Tag Archives: Italo Deli

The Top Ten Best Lunch Spots in Kennington – no. 4* – Italo Deli

Positives: Bonnington Square is brilliant – a tropical oasis of calm just yards from the Vauxhall gyratory, but with Bohemian party vibes where desired, and a unique recent history rooted in squatting. Italo Deli is at the heart of Bonnington Square. They serve fresh pasta, delicious salads, fruit and veg (some of which is grown by residents of the square), Kennington’s own Rococo Chocolate, and two of our favourite products: Kernel beer and Gelupo gelati.

Italo Deli - kenningtonrunoff.com

Negatives: All their seating is outside so if the weather’s bad, takeout is the way to go. The menu is short so check their Twitter page before heading there to make sure there’s something you want. It’s not the fastest food in Kennington; we once arrived there at 1pm to find them not taking lunch orders for another 15 minutes, but that was a weekend – we suspect they’re more on it on weekdays.

Italo Deli shelves - kenningtonrunoff.com

Hygiene rating: 3 out of 5

Address: 13 Bonnington Square, London SW8 1TE

Website (much improved)

Come back next Sunday to see what’s at no. 3

* You may be wondering why Italo Deli is no. 4 when we already posted Elephant Shack as no. 4 last week. Well, Elephant Shack have rather inconsiderately “pivoted” and are now making bread for supermarkets or some such, and no longer serving lunch to Kenningtonians. As it happens we already had our top ten selected and Elephant Shack were a last minute addition – a no. 11 if you like – so now we’re back to the original ten.

Kennington Bakery

Butcher, baker, candlestick maker? Kennington has them all, and now we have a baker of organic sourdough breads as well – Kennington Bakery.

Kennington Bakery contact details

John will bake your choice of loaf to order then leave it for collection in the afternoons from various locations around Kennington. They’re also stocked by Italo Deli, Sally White and the Kennington Coffee Shop.

His full range of breads is here, and will expand over time. As you can tell from his descriptions, John really knows his bread, and if you can describe it, the chances are he’ll be able to bake it for you flawlessly.

Our favourites so far are the Saratoga, a “San Francisco-style” sourdough:

Kennington Bakery Saratoga - kenningtonrunoff.com

The Agincourt, “An open crumb white loaf similar to a French Pain au Levain. But better.”:

Kennington Bakery Agincourt with organic stoneground flours, wheat leaven and Cornish sea salt - kenningtonrunoff.com

The Blenheim is great too for fans of caraway, and for those avoiding wheat, some of his breads are 100% rye.

John is primarily a baker of bread but he also did some mean hot cross buns earlier in the year:

hot cross bun from Kennington Bakery - kenningtonrunoff.com

Oh, and we like their flier, clearly inspired by Peter Saville’s work for Factory Records:

Kennington Bakery image of bread

This morning (Saturday) you can meet John and sample his wears on a stall outside Sally White. This was his stall at the Kennington Village Fete:

Kennington Bakery at the Kennington Village Fete - kenningtonrunoff.com


Italo Deli

The final stop on our tour of Bonnington Square is one of West Kennington’s finest and most important shops. It was a Turkish shopkeeper whose legal action saved Bonnington Square from demolition in the late 1970s. Since 2008, those same shop premises have been occupied by Italo Deli which has also had a big part to play in the flourishing of Bonnington Square.

Italo Deli - kenningtonrunoff.com

The deli is run by Luigi di Lieto, formerly of Di Lieto’s bakery and shop, and Charlie Boxer. Charlie is the son of food writer Arabella and father of Jackson (Brunswick House Café) and Frank (Frank’s Campari Bar in Peckham). Just don’t mention the errant son who’s the fruit and veg buyer for Tesco.

If you shop at Borough Market or Whole Foods, you will recognise some of Italo Deli’s products but hopefully not the prices – Charlie told The IndependentI have a very strong dislike of expensive food shops and that whole Borough Market thing – the effect where quality translates into high prices and exclusivity. People can feel excluded from the food revolution going on.”

Italo Deli shelves - kenningtonrunoff.com

Kennington Runoff’s favourite beer is Kernel, brewed at one of the first London craft breweries in nearby Bermondsey. We’re a little obsessed with it, especially the Amarillo Pale Ale. Italo Deli is the Kennington area’s only stockist of Kernel (although Greensmith’s on nearby Lower Marsh also have it).

Italo also sell a good range of fresh seasonal vegetables, some grown by residents of the square.

Some, but not all, of what they sell is Italian, including homemade fresh ravioli, and they do hot food at lunchtimes.

Tommy Adams and Jamie Berger, the founders of Pitt Cue Co, met at Bonnington Café then worked together at Italo Deli, and Chantal Coady, founder of Rococo Chocolates, is a big fan (and long-time Bonnington resident).

The place is beautiful, like an old village shop, which makes the abysmal aesthetics of their website all the more surprising. Their Twitter feed is pretty good though, and they like the Flying Burrito Brothers so they’re alright by us.

Italo Deli counter - kenningtonrunoff.com

Brunswick House and LASSCO

LASSCO is an architectural reclaim company based in Brunswick House, a cavernous Georgian mansion on the gyratory in West Kennington. If architectural reclaim doesn’t sound much fun, it really is – imagine a museum where everything’s desirable and everything’s on sale. A whole room of taps. Antique baths for only £4000. If money was no object, this is where you’d go to furnish your house.

Brunswick House is also the best restaurant in the area, with food that’s more than matched by the atmosphere as you eat amongst the antiques and curiosities – look for the price tags on your chairs and tables. The restaurant is run by one of the Boxer family, who are also behind the nearby Italian deli and cafe Italo (which is just off Bonnington Square, the best advert there could be for squatting, but more on that another time), and Frank’s Café and Campari Bar atop a multi-story car park-cum-sculpture gallery, which is leading the regeneration of Peckham. For more on the Boxer family, see here.

Adrian Amos from LASSCO was featured in this week’s ES Magazine in one of the rooms at Brunswick House:

Adrian Amos in ES magazine

This is the main restaurant room:

Brunswick House restaurant - kenningtonrunoff.com

Here’s a collection of signs from the exterior wall of the house:

Lassco at Brunswick House - kenningtonrunoff.com

For more photos of beautiful LASSCO objects, click here.