Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Sherry Bars: London’s Latest Trend

By Cat McGovern

I have a small confession to make; I am a secret sherry lover. For me, sherry normally conjures up thoughts of grannies and Christmas, when it might be thrust upon you as your first proper alcoholic drink. But oh, how times have changed.

I discovered my love for this curious tipple one drunken night in Camino. I was there to review the venue and the PR lady encouraged me to try some, saying that it was now her favourite after work drink. Being a girl who likes her drink, I accepted. This is where the love affair began. It’s the way that it challenges all your taste buds that draws me to its nectar.

So with places like Camino, its sister venue Bar Pepito and the soon to be premiered Jose, the profile of sherry has been raised in London and it’s been made a seemingly cool beverage.

Enter Capote Y Toros (meaning cape and bulls); which is part of the already successful Cambio de Terico group, and its impressive selection of 100 sherries, all available by the glass. As soon as I entered this rather small establishment, I knew I was in for a bit of a treat. We were told that we would be going on a ‘Flight of Sherries’ consisting of five different varieties; Fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado, Oloroso Dry and Palo Cortado. I simply could not contain my excitement and beamed at my +1 like a bit of a nutter.
Slowly sipping on my first, I got talking to the manager who explained his concept. He wanted a place that was more relaxed and had a neighbourhood bar feel to it, compared with his other ventures. This is why the interior looks like every Spanish cliché imaginable. Big bags of ham wrapped in black cloths hanging from the ceiling, bright red and orange coloured walls, bull fighting pictures all amassed into one space and fake bull heads. Although very tongue in cheek, it still looked impressive.

If you want to come here for dinner or simply a bit of tapas and a sherry accompaniment, then it has a walk in policy. They don’t take bookings, they want people to just wander in and experience the place.
As canapés of tapas delights came pouring out their kitchen, we were told that different sherries would go extremely well with all the food we were eating. They weren’t wrong. Sherry is designed to be enjoyed with food, so it felt like an intense culinary journey. From the crumbling manchego cheese, to the individual pieces of chorizo on toothpicks all went well with the sherries. Speaking with other attendees, one being Spanish, their ham and cheese croquettes were a definite highlight, tasting authentic and fresh.
Several glasses of sherry later, I decided it would be best to leave, seeing as it was only Wednesday. Capote Y Toros is a homely and very laid back place to visit and since it’s a 15 minute walk away from my flat, I will be popping in for a sherry (or 5) of a week day evening very soon.


  1. Being one of the best cities in the world London has the best nightclubs in the world and there are plenty of great clubs and there are plenty of wonderful pubs in London such as strawberry moons London, Cherry Jam London, London bridge bars and vip clubs London etc. It is an amazing party capital.

  2. Nice to see sherry is coming back strongly... except in Spain (I am from Barcelona).
    Thanks for appreciating such flavours and a complete way of life.