Making our way through a flower-laced archway, down a red-brick walkway emblazoned with a graffiti-style bull, we’re curious about what awaits inside España.
We’re handed a boarding pass at the entrance, apparently signalling our adventure is about to begin, with instructions that the paper slip can be traded in for a complimentary Spanish mixed drink. With that we’re wished a pleasant flight. Slightly strange, but we’re not complaining.
On entry, we’re a bit dazzled, our eyes not entirely sure what to set on first amid the bright colours.
According to España, the venue “offers the excitement and vibrant nightlife of Madrid, Barcelona, Marbella, Ibiza and Granada all within one venue”. Which would go some way to explaining the many conflicting aspects of the décor.
There’s a regal throne-style chair at the entrance, make-up artist-style high stools adorned with painted eyes at the bar, bright prints of lips, moving images of busy cities on the walls and wrought iron and red leather furniture out on the terrace.
As a restaurant we’re not quite so sure. But as a nightlife venue we quite like it. It’s quirky and kind of cool, in a kitsch way.
The mixed drinks menu is inventive and extensive, and although the signature Spanish drinks don’t come cheap, they’re clearly carefully thought out.
Sadly, on our visit it’s very quiet, and we pull up our stools to an almost empty bar. A DJ on the decks plays a range of house and techno beats, but the lack of patrons leaves the atmosphere slightly flat. But with more people we’re sure it could be a good spot to wind down for the weekend.
The bottom line Quirky venue that works better as a bar.