A Taste of Spain on the Southbank

We love nothing more than sipping a large glass of Rioja while we devour (OK, willingly share) our tortilla española and pulpo a la gallega in the Spanish sun. Tapas is, after all, one of life’s great pleasures.

If that’s got you salivating for setas al ajillo, reaching for your passport and Googling the first flight to Alicante, hold fire because this weekend (15th & 16th June), Spain is coming to us. Rioja Tapas Fantasticas is a two-day foodie fest that takes its cue from Calle Laurel, the renowned tapas crawl in the heart of Rioja – Spain’s infamous wine region, of course.

Now in its sixth year, this weekend’s festivities promise to be bigger and better than ever with over 13,000 wine and tapas enthusiasts expected to descend on the Southbank, transforming it into a vibrant, lively, colourful and well-oiled Spanish home-from-home. Expect pop-up offerings from the Capital’s best tapas restaurants and wineries (all very serious about their Rioja), a packed schedule of live cookery demonstrations and wine workshops from the likes of renowned Spanish chef, José Pizarro and wine aficionado, Susy Atkins as well as an ‘a la carte’ food painting event (a must-see). This is one Spanish street party that’s as educational as it is fun. (hic!)

The festival is free but don’t forget to purchase your wine glass that comes with four tasting tokens, exchangeable for those all-important Rioja samples and enjoy. Let’s just hope we’re blessed with some of that Spanish sunshine!