Stray Foodie: Manchega Tapas Y Vinos, Ripon


Last updated Nov 12, 2021

Stray Foodie reviews are brought to you by Deliveree, and written by Michelin-starred chef Frances Atkins. Frances independently chooses which restaurants she will visit. This month, Frances was impressed with Ripon’s Manchega Tapas Y Vinos.

A chance meeting at a local dinner we were producing resulted in catching up with a colleague I hadn’t seen for years who used to have a delightful small restaurant on Duck Hill in Ripon, of which he achieved great acclaim.

Reminded of past good times my friends and I revisited this part of the city on a dark November evening. We were looking for a tapas bar we had heard great reports of.

A small warm and vibrant frontage presented Manchega Tapas y Vinos. It was such a pleasure to come across a real, authentic Spanish Tapas Bar.

Manchega offers a warm welcome – and the exposed bricks have been signed by previous guests.

Immediately my friends and I felt the warmth of the hospitality offered as we entered. A charming young man greeted us and showed us to our comfortable table upstairs.

Surrounded by different wines, black boards of exciting authentic tapas dishes, bright coloured walls with Spanish hats and spoons on, exposed wall bricks signed by previous happy guests we ordered some great Rioja by the glass.

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A vivacious lady helped us with our choices and talked us through the specials.

One of my friends declared the environment ‘just like being on holiday’, and that indeed was the happy atmosphere.

Frances was impressed with the food on offer, including the paella (pictured right).

The vegetarian sharing platter we chose was a great dish to have in the centre of the table. It included artichoke hearts, grilled peppers, sun dried tomatoes, feta, rocket, olives and bread.

Pigs cheeks, spicy sausage, calamari and gambas were many of the other dishes that kept arriving for us that evening. All the dishes were well defined with the use of quality ingredients and balanced seasoning.

A magnificent paella that tasted just as paella should usually only found in Spain took centre stage!

Having fond memories of my first small restaurant, the effort and work that goes into producing good hospitality and great food is not for the faint hearted!

This small open plan kitchen in this rustic and charming restaurant-bar is an inspiration to what a dedicated family team can achieve, especially in these difficult times.

Star rating: 4.5. Ripon is lucky to have such a joyful place! 

Stray Foodie reviews are written by Michelin-starred chef, Frances Atkins. In 1997, Frances opened the Yorke Arms near Pateley Bridge, where she was the owner for 20 years. During her ownership, she held her Michelin-star status for 16 of those years. Frances now runs Paradise Food at Daleside Nurseries, alongside fellow Michelin-starred chef Roger Olive and front of house manager John Tullett.  

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