Cafe Britaly - Steven Joyce


Hattie Lloyd 23/05/24

Café Britaly

Britain and Italy have a lot in common. We love Italian food, and the Italians love Italian food too. We’re like peas in a pod.

But speaking of peas, Britain has its own smattering of world-beating produce too, not to mention some outstanding comfort food – and so as the name cheerfully suggests, Café Britaly nobly attempts to marry together the homespun familiarity of British fare with the robust culinary artistry of Italian cuisine.

And, at least for the most part, they pull it off.

Cafe Britaly

You’ll find it in a small sleeve of a space down on Rye Lane in Peckham, where it’s wedged between the Four Quarters and a beauty salon. Push through the door, and you’ll find a style best described as ‘cafe-chic’, with green lino flooring, rosy pink banquette seating, and a gallery of colourful abstract screen-prints by the chef’s wife adorning the off-white walls, in a subtly reference to the Italian tricolore (just thought we’d flag that). Inspired largely by London’s legacy of caffs that sprung up with a generation of Italians who moved here in the ’50s, it doesn’t quite fit into either the casual or fancy bucket, but nevertheless manages to deliver a little bit of both.

Cafe Britaly

The people running the show are Richard Crampton-Platt & chef Alex Purdie, who met while working at Bocca Di Lupo. And the menu that they’ve put together ranges from an all-day ‘Full Britalian’ breakfast with fennel sausage & fried pizza dough, to a thoroughly British carbonara made with double cream and topped with a fried egg. And sure, that last sentence alone is enough to ensure that Italian food purists have probably already dispatched a team of assassins to hunt the chefs down – but believe it or not, it works. That said, where the dishes really come alive is when they lean into the more orthodox Italian roots: simple chicken Milanese with fennel, lemon, and capers for example, or nettle & ricotta ravioli, and the cider-marinaded pork chops with lentils & green sauce, which are all absolutely lovely.

Cafe Britaly

It’s not perfect, and considering the border-straddling, tone-shifting, breakfast-lunch-lunch-and-dinner tightrope they’re dancing on (they very much want to have their cake and get you to eat it too) it can be difficult to set expectations. But one thing you can expect is to leave feeling like you’ve been somewhere inventive, with an unabashed pride in their frequently delicious creations.


NOTE: Café Britaly is open now, Wednesday to Sunday. You can book a table on their website here.

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Café Britaly | 191 Rye Lane, London SE15 4TP

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Café Britaly

191 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4TP

0207 358 0735

7.7 | Good