Hey, we're not the only ones who've had our head's turned by the tapas and good times at this West London institution - El Pirata has been dishing out the Castilian charm to Mayfair for 25 years now. They've got the combo nailed - awesome food, epic drinks, and the kind of warm & friendly service that makes you wanna bring all your friends back again and again. You know you're in for a cracking meal when you rock up to El Pirata.
Food-wise, we say embrace the sharing-is-caring concept and order as much tapas as your stomach will allow. There won't be a plate you don't clear, we betcha. The silky, rich Jamón Iberico is the thing of marbled meat dreams, paella lovers won't try better this side of Spain, and don't even get us started on those croquettes. The killer wine list takes you on a vineyard tour of Spain from Albariño and Garnacha to Xarel-lo and Ximénez - the kinda travel we're into, thanks.
Inside it's cosy and so authentic you'll feel like you're tucked away in a local taberna in Madrid. It's also way bigger than it seems, with a winding staircase leading down to a cavernous room of more tables - ideal if you're rolling with a crew. Wanna bask as if you're in the Basque region? Hit up one of the alfresco tables for the best people-watching seats in Mayfair. If the weather is more Britain than Barcelona there are even heaters. BarChick got on the sherry and slipped very happily into those holiday vibes - this is the kinda place to embrace a long, leisurely meal. What schedule?