Posts Tagged ‘Clapham pizza’
It was a famous 1963 book by Nell Dunn and followed up with a film version in 1968 starring a then very young Dennis Waterman alongside Susan George, Suzy Kendall and Maureen Lipman.
“The Junction”, of course, was Clapham Junction, although the phrase “Up The Junction” went on to become a colloquialism for an unplanned pregnancy. Some years later the term lent its name to a hit single by the South London group Squeeze, who drew heavily upon the book and the film for inspiration.
Clapham Junction station is the busiest railway station in the United Kingdom, possibly in Europe, in terms of the number of trains that actually pass through – around 2000 on a typical day. About 12.5 million people either board or alight a train there each year.
For those of us who begin our journeys in West London and wish to head for the south of the country it provides a useful means of avoiding Central London, as the trains invariably stop at Clapham Junction en route having departed from Waterloo or Victoria.
It is alas a great shame that many of those millions who pass through the Junction will remain forever unaware of the presence of one of London’s greatest pizza restaurants just a mile or two along the road from the station.
There are many good restaurants in Clapham, but none quite like Eco Restaurant, the home of the Clapham pizza. Eco’s pizzas are specially created with a unique healthy base which is not only nutritious but is also designed to bring out the taste of the toppings at their very best.
Whenever you are passing through the nation’s busiest railway station why not take some time out to come and visit the best restaurant in Clapham and partake of its legendary succulent and healthy offerings?
Plan your visit well in advance, and you’ll not be left Up The Junction.
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to be a pizza delivery boy for one of the takeaway chains?
The writer is a bit long in the tooth to be contemplating embarking upon a new career, but it does rather come across as one of those occupations that may one day have a “Confessions Of….” film produced in its honour.
Imagine. The telephone call comes through and someone somewhere feels the calling of a Spicy Hot One with extra mushrooms, a bottle of coke and a portion of garlic bread with mozzarella. The meal is cooked and your job is to get it, as warm as possible, to an address on the other side of town. The moped is primed and ready, the food is safely in the box, and you are ready to go.
The stresses and strains of negotiating heavy traffic always have the potential to assert themselves, even if the busiest time for pizza deliveries does fall well outside the rush hour.
Then, when you arrive at your point of call, you need to check the address. Hopefully it is the correct one – misunderstandings often happen over telephone, especially if the customer and the person taking the order speak different languages.
Hopefully, too, the person who answers the door did actually order the pizza. Mischief makers and people wishing to settle scores are an occupational hazard in the takeaway pizza business.
On the other hand, the customer could be a beautiful young lady…
The highly popular Eco Restaurant Clapham though operates according to a slightly different principle. It too organises deliveries, but as a luxurious eat-in premises the focus of this service is on large orders with ample prior notice given. The larger part of its operation caters for visiting customers who will relax and eat an unhurried meal, made from fresh, healthy ingredients on a light, nutritious base.
At this top Clapham pizza house an extensive range of toppings is available, from the traditional to the original and imaginative, with ingredients and flavours skilfully blended to create an unforgettable taste and then served either on a flat or folded base.
Without a doubt it is worth getting on your bike for.
A canapé is defined by The Free Dictionary as “an appetizer consisting usually of a thin slice of bread or toast spread with caviar or cheese or other savoury food”.
In environments in which alcohol is being dispensed it is often the case that a canapé will be salty or spicy in order to encourage partakers to drink more. It is frequently referred to as a finger food, but although all canapés are finger foods not all finger foods can be called canapés.
The bread used is usually deep fried, sautéed or toasted in order to ensure that it becomes rigid in texture, and toppings can include meat, fish, caviar, cheese, prawns, foie gras, vegetables or indeed almost anything one can think of. The topping in effect forms a “canopy”, hence the name.
There are many derivatives of the canapé with which diners will be familiar. One is the vol-au-vent, a small, circular canapé with a pastry rather than toasted base and delicately filled as opposed to topped with any of the ingredients mentioned. Also of French origin is the amuse-gueule, which translates literally as “gob amuser” but is usually more sensitively referred to as a “palate pleaser”.
The Swedish smorgasbord and the Russian zakuski are said to have been responsible for the addition of many of the less traditional toppings to the array of available canapé options.
A popular form of canapé, though often slightly larger, is the crostini. Crostinis are, literally, “little toasts”, usually slices of French-style bread again topped with vegetables, meats, fish or other such offerings.
It is the crostini in which Eco Restaurant, described by many as the best restaurant in Clapham, specialises. Eco produces a huge range of crostinis including humous and mint, babaganoug (blended aubergine with Tahini and spices), guacamole, spicy red pesto, tuna tartare, beef carpaccio and blue cheese, as well as a disarming selection of wraps and picks. All these are available for collection or delivery.
Eco is more than just a Clapham pizza restaurant. It is truly an entire culinary experience all of its own.
The nineteenth century journalist Walter Bagehot once expressed his view that “Public opinion…is the opinion of the bald-headed man at the back of the omnibus.”
In 1903 Charles Bowen QC, when hearing a case for negligence, stated: “’We must ask ourselves what the man on the Clapham omnibus would think.”
His view of Clapham, one assumes, was that of a comfortable London suburb inhabited by “decent” and “ordinary” people whom one could use as yardstick with which to gauge common-sense, middle-class opinion such as it was in the day. Presumably the decent and ordinary thing to do was to use the omnibus as a means of getting about.
At that time of course all the omnibuses in London were horse-drawn. Only in 1916 were all the bus routes in London finally taken over by motorised vehicles. Bowen’s words were in fact not the only claim to fame of the Clapham Omnibus.
About forty years previously one Friedrich Kekule von Stradonitz, a young German chemist, was working at a laboratory at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. Having fallen asleep one day on the omnibus he had a dream that was going to totally revolutionise organic chemistry. He wrote of his dream: “…the atoms were gambolling before my eyes…I saw how the longer ones formed a chain…[and then] the cry of the conductor ‘Clapham Road’ awakened me from my dreaming…."
After having taken something of a turn for the worse during the earlier part of the last century Clapham became fashionable and is now a popular venue for socialising and eating.
We like to believe that Eco Restaurant in Clapham High Street is one of the best restaurants in Clapham offering an impressive range of mouth-watering pizzas and other culinary delights, good wine and excellent service.
Give it a try next time you are passing on the Clapham Omnibus.
Have your children ever asked you where food comes from? Come to that, have you ever asked your children if they know? Ordering a pizza can sometimes be an exercise in guess-the-ingredient, with many children tucking readily into their rather circular square meal with great gusto but little idea what it’s made of, quite apart from not having the slightest clue as to where it all came from.
That’s the trouble with eating today – it’s easy to order food, but similarly easy to ignore it, or at least to ignore what it’s really made of, how it was made, where the ingredients come from and what decisions went in to making it taste and look the way it does. Essentially, we’re losing interest in the very stuff of which we are made, and it’s not helping our children.
I think a lot of children view the process of ordering a pizza as being a case of phoning up a restaurant who then proceed to pluck the pizza fresh of the pizza tree, warm it up, box it up and hand it over. The pizza tree – now there’s an idea.
But here’s the rub, because ordering a Clapham pizza could actually be a real exercise in helping children to learn more about their food, appreciate what goes into it, how it’s made and how to have more control and understanding about the things they put into their mouths. Rather than spending £12 on a cardboard box full of largely unidentifiable gloop, why not send your children along to our Kids Pizza School.
Here they’ll learn how to make their very own pizza from scratch, kneading the dough, shaping it, choosing the ingredients and putting it all together. Not only will they love eating it afterwards, but perhaps it will go some way to helping teach children a little more about where food comes from and giving them more appreciation of good food.