FOOD : LA TASCA RE-OPENING

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hellooo everyone !

I like reviewing restaurants, and going to restaurants, and eating in restaurant, and eating. Gluttony is a sin I don't dabble in often but when I do, it is gluttonous.

In this case it was mojitos, sheep's cheese and paella at La Tasca's Cheltenham re-opening that I did too many of - and I don't regret a thing. Maybe the fish in the paella as I'm not a fish person but I tried it and that is the most important thing (not the cheeky goody bag at the end - but also very appreciated)


Our evening started off very casual, we waited for introductions and I ate about half the platter of Manchego cheese and oily tomatoes because it was really good. I loved the combo of soft, sweet cheese with oily tomatoes which stopped the cheese tasting too dry.
I also have to point out that La Tasca are on of the few restaurants to serve authentic Spanish cheese such as Manchego - I really did enjoy it - and they are also the UK's Top Restaurant for Gluten Free meals ! Hurray for healthiness !! I love that restaurants are introducing more GF meals, as those who eat healthy or are intolerant get stuck with very wheat heavy products or soup, so now there's a healthy yet satisfying treat when eating out.

Now for some cheeky Sangria shots. 
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I love sangria, back when I was 16 my friends made a great sangria mix and we would drink it at our dinner parties - how posh we were - and summer evenings. I can't remember why I stopped drinking it, it's a perfect drink to have without getting drunk easily, like I do, which is why I don't drink but this I can make an exception for.



The first taster of the evening was a Cocktail Workshop. The lovely hostess made two popular cocktails - Mojito and Sex on the Beach - and explained in detail about the roots of the drink.
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Mojitos are a Cuban-based Bacardi Rum drink (and are also another one of my favourites, why don't I start ordering these more instead of wine ?!) mixed with fresh mint, lime and sugar. I like mine sweet so two sugars for my drink please ! Topped with crushed ice, tonic (if you like, I prefer lemonade) and more ice.
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If it's too sweet, add more lime juice not rum someone else made that mistake... If too bitter, add more sugar using a syrup. The trick is to use a straw before serving, dip it in and lick it off to taste. That was always my dad's advice anyway.

When the hostess offered up the drink for someone to have, I don't think anyone could have stopped my hand from shooting up. A lovely drink to share with my friend, my only qualm is so much ice, more liquid please !
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We were then given the opportunity to make a mojito ourselves, a task that proved hilarious as too much rum was added to the drink, maybe for a night out instead.



Next was Sex on the Beach, and I didn't catch a lot of this as I was busy getting happy with my mojito.
However I can tell you some key facts - Smirnoff Red Vodka, Arches Peach Schnapps, Cranberry and Orange juice, built up over ice.
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When making SOTB, it is important to drain the drink from the cocktail shaker and use new ice as the ice used to shake up the contents becomes watery and not nice to drink. Top tip from Tasca.
Again we got the chance to try it, and even though I'm a sweet drink person, this wasn't really for me and I continued slurping my near-ending mojito.


Although no photographic evident of this - and quite gladly so - we then were treated to some traditional Spanish dance lessons called Kisomba (I think anyway, I'm all mojito-sangria-merged at this time)
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A very sensual dance, intimate and quick on the feet - shame there were only ladies to dance with amongst some kind waiters. Being small was a disadvantaged, I may as well have been picked up and spun around as I was on tippy-toes most of the time. To be two inches taller.
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Finally, dinner was served. As we were downing cocktails and dancing, the chef was preparing a huge Paella in one of those special paella pans full of rice, lemons, peas and seafood.
But Lauren you don't like fish ?!
I know, but I love food so I will try it.
Oh well done Lauren, how did it go ?
Well...I'm still not a fish person. 
But never fear Third Person, La Tasca serve a Meat paella with Chorizo and Chicken and *praises the Spanish* a Vegan vegetable paella, which is also Gluten Free - double whammy.




 So much was prepared I got to have two servings - my kind of meal.

After we had finished, we said our thank you's and were presented with a lovely canvas gift bag full of some goodies including
- La Tasca Loyalty Card - Free Wine with next meal - Paella Rice - Olive Oil
- Also a spice which I am yet to try and decipher as it said sweets on the side but clearly wasn't when I opened it, leaving me disappointed and confused. But hey-ho !

I am so glad I was invited along to this evening, it was a real treat to taste some of La Tasca's new menu and learn about the Gluten free meals. I also made sure to find out their Vegan options which they had plenty of thankfully which will be great for some of my friends and followers to know !
I will definitely be popping back in soon for some tapas, and being all gluttonous over spicy veg and sangria - ooh I can't wait.

Many thanks to La Tasca and Mannifest Communications for inviting us down !
I also have to thank the waitress who got excited about my blog and talked to me and my friend for ages about it, hope you enjoy this :)

Lots of Love,
Lauren x 

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