WHILE I may be weeping into soggy cereal having woken up to British reality, I’m determined to firmly hold on to the ever distant memory of good wine, rich food and hot climates of my short Spanish vacation.

And though Kendal may not exactly be the Madrid of Cumbria, there’s no harm in trying to relive this culinary fling through the edibles and drinkables the North West has to offer.

So in homage to the few days spent in Spain’s capital and largest city, which naturally revolved around eating and drinking and then some, this week’s column is dedicated to this ancient and varied cuisine.

The varieties are endless, indulge in everything from paella to churros.

An easy approach to Spanish food, is to prepare a simple spread of tapas.

Visit specialist delicatessans for some unbeatable Iberico ham - a punchier alternative to the gentle Italian prosciutto.

Head to Staff of Life, Kendal, for bread to slice up, toast and rub with fresh tomatoes and garlic. They have a long ciabetta like rustica bread at £2.80 or a round sundried tomato bread with thyme at £2.80.

For the third most important component to your finger food feast, Cartmel Cheese has the perfect English version of manchego in Berkswell, a special sheep’s cheese that comes in at £45 per kilo. Another special one is a Old Ford - a very hard, first of the season, goat’s cheese at £58 per kilo.

And if you want a little help along the way, Country Harvest, Ingleton, has a new in charcuterie range. Their tapas selection offers bitesize meats and cheese and is priced at £3.75. They also have the ultimate Spanish sausage - a Mediterranean Flavour chorizo at £1.99.

For something a little fresher, Powells Greengrocer, Sedbergh, has aubergine at £2.75 per kilo. Slice thinly, chargrill and drizzle with honey. They also have new season Wiltshire potatoes at £1.65 for a 2.5 kilo bag to cut up for a deep Spanish tortilla to slice into big pizza-like wedges, or roughly cut up and fry for the traditional patatas bravas. Add their mixed peppers at £2.50 per kilo to your tasty tomato topping.

And for something more substantial, stay in Sedbergh and go to William Peat where they have legs of lamb at £8.98 per kilo - perfect for marinating in sherry wine and roasting slowly over potatoes. They also have chicken at £2.99 per kilo, great for cubing and sticking into a saffron infused paella with seafood.

Mix tomato, paprika and cumin with stewing steak at £31 per 10lb from Peter Hutchinson, Greenodd, or make a chickpea and chorizo stew with their chorizo at £2.50 for 235g.

No Spanish dinner would be complete without some good quality booze. Greenlands Farm Village, Carnforth, has the ideal accompaniment to wash everything down. Choose from a bottle of Rueda Viore Blanco at £6.50 (was £7.95) or Puerta Vieja Blanco at £6.50 (was £7.25).