We’re much enamoured of the jamon bars of Seville (truth be told, it’s one of the main reasons we visit the city every summer) and are constantly on the hunt for similar places in London. And yes, one can eat very good tapas in London now if one is prepared to pay through the nose. We want the kind of relaxed and inexpensive night (that might turn into a very late one) that you can only really have in a charcuterie bar, however.
If Nape was any nearer our house, we’d be in there every Saturday night, putting the world to rights over a bottle or three of their delicious Baby Bandito wine — a Carignan from Testalonga, one of South Africa’s most interesting wineries. If you visit Nape, and you must, we suggest you start with a glass of Benimaquia Bernabe Navarro, a fantastic orange wine, and a plate of their Monmouthshire duck, pork & Sichuan pepper snacking sausage — Sichuan pepper imparts an almost fennel-like flavour which can only be a good thing in our book. We would also have a Bread Ahead bread basket, some pickles and smoked almonds. You could leave it there, if you were going on to dinner elsewhere for example, or you could treat yourself and order the frankly revelatory Dorset mutton and pickled walnuts — who knew mutton could taste so good? There’s also an already famous Cobble Lane beef which here is served with tarragon and hazelnuts. And to finish off, they sell those heavenly Gelupo ice creams — a blood orange one went down very well on our visit, as did the caramel gingerbread and the fior di latte, if we’re strictly being honest. A glass of chilled manzanilla would be another additional or alternative way to round the evening off.
If you’re wondering, we happen to think a non-meat eater could eat very well here, from standout cheese toasties (the Isle of Mull cheddar, Ogleshield & spring onion is amazing) to lovely salads and a great cheese plate. Whether the non-carnivorous would feel relaxed whilst people around them cut a swathe through plates of Cornish Lop nape and smoked pork belly is down to the individual. If you love charcuterie (and a fun night out) as much as we do, however, we would urge you to visit.