Tarta de Santiago at Restaurant Mayfair Best Spanish Tapas Bar in London

Tarta de Santiago a Restaurant Mayfair

El Pirata serving the best Spanish tapas one of the top tapas bar and restaurants in London since 1994 superb function party room in Mayfair.

Santiago de Compostela, on Spain’s Galician coast, was up there with Rome and Jerusalem for medieval pilgrims. It’s where the remains of the apostle, Saint James, son of Zebedee are said to have been buried. The city grew around the shrine of St James, and the name actually derives from Sanctus Iacobus, vulgar Latin for St James.

Legend has it that St James preached in Spain and when he died his disciples brought him back to Galicia to be buried in a marble coffin. In the 9th century, a star shining on a wood led a hermit to St James’s grave on what is now the site of Santiago de Compostela’s 800 year old cathedral. (Compostela means either field of stars, or simply burial ground.)

A Spanish Restaurant in London’s Mayfair

Even today, more than 200,000 pilgrims a year make a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, two thirds of them walking the 780km camino from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the French side of the Pyrenees.

However you get there, the city is well worth the visit with its magnificently well preserved medieval buildings alongside a modern university and regional government headquarters. “You are in a magic city, where even the stones understand one another,” a leading Santiago citizen once said. “They are all different styles but they are in harmony.”

Galician cuisine is rustic, featuring fish, shellfish and octopus from the Atlantic as well as ribeiro and albariño wines. Of particular note is Tarta de Santiago – literally, the cake of St James – made from ground almonds, eggs and sugar with lemon zest, sweet wine, brandy or grape marc. The top of the cake is usually decorated with powdered sugar, stencilled with the cross of Saint James. In 2010, the EU gave the cake ‘protected’ status.

But you don’t have to walk 780km to try it. It’s on the dessert menu at El Pirata in Mayfair’s Down Street, a traditional Spanish restaurant in London.

El Pirata serving the best Spanish tapas one of the top tapas bar and restaurants in London since 1994 superb function party room in Mayfair.