Last week, for the third year running, I took part in the Campo Viejo Tapas Trail. Like previous years it was wonderful value with a wide variety of food and a lot of wine on offer for the bargain price of €20. Old favourites such as Salamanca, Havana and The Market Bar were still on the trail with the new addition of Bagots Hutton as one of the four venues. Our tour guide Paul, was the same one as we had last year and he treated us to titbits of information as we walked our trail. Either I don't remember what he told us last year, had too much wine or else he has a lot of information about Dublin in his head! He also had such a talent for remembering everyone's name and he really helped to make the night.
In our first three venues, Salamanca, Bagots Hutton and the Market Bar we were treated to an array of food including patatas bravas, feta and chorizo salad, seafood paella, fried potatoes with chorizo and spinach and ricotta croquettes.
For me this year, the real standout was Bagots Hutton. I had never been before and they set out a veritable feast for us including big plates of cheeses, meats, olives and a whole host of other tasty treats. It was perfect sharing food and everyone just got stuck in, handing the wooden platters around and sampling all the wonderful food. It is a lovely, comfortable venue and one that I will definitely return to alongside The Market Bar which has been a favourite of mine for years. One thing that also really impressed me this year was that the organisers enquired as to whether anyone in my party had food intolerances or preferences. One of the party did not eat meat and she was very well looked after at each venue with fish alternatives presented instead.
Our last venue was Havana and this meant dessert! I think this is a great concept and really helps to round out the night. We were so full by the end of the trail that one Crema Catalan got left behind and there were four boys in the group too!!
The trail ended there but our night did not and there were a few delicious pitchers of mojitos bought in Havana!
The only thing that did disappoint me was that I only came across one piece of art by Irish urban artists, Psyconautes and Fatti Burke. This was a huge colourful piece of work depicting Spanish wine in the Market Bar. If this is a runner for next year I would love to see more pieces like this.
I don't think there are many tickets left for this year's trail but keep an eye out for next year as it really is one of the highlights of the summer. For more information you will find Campo Viejo on Facebook here, on Twitter here and their website is here.
Finally here is one of the lads summing up how we all felt about the night!!