In operation since the economically tough 1970s, the Bonnington Cafe is a tiny communal kitchen located in Vauxhall Grove, a beautiful and quiet street of Victorian red bricks close by London's Vauxhall Bridge. Nowadays, the eatery has become a popular venue for lunch and romantic candlelit dinners.
As I walked in I was expecting to be greeted with a welcome smile, customer service, reception till - things that you would normally expect to see in a restaurant. Instead, I spent the first few moments trying to figure out where the staff were because there was no staff member to welcome me; albeit to my surprise there was only one person who was busy cooking in the kitchen at the back - doubling as the chef and waiter at the same time. Mind you, it's a nice cosy place in a neat setting and that's the beautiful thing about the Bonnington Cafe.
The food, which actually smelt very nice, is exclusively vegetarian but there is no resident full-time professional chef. A rota of cooks each take a different day, paying a rental to cover upkeep of the cafe and keeping whatever profit they make. If you are looking for a quick sandwich then you're perhaps better off going to the 'Italo' delicatessen just across the street from the eatery. I do give credit to the chefs for trying their best, even though at times the food comes across as if a student has cooked it.
The food is not expensive - I suppose the cafe's bring-your-own-drinks-policy somewhat contributes to that. Bonnington Cafe may serve as a perfect lunchtime layover for overworked doctors or bankers in the City of London. Or else if you ever wanted to be reminded of what lunch and dinner were like at college or university, then go ahead and dine with your heart's content at the Bonnington Cafe.
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