José – Tapas Bar in Bermondsey, London


We were very fortunate to have a week in the Big Smoke of London and as a double blessing the weather Gods made a summer déjà vu happen – 24 degrees & t-shirt temps…yippee! For our Thursday adventure we decided to visit Bermondsey, an area of London that feels like a mini oasis amongst the chaotic, jostling & bustling crowds. Barely 3 blocks long but possessing an almost perfect balance of independent retail stores, eateries & cafes and the quite surprising and impressive White Cube Gallery. The actual building itself is worth a visit, but we were mucho stunned to view a series of nude paintings in various sizes & shapes and sculptures that we later learned during our personal tour had been done by Tracy Emin of My Bed fame.

As lunch time creeped into view, we had a serious selection of comestible establishments to pick from, but we had read about Spanish chef José Pizarro and his 2 Bermondsey Street places, José & Pizarro. José, a tapas & sherry bar, was his first solo venture after working in the London food scene for years and that style of eating really appeals to us, so José it was.


Inside Jose – Tiny Tapas Space

José is a no-reservations-just-walk-in kind of place and it was buzzing while we were there. The 2 blackboard menus contain enough choices to please any palate, but Hound #2 opted for the Lentils & Chorizo special with a superb, chilled sherry to slurp it down with. Excellente flavours that made it a dish we could easily eat 2 or 3 times a week.


Lentejas (Lentils) & Chorizo y Pimientos de Padron Fritos (Fried Peppers)

Hound #3 decided to order the Spicy Diced Beef in Brandy with a side order of Pimientos de Padron Fritos and a draught of Estrella Damm Barcelona cerveza to put out any peppery heat. Perfecto – and again, a dish we could happily be served (or make) and eat a couple of times a week. Being a tapas bar, the portions are small but they more than make up for their size with intense & vibrant flavours & tastes.


Spicy Diced Beef in Brandy

So if you are in London, a bit puzzled as to what to do next & had enough of the throngs marching along the waterfront or jammed into the Tate Modern, go to Bermondsey Street and soak up the calm…and stuff yourself with José’s tapas and sherries…