Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Favourite Corners of London - Victoria

Gastronomia Italia

One of my favourite corners of London is Victoria, round the back of the station, centred on Wilton Road and Warwick Way These streets form a village where you will find three of my favourite shops and cafes, Rippon Cheese and Gastronomia Italia in Tachbrook St and Delicias de Portugal in Warwick Way, all of them introduced to me by my old friend Francis. Rippon really is just a cheese shop. It has a small entrance hall in which cheeses are wrapped and money taken, but all the cheeses are displayed in a cold room behind reached through a heavy hanging plastic curtain. One needs to know what you buy as the selection is so great, and one can't take long because of the cold, but each cheese is in perfect condition and invariably delicious. As well as a very fine selection of English artisanal cheeses, France and Spain are fully represented, and unexpected  places like Finland provide extra interest.

Next to Rippon is an iconic Italian deli, Gastronomia Italia (pictured above) where one can find every shape of Italian delicacy. I go there principally for their gorgeous crispy and salty cheese biscuits (Barilla Sfoglia di Grano) - and a quick macchiato. Then on to Delicias de Portugal in Warwick Way where one can select a famous and delectable cheese (Terra Nostra - like an Edam, in a red wax sleeve) and some other unusual delicacies, like very finely cut smoked pork loin. There are tables outside where one can nibble a piece of Portugese cake with a cup of their delicious milky coffee.

Service is of course from people from the region who know their stock and are happy to talk and advise. Everything here is authentic and things are always offered in slivers to try first. One doubts that even 1% could be found in a supermarket.

No comments:

Post a Comment