Please contact the restaurant directly for bookings of more than six people.
London’s craze for Spanish tapas is in full flower by now, but Mar I Terra is a rare spot down Southwark’s Gambia Street where you can indulge in the delectable, shareable Iberian small plates within easy distance of public transport (Southwark tube station and Waterloo East), and a whole host of the capital’s cultural landmarks: the Tate Modern, the Globe Theatre, the Imperial War Museum. That said, many find that a prelude to sightseeing spent at Mar I Terra turns into a long, languorous afternoon during which Spanish wine and tapas tend to trump plans for a walking tour. You’ve been warned.
Classic tapas, postres y queso, vinos. The first is famous, and needs little introduction. The second translates to desserts and cheeses, another coup for this rather special Southwark Spanish tapas bar, while the third is our familiar friend wine. Starting with Mar I Terra’s wine is a very good place to start indeed, and here, tucked away down London’s Gambia Street, just south of the river, you’ll find a fully annotated wine list referencing a cellar amply stocked with fantastic vintages from suppliers that know Mar I Terra’s proprietors – and diners – well. Add to this an equally informed selection of authentic Spanish brandies and liqueurs and you’ve got liquid refreshment covered.
And Mar I Terra’s boutique offering just keeps on giving, with a renowned cheese board laden with aged Manchego, Picos Azul and the Catalan goats’ cheese Carat, served with crackers, grapes, membrillo (a quince jelly), fig and almond bread, and intended – as for tapas – to be shared amongst friends and family. Lest we forget the main event at this Southwark tapas bar, Mar I Terra’s small plates offer a comprehensive picture of Iberian cuisine – starters, meat and fish dishes that are liable to change with the season, just as we like it. A highlight is undoubtedly the specially imported jamon Iberico, a lightly salted, long-aged (for up to three years) ham made from free-range, acorn-foraging black foot pigs in the hinterlands of Salamanca. It’s silky texture and complex, nutty flavour is unlike anything we’ve yet sampled in London’s many tapas bars.
I've been going to Mar i Terra since it had a branch in Air Street off Piccadilly. It's simply some of the best tapas I've ever eaten either here or in Spain. Thoroughly recommended!
Our first visit & it wont be our last (we travel into London a lot). Seems like a family run restaurant a refreshing change from branded/chain eateries with its simple layout & décor. Friendly service & lovely Tapas. Took the advice of our waiter about the number of dishes to have & he was spot on. We did book ahead but were the first there so cannot confirm how service/atmosphere etc. would be when busy but they seemed to have enough waiters if it did became busy later.
I love this place. warm, authentic and delicious food. Be aware that the service is friendly and effective, but slow - very Manana, so don't come if you are in a hurry. Come if you want to relax and have a leisurely and delicious meal and talk with friends. Beers and sherries excellent. Wine list very interesting. My only reservation in recommending Mar I Terra is it is small and I don't want to not be able to get a table if it gets too popular.
Excellent food, great menu selection, good and unhurried service, conveniently close to the tube. Would recommend to couples and small groups of up to six.
Excellent food, attentive service, great atmosphere. Mar I Terra serves authentic Spanish tapas in a great little restaurant with a family run feel. The only let down was the sangria that tasted like sherbert, presumably due to an overload of sugar but every dish we had, which was about half those on the menu, was great. Will definitely return here next time we're in Southwark. Only a short walk from the hustle and bustle of the Southbank, Tate Modern & Globe Theatre but so different in atmosphere from the chain outlets near them. Truly a hidden gem set as it is in a quiet little side street.
A real find! I met my son and daughter for a delightful lunch of tapas in this little restaurant tucked away in a back street near Southwark Tube station. We were warmly welcomed by Rafa and his team. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed, but the service was very good. And, without exception, every tapas dish we ordered was delicious. I will definitely definitely be going to Mar I Terra regularly from now on.
Mar I Terra; cosy and friendly, with superb food --- but reasonable prices. The tapas selection is really very good. This is an excellent local family restaurant. There used to be lots like this in London forty years ago, but I thought they had all gone now. How glad I am to be wrong!
Had so many people recommend this restaurant and so with expectations of smooth service, fabulous tapas and place for a family celebration I headed for a great meal. What I got for the money I paid was average, sorry guys at Mar I Terra, but maybe 'back in the day' your reputation was deserved but it's a once only experience for me. Food was OK but nothing to blow you away - portions were small but at the higher price level and service was again OK but not worth the tip I paid, as often I was left straining my hand like a kid at the back of the class, seeking the teachers attention - understandable if it was busy but the place was empty - that should have been a clue. My view is if you want a bottle of wine after work and something to nibble then probably OK, if you want an authentic tapas experience you'll be disappointed!
Our first visit ( even though the restaurant has been going for 17 years!). Only a few tables occupied when we arrived just after 6pm on a Saturday for an early dinner after the theatre but soon filled up resulting in a lovely buzzy atmosphere. All the staff seem to be Spanish, friendly and efficient. Good selection of tapas and a couple of daily specials - all reasonably priced in our view. Not as upscale and 'trendy' as Brindisa and Barrafina ( of which we are big fans) but in a way all the more enjoyable for that. It genuinely felt like being in a Spanish tapas bar. This will definitely be on our regular list from now on.
We discovered the place by accident...... and now keep going back and going back..... the food is great, people are very friendly, atmosphere is like being at home (but you don't have to do the cleaning up)...... A huge thank you to everybody at Mar I Terra!!!!!