If I closed my eyes, I could imagine I was in sunny Spain enjoying the finest Basque region food.

Actually, when I opened my eyes I could still have been in Spain as the décor at Old Amersham High Street’s newest restaurant, Pluma, is evocative of upmarket bistros, bars and tapas restaurants across the Iberian Peninsula.

READ MORE: The good, the bad, the ugly - The first annual Marlow Bottom scarecrow festival is a success

The tiles, the dark wood, the background music all Spanish (even our charming waitress Sina), but most of all, it’s the food here that is authentic and such a welcome addition to the Bucks restaurant scene.

Tapas is right up my street.

Ealing Times:

The Gambas al ajillo (photo by Sam A Harris)

My sister and I often share several starters in restaurants instead of the usual three courses as we enjoy smaller portions of tasty food.

Tapas is a great way to dine with friends or partners who are happy to share, although Pluma also offers full size main courses for those who don’t like sharing.

In fact, I’ve sworn to return to try their house speciality and signature dish of acorn-fed Iberian pork which is apparently cooked to perfection on their Josper grill.

Fortunately, I got in before second lockdown was announced, and on a day when the weather was decidedly un-Spanish, hubby and I experienced their tapas delights.

Ealing Times:

The Cheese and spinach croquetas (photo by Sam A Harris)

We shared gambas al ajillo, garlic prawns as good as any tasted abroad, heavy on the garlic and chilli oil and with a background flavour of chorizo.

We happily dunked chunks of their sublime Spanish bread (sourced from Rex artisan bakery in Little Chalfont) in the amazing sauce.

We also tried the padron peppers, delicious little blasts of goodness, crunchy patatas bravas with a spicy sauce and garlic alioli and incredibly light and crispy squid in tempura batter with a moreish lime mayonnaise.

Ealing Times:

The Appetisers (photo by Sam A Harris)

READ MORE: Three-week project begins at Higginson Park to improve the welfare of wildlife in Marlow

The treats just kept coming.

The richly flavoured Iberian ham croquetas and spinach and payoyo cheese croquetas were delicious.

And of course, we had to sample the Jamon Iberico de bellota: hand-cut slivers of this very special ham cut on demand from the imposing leg on the chef’s counter.

The pig’s special acorn diet gives this distinctive ham its flavour and cutting it freshly like this retains all its intensity and puts it on another level from anything you can buy pre-packed.

Ealing Times:

The Batatas bravas (photo by Sam A Harris)

By this stage we were well and truly satiated and making plans to return in a bigger group (within guidelines of course) to allow us to try even more of their wonderful dishes like the arroz negro black creamy rice with chargrilled baby squid and garlic saffron alioli, the chargrilled chorizo sausage cooked in white wine, or the bacalao, cod loin in a chickpea stew with a langoustine bisque.

Oh my. So much to choose from.

Four of the chefs here are Spanish, including head chef Luis Urrutiabeaskoa, and the authenticity of their food is obvious.

Ealing Times:

Luis Urrutiabeaskoa, the head chef (photo by Sam A Harris)

READ MORE: New water refill station installed in Marlow - the second one in a week 

These guys aren’t playing at tapas.

They are the real deal.

Pluma opened in July and is co-founded by local British/Spanish couple Charlie and Arantxa.

Word quickly spread and by this month it was proving a struggle to book a table on Fridays and Saturdays until 2021.

When lockdown is over, I’ll be back.