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Holborn, History and Tapas

Holborn is not our usual haunt, but, for reasons I won’t bore you with you, we spent a week (with a hiatus in the middle) in this part of London for the first time. It is a fabulous area, particularly if you are a fan of legal history or Charles Dickens – each corner, each building, every nook, cranny, street-name and Church evokes our legal history, Fleet Street casts its long shadow of journalism and print making (visit St Brides Church and be amazed). A stroll down to the River through the Inns of Court, Blackfriars, Chancery, from the Knights Templar to the Pickwick Papers, legal and literary history is all around you.

What isn’t all around you, unless you look very hard are too many amazing restaurants (I am ready to be corrected here, of course).

Random restaurant picking generally goes two ways for me – “what a wonderful find, aren’t we lucky!” or “Christ, what a waste of money, only ate it because I was starving”. Somehow both are more satisfying than spending quite a lot of money on something that is okay. But “okay” this was and I am going to share it with you in the interests of completeness.

So we popped into Mas Q Menos (in Holborn, there is another one in Soho) at, admittedly, an odd time (5pm ish). The restaurant is stylish and modern and its credentials are good – with the family that established it coming from a tradition of restuarant owning in Barcelona.

Maybe we just got them on a slow day, or at the wrong time. The food was fine, but…

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The daughter passed on the Tapas and went for the Paella de Carne with chicken and chorizo. She declared it “great”, I found it a bit bland with a strong taste of stock, mostly though I became slightly obsessed with the veg, pretty sure I recognise frozen, pre-prepared veg when I see it, I even recognised the mix. The Daughter wasn’t fussed (“I like ‘certain brand’ frozen veg”) hmmm..

The husband and I went for the tapas….two of the dishes we ordered were “off ” – the squid and the Galician peppers with rock salt, and we waited for a very essential chat between staff before our beers turned up (and we were hot and very thirsty). We settled on….

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Gambas Pil Pil, Croquettes de Jamon, Andalucian chickpeas and Duo de Pescado Ahumado. The Croquettes were nice, but huge. The husband enjoyed his fish.

My family tell me I am too picky and this is probably true.

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