I wouldn't say that I don't go out of my way to find a great restaurant in London these days, but since lockdown, I'm all about that doorstep life. And lucky for me? One of London's coolest new pasta spots had opened up just down the road in the Brixton Department Store. Yep, that swanky building.
If 'minimal cool' cropped up in a browse of the dictionary, Bellefields would stake its claim on the phrase. While coloured artwork is littered about just enough to remind you that this is a creative spot, it's clean lines and low lighting that owners Michael Squire and son George have perfected. Architecture runs in the family, which is clear to see from the space.
With Meditteranean in mind, Bellefields aim to cultivate an experience that has modern dining with authentic flavours at their core. With so simple a menu, it's easy to get a taste for their homage to the intercontinental ingredients, as we opted for the burrata, the grilled octopus (£11) and the salt cod croquette special.
The creamy and chunky burrata had taken a winter twist, with mushrooms replacing the usual sidekick of fresh tomatoes (a perfect accompaniment to a bottle of £26 chianti), while the salt cod croquettes were true to form as a crisp and welcome savoury start to the meal. The octopus? Well, that had disappeared into my friend Sophie's mouth before I stood a chance at trying.
Two dishes made our trip to Bellefields unforgettable, and that's the cacio e pepe pasta main (£13) and the tiramisu dessert. Two classic plates, that while not reinventing the wheel, are a time-honoured mix of ingredients... and Bellefields has produced them flawlessly.
The cacio e pepe may have been a first for me, but its simple mix of cheese, pepper and spaghetti alla chitarra (egg pasta) was hands down one of the best pasta dishes I've had in London. Simple and creamy but boasting plenty of bite. Their tiramisu? An Italian stable done right. Sure, we only needed the one, but ordered two.
The DesignMyNight Digest
I'm not *always* a return diner to a restaurant in London, I might try a great one, but with so many in the city, it can be hard to stay stuck. With Bellefields? I want to. Their cacio e pepe will stay with me for a long time to come, and their service is held to a clear and warm standard. Considering they're just a five-minute walk away from my flat, I can only apologise for how much they can expect to see me in the future.
💰 The damage: Around £70 for wine, two mains and a side.
📍 The location: 9 Stockwell Avenue, Brixton, SW9 9SY.
👌 Perfect for: That really lovely date night you two have been putting off but desperately need.
⭐ Need to know: If you don't order the cacio e pepe I'm coming for you.
For more delicious pasta restaurants in London, check out our guide here.