Latest opening: Café Britaly

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Café Britaly Italian restaurant in Peckham, London

Related tags Café Britaly Richard Crampton-Platt Alex Purdie Bocca di Lupo Italian cuisine

Richard Crampton-Platt and Alex Purdie have opened an ‘authentically Britalian’ restaurant in South London.

What:​ A restaurant in Peckham that’s risking attracting the ire of Italians and other culinary purists by serving a spaghetti Carbonara that’s made with cream and topped with a fried egg.​ Billed as being ‘authentically Britalian’ Café Britaly majors in nostalgic renditions of Italian dishes ‘viewed from the perspective of the British isles’. The 40-cover restaurant is also to some extent a reinvention of the Italian-run cafés that played a big role in introducing the food of Italy to Britain from the 1950s onwards offering menus that included both British and Italian dishes. 

Who:​ Surprisingly given the tongue-in-cheek positioning of the restaurant, there is genuine talent behind Café Britaly. The Rye Lane restaurant is a collaboration between former Bocca di Lupo manager Richard Crampton-Platt and chef Alex Purdie, whose CV also includes Bocca di Lupo as well as St John and - most recently - Bouchon Racine. “In my career to date I’ve cooked rigorously authentic food across many traditions, and have the greatest respect for this inheritance,” Purdie explains. “But with Café Britaly we claim only to be authentically Britalian, that lack of definition giving me a fantastic space in which to continuously play with and evolve my own style of cooking.” 

On the menu:​ Crampton-Platt adds that Café Britaly is intended to “start conversations” as opposed to full-blown arguments. It will be interesting to see what their former colleagues at Jacob Kenedy’s seminal Soho Italian restaurant Bocca di Lupo​ (which is largely staffed by Italians) make of the food. The pair’s headline dish of Carbonara (pictured below in all its heathen glory) is by some margin the most controversial dish on the menu but other items that Italians may or may not consider to be culinary hate crimes include a lasagne that involves broccoli and Cheddar cheese and a roast that pairs porchetta with Yorkshire pudding. Other dishes include baked coley with mussels and a tomato sauce made with taggiasca olives, capers and sambuca; an all-day Full Britalian comprised of fennel sausage, back bacon, black pudding, fried egg, beans and fried pizza dough; and rice pudding arancini with stewed rhubarb and orange. 


To drink:​ The emphasis is firmly on cocktails with options including Negroni ‘Sbagliato’ (Campari, red vermouth, Prosecco); Cornish Sundowner (Silco Limoncello, Prosecco); and a Boulevardier, a Negroni in which whisky stand in for gin, made with Auchentoshan. In addition to the 10 or so simple cocktails on offer there are a few beers and a small but well chosen selection of exclusively Italian wines (prices start at £32 per bottle). 

The vibe:​ The muted, Mid Century-inspired interior is intended to be a reinvention of the Italian-run British cafés that are the main inspiration behind the project. Design details include green linoleum floors; whitewashed walls; banquette seating with pink detailing; and posters from some of the era’s great designers. 

And another thing:​ For somewhere that’s billing itself as a café the place has rather limited opening hours. Café Britaly is open from Wednesday to Saturday for Saturday for dinner with lunch only served on Fridays and Saturdays. On Sundays, the restaurant serves a brunch menu from 10am to 5pm. 

191 Rye Lane, London SE15 4TP

Related topics Casual Dining

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