There are few things that I enjoy more in life than spending quality time with my family over a good meal. It was recently Big Sister Explorer's birthday and in order to celebrate Papa Explorer took us to Lorentes in Derby.
Lorentes is a Tapas bar that is fresh from it's launch in late March. It is nestled at the very start of Friar Gate in Derby, lending it to be an epic starting block for a good night on the town. The bar itself is split into two levels; there's a level set up beautifully for couples and small parties, then there is the second level which is right next to the bar and is simply perfect for big groups.
It's very easy to feel comfortable in Lorentes. It could be the décor, it could be the music, but it is definitely the welcome you get from the owner, David Lorente. He welcomes everyone in the only way that someone from Spain can; as if he has known you for years.
As every tapas bar should, Lorentes has got a very relaxed atmosphere. It almost feels like a Spain away from Spain!
Anyway, onto the food! In the traditional tapas way you can order as you go or order all at once. I think we intended to order all at once....but we ended up ordering more!
Unfortunately, there was little time for photos so I failed to get pictures of the complete dishes, buuut surely that's a sign of really good food?!
The only complete dish photo (we were all distracted by the arrival of more food!): Croquetas. These came in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Both are a dreamy bite of gooey cheese wrapped in a crisp shell but the veggie ones had spinach and the non-veggie had Spanish sausage. Both were beautiful.
Ooof......check out that dreamboat.
The stand out favourite of the night by far was the Patatas Bravas (chunky potatoes topped with a spicy tomato sauce). These did not last long, we had four bowls of them throughout the night and there were soon fork wars.......
The Huevos Al Plato (chopped onion, peppers and chirizo in a tomato sauce topped with a baked egg) was an excellent dish, the egg was perfectly baked and was the....well......egg..... on top.....of a amazingly balanced tomato-y base.
The final stand out of the night was the Tortilla De Potata (Traditional Spanish Omlette). This went down well with everyone including, most surprisingly, Mr M who has a severe aversion to egg!
There were a lot more options on the menu, and there's definitely something for everyone. Nothing lasted too long with us and before we knew it we were all stuffed with good food and quality conversation.
The price range is good too. With small dishes starting at £1.50 going all the way up to full blown platters at £12 it is certainly affordable. Here, you pay for your greed!
I have never had tapas before this point and I can well and truly say that I am an out and out convert.
I would definitely recommend paying Lorentes a visit. A few good friends and a pitcher of Sangria is the perfect backdrop to the beautiful food that they have on offer.
The relaxed and welcoming atmosphere seems to seep out onto the street and entice people in. We were there from 5pm and by 6pm it was full. The food here speaks for itself, but I really believe the thing that makes it so much more special is the atmosphere. It has the shoes off, wine flowing, late night family feel to it. You could easily lose a few hours in this place.
Lorentes current opening hours are Tuesday to Thursday, 4pm to 11pm, and Friday to Sunday, 12pm to 11pm. You can book, which I would recommend if you are going at a peak time, however you can just drop in. Details here.
Oh, and as an added bonus on a Thursday evening 7pm to 10pm Lorentes holds a Spanish/English chat session, excellent if you want to try something new!