Part of Insider London is giving a taste to the different sides and sites in London.
‘Around the World in 80 Minutes‘ every week will give a flavour of the capital’s diverse landscape, focusing on a thriving ethic culture. To kick us off, Elena Festa checks out a Portuguese fishmonger.
Living in one of the most multicultural cities on earth, we thought it was high time we uncovered the most unique places in London’s most interesting communities. This post is the first of a series in which we travel the world with a Travelcard.
The first stretch of land I want to share with you is the cluster of Portuguese cafés, shops and restaurants spreading along South Lambeth Road.
With 27,000 Portuguese people in this area, it’s the largest community outside their home country and so very fitting of its name: ‘Little Portugal’. Since the area began to change in the 60s and 70s, restaurants and cafés have popped up, reminiscent of the ones back home: offeringbacalhau (salted cod fish), delicious pastéis de nata (egg custard tarts), a bottle of Sagres, a casual chat and the incessant murmur of football matches on TV.
Madeira So Peixe, a popular fishmonger, is one of my favourite shops in the area – the place is full of character, offers fantastically fresh produce and has a beautifully unpretentious atmosphere. Paula, the daughter of the owner, says that her family comes from Madeira, as many people in the area do. They’ve always been passionate about fish, their motto being “if it is not good enough for me, it is not good enough to sell”. For instance, to assure a perfectly traditional Portuguese Christmas for locals, they ordered fresh fish direct from Madeira, the perfect match to the traditional green cabbage. It’s a labour of love that they carry out to make special occasions even better.
However, the shop’s regulars are more than their neighbours. Some travel across the city to pay it a visit, drawn by the freshness of the fish and the secretive BBQ they set in the back of the shop. It means customers can have a browse, choose a fish and have it chargrilled on the spot.
Have you been to Madeira So Peixe? What did you think of it? Or are there any other great spots nearby that you think we should cover? Please do tell us in the comments.
Madeira So Peixe
121 South Lambeth Road
London SW8 1XA
Tel: 0207 587 1470