Restaurant review: Spanish flair of Flamenco is breathing new life into historic Warwick building
It's no mean feat to breath new life into a historic building on the edge of a town centre by getting a thriving business going there.
But Alex Gidon, founder of the successful Tasca Dali Spanish restaurant in the town, is doing just that with considerable flair with his new venture Flamenco.
Alex opened Flamenco at the Tudor House Inn across the road from the main car park entrance to Warwick Castle in West Street about six months ago.
And, on Friday night, when my partner and I visited the restaurant and cocktail bar the place was buzzing with diners and people there to enjoy a drink and the atmosphere.
We were among the early arrivals and picked a nice intimate table for two at the back of the venue.
Alex, on site to oversee the night's proceedings, recommended we tried a few sharing dishes from the market tapas menu to start with before sharing one of the restaurant's speciality paella dishes for a main.
Of the three tapas dishes we had - Spanish omelette, Oriental calamari and the Iberian sword - It was the latter which stood out as a highlight.
That's not to say that the other two did not have their considerable charms.
As someone who doesn't often eat omelettes of any kind Flamenco's offering really warmed me to the idea of having them more often and it proved to be creamy and hearty.
The calamari, now a regular feature on many restaurants' starter menus these days, had a nice twist in that it would not be out of place at a restaurant specialising in cuisine from a different part of the world.
But the chilli and citrus alioli provided as a dip added a pleasant Mediterranean touch to the dish.
The Iberian sword - Chorizo in tempura served with pear alioli - are wonderful savoury 'lollipops' and recommended to any of Flamenco's carnivorous customers.
Served with a mass of mussels and two large prawns still in the shell, the seafood paella was expertly prepared, plentiful, rich and tasty and enjoyable to savour as a couple.
For desert we both went for the Baileys tiramisu - served in generous slabs with a sliced strawberry to top off the smooth sweet delight.
When we left our table to move to the bar where we stayed for a drink for the road the restaurant was bustling with large groups sat enjoying their food - steam rising from some of the sizzling dishes creating a warm and comforting atmosphere no doubt like what the Tudor house would have been like in winters past.
We really enjoyed our meal and we enjoyed staying for a while after in the cosy bar area and listening to live music from regular performing duet the Miacats.
Thanks to Alex and his team this latest era for the historic building should be a vibrant successful one.