Tapas, an idea that has been around for years. The way that lunch, dinner or a quick bite should be…. You order small plates of food that you and your group share. The idea is that food which makes us all come together should be enjoyed and shared between friends and family. We as Brits tend to opt for a 3-course meal where you order what you want to eat and do so whilst your friends enjoy theirs.
I have always believed that if something is tantalisingly delicious why wouldn’t you want to share your experience with the people that you are with?
Meson Don Felipe is one of those places: if you didn’t know it was there, you would walk straight past it. This was the very first authentic tapas restaurant in London and has been around since 1987, located in the busy commuter’s area of Southwark.
As you approach, there is a queue of people waiting to grab their lunch time paella. This, in itself is a wonder at an expense of £6 that gives you a portion that would happily feed two rather than one!
Step inside and you are taken to any tapas bar in Spain. An open square bar with tables around the outside. The constant flow of waitresses who are authentic and have a rustic Spanish accent makes you feel that once you’ve stepped through the threshold you have been somehow transported to the country itself.
The name itself derives from something so simple… Felipe is the husband (British) and his wife from Spain; the name translates into the house of Felipe, and his staff makes you feel like you are eating in his living room! This isn’t your fine dining, silver service 20% service charge restaurant: it’s homely and it’s authentic as you would expect if you where on holiday.
Wonderfully seasoned, it’s authentic and packed with flavour. The menu makes you want to order it all and try the lot! Settling on two dishes each was a tough ask but that’s what tapas is all about. I ordered one that I knew and one that was something different. This way you get to try something that you wouldn’t usually try, tasting and exploring your taste buds. Even after we had the two dishes there was something saying… let’s get one more and try that because you didn’t want to miss out! An hour’s lunch break was the only reason we didn’t explore the whole menu and try to eat as much as we could! It is places like this that have so much authenticity, character and friendliness that makes London one of the most diverse and cultural places to eat out in! We should all have the opportunity to indulge in the various cuisines that are out there and I will without a doubt be heading back, whether it’s for take-away paella, another selection of their great tapas dishes or just to sample some of the extensive wine list, and I urge you to do the same!
To everyone involved at Meson don Felipe thank you and see you again soon.
Article by Liam McCarthy