Boqueria Battersea

A new branch of Boqueria opened recently on Queenstown Road in a prime spot near Battersea Park. It’s as much a deli, serving lunchtime treats to local workers, as a more formal tapas restaurant.

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Boqueria Battersea – new branch on Queenstown Road with roadside seating

On completing our D.I.Y. shopping chores (yawn) the other Saturday morning in a hired zip car, we spontaneously decided to delay doing said D.I.Y., in favour of trying a take-away tapas lunch from Boqueria Market.

A scorching hot day, this new branch was busy, with all five (circa) of the outdoor tables occupied. Now this branch is beautifully done out but those outdoor tables are still on traffic-heavy Queenstown Road and Battersea Park Road…

Indoors, some customers were sitting in the deli area on high stools having a leisurely lunch and cocktails, and a few were dining in the restaurant at the back. All looked to be relaxed and enjoying themselves.

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Deli counter – salads, snacks, tuna empanadillas, variety of cakes

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Simple rustic-feel restaurant area – small restaurant at the back

The deli counter displayed a tempting selection of salads and cakes, not to mention tuna empanadillas (tomato and tuna pie) @ £3.50 a slice so – along with all the tapas options too – there’s plenty of choice.

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Whole jambon

For the two of us to share I ordered:
~ Bread @ £1.60 + marinated olives @ £2.00
~ Patatas bravas – lightly spicy crispy potatoes @ £4.20
~ Chorizo in cider @ £4.90
~ Pork + beef meatballs in tomato sauce @ £6.00
~ Spanish tortilla @ £4.90

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Tapas take-away lunch

Our total lunch for two came to £23.90 – very reasonable for freshly prepared, good quality, and thoroughly enjoyable food. Certainly as good as Brixton Boqueria.

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: Spanish, tapas
~ Address: 278 Queenstown Road, Battersea, London
~ Postcode: SW8 4LT
~ Tel: 020 7498 8427
~ Nearest station: Battersea Park
~ Website + menus: Boqueria market website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Boqueria food
~ Location: Boqueria Battersea map

More Battersea dining:
~ Dalila – top Lebanese restaurant
~ Nancy Lam’s Enak Enak – *best* restaurant on Lavender Hill (Indonesian / SE Asian fusion)
~ Santa Maria del Sur

Boqueria Market on Urbanspoon


Boqueria tapas

Brixton’s Boqueria

Situated half-way between Clapham Common and Brixton tube stations (about 1 km or a 10 minute walk from each), Boqueria is well worth the short stroll. It’s been open two years now and gets rave reviews; its reputation living up to the popular Barcelona market after which it’s named (El Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria).

Boqueria on Acre Lane

Having been recommended to me recently (by a reliable source, you know who you are…) H and I decided to give it a try last night while we were out and about in Brixton.

The bar area was bustling as we entered for 7.30pm; we were promptly greeted and taken to our reserved table in the back room.

Our menu choices

Waiting staff were helpful and not only explained some of the menu items and specials but really sold them to us too! Roast almonds and a bottle of Garnacha tinta (Cop de Ma) @ £21.00 were brought to us swiftly, to occupy us while reading the menu.

We ordered pork croquetas @ £6.30 from the daily specials board and boiled octopus (pulpo) with paprika on a bed of potatoes @ £7.30, pork and beef meatballs (albondigas) in tomato sauce @ £6.00, Monkfish Catalana with prawns @ £7.90, and tuna carpaccio with garlic, almond, soy sauce, and fresh tomato @ £6.80.

Octopus, monkfish, tuna carpaccio, pork croquetas, meatballs

The plates were excellent on the whole (especially the monkfish, octopus and meatballs, less so the pork croquetas which were slightly bland) and were generous portions (five dishes was plenty enough for two of us). This was really good quality food, with fantastic service and reasonably priced @ £55.30 excluding service.

I’ll definitely be going back. Hopefully soon…

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: Spanish, tapas
~ Address: 192 Acre Lane, London
~ Postcode: SW2 5UL
~ Tel: 020 7733 4408
~ Nearest station: Brixton, Clapham Common
~ Website + menus: Boqueria website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Boqueria food
~ facebook page: Boqueria facebook page
~ Location: Boqueria map

Boqueria Tapas on Urbanspoon

Origins at the White Lion, Great Missenden

Great Missenden, gateway to the Cotswolds and only a forty-five minute drive from London, was home to Roald Dahl (a small museum about him lives on) and is also home to the flushbunkingly gloriumptious Origins at The White Lion.

A classy, comfy restaurant, Origins takes its name from Darwin’s On The Origin of Species published in 1859, the year The White Lion first opened. Decor is dark and stylish with chairs that are a cross between an arm-chair and a throne and have a feel of Alice in Wonderland.

The food served is gastro-Spanish pub food (yes I made that up. But it is) and truly excellent. There are regular theme nights, like wine-tasting and Spanish evenings with a flamenco dancer, Spanish guitarist, tapas buffet and sangria.

Origins at The White Lion (Charles Darwin theme)

We passed through Great Missenden this afternoon on our way back to London from the Cotswolds, and stuck our noses around a couple of inferior pub doors before settling on this one. It stood out from the others, and we were greeted by helpful staff the moment we entered.

For starters we had a tuna tataki (seared thin slices of fresh tuna crusted in black sesame seeds, white spring onions, chilli daikon and sweet soya sauce @ £6.50) and a beef tataki (seared thin slices of fillet of beef crusted in black sesame seeds, etc @ £7.00) both of which were simply stunning.

tataki starter

We then shared a Caciucco (a huge baked fish casserole with prawns, tuna, monkfish, squid, mussels, new potatoes and black olives in a tomato, garlic and chilli sauce, with garlic bread @ £30 for two) – a perfect treat.

Caciucco – baked fish casserole for two

more Caciucco – it’s worth it!

rear garden @ Origins

Origins at The White Lion – on Great Missenden High Street

a swizzfigglingly dandy – Roald Dahl museum, Great Missenden High Street

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: Gastropub, Spanish, British
~ Address: Origins at The White Lion, 57 High Street, Great Missenden, Bucks
~ Postcode: HP16 0AL
~ Tel: 01494 86 36 96
~ e:
~ Website: Origins at The White Lion
~ Menu: Origins menu
~ Location: Origins map

Queen’s Head + Artichoke

Roast beef, roast veggies, Yorkshire pudding with creamed horseradish

A park-side gastro pub serving a winning combination of Spanish and British food, the Queen’s Head and Artichoke gets the Lardbutty ‘Sunday roast of the year 2010‘ award.

On my visit yesterday – before a screening of Alice in Wonderland at Regent’s Park open-air theatre – staff welcomed us as we walked in; were attentive while sharing a joke, and seemed to be enjoying themselves at work (a very good sign).

First deliberation: tapas or main food menu?

Both. Among our party of four we shared a few tapas (fabulous beetroot with creme fraiche + poppy seeds, grilled halloumi, salt + pepper calamari aioli and buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, basil + oil) and all opted for Sunday roast beef.

I’ll be visiting here again despite its location being nowhere near where I work or live – this place has got everything just right.

Queen’s Head + Artichoke, by Regent’s Park

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4.5 / 5
~ Type: British, Spanish
~ Postcode: NW1 4EA
~ Nearest station: Great Portland Street
~ Website: Queens Head + Artichocke website
~ Menus (tapas + main): Queens Head + Artichoke menus
~ Location: Queens Head + Artichoke map, by Regent’s Park

Queen's Head & Artichoke on Urbanspoon