It may look pretty outside when there’s a dusting of frost, but January’s cold, grey weather has many of us longing for warmer climes.
With the whole country in lockdown, we won’t be jetting off anywhere for a while. However, it is possible to enjoy a taste of the exotic at home.
There are many places in the county that serve food from around the world – and that includes Peppervine Tapas.
Based in Stoney Stanton, Peppervine offers an array of Mediterranean tapas, with influences including Spanish, Greek and Italian.
We thought the menu, which you can find on the Facebook page, sounded good, plus we reckoned a taste of the Mediterranean was just what we needed on a dark, January evening.
More about Peppervine Tapas….
Peppervine Tapas is run by Nathan Moore and Courtney Bastock, who both have a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry.
They started out last June in a self-converted food van, and opened a restaurant at Stanton Lakes in October.
The duo offer food from all over the Mediterranean, which they say is the home to some of the best foods, ingredients, traditions and tastes in the world.
Although they can’t currently serve customers at their restaurant, they are providing a delivery (within an eight mile radius of Stanton Lakes) and collection service on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, from 4pm until 9pm.
You simply call or text your order and pay online or upon delivery/collection.
Once restrictions are lifted, they plan to continue with the restaurant and the food van at events, as well as offering the takeaway service.
The main menu offers a great selection of tapas, including patatas bravas, truffle mushroom arancini, albondigas, Spanish tortilla and empanada. There’s also three different sharing boxes you can order – antipasti, cheese board and rosemary and garlic Camembert.
Plus, there is a weekly specials menu, which currently features dishes such as seafood linguine, bacon and cheese croquettas and lamb koftas.
Peppervine recommends three dishes per person, but as we were ordering for two adults and two children, we felt that nine dishes would be about right for our collective appetites.
There’s 17 options on the main tapas section of the menu alone, so you’re sure to find something to suit.
We went for Spanish tapas favourites of patatas bravas (£4), albondigas (£5) and Spanish tortilla (£3.50), as well as king prawns in parsley, lemon and garlic butter (£5.50).
We also decided to try the truffle mushroom arancini (£4.50), honey chilli chicken wings (£5), halloumi and prosciutto (£5) and a Greek salad (£4).
I couldn’t resist adding on the seafood linguine (£7) from the specials menu, as this is one of my favourite dishes.
I ordered over the phone and paid online in the afternoon, and requested a delivery at about 5.30pm.
Happily, it arrived at about 5.25pm, so it was on the table by half past – and looked like a very tasty tea.
The king prawns were a big hit with all of us, especially myself and my eldest son. The meaty, rich-tasting king prawns were perfectly cooked and had a lovely flavour from the parsley, lemon and garlic butter.
With just the right level of heat for us, the generously sized albondigas (meatballs) were very enjoyable. Served in a tomato sauce and topped with Parmesan, the pork and beef meatballs were clearly made with good quality meat and the flavour of the dish was superb.
The boys reckoned the patatas bravas was delicious, although they did only have a small amount of the spicy tomato sauce and aioli, so I think they were judging the fried potatoes more than anything!
The crispy potatoes certainly were good – but they were even better with a generous topping of sauce and aioli.
Containing caramelised onion and potato, the delightfully thick wedge of Spanish tortilla was tasty, with a rather more delicate flavour that most of the dishes we picked.
The honey chilli chicken wings were marinated in a sriracha spice and glazed in honey, which gave them a moreish sweet and spicy taste. And, although there may not be much meat on a wing, there was 10 wings included in the portion, which was plenty.
I suspected the halloumi and prosciutto dish would go down a storm with my boys, and I was right. It was quite a simple dish, with pieces of halloumi wrapped in crispy prosciutto, but it really did taste very good.
The arancini (risotto balls) were excellent, with a rich, creamy filling, a gooey mozzarella centre, and a golden, crispy exterior.
The seafood linguine tasted delicious and featured an impressive amount of seafood, including more of those delicious king prawns, mussels (which I love), squid (which I don’t – but I just avoided those bits!) and pieces of salmon.
The Greek salad was a fresh-tasting and colourful addition to the meal, and included olives, Feta, red onion, tomatoes, cucumber and rocket leaves.
This was a superb meal, made up of lots of different dishes, full of fresh ingredients and delicious flavours.
It really did give us a taste of the Mediterranean and brighten up a dark January evening.
We spent a total of £43.50, which I initially thought sounded quite a lot. However, this worked out as less than £11 for each of us, and for such a tasty meal, I reckon that is pretty good value.
Our rating: 4/5
Food hygiene rating: 5/5