While the British climate would struggle to match the weather enjoyed in Spain, Sol Y Luna has managed to bring a ray of sunshine to Kingsley Park Terrace in Northampton.
Before even crossing the threshold, the popularity of the tapas bar was evident as it was tricky to book a table.
But we were lucky in securing one of the few remaining tables for the early sitting.
There was a warm welcome as we walked in and the staff couldn’t be faulted on their service throughout the evening.
The menu offers a range of tapas dishes, all of which are reasonably priced.
We could have picked pretty much everything on the menu, but whittled it down to six dishes for the two of us, while enjoying a bowl of moreish mixed olives.
We started with pinchos, which are rustic ciabatta slices served with various toppings (£2.95) and went for the half and half option of tomato and serrano ham and manchego cheese and chorizo.
Then it was tortilla de patata (£3.25), a spanish tortilla served with home-made aioli.
From the seafood selection we had chipirones en salsa de tomate, which is squid cooked in a tomato sauce (£3.95).
This was followed by champinones serranos, which are stuffed mushrooms with cheese, serrano ham and tomato (£3.95) and chorizo a la sidra, a tasty chorizo sausage in a cider sauce (£3.95).
Our final choice was baked goats cheese with cranberry chutney from the specials board.
All the dishes came out at once, many in beautiful terracotta bowls, and it wasn’t long before we had tried something from each.
Tapas is a food to be shared so it was a case of simply tucking in with fingers or using the small forks provided.
While a little messy at times – including a slight accident with the slippery squid – the food really was delicious and the menu has more than enough to satisfy any discerning diner.
Before we’d even left, we said we’d be making a return visit to try out the dishes we had to forego this time, including patatas bravas, which is fried potatoes with home-made aioli and paprika (£3.25), prawns cooked with olive oil, chilli and garlic, known as gambas al ajillo (£4.95) and pollo limonero, which is chicken breast cooked with white wine, lemon and rosemary (£3.95).
Sol Y Luna really is a little gem of a restaurant, and one which will really come into its own in the summer when people can sit outside and enjoy tapas on the terrace as well as inside. However, there is just one downside to it and that is space.
While the limited seating adds to the cosy atmosphere, it means you must book in advance. Tables are available between 6pm and 8pm or from 8pm onwards.
But with the bill coming to £33.95 including a bottle of white wine, it seemed pretty reasonable for six dishes and we didn’t feel short-changed with the portions.
The restaurant had good service, great tasting food and a friendly atmosphere. It felt like we could have been on holiday in Spain, and sometimes that’s just what you need on a Friday night.
128 Kingsley Park Terrace
DISABLED ACCESS: Assistance may be needed
PARKING: On-street parking
COST OF OUR MEAL
FINAL TOTAL: £33.95
Stephanie’s star rating: 9/10