After 3 months of being stuck indoors, I certainly need a holiday. I’ve been looking at flights over the last week or so but it’s certainly not as easy as that. There are a ton of restrictions still in place, and worst of all – the flights themselves are pretty pricey.
As a result it looks like I’ll just have to spend my time here in the UK, but I can still get a slice of the holiday vibes with a visit to Hatch over on Oxford Road – as it is home to Manchester’s Smallest Tapas Bar – Abeja – a tiny slice of Spain in itself.
Set under the concrete monstrosity that is the Mancunian Way, this is probably the last place you’d expect to find an authentic Spanish taverna, complete with delicious tapas, fantastic wines, sangria and an outrageously good Vermouth.
Abeja is the child of Ana Villegas, a former academic at Manchester University, who has managed to transport an authentic tapas bar from her home town of Granada into a tiny shipping container in Manchester.
All of the details are there, and once you step in – you’ll want to while away the hours with good food, great wine and above all else – fantastic company. It’s that quintessential Spanish taverna experience and we love it!
When we popped down last week we tucked into some of their Marinated Moorish Lamb Skewers, Grilled Tiger Prawns and some fantastic Black Pudding & Pepper Croquetas. Made to Ana’s special family recipe – the croquetas were out-of-this-world good – well worth the visit alone.
Of course, all of these tapas delights were enjoyed alongside a glass of their Vermouth, and a bottle of Alhambra Reserva 1925 – one of the best lagers ever made in my opinion.
There’s plenty more to choose from, be it Spanish wines, Cava, Sangria, Sharing Boards, Pinxtos, little grazing bits – there’s A LOT packed into such a small space that you could be here for hours and hours. In fact – you should be.
Ana has set out to create a place where people can go down and eat some great food, chat and have a relaxing drink – and she’s certainly succeeded. To say that you can find this place in a shipping container under the Mancunian Way sounds like madness – but there it is. Now go and enjoy…