March 31, 2021
Mayfair’s much loved El Pirata – The Secret to over 26 Years of Service
El Pirata in Mayfair is one of London’s long-standing and much-adored tapas bars and restaurants where what’s on offer isn’t only a slice of España in the city, it’s the whole tarta de queso.
What’s the secret to over a quarter century as a Spanish staple in the British capital? Long-serving Patron, Jose Rodrigues knows their recipe is simple – a diverse choice of quality Spanish dishes and wines, served by friendly, personable staff in a relaxed and informal setting. Located between Green Park and Hyde Park, guests will feel more like they’re in Murcia, Madrid or Málaga with El Pirata’s warm Castilian atmosphere, delectable dishes and diverse Spanish wines to explore, all at great prices. The restaurant’s longevity is defined by one key feature: the ability to make their guests feel truly looked after.
Making every customer feel as if they’re dining in a home away from home truly underpins the entire operation, where care and attention is given to create memorable experiences for their guests. Slick, effortless and consistently warm are all words used to describe the service at El Pirata. Observing the team working in unison during a buzzy service is a masterclass on how to keep customers coming back and where every guest is treated like a star.
With more than 40 authentic dishes, specials include Secreto de cerdo Iberico (succulent Iberian pork), and Spain’s National Treasure the Jamón Iberico 5J, as well as the traditional and classic tapas dishes ranging from seafood and light bites to carne, paella and a strong vegetarian offering too. The Menu to Share (£25pp) takes two on a delicious excursion throughout Iberia, the table laden with up to ten terracotta cazuelas featuring different dishes to graze on. In order to strengthen the offering, since lockdown the restaurant has continued to push boundaries and pivot to ensure their future success, working with Zac Whittle (former Executive Chef of Michelin starred Galvin Restaurants) on a welcome refresh of some of the menu, as well as new dishes.
El Pirata’s expansive wine list takes guests on a vineyard tour of Spain from Albariño and Garnacha to Xarel-lo and Ximénez. Guests who wish to dine for vermouth hour, an afternoon aperitivo or ending the day with a whiskey will relish the glass-backed bar, heavily appointed with all manner of spirits and tipples.
An authentic replication of a Spanish tapas bar, think white walls adorned in Spanish prints and black and white photography; wooden floors, black woodwork, wrought iron over several floors; and that iconic Spanish soundtrack in full symphony – the lull of guitar music, clinking of glasses, popping of corks, rap of cutlery and hum of excitable conversation.
From the main dining room, step down to the newly-transformed Cellar with its cosy whitewashed alcoves, exposed brick, hand painted mural and terracotta tiling. Sympathetic to Spanish tradition but amiably made contemporary, the subterranean dining space is wonderful for lower key and quiet meetings, private dining and exclusive hire for occasions – not to mention a hideaway for some of the A-list celebrities who continue to frequent El Pirata. For those tempted to dine al fresco, whatever the great British weather affords, find the terrace which luckily lays on one of Mayfair’s quieter streets and is the ideal spot to watch the world go by.
Within striking distance of Mayfair’s five-star hotels and easy reach of Knightsbridge and Kensington too, if you’re pining for sunnier climes, El Pirata will transport you there.
W: El Pirata
A: 5 – 6 Down Street, Mayfair London W1J 7AQ
T: 020 7491 3810