As much as I do love London, sometime I love nothing more than a place in London that feels like somewhere else. From the moment I first set foot in the Italian restaurant that is Fazenda, that is what I felt. Hidden away in the lanes of East London, near Spitalfields market, Fazenda feels less like a restaurant in the large and busy city of London and more like a family kitchen in home in a little Tuscan village.
The owners have always been there when I’ve visited. They smile and welcome you in and show off the food on offer. On one side of the counter is an array of cakes, perfect for some afternoon tea. On the other are several plates filled with homemade meats, pasta, rice, vegetables and salad. You can pick a couple of things and ask for a mixture of vegetable and salad accompaniments and you will get a huge plate of food for a very reasonable price. It is always tasty and I have always left feeling completely stuffed.
On my last trip, I tasted the cakes instead of the lunch foods. I opted for a Victoria sponge, topped with some creamy icing and fruits. It looked good but it tasted even better. I mean seriously, I get very possessive over my food. I never share, but on this occasion, my cake was so good that I had to give some to my Dad to try.
I cannot recommend this place enough. Although I am a city girl at heart and don’t particularly miss living in (or near, in my case) a countryside village, I do miss having a regular – somewhere you often turn up and everyone there recognises you and says hello. I think Fazenda is becoming that place.