Helen Down enjoys Mediterranean vibes in the heart of Brixton
Bustling Brixton is possibly my favourite London haunt. But when it’s time to dial down the vibrancy, there’s an oasis called Bellefields. A Mediterranean-themed relative newbie that prides itself on sustainability and the freshest produce, Bellefields is perfect for business lunches and chatty evening get-togethers.
Accented with brick and timber flairs – the trickledown effect of being owned by Squire & Partners architects – Bellefields nestles in the courtyard of local workspace and cultural hub, The Department Store. The menu from executive chef Luis Telo (formerly of Hix fame) darts around the Med faster than Simon Reeves and features some wondrous combinations. But unlike the Med, Bellefields offers something for all seasons. In summer, the courtyard opens for alfresco fans to listen to local bands while enjoying dishes that evoke sun-soaked tavernas. In winter, proceedings can be ended in a cosy 16-person private-hire screening room.
Taramasalata with Padron peppers marked the opening of our Southern European voyage; an innovative starter that’s still blowing my mind days later. Although it’s hard to follow such a flavour bomb, ricotta and black truffle tortellini with generous truffle shavings served up a superlative second act. After sampling my dining partner’s gnocchi, however, I promptly insisted on going 50/50. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and all while hiding a little burst of taleggio. But it was the sauce that persuaded this die-hard truffle fan to go halves: an intense pool of cherry tomatoes with a heavenly volume of garlic. Green beans – grilled, not steamed – with zingy salsa verde made the perfect accompaniment. After gallantly finding room for dessert, the honey and pistachio cake delivered in spades, with the sharp tang of delicately piped Greek yoghurt ‘icing’ cutting through the sponge’s buttery sweetness. Rounded off with Croatian Riesling and Greek Assyrtiko, the Brixton hubbub melts away.
Price: approx. £35 – £40/head (excluding drinks & service)