A narrow corridor of a venue, with a conservatory out the back, the Orford Saloon conjures up a little piece of Spain in the middle of Walthamstow. Tiled floors and tables, juicy manzanilla olives, dishes served as soon as they’re ready – the only thing lacking from this Iberian dining experience was sunshine. It’s a popular local, and during our visit the place was bustling with couples, families, and a few folk having a drink at the little bar. The fact that there are two sittings is further indication that you’d be wise to book ahead.
The menu covers all the expected repertoire, including three versions of paella (for which there’s a 45-minute wait). Our choices were mostly excellent. Spicy, juicy langostinos pil pil; good judías verdes (green beans) with jamón; and moreish patatas bravas were all winners. However, the tortilla wasn’t moist enough and the calamares’ ‘special batter’ didn’t convince either.
Service is knowledgeable and solicitous; the staff cheerily offered us extra bread for mopping up the juices. The Spanish wine list – which includes some fine sherries – merits praise too.