It is with sadness that I admit to being a sherry novice, my experiences so far limited to drinking Tio Pepe at this wonderful event at Camino and a fantastic XO recommended by Brian at Rules. Many declare sherry to be the best accompaniment to food because the fino variety can be matched to any food, unlike some wines.
Fortunately I will now be able to so something about my ignorance with the arrival of London's first sherry bar. I was delighted to hear about the opening of Bar Pepito, it's admittedly an interesting USP. An authentically Andalucian drinking experience to be had right here in rainy London? Sign me up! The bar opened on Friday evening to the public and I was fortunate enough to attend a preview evening.
On the night my expectations were far exceeded and I am certain that this place will be a roaring success. Whatever your sherry preference you will find something to suit (they also serve other booze but, trust me, you won't even think of it).
I was fortunate enough to spend much of the evening chatting to Andrew Sinclair of Gonzalez Byass (with whom Camino are embarking upon this new venture) learning a little about sherry production processes whilst eating some fantastically delicious canapes including this carpaccio of venison.
Other never ending nibbles circling the room included some excellent crab and cod canapes, a tomato tartare, generous boards of chorizo, cheeses, and plate after plate of the amazing Jamón ibérico pata negra, expertly hand carved before us. The nuttiness and creaminess of these tiny cuts of meat simply have to be tried.
I loved the combination of the Valdeón Asturias blue cheese with the Noe González Byass, a 30 year old Pedro Ximenez. There are few greater pleasures in life than experiencing such perfectly matched flavours. A strong blue cheese paired with a sweet fortified wine, grapes dried in the sun to provide a sweeter and stickier flavour and a darkly golden colour. It was a heady evening, the beautiful quaint little room was full to the brim and both the heat and atmosphere were authentically stifling.
In the summer this will be an amazing venue at which to wile away the evening spilling out onto the courtyard between Bar Pepito and Camino for some much needed air. The room itself is lovingly decorated with photos and posters making it every inch like the sherry bars in Spain to which it is paying homage. Exposed brick work and tiled mosaic flooring adding to the vibe.
I had the most amazing evening on Thursday and will definitely be back, very soon. Finally a reason to visit King's Cross on a regular basis. I'm drinking a fino whilst I write this, looking out on the rain and it's just not the same somehow.
Click here to see their fine list of sherries available for between £3 and £8 a glass.
And if sherry is not your thing, something on the food menu perhaps? If you've not already tried it, you need this Jamón ibérico in your life. They are initially open Wednesday to Saturday from 5pm until midnight.
The Regent Quarter
I attended the press evening as a guest of Bar Pepito