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I’ve been feeling a little under the weather this week, mainly due to catching the common cold, but it has succeeded in taking over my body temporarily. It was always going to happen with the turn in climate. However, I’m hoping that writing may take my mind off my throbbing head…and what better to tell you about then this lovely little find in Wokingham.

Sanpa opened last year in Wokingham town centre and I can’t believe it has taken me until now to go in and sample some of their authentic Spanish offerings. Better late than never as they say, although I’m still very cross with myself for missing such a gem. The place combines a cafe/restaurant, deli and store all in one. You can find an array of delicacies here, some of which would make fabulous ‘foodie’ gifts. You could also nip in to pick up some top quality Serrano ham for your salad on your way home. It’s all here.

A friend and I were hoping to grab a tasty snack and a coffee over a natter, and we certainly got that and more. Walking in you are greeted with a very relaxed atmosphere, unobtrusive background music, folk chatting in small groups over tapas and others chilling with a glass of wine and a newspaper at the bar area. This to me, creates its own charm. I would feel very comfortable sat down with a book on my own for a leisurely brunch, equally with the girls for a bite at lunch time. We walked straight through to the back seating area, wanting to get a good view of the full set up, and the first thing to catch my eye was a rather large and inviting paella plate brimming with seafood on the go. It was over two thirds empty as well, a reassuring sign.

The menus are written ‘black board’ style on overturned paella dishes hanging from the wall, with bunches of dried chillies attached. I was very attracted to the decor here, such an earthy, rustic style. All of the staff are of course Spanish and extremely friendly while the produce is all locally sourced. This all makes for a very pleasurable eating/drinking experience. We went for a latte plus the mini baguettes filed with a mix of Serrano ham, Manchego cheese, Chorizo and tomatoes. One serving was enough to feed both of us nicely, although at these reasonable prices we could have ordered a helping each had we been ravenous. On this occasion, it was more about sampling the cuisine.

It was some of the most flavoursome cured meat I have tasted, perfectly complimented by the creamy and distinctive taste of the Manchego, and juicy sweet tomatoes. I happily polished off my share while sipping on some of the best coffee I have had to date. Certainly, in Wokingham. Once inside, I would have been very content to sit there all afternoon trying various dishes recommended by the waitress. One being their homemade croquettes, with a choice of either Cod or Serrano ham filling – a house speciality by all accounts. I will certainly be going back for those, a plate of that lovely looking paella and maybe a cheeky glass of Rioja.

Local (or even not so local) food lovers, I urge you to give it a visit. I noticed they also put on a fixed evening menu on a Friday/Saturday night for just £20 a head including tapas, paella and Sangria. Spaces are limited, and from
what I can gather, very popular. Looking forward to it already. Just need to organise a babysitter now.

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