I have been fortunate enough to eat at Brava Tapas Bar in Bicester twice in the last few weeks. Located near the Church, it is tucked away from the main town centre and a short walk from Bicester Village (parking available on the street).
I have fond memories of the building. It used to be the Swan Inn – filled with atmosphere and packed full of people on Friday and Saturday nights – week in week out. In looks, it hasn’t changed a great deal. There is some lovely wood effect wallpaper on the walls (at least I think it’s wallpaper) and it has had a fresh lick of paint.
What this building has needed since the Swan Inn closed in 2007 is a fresh new concept and a owner who is on site to see (and chat to) the customers. No one could replicate the atmosphere of the old Swan by copying it. People have tried and failed, believe me. What Brava has done is breath life back into the building. The atmosphere is back, the people are back and I cannot blame them. It’s great!
The welcome is warm and professional. The service is attentive and timely. The food takes me back to my stay in Barcelona. It ticks all the boxes! I hated Sangria in Barcelona and wasn’t keen on trying it again. When you have a table of eight people or more, the fiesta menu (£16.95 per person) includes a glass of either white or red Sangria. Both red and white are very drinkable.
I had to try both for research purposes of course.
They are refreshing and not too sweet or strong.
Talking of drinks. I was impressed with the wine list. Although there are only a few of each colour of wine to chose from, they are reasonably priced and the two I have drunk have been very moreish 🙂
My husband didn’t complain about the lager either – in fact he quite liked the Portuguese one.
On both occasions, we ate like kings. The food just kept on coming. Each dish was cooked to perfection and wonderfully presented. I have seen a few negative reviews about the toilets. They remind me of the old days, so to me, they are comforting. At the end of the day they are toilets. You don’t eat your dinner in there and are unlikely to spend much time there. If that is all you have got to moan about then Brava have impressed you as much as they have me. Well done Brava Tapas Bar – can’t wait to go back!