A Co-Op Vegetarian Café in London
Bonnington Café is an adorable co-operatively run kitchen that serves vegetarian and vegan food in southwest London. Their website states that they are “committed to providing excellent vegetarian home-cooking at great prices in a laid back and friendly bohemian atmosphere”. This is an excellent description of Bonnington! The chefs sign up to cook on different days of the month, and to make a reservation you look up which chef is cooking and simply send them an email or text message to let them know your time and number of people, and once you get a confirmation, you’re set!
Last weekend I decided to check out the café I kept hearing about. I texted the chef on Friday and asked if I could come in for lunch on Saturday, and she confirmed! I looked up the best way to get to the café from my flat in Camden, and left 20 min earlier than I should have, and of course arrived 20 min too early for lunch. I used those 20 min drinking a wonderful iced coffee from an Italian café across the street, Italo.
After I enjoyed my coffee and perused the goods at Italo, I wandered over to Bonnington. I arrived a little after opening, so there was only one other customer sitting alone. I took a seat near her and we chatted while looking over the day’s menu scrawled on a chalkboard. This is definitely not the place to go if you’re picky, since there are only a couple of options per day and you can’t really plan beforehand, but luckily, I’m not picky at all, and thought everything on the small menu looked amazing! The café decor feels cozy and rustic, and there was plenty to look at while I waited for my food.
Since it was my first time at Bonnington, I treated myself to a starter, entrée, and dessert. I decided to order a curried vegetable lentil soup to start, followed by raw courgette (zucchini) spaghetti with marinara sauce and salad, and a raw apple pie for dessert. I don’t usually eat raw, but I loved the spaghetti and apple pie, it really opened my mind to the idea of raw cooking. Everything was amazing, brought out extremely quickly, and obviously cooked with love. In a co-op café like this, if you’re cooking, you must really just do it because you love it, and it really shows.
I would definitely recommend the café to anyone in the London area, especially veggies, and I will be going back as soon as possible! The fact that the chefs and menu change every day make it even more exciting for repeat visits.
— Emily Kager