March 12, 2014

Copa de Cava, London

In Catalonia where 95% of cava is produced, this bubblesome beverage is not just a sparkling wine but very much a reflection of the culture and landscape. It also happens to pair perfectly with the typical flavours of Catalan and Spanish grazing plates, aka tapas.
Having spent two most colourful years in Barcelona, supping cava was once an integral part of my lifestyle, from haunting the local Xampanyeria to cracking open a bottle (or five) over some shareable delights with pals, as below.
 I have quite mourned the loss of this part of my life since I relocated to London and so when a little invitation from Copa de Cava popped up in my inbox, I rearranged everything I was up to and eagerly pulled an old friend along by the collar.

Quite aptly set in the brick cellar of a Spanish restaurant in Blackfriars, Copa de Cava is shrouded with that 'tucked away' ambience that comes with cosying up under the city streets and harks of the caves from which cava hails: intimate and lit dimly, perfect for hushed conversations or clandestine tables of conspirers and nibble lovers.
And so nibble and chatter we did, our words racing out of our mouths as fast as the cava that was washed down it, with shadows surrounding us and lights flickering on the others in attendance, illuminating snippets of their own conversations and pleasure for the food.

Dishes from chef Nacho del Campo were presented with his own flourishes - from
deconstructed tortilla de patatas to ceviche with corn kernels, and typically-rich ribbons of excellent quality Jamón ibérico.
Patatas Bravas, Ceviche and Pan con Tomate
Particular highlights included the earthy tones of slippery aubergine on crispy pastry and firm, fleshy octopus.
Setas, Steak Tartare, Pulpo

Conversation flowed as readily as the cava - I have to hold up my hands and confess that I might have done a better job of networking had I not been so enraptured with eating and brimming with bubbles of deliciousness such as:


 ...all the way through to the familiar peak of RESERVA DE LA FAMILIA GRAN RESERVA, JUVE Y CAMPS


While not as 'rough and ready' as some of the cava bars of Catalonia, it blends easy London chic with good flavours and makes a very fine place to catch up indeed. 
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