Swindon’s widely-acclaimed Spanish Tapas Bar Los Gatos has finished second in a competition run by craft Andalusian beer brand Alhambra to find the UK’s Favourite Tapas Venue.
Los Gatos in Old Town was pipped to the post by Edinburgh’s Tapa restaurant, meaning that the delightful establishment on Wood Street takes the title of England’s Favourite Tapas Venue.
The competition began on February 28th 2013, Andalusia Day, and ran until October 10th 2013 with seventy-five restaurants or tapas bars from the UK’s burgeoning Spanish food scene involved. People were able to vote or nominate their favourite venue via Cervezas Alhambra’s UK Facebook or at Alhambra’s summer sampling events with the winning restaurant announced on Spain’s national Day, 12th October.
The other restaurants who made up the top five included Hull’s El Toro in third place, Costas Tapas Bar in Penrith in fourth and Liverpool’s Lunya in fifth.
Sam Houston, spokesperson for the Alhambra beer brand commented: “The Spanish restaurant sector has blossomed in the last few years with consumers really getting a taste for tapas. We are now blessed with an incredible array of authentic Spanish tapas venues around the country and this competition has helped showcase that. Los Gatos came a very close second to Tapa but it is clear that they produce excellent food and has a loyal local following.”
Andalusia in Southern Spain is where the Alhambra beers hail from and is also thought to be the birthplace of tapas. Literally meaning “Lid”, it is thought by many that tapas first came about in Andalusia when plates were placed on top of glasses to stop the fruit flies spoiling the sherry. Soon morsels of food accompanied the plates before bars started to compete with each other, offering their own speciality tapa. Today tapas is recognised as the quintessential cuisine of Spain and is celebrated and enjoyed around the world.