Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

[Event] Campo Viejo Tapas Trail 2013

One of the best value events to hit Dublin in recent years has been the Campo Viejo Tapas Trail. I attended the very first trail in 2011, which turned out to be both great fun and educational. Since then, the event has continued to prove popular, and this year it has expanded to include the fine city of Cork. 

Last Sunday I re-joined the Tapas Trail, starting with a reception in basement wine bar Bagots Hutton. This little corker of a venue is the continuation of a business which was started in 1829 and ran for 150 years before closing down in the 1980s. Owners Giovanni & Brian have bought the name back to life, including the excavation of underground tunnels which originally linked Bagots Hutton to the George's Street Arcade. Lit only by candlelight, these secret tunnels are surprisingly cosy. We rolled out of Bagots Hutton, fueled by an impressive spread of tapas and several glasses of Campo Viejo Reserva and Cava.

Inside Bagots Hutton
Tapas at Bagots Hutton
From South William Street, we walked to the Market Bar on Fade Street, although I would have much preferred to take the more historic subterranean route from Bagots Hutton. Here, we were plied with more Campo Viejo Reserva (are you seeing a theme yet?) along with portions of chicken and chorizo skewers, patatas bravas and finally a tasty rocket, feta and chorizo salad. 
Chorizo and feta salad at the Market Bar
At the Market Bar
We left the Market Bar through a rear entrance which bought us out into the middle of George's Street Market Arcade, showing yet another example of the hidden Dublin. Outside on the pavement, our guide detailed the history of the Arcade, which opened in 1881 in the middle of a furore around the lack of involvement of native Dubliners in the project. The market burned down in 1892, but this time, the rebuilding project was far more inclusive.
Outside George's Street Market Arcade
Tortilla tapas at Havana
We continued on to Havana tapas bar on George's Street where we were treated to yet another three tapas and some impressive Spanish from a San Sebastian native. Our insight into the historic Dublin continued as we learned that Havana is situated on the former sight of the Pims department store. For some insane reason, this gracious building which featured tall display windows was demolished in the 1970s to make way for the current hideous concrete office building. We stopped briefly outside St Andrew's Church to get some gossip on the romantic life of Dean Johnathan Swift, before heading to our final stop at Salamanca. Here, we received another warm welcome along with a tasty crema catalana and several more glasses of Campo Viejo. 

Having twice been on the trail, I really do think that the Campo Viejo Tapas Trail offers great value for money. With tapas, wine and an entertaining look at Dublin's history available for just €20 per ticket , it's a fun few hours around our great capital. I must get myself to the Cork version next year to see how the magic translates to my home city. To learn more, visit or

Disclosure: I was given a complimentary pair of tickets to the Campo Viejo Tapas Trail. All thoughts are my own.


Laura McDonnell said...

We took exactly the same route last night as you did. It was fantastic. Bagots Hutton really shone, in fact when we left Salamanca we went straight back there! No Campo Viejo on the menu which we thought was a bit of a lost opportunity but we had a nice Syrah instead. I can see myself coming back here again really soon.

In Havana we spoke to one of the organisers, he told us that the actual cost per person of the tour is an incredible €95!!!

dudara said...

I was told the same by one of the event organisers - it's really heavily subsidised by Campo Viejo, which I think is amazing on their behalf.

Bagots Hutton was the find of the event for me - a definite spot to which to return.

Unknown said...

Nice one guys it was great to have you all in... all info about us @

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