Posts Tagged ‘Clapham Old Town restaurants’

We’re Proud of Our Bandstand, But Our Pizzas Copy No-One

Clapham Common Bandstand Where do you go to get a bandstand? The Clapham Common bandstand looks an awful lot like a pair of bandstands that once stood in South Kensington Gardens… and there’s a good reason for that.

When South Kensington Gardens closed in the 1870s, its two bandstands were sold to Peckham Rye and Southwark Park – which already had a bandstand, so that one was uprooted and sent to Plumstead. And in the 1890s, when Clapham Common wanted a bandstand of its own, they decided to copy the South Kensington design.

Then came World War II, and the two originals were destroyed, leaving only the replica in place… until Southwark Park rebuilt their version, basing it on the Clapham Common replica that had been copied from them in the first place!

Our bandstand withstood the test of time, right up until the 1960s when it began to succumb to the inevitability of old age and the prospect of a long, slow drawn-own demise. Other than for the odd lick of paint it was abandoned to the mercy of the elements, and by the turn of the new millennium it was rusting and crumbling, strewn with graffiti and used only by pigeons.

Fortunately in 2003 the Clapham Society combined with the Friends of Clapham Common to persuade the London Borough of Lambeth to embark upon a rescue campaign and, supported by a hefty grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund as well as a not inconsequential contribution from the local community itself it was restored to something like its former glory.

Happily the bandstand is now in use again and when it is in use it boasts an excellent café, which is a wonderful place to be when the sun is shining, the music is playing and you are in the mood for an enjoyable cup of coffee and a cake.

When you are in the mood for a pizza however you need not travel very far. For just along the road is the famed Eco Restaurant, recognised as one of the very best of the Clapham Old Town restaurants.

Our pizzas, of course, don’t look like anything you might find in Kensington or Peckham Rye. Whatever appeals to you when perusing our menu, at our Clapham restaurant you will find only the original versions every time.

Eat Italian, Drink Italian

Did you know that Italy currently produces more wine than any other country in the world?

According to the most recently available figures around 21% of the world’s wine exports originate in Italy, against 19% each for France and Spain, 8% for Australia and 6% each for Chile and the United States of America.

By a pleasant coincidence Italy also happens to be the home of the pizza. Despite the tenuous claims of various Mediterranean and Middle Eastern nations and the admittedly impressive volumes now consumed across the pond, pizza is as naturally associated with Italy as sauerkraut is with Germany or paella with Spain.

So it is natural to enjoy a pizza with a good wine.

Eco Restaurant is a popular Clapham restaurant that boasts not only the tastiest and healthiest pizzas for miles around but also some of the finest wines commonly available.

Whether your taste is for sparkling or still, red or white, sweet or dry, Italian or non-Italian – this finest of Clapham Old Town restaurants has something for you to enjoy alongside some of the most wonderful food that you will find anywhere in South London.

One of the particular favourites is a classic Pinot Grigio Principato 2008, a fresh Italian dry white with gentle floral and citrus aromas. This fine wine is available by the glass as well as by the bottle.

Another star turn is the Prosecco di Valdobbiadene NV, for that special occasion or even just for the sheer fun of it. Orignating from the Veneto region of northern Italy, this wonderfully fruity sparkling wine combines ripe pear aromas with crisp green apple flavours to provide a refreshing and lasting experience.

For those who like something different there is the Doricum Cattaratto, Santa Eufamia 2008 from Sicily, light and crisp with a flavour of orange and almond.

A pizza seems almost made to be partaken of with a good bottle of wine, although the range of beers, spirits, coffees and soft drinks available at Eco Restaurant in itself leaves one spoilt for choice.

It is the combination that makes the experience particularly special, and a pleasant and nourishing evening meal at Eco one that you will remember for a very long time.

A Pizza London History

Most people would agree that the explosive growth of ethnic cuisine in the United Kingdom over the past four decades has altered the British culinary experience beyond recognition.

It was within the lifetimes of many of us who are still around today that restaurants invariably served only domestic fare. Without wishing to decry British cooking (a well-cooked roast with all the trimmings can still be a surprisingly enjoyable experience), the lack of variety that was on offer must have been quite depressing for those given to eating out on anything like a regular basis.

One of the first ethnic options to become widely available to diners in the UK was of course Italian. The arrival of ristorantes and trattorias presented Italian food as the Italians prepare it to an audience whose only previous encounter with the genre will often have been with a tin of spaghetti with cheese and tomato sauce from the local convenience store.

Italian cuisine in the UK does actually date back much further than most of us would probably appreciate. The first Italian restaurant was in fact opened by one Joseph Moretti, a Venetian by birth, off London’s Leicester Square in around 1803.

An early café restaurant going by the name of Salvo Jure was opened near Spitalfield Market in 1859, and Bertorelli’s came to Charlotte Street in 1912.

But the real period of growth began in the 1970s, and by 1998 there were around 5,000 Italian restaurants in the United Kingdom, of which some 2,900 were pizza or pasta establishments.

One of the better known eateries in the capital is the Eco Restaurant, one of the fashionable Clapham Old Town restaurants in a desirable part of South London.

Like all good restaurants in Clapham Eco has worked hard to build a reputation for excellence and a growing following of loyal patrons who return frequently to get some more of the sublime Italian cooking that is always on offer.

Eco’s pizzas are specially made with the nutritional health and well-being of the customer always in mind. Only the finest and freshest ingredients are sourced and the final product is always a nutritious and balanced meal.

Eco Restaurant continues in the proud tradition of the pioneers of domestic Italian cuisine in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Now, as then, the aim is always to produce the finest and most wholesome food in a form that is forever an enjoyable and pleasant experience to eat.