A year (and and a few weeks ago) I clicked the publish button on a concept I’d been toying around with for quite some time and had no idea how far it’d grow. It was designed as a journal for my love of food and dining out. A record of what I liked, loved and hated and somewhere in that, if you the audience got something out of it, then that was a bloody good bonus!
So here we are in 2014, 2381 hits, 175 followers and 26 posts later. Not the biggest figures in the world and I openly accept there are far better bloggers out there than I but nevertheless I created something and as hoped, some of you seem to like it.
I must admit it’s been tough trying to fit in any time for the blog recently, in between nursery applications for my growing toddler and playing the dutiful wife and daughter/in law (aka lots of cooking and baking!). Then there’s all that time spent stretching my daughter’s mind as much as possible with a cacophony of activities from salsa classes to sandpits. Not to mention frequent trips to the white cube where even I’m wondering what in the world the thing I’m staring at is supposed to be!
Blog aside, when I decided to take a career break and focus on my first born I did so with the conviction that I’d give it my all and give her a truly enriched experience of life in London. And even though some days are just full of rice cake crumbs, teary tantrums and snot filled muslin cloths, I do love it.
But I also wanted to do something for me, have my own project, my own outlet of creativity. My second baby – my blog – has been just as much a source of pride and enjoyment for me, and if it’s even remotely entertained you then that makes me doubly cheery. So in that spirit, long may it continue and thank you for your support!
That’s all the soppy stuff out the way, more importantly you are probably wondering where the hell I ate this last month or two. Well I’m going to do things a little differently so that you get more of a regular read, instead of waiting for ages and getting a post akin to a novel. Today you’ve got Horrible Hispania to read, and in the next week I’ll be adding to it with descriptions of my other recent jaunts:
Roast, Borough Market
Sticks n Sushi, Covent Garden
Augustus Harris, Covent Garden
Sabrina Ghayour’s Persian seafood feast supperclub
Cassé Croute, London Bridge
One Canada Square, Canary Wharf
Got that cuppa ready (and a few biccies), good, well here’s your first instalment…
I’ve decided the phrase third time lucky is not always accurate. In future, if I ever have to cancel a restaurant, for reasons beyond my control, twice, then I shall take it as fate giving me a more fair chance to save my night out.
A few reasons why Hispania was just so awful:
Tortoise speed service from staff, who also clearly see you calling but walk off in the other direction to avoid you
Mediocre and over-priced tapas dishes (see below) lacking any authenticity despite claiming to show ‘the best in Spain’. It is Bank and I get that suits are prone to cash-flashing but surely they have taste buds too! The Padron peppers lacked any juice, the Jamon croquettes were more potato, less Jamon and the Patatas bravas was overpowered by acidic tomato without a hint of paprika.
Hiring fluent Spanish staff is great if your restaurant is in Spain but not so, if you are in the heart of London. Our waitress hadn’t a clue what dessert wines were, or how to explain some of the ingredients listed in Spanish on the menu.
Finally, to commiserate our less than successful night out my friend and I ordered two glasses of champagne in lieu of desserts (none on the menu took our fancy, which is a first for the Blonde and I). Ten minutes pass by and our waitress barks ‘its coming’ when I managed to catch her attention with a curious face. Ten more minutes pass by, by which time we are dying of thirst because they’ve also forgotten to top up our water. We are finally given a very insincere and rather pathetic rant, one that we are just about able to make out from her thick Spanish accent, about the fact they’ve run out of the champagne they serve by the glass, and she’d have to visit the cellar, which she doesn’t have time for!
NEVER in my entire life have I been denied champagne or made to feel like I’m a character in a plot worthy of an episode of ‘Fawlty Towers’. I almost expected Basil to jump out at any point berating Manuel for not stocking up on champagne, or worse, for being slumped in the cellar with empty bottles around him.
Needless to say, I told our waitress to get our bill ASAP and deduct the service because it had been so pathetic all night long. I also noticed that the table next to us had a complaint and another nearby didn’t look particularly content either, so it certainly wasn’t a one off.
If you are after the best of Spain I’d head over to Jose, Salt Yard or Opera Tavern. Hell, even your local branch of La Tasca will give you a better night than one you are likely to have at Hispania!