Rioja, Meet Southbank
20th June 2014
Recently I made two new discoveries: 1. I love Flamenco Jazz music. 2. I love Spanish food. 3. I’m bad at maths. Ok, so I already knew those last two… But I’ve never loved Spanish food as much as I love it now! In fact, the food just topped off what was an awesome couple of days in general. (I love food. Food – if you keep repeating it, it starts to sound weird.)
But I digest (ow!), last weekend I hosted the main stage at the Rioja Tapas Fantasticas festival – a celebration of the Rioja region and Spanish food, wine and culture held at the picturesque Potters Fields park, overlooking Tower Bridge and the City of London. It’s a pretty sweet deal come to think of it – free entry and (seriously good) live music, plus four glasses of wine for £3.50! I know a bargain when I see one, and this is as good as it gets. There was also a wide selection of ridiculously tasty tapas, and the opportunity to learn more about these things, straight from the experts!
Interviewing wine wizards Susy Atkins and Olly Smith (off t’telly) made me realise how little I know about wine, but also how much there is to know – a LOT. I also made friends with Spanish chef Jose Pizarro, whose restaurant I am going to be pretty much living in from now on.
If that wasn’t enough, I got to experience some incredible live music. A particular highlight was the Flamenco cover of ‘Breathe’ by the Prodigy. Yes, it exists.
This was the first time I’d ever been to Tapas Fantasticas, but once is enough to safely say I’m going to become a regular.