to be a brilliant addition. We drank our wine and on ordering another bottle topped up our order with tuna skewers (£10), chorizo peas (£7.50) and sukalki (£8), a beef ragu that felt more like an English stew than traditionally Spanish but well done nonetheless. The croquetas deserve a particular shout out, perfectly golden and filled with cheese and small chunks of ham, as does the chorizo peas topped with the perfect fried egg, which we were instructed to mash up all together before enjoying. It never occurred to me that three simple ingredients could taste quite that good together.

The thing about picking slowly at small plates with good wine and your best friend – aside from it being one of the best ways to spend a few hours – is how you become so full quicker than you expected. Full of good food, cold fizz and long conversation. Too full to order dessert, and I’ve heard very good things about their chocolate with sea salt and olive oil. Then again, that plus their ever changing menu is the perfect excuse to go back.

104 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3UB

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