Les Olives, on Sheep Street in Northampton, is certainly one of the latter. I have very fond memories of nights spent there with friends, surrounded by delicious food and lots of laughter. Then for some reason, as sometimes happens, we stopped going there so frequently.
When my lovely friend Sammi was visiting from Abu Dhabi, and the boy and I had just returned from our Spanish paradise in Ibiza, we thought it was the perfect occasion to reprieve our love of Les Olives – so we paid it a visit.
I have to say it was every bit as good as I remembered it. I adore tapas because you don’t get the inevitable food envy, you get to try lots of different things without feeding off other’s plates.
We opted to have 3 dishes each, picking a variety of things that we would all like including Slow roast belly of pork, marinated with fennel seeds, garlic, sea salt & extra virgin olive oil, Pork meatballs in a rich lightly spiced tomato & herb sauce, Goujons of Duck Breast marinated with mint, red chilli and garlic pan fried with pears, chargrilled Spanish peppers and syrup, Courgettes and butternut squash pan fried with oregano, goats cheese and garlic oil and of course patatas braves.
The selection of flavours was sublime, all truly tantalising for the tastebuds. The duck was a particular favourite, but we devoured absolutely everything that was put before us. And made room for pudding (a delicious chocolate mousse, in case you are interested).
The staff there are super attentive, always on hand to check you have everything you need. Which is great with tapas because you can always order a few extra dishes if you find your selection lacking. And to make it that little bit more authentic, many of the staff are Spanish too (we felt like we were back in Ibiza)!
We loved it so much that the boy and I have been back since, just a few weeks later. And our guest Sammi absolutely raved about how delicious everything was.
It’s the perfect place for a celebratory meal, be it a birthday or anniversary. But actually I would thoroughly recommend it if you just want to treat yourself. Tapas can be pricy if you can’t resist going just a little bit overboard (and believe me we can’t) but it is certainly worth it when you leave the restaurant feeling full to the brim and inspired by the flavour sensations that you have experienced.