Yes I know, it sounds like a line out of a movie right? But it did happen… Well according to Teresa Holmes, one-half of the South East London Tapas gem L’Oculto.
Nestled in South East London in an old Pharmacy L’Oculto’ Wine Tapas Shop translated as ‘The Hidden’, is the food-baby of Flavours of Spain, an indie business co-founded by Ana Gomez and Teresa Holmes.
We’d been chatting to Theresa and Ana on Twitter for a while so were chuffed to finally visit, we were not disappointed,
We ate like kings, drank like princes and chatted like Londoners…..
#SELB tells you more…..
The team at L’Oculto will do everything to make you feel welcome. All very well versed in the artisan food on offer and true experts in the impressive wine selection, this place welcomes you with open arms and is very cosy indeed.
We met the enigmatic Teresa one-half of this indie-food brainchild as Ana was on business duties. Teresa told us all about their food obsessions and how they came to become purveyors of some of the country’s best artisan and queso de pastor cheeses, charcuterie and small-producer wines.
Teresa said “It all started in Galicia, north west of Spain (where Ana is from), this was the place we first travelled through before coming up with the Flavours of Spain idea.
“L’Oculto came about after several successful supper clubs. We were approached by Mary, the owner of ’57 Arts’ at 57 Loampit Hill to see if we would be interested in doing a pop-up at her location as she was closing for a month. We took a look at the venue and fell in love with it, the building had a lovely feel and so we jumped at the chance.
“We had no idea it would be so successful and were pretty much full from day one. The feedback we got from the locals was incredible and they urged us to try and stay longer, they even went as far as helping us find alternative venues to pop-up again. But it was at 57 Loampit Hill that we ended up finding our home, wedged between a Londis and a DIY store. ”
The food on the menu, refreshed fortnightly is sourced by the team, imported directly from artisan producers throughout Spain to create great tasting tapas. We dived in to a charcuterie and cheese board; Cecina (cured beef) Beef Salchichon, Serrano Gran Reserva, Chorizo & Lomo and a selection of artisan Spanish queso de pastor cheeses; Bellota – acorn fed goats cheese (yes really), Basque region blue cheese (my favourite) and Rosemary rolled Manchego (another fave…).
We followed this explosion of tastes with the garlic king prawns, chorizo, roasted aubergine with goats cheese, bee pollen and fresh tarragon, and succulent lamb’s neck.
The wines are selected from independent small-producer vineyards, one offering of which there are only 500. A bountiful menu that did not disappoint.
Inviting and warm, this place has a certain je ne sais quoi…. And apparently all thanks to Teresa’s dad DIY skills. It’s light, airy, the window seats are a great place to watch the world go by.
You can find L’Oculto open Wednesdays – Saturdays and weekly at Brockley Market, every Saturday, 10-2pm. For up-to-date news follow them on Twitter! For L’Oculto booking email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teresa and Ana plan to open a second space so watch this space….
Cost: We paid £75 for a meal for two with a bottle of red, service charge optional at 12.5%.
What’s cool: The wine list, superb selection, you may need help to navigate through. We ordered a red, the waiter poured it through a filter, yes it looked cool and there is a science behind it. (pic above).
What’s not so cool: I had to ask my partner this question, his answer “I don’t know, I really liked it, it was all quite groovy, erm the loo was a bit small…” He wished we’d sat at a table, we were seated by the window – I liked that. And there we have it.
#SELBFood Chain – Ana and Teresa recommend “the Korean place up the road – Paranhodu”
#SELB OVER AND OUT