AFTER the great success of trying sushi for the first time last month, I thought I’d continue to broaden my cultural tastes and try some traditional Spanish tapas.

From the outside, Ole Tapas is almost invisible with no more than a small sign pointing to a doorway and the logo positioned in the windows on the first-floor above Paxton and Whitfield – an artisan cheese shop.

However, judging by the Trip Advisor reviews plenty of people have visited Ole Tapas, and I was looking forward to trying something new as me and my girlfriend made our way up the narrow staircase.

Inside I was a little surprised how small it was, with what must have been no more than ten tables in the room. But it had a nice welcoming feel, even if it did feel a tad on the cramped side.

We were shown to our reserved table and given the menu with a plethora of dishes to choose from, including appetisers, cured meat and cheese, pinchos, and fish and veggie selections.

There was also a specials board which included wild mushroom croquettes and a custard pudding topped with a biscuit.

We decided to order a selection of dishes from the main menu, as well as a Coca Cola (£2.50) and Cana Estrella (£2.75) to drink, and only a short time after ordering our food the first dish arrived, Pan con manchego y miel de cana – or bread with cheese and honey for those of us who don’t speak Spanish.

It was rather tasty, with the honey providing just a hint of sweetness but not overpowering.

Soon our other dishes arrived. These included solomillo de cerdo con salsa de cabrales (pork tenderloin medallions in a cheese sauce for £5.25) which was cooked nicely and went well with the creamy cheese sauce and albondigas (pork meatballs in tomato sauce for £5.95) which were well seasoned.

Although I’m not a huge fan of calamari, the calamares a la romana (£4.95) was a pleasant surprise as the batter was very light and quite frankly delicious.

My favourite dish of the night, however, was the patatas ali oli (£3.50), deep fried potatoes in homemade ali oli, which was splendid.

The whole atmosphere of the room was enjoyable, with classic Spanish music in the background and a simple décor of wooden tables and mirrors on the walls.

The staff were faultless, checking on us often to make sure everything was okay or whether we wanted to order anything else. They should also be commended for putting up with my terrible attempts at speaking Spanish with a Yorkshire accent.

All in all, the night and my experience of tapas was a good one.

It was certainly very pleasant and enjoyable, in a good environment if on the slightly claustrophobic side but I’d have no problem visiting again.

Total bill, including nine dishes, a dessert and three drinks came to £52.65.

Ole Tapas
1 John St, Bath BA1 2JL
Phone: 01225 466440

Parking: No
Disabled access: No

Gazette ratings:
Food: 7/10
Choice: 8/10
Décor: 7/10
Customer service: 9/10

Main course prices: From £1.95 to £19.95

Trip Advisor rating: 4.5/5