Boro Bistro

Trawling slowly through the hustle and bustle of Borough Market, I chanced upon this little place tucked away in a little corner. Boro Bistro is as cute and quirky as they come, set lower than the street above with views to The Shard, but still somewhat tranquil especially being next door to Southwark Cathedral.

SAJL0102

As finally it felt like a hint of summer we sat outside to soak up the rays, whilst listening to the cool, Ibiza style chill-out music they had playing. Obviously nothing but a Cotes de Provence rose and my oversized sunglasses would do at this point. The atmosphere is laid-back, and just my style! Gorgeous decor, using old tin baths as flower beds, and metal bed frames as sofas. The loos are interesting too (but I’ll leave that for you to discover) 🙂

SAJL0090

The food is mostly tapas style, again THIS IS SO ME, and the plates and cutlery are a mish-mash but it works. Pictured below is asparagus with a goji berry tapenade and toasted almonds.

IMG_4466.JPG

I wager that this will indeed end up being my local London haunt… Except, hmm.. how to put this. There’s a corner in front of where I was sitting, casually people watching, and in the hour or so I was there, I saw three people trip over and one person drop his jar of whatever he bought from the market. There’s definitely something ‘interesting’ about that corner! By the time we left the place had filled up and the clouds now were rolling in – time to go, but I’m already thinking of my next visit.

SAJL0080

Boro Bistro, 6-10 Borough High Street, Bankchambers, Montagne Close, London SE1 9QQ

La Vina – Manchester

I love the idea of Tapas. The little dishes, the sharing, taking your time, enjoying the company, and sipping Sangria whilst you do so. If I had the Spanish climate to go with it, I’d be in heaven, alas today I’m in a cold and grey Manchester. But  La Vina, set smack bang in the middle of bustling Deansgate, brings that little slice of the Med to me.

The dark red walls, large iron chandeliers exude a broody laid-back atmosphere, whilst the barrel dining tables brings a rustic feel.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

To begin, Stuart and I shared a platter of sliced chorizo Iberico bellota, SalchichĂłn Iberico bellota, piquillo peppers, manchego cheese, olives, ciabatta and mini chorizo bites. Simple, straightforward and delicious. This is hands downs, my kind of nibbley thing – I can do it all day, everyday – it’s how I eat. But mains awaited. I went with a light option of Croquetas de Espinacas (hand-crumbed croquettes, filled with a creamy goats’ cheese, spinach & BĂ©chamel sauce) and Esparagos (freshly chargrilled asparagus served with a chunky olive tapenade & fresh lemon zest). Completely delish, and the right amount for me to feel stuffed (I’m really small). Stuart had New Meat Bombs (pork & gorgonzola meat bombs in a sherry jus with a truffle shot) and prawns from the specials board, all of which he devoured and loved.

IMG_2665

Of course, there will be certain members of the Tapas Police who may question the authenticity of this restaurant, but what it does have is great food, friendly service and a wonderful atmosphere, and that does it enough for me to be…. Livin La Vina Loca. (sorry).

La Vina, 105/107 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2BQ
0161 8353144