Sunday morning started with a brisk windy walk to YATI (Young Actors Theatre Islington) with Radha for her first agency photos. She has been a member of their Saturday morning drama club for a while and was selected to join the agency from a round of auditions.
After finishing my duties as a wannabe showbiz mum we decided to treat ourselves to a spot of brunch. Weighing up the overwhelming choice of eateries in Islington we finally decided upon La Farola, A cutesy Spanish tapas bar on the corner of Theberton Street and Upper Street and a short walk from Angel and Highbury and Islington tube stations.
I’ve been several times in the evening when the bistro takes on a bustling, upbeat atmosphere. Great for a date night or a juicy gossip session with your girlfriends.
The evening menu features all the tapas favourites along with some modern dishes, there is something for everyone, carnivores, fish lovers and vegetarians. Some of my favourites from the menu include, Empanadilla (deep fried filo pastry filled with roasted pine nuts, spinach and goats cheese) and the classic Patatas Fritas (roughly cut fried potatoes served with a spicy tomato bravas sauce and ali oil sauce) and who can resist the spanish version of chilli roulette Pimentos Padron (pan fried Galician peppers with sea salt) – just yum!
Top marks for their inventive and lip-smackingly tasty cocktail menu, I can’t deny I’ve enjoyed a fair few gin based tipples there. Highlights being the Spring Dream and the Violet Rosemary Martini. Their Espresso Martini passes the Sima test too – Hic hic hooray! I could go on, but I think I’ll stop there.
This visit was all about brunch and the bistro takes on a lovely laid back feel on a Sunday. Radha and her lego friend Ellie couldn’t resist starting with the super delish (her words) Chiporones (£6.50). A dish of crispy fried baby squid with ali oli sauce, choi-sum salad and grated lemon zest.
From the breakfast menu (served from 10am – 3pm), I chose the La Farola Breakfast Plate (£6.95) made up of half an avocado stuffed with a baked egg, fried potatoes, grilled asparagus and tomato, served with hollandaise sauce. It was bursting with fresh flavours and was polished off with ease. For the carnivores amongst you it also comes topped with crispy bacon.
Radha fueled her obsession with pancakes with the homemade crepes filled with mozzarella, avocado, rocket salad and basil dressing, served with scrambled eggs and salad leaves (£5.95). Although she did swap the salad leaves for fried potatoes. My girl knows what she wants.
La Farola is Spanish for ‘The Lamp’, and it’s clearly visible in the rustic, shabby chic decor of the bistro. The ceiling is covered in an eclectic selection of frilly shades, nautical lanterns and teacup lights.
Bare brick walls, white washed floor boards and distressed furniture all add to the relaxed, friendly atmosphere.
In a nutshell the service is superb, menu is fantastic and it’s the perfect place for tasty Spanish food even with young ones in tow due to the large selection of dishes. Get yourself down there you won’t regret it.
Where is your favourite tapas restaurant? And which dishes can you not resist from a tapas menu?
La Farola Cafe & Bistro | 101 Upper Street | London | N1 1QN