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Spanish eatery in Old Town takes ‘Best in England’ title
BELIEVE it or not, the country’s favourite tapas restaurant lies in the heart of Old Town.
Los Gatos, in Wood Street, has been crowned England’s favourite tapas venue in a national competition to uncover the very best of the UK’s blossoming Spanish food scene.
The competition, run by Andalusian beer brand Alhambra, invited nominations by customers on Facebook.
Los Gatos was pipped to the post by Edinburgh’s Tapa restaurant for the national title but came a close second.
Phil Saunter, who owns Los Gatos and Bistro Les Chats with partner Shareen Campbell, was delighted by the news.
He said: “I think we’re very popular because there’s nothing else that’s quite like us in Swindon. There are some other places that do tapas but one of the things we pride ourselves on is the fact that we are authentically Spanish. We only stock Spanish beer and serve Spanish wine and we’re strictly a tapas bar rather than a restaurant – we only serve tapas.
“Some of our particularly popular dishes are deep fried aubergine, and prawns with chilli and garlic.
“Our Spanish omelettes are also very popular.
“On the first Sunday of each month we also offer a traditional paella Sunday lunch, which is always booked up three months in advance.”
Phil received the news that the restaurant had been nominated six weeks ago but never expected to be crowned the best in England.
“It’s very nice to be recognised by our loyal customers who voted for us on Facebook and a big thank you goes out to them,” he said.
“These competitions have a tendency to be London-centric, so it’s really nice that the top five are all based outside of London and that venues are being recognised in the provinces.
“We did celebrate with a couple of glasses of Cava, I must admit.”
The competition began on Andalusia Day – February 28 – and ran until October 10, with 75 restaurants or tapas bars from the UK’s burgeoning Spanish food scene taking part.
Sam Houston, spokesperson for the Alhambra beer brand, said: “Los Gatos came a very close second to Tapa but it is clear that they produce excellent food and have a loyal local following.
“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.”
l Don’t miss the Adver’s weekly column from Los Tapas in Menu every Friday
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