The UK's epic Spanish food festival is returning – and we got a sneak preview

Tapas lovers, assemble.

Back again this year, ‘Gastronomy Month’, run by Spanish beer brand Estrella Galicia, is a celebration of Spanish food and drink.

Running in May, tickets go on sale next week on April 5, and it’s expected the foodie experiences will sell out again.

There will be 22 masterclasses, tasting menus, tapas tours, Spanish Fiestas and offers across participating restaurants up and down the country.

Keeping the cost of living in mind, Estrella Galicia will subsidise ticket costs for select events this year.

Restaurants included in some of the events in the capital are Iberica, Pix pintxo and Brindisa – and classic Spanish dishes such as tortilla, croquetas and a variety of fish will be served up.

We tried a tapas tour preview – here’s what we thought

Stopping off at three popular Spanish restaurants in Soho and near Warren Street, I got to sample dishes at each one, going from starters through to desserts.

You walk from venue to venue, free to chat with your friends or speak with the tour lead who can answer any food or drink questions you have.

We stopped off at Barrafina, Brindisa, Iberica, where at each stop we had two tapas dishes with a well matched beer.

First we had fish croquetas, and a runny tortilla (Galacian style, so we were told), then smoky albondigas (which are meatballs in a spicy and rich tomato sauce) and Galician empanada (with tuna and pepper inside – see below), then finished with a churro and chocolate cake.

My favourite tapas dish of the night (Picture: Tanyel Mustafa)

It was a nice way to try different restaurants in London, as well as food, and I now know Iberica in particular I’d go back to for a full meal.

At each stop, the food was incredible and clearly authentic. I also learned a bit about the differences in way Spanish food is cooked depending on the region.

The accompanying beer for each dish was great too, and as someone that isn’t a massive beer drinker, it made me better appreciate how different beers can compliment different dishes.

I’d recommend it for a fun and delicious evening.

As well as eating good food, some of the events teach you how to pair beers with plates – something that’s often talked about with wine, but isn’t so commonly thought of when it comes to pints.

Other events also allow you to learn how to carve ham and pour the perfect pint, and there’s even Flamengo performances to watch.

Those wanting to dabble into the foodie month without committing to a full event easily can – in over 100 venues across the the UK and Ireland, diners will be able to sip on an Estrella Galicia beer paired with a tapas dish of choice, starting from just £4.95.

Available throughout May, participating venues include Sabor, La Condesa, Casa Monolo, La Bandera (Manchester), Gambas (Bristol) and Ole Tapas (Bath), with some of the dishes up for grabs being monkfish tempura, Galician octopus, croquetas de jamon y queso mahon and empanadas with various fillings.

Time to indulge.

Schedule of events

Tapas tours

  • Newcastle – Saturday 6th May: Kaltur Dean Street, Fuego & Kaltur High Bridge
  • Dublin – Sunday 7th May: The Market Bar & Salamanca
  • London – Saturday 20th May: Iberica, Pix & Brindisa

Tasting menu

  • Rogues, London – Wednesday 10 May
  • Brindisa, London – Wednesday 24th May
  • Hellfire, Dublin – Thursday 11th May
  • The Exchequer, Dublin – Thursday 18th May
  • Cava Bodega, Cork – Wednesday 31st May
  • Sampa Bistro, Manchester – Sunday 21st May
  • Piggs, Edinburgh – Wednesday 17th May

Beer and food pairing masterclasses

  • Taphouse, Dublin – Wednesday 10th May
  • Bar Daskal, London – Thursday 11th May
  • Brindisa, London – Thursday 4th May
  • Bar 44, Bristol – 31st May

Spanish fiestas

  • ‘Pour & Carve’ Iberica, Leeds – Friday 12th May
  • ‘Pour & Carve’ Iberica, London – Friday 19th May
  • ‘Tapas & Flamengo’ Edinburgh – Sunday 21st May
  • ‘Tapas & Tunes’ Leeds – Saturday 13th May
  • ‘BBQ Summer Party’ Bar 44, Cardiff – Sunday 28th May

For more details and to book tickets, visit:

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