Stockwell Continental: Southern Italy in SW8
Opening Stockwell Continental is probably the cleverest thing the Canton Arms lads will do this year. Jars of veggies are pickling on shelves, salumi is cured in house, pasta is freshly made in-between services, and a River Café-ish oven fires out sourdough pizzas for under a tenner. It’s like one big Southern Italian party kicking off in south west London.
It’s Monday lunchtime and I’ve got the day off school so I virtually skip all the way from Vauxhall. There are so many new bars and cafes to this little stretch of road; the place is buzzing. I have to overcome a pushchair obstacle course before reaching the table, which is thirsty work. Aperitifs scrawled on the blackboard are a nice little reminder that a negroni is never a bad idea.
Antipasti changes every few days or whenever something exciting comes into season. Calcots were all the rage earlier this spring and a plate of them swimming in Salmoriglio, a lemony oregano dressing, lets them shine. Marinda tomatoes (in season for all of 10 minutes) are lifted by the most gorgeous olive oil and Maldon; which is really all they need. It’s lashing rain and a slow-cooked pork ragu with polenta and ALL the cheese provides all the comfort I’m craving. Meanwhile Darty is singing the praises about SC’s lasagne.
Testament to eating the seasons, the delica pumpkin with ricotta my pal George (and the whole of Instagram) has been raving about isn’t available any more so I’ll have to wait until it comes back around next year. Over the course of lunch, I swear about 25 pizzas have flown out, the white-based of which look particularly special.
Stockwell Continental is the sort of place where you swing by for a coffee or a Campari spritz, and unintentionally end up spending a few happy hours there. I’m thankful to have a reason to be in this little pocket of London a bit more from now on.
Five Very Kerri things about Stockwell Continental
- Pizzas for under a tenner
- Filthy good Italian coffee
- Homemade gelato affogatos
- Banging olive oil on everything
- Seasonal shining stars