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On a biting cold night when a thick blanket of snow lay on the ground, I went on a tapas-bar crawl as a guest of the Tortilla Club, a group of Spanish food and wine aficionados. Starting off at Fino, my first surprise was at how many tapas bars there are in London's Charlotte Street area. My next surprise was how much I found myself enjoying sherry with just about everything consumed that night. I enjoy fino and manzanilla as refreshing summery aperitifs, but their warm full-body and appetisingly tangy flavours made them good winter drinks too.

Sweetcorn drop scones with duck livers

Serves 4

Paprika and sherry vinegar mayonnaise

This is lovely as part of a mezze plate, with raw vegetables or warm flatbread, grilled aubergines and peppers. It also goes well with barbecued chicken, chorizo or even folded through a plate of warm clams.

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This month, the city of Seville will be in festive swing at its annual gastronomic tapas fair where everyone celebrates by going off on a massive tapeo (a tapas crawl). Spanish tapas have been one of the big success stories of the past few years in the restaurant world and so many cuisines have been influenced by the idea of sharing small plates of delicious little bits and pieces.

Clams with sherry and garlic

Serves 4

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Serves 2 generously

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Clementine Sherbet

Serves 4
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