Andy Mossack spends a restful Sunday parked at the Coppa Club, Putney’s latest riverside café.
Riverside eating is and will always be, a wonderful experience for me. There is something quite magical about the whole thing. The birdlife. The water. The relaxation. Even being inside looking out at it somehow still manages to tick a box.
So Coppa Club’s latest opening couldn’t be more perfect, perched right on the riverfront between Putney bridge on one side and Fulham railway bridge on the other.
The brainchild of founder Hugh Osmond, whose Various Eateries company operates water-fronted brands Coppa Club and Italian-themed Tavolino, he clearly feels the same way I do about the benefits of waterside dining.
The Putney Coppa Club is the latest and ninth opening of a brand that is all about all-day all-stay dining. A relaxed space with plenty of comfy sofas, workspaces, and fireplaces alongside the standard table settings. I particularly liked the library nook, tucked away with its bookcases for a quiet read or perhaps a private family get together. It is to all intents and purposes like a members’ clubhouse minus the annual fees of course. It’s also a brand that’s quickly become synonymous with outdoor dining igloos and there are three of them at Putney, sitting proudly on the large wrap-around terrace area.
Even though I would have loved to have braved an outdoor spot on the terrace, this January Sunday proved a little too cold for that, so we made do with a table inside by the floor to ceiling patio glass, tantalisingly within touching distance of the Thames.
On weekends there’s a brunch menu served from 10 am to 3 pm as well as the regular menu and both were going down a storm from the busy, hungry crowd. There was enough space between the tables to allay concerns about social distancing, and the hand gels on each table were a bonus. Despite the brunch rush, there was a steady stream of servers emerging from the kitchen carrying giant trays laden with food. It already seemed to me this was a very well-oiled team in action.
We kicked off with garlic bread (£4) to nibble on and a large portion of parmesan croquettes (£5.50) a Coppa highlight I was led to believe. And they were well worthy of the accolade. A crunchy coat dusted with parmesan and a rich centre of hot melted parmesan. Now, who can resist that? Mrs M was a little more refined; a Devon crab salad with avocado baby gem, lemon, and parsley (£9.50). A big hit this, the tasty spicy lemony dressing combining perfectly with the crab and the avocado.
This was all going rather well.
I took the opportunity between courses to gaze outside at the river. A few boats lazily drifted pass attracting the attention of a flock of birds who had clearly given up on the scraps offered by a few passers-by. It seems even the wildlife is pretty picky in Putney.
Speaking of which, the mains had triumphantly arrived courtesy of another giant tray.
The main choices caused something of a debate at our table. To brunch or not to brunch?. Grills, pasta or sourdough pizza? Another Coppa delight, smoked haddock and salmon fish cake with wilted spinach and a watercress sauce (£14), was also tabled. In the end, we split the difference.
Mrs M plumped for brunch-inspired buckwheat and rye pancakes with berries, seeds, and coconut yoghurt (£9.50) while I chose the nduja (sausage) and pork pappardelle in a spicy ragu with some more parmesan (£13.50). We washed it all down with a couple of glasses of Vega Piedra Rioja (£8.70 250 ml). The pappardelle was al dente and the ragu was satisfyingly spicy adding up to an excellent dish of pasta. Mrs M’s pancakes came topped with blueberries and strawberries and laced with cinnamon. Buckwheat is really beginning to take off these days and it’s a healthy food that is so adaptable it can pair with just about anything.
By now it was well past 3 pm and the brunch crowd had thinned considerably. That said, the beauty of all-day dining is you can do just that here. Eat all day. I admit I contemplated moving into the library nook for a little spell before moving in on the puddings. Mrs M’s wily stare put an end to that.
We shared a belter of an apple and pear crumble with some Bird’s custard on the side (£7.50). My only regret with this was it was on the small side compared with the other courses, only just covering the bottom of the dish. That said, it was just out of the oven hot and not too sweet, a rare occurrence with crumbles that often carry far too much sugar.
The other pudding contenders were sticky toffee pudding (£7.50), warm treacle tart (£8) and a flourless chocolate cake (£8.50). All comforting foods for a long lazy Sunday afternoon.
Coppa Club Putney is a worthy addition to a brand that is doing everything right. It knows what its offer is and delivers it perfectly. That’s right up my street.
As long as they continue to open them right beside the water of course.
All food images and igloo exterior (c) Andy Mossack
Tell me more about Coppa Club Putney
Coppa Club, 29 Brewhouse Lane, London SW15 2JX
T: 0203 937 5354 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday – Saturday 11am – 10:00pm Sunday 11am – 9pm
Other Coppa Clubs: Tower Bridge, Clifton Village, Cobham Village, Henley-On-Thames, Maidenhead, Brighton, as well as Streatley-On-Thames and Sonning-On-Thames, which both include a riverside hotel.