I remember my first visit to Madrid, the vitality of the city than wakes up when most of Europe are donning their pyjamas. The buzz of the stylish cafeterias in Gran Via that served coffee with enormous glasses of intense, dark brandy from Jerez. The countless bars that served wonderful small dishes of sizzling prawns, delicious omelettes filled merely with potato and onion, the unique flavour of the jamon and chorizo. Mature Manchego cheese floating in rich olive oil that gave it a unique texture and flavour. What a wonderful way of eating, grazing from bar to bar, trying the specialty of each with a glass of whatever best suited the food. Why couldn’t we eat like this in London?
In 1987 we found the place, old Midland Bank premises in The Cut, Waterloo, probably the most unlikely site in London yet somehow it felt right. The area was pretty neglected, there was The Old Vic theatre next door and The Young Vic opposite us and an extraordinary feature, an allotment opposite The Old Vic! Today The Cut has changed beyond belief, the allotment went, most of the shops converted to restaurants, the Young Vic totally rebuilt, nearby Shakespeare’s Globe theatre recreated, the London Eye towers above the Thames, the Tate Modern has opened and grown and the Royal Festival Hall has been revamped.
Charles Dickens once remarked ‘Whatever changes of fashion the drama knows elsewhere, it is always fashionable in the Cut’. Meson Don Felipe hasn’t changed over the years. We are still a family business, our customers have been loyal, children have followed their parents and we still see many old friends as well as welcoming new faces. Santiago, our manager, has been with us from the opening and still guides the young Spanish team of staff who look forward to welcoming you to this small corner of Spain in London.
Taste our tapas:
Meson Don Felipe, London’s original Tapas Bar is located in the bustling district of Waterloo. In 1987 we created the sort of bar that you might find in Madrid, Seville or indeed many of the Spanish regional towns.
MESON DON FELIPE
53 The Cut
Tel: 020 7928 3237