We visit the trendy tapas bar in Bristol where we make friends over board games and delicious food

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It wasn’t just the torilla tapas which impressed me

The iconic red and yellow of the Spanish flag decorated the building which contrasted the British pale sky whites and blues of the buildings next to the bar, while the red, metal guitar silhouette sign added to the Spanish vibes.

I came closer to read the signs and could not help but chuckle as the sign on the window described the location, Bedminster, as the Costa de Bedminster, a nod to the touristy Andalusian comarca, the Costa del Sol.

Having a high standard of Spanish cuisine due to my Spanish background, I decided to give El Rincón a shot. At first, I was sceptical. The small interior was dimly lit and felt like a hybrid of a British pub with Spanish elements.

An interesting feature of this Spanish bar is that they held events almost every day of the week. They range from Spanish lessons with Spanish Amigos on Tuesday evenings to music gigs, live flamenco performances on some Sundays and monthly quizzes.

On the Wednesday night I arrive it was games night with Toyville of North Street and I had free entry. I received a friendly welcome as I was greeted by the owner, who was working on making a tortilla de patatas (Spanish potato omelette), and despite having come by myself, I was soon part of a group of four (myself included) playing a board game.

The menu for the day was written up on a chalkboard. I decided to start with a tortilla and a homemade limonada and was reassured by David, the owner, that he would bring the order to the table.So I joined David’s partner (who I, unfortunately, did not catch her name), James, a TV producer, and John from Toyville on a game of Skull.

It was my first time playing the game and John and James explained how it works. Skull is a game of bluffing which brought us together quickly in a fun fashion. As we started the game, David brought over a Sangria instead of the limonada but instead of letting him know, I decided to give the sangria a try.

Tortilla tapas which was accompanied by some olives and two slices of bread and topped with a drizzle of oilTortilla tapas which was accompanied by some olives and two slices of bread and topped with a drizzle of oil
Tortilla tapas which was accompanied by some olives and two slices of bread and topped with a drizzle of oil | Bristol World

It was fruity and topped with some apple pieces, and had a slight bitter cut to it from the wine but not overpowering. Soon after, he also brought over the tortilla tapas which was accompanied by some olives and two slices of bread and topped with a drizzle of oil. It was a small smooth piece of tortilla which, had I not seen David preparing, I would have questioned if it was factory-made due to the smoothness.

I was sceptical at first due to the plate being priced at £5, but the first bite made it worthwhile. The bread was soft and had a crispy crust. The olives were juicy and filled with flavour. And best of all: the tortilla. It was soft and bursting with flavour from the first bite, and closely competed with my Spanish grandma’s tortilla.

David was very attentive and would often check on us, the game we were playing and bought us any drinks and food we asked for which he added to our tabs. After three rounds of Skull, we moved to a new card game called Scout. Scout sees you put together a circus with a multi-round card game in which you compete against the other players.

As we started the new game, I could not help myself from ordering another round of tortilla and a glass of homemade limonada. The limonada had a lovely citrusy taste and was not overly carbonated like canned fizzy drinks.

Homemade Tarta de Santiago with jam and clotted creamHomemade Tarta de Santiago with jam and clotted cream
Homemade Tarta de Santiago with jam and clotted cream | Bristol World

Since the game of Scout was taking longer than Skull to be completed, after I savoured the last delicious bites of tortilla, I decided to treat myself to some dessert to finish my meal and ordered a slice of homemade Tarta de Santiago for £5. The cake was soft and crumbly, and it took a moment before the almond of the bite kicked in. It paired well with the jam and clotted cream of the plate.

We ended our night with a quick game of Geistes Blitz. Five small items are placed in the middle: a grey mouse, a red sofa, a white ghost, a green bottle and a blue book.Each round, a card is turned and the players have to compete to either grab the item that is featured in the image or, if the colours do not match, grab the item whose colour is not shown on the card.

At almost 10.30pm after we finished the game, I decided to call it a night and pay my tab. In the end, I spent more than I originally intended: £25. However, I felt at home, I had a blast and the homemade food was delicious and worthwhile.

El Rincon is also handy as it sits right next to a bus stop to making leaving easierEl Rincon is also handy as it sits right next to a bus stop to making leaving easier
El Rincon is also handy as it sits right next to a bus stop to making leaving easier | Bristol World

Unless you are willing to spend quite a bit of money, the menu is good if you want a light meal or small bite to have alongside your drink rather than to have a filling meal.

Another perk was that the bus stop was literally outside the door of the pub, so I could track the bus on the app and only leave the building when the bus was near rather than wait outside in the cold.

I hope to come back again, especially to check out the flamenco performance and see how the bar is transformed to accommodate the show, and to also try the croquetas that were mentioned on the website.

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