A taste of the med in the heart of Portishead

Local businessman and wine enthusiast Mike Yeatman and his wife Chris have opened a new tapas restaurant in Portishead.

The opening of Venga is the culmination of months of hard work transforming the former cafe at 24 the High Street.

The project started and the beginning of 2013 and really started to take shape early in the year with the refurbishment and opening of guest accommodation above the tapas bar, comprising of one boutique bed and breakfast accommodation and one spacious self-catering 2 bedroom loft apartment.

The opening of Venga is the realisation of a dream that Mike and Chris have been considering for a number of years.

The idea was first conceived during the couple’s travels they have drawn on many influences for the menu; from Barcelona, Madrid and Granada. Both share a passion for Mediterranean food and regularly prepare tapas and cater for large groups for Wine Friends a local outdoor activity company. The couple’s meeting and marriage has extended their passion for both food and wine. They are united in a desire to eat well, eat varied and travel hydrated by the local wines wherever they can.

Describing the inspiration behind Venga Mike said

“Over the past four years we have travelled extensively and Venga draws on many influences but the single lightning bolt was Barcelona last year. An evening out with friends, one of whom was our wonderful local ‘guide’ led us to some really, really great Tapas Bars. Pinchos (a snack, typically eaten in bars, traditional in northern Spain) was the main order of the night.

The bars were piled high with prepared Tapas – charged by the number of cocktail sticks left on your plate at the end. The buzz was great with people bustling in for twenty minutes or staying the whole night”.

Venga will offer informal dining for the authentic Mediterranean experience, the simply cooked menu will be freshly prepared sourcing ingredients as locally as possible, in fact the charcuterie is all the way from Casellano’s in Downend “By supporting local business where possible, we are aiming to bring the taste of the Mediterranean with the best the South West has to offer,

both reducing food miles and helping local economies” Mike said describing the ethos behind Venga.

With a good knowledge in wine, having built professional experience over many years as both a wine collector and director of Wine Friends. “Our aim is to add the personal touch to the experience, all of the ingredients are selected by us we have selected a large range of wines to perfectly complement the menu”

 “Our experience with wine and food makes Venga Tapas unique in Portishead, we will be able to guide our customers through and extensive wine list from our cellar, perfectly matching it with your order” Mike added.

The couple are confident that Tapas at Venga will constantly surprise and delight the visitor, a simple menu with a constantly changing range of special dishes, hanging hams and featured local guest food and drinks.

Portishead has seen many new openings in the past three years; Mike and Chris feel that Venga will be something different again with a great individual feel to it and are hoping to further enhance the towns’ growing social scene and tourist destination.

 Reservations are now being taken and can be made by telephoning 01275 814391 or 07730 337480.