In the 70s my mum’s favourite restaurant was a trattoria at the end of Kings Road, Chelsea where it was a Sunday treat to get spaghetti in a bag, spaghetti al cartoccio. I’m going to try this Saturday to recreate that dish. Will have a practice first though!
My parents remember spaghetti coming to Britain for the first time post-war. In those days it was all called spaghetti. Pasta didn’t exist. Italian trattoria restaurants were exotic, the large pepper mill dispensing crushed fresh black peppercorns, not white powdery pepper, tomato sauce, olive oil(previously only sold in chemists), garlic, red wine in straw baskets, parmesan cheese.
A new book has just been published about this food revolution in Britain…The Spaghetti Tree by Alisdair Scott Sutherland.
For dessert I will do a white trifle, with mascarpone, meringues, malibu.
Haven’t decided on the starter yet. Will of course do my focaccia in the oven!
The Shy Chef
Read about your rude guests the other night – so sorry to hear that. It’s not what you need after spending all that time preparing and flapping around in the kitchen.
What sort of starter were you thinking about? Maybe we could do some sort of Anglo-Germanic secret restaurants recipe swap… 😉
The Shy Chef.
Wasn’t that called Le Bistingo? We were taken there as kids for a treat as we lived in Earls Court up the road.
I’m not sure I’ll have to ask my mum.
Shy Chef: I don’t flap lol.
But recipe swap sounds cool!
Ms ML: ask your mum if she ever went to either the Chelsea Kitchen or The Great American Disaster, also on Kings Road, and v popular in the late 70s. I remember my mum and dad taking my sister and I to both places a lot, and spaghetti in a bag sounds familiar.
Gosh, I can’t wait to visit the Underground Restaurant! Money and time, money and time…that’s all I need!
Apparently the restaurant was called Leonardo’s.
I think I remember the Chelsea Kitchen.
I was taken to see the Rocky Horror Show in Kings Rd with the original cast then we went for American burgers! So exciting, so glamorous!
Oh…I used to love The Great American Disaster – I thought that was on Fulham Rd? Had my first ever Coca COla Float there – was like magic and heaven in a glass all at once. We also used to be taken to the Pontevecchio on Earls Court end of Brompton Road opposite The Troubadour – had an amazing back garden with a sandpit for kids. I loved that place mainly because as kids we were spoilt rotten by the waiters and were allowed to run amok bohemian Biba children style!
Ah rockmum now you are talking. Biba! My mum used to buy us Biba clothes, clothkits, Bus Stop.
I remember Granny takes a trip, Mr Freedom.
Going to Biba on a Saturday. Found out later all my friends used to nick from there. So easy. No windows, everything painted black.
I didn’t get to see TRHS until it moved to the Comedy Theatre in Panton Street – I missed Kings Road by about three months!
Don’t remember Leonardo’s, but I’m sure rockmother and I may have crossed paths in the Pontevecchio. I remember Granny Takes a Trip, too. But I held off from shoplifting until the New Romantics came to town; started at Street Theatre in Carnaby Street, gave the Great Gear Market (back in Kings Road again) a thorough workover, too. Those were the days indeed. And somewhere at the back of my wardrobe, I have several Biba classics, handed over to me by my mum. Also have a couple of Street Theatre dresses. Do I feel a theme night coming on???
Aaahh…I stole Krazy Kolor and earrings from Great Gear Market. Wanted to nick stuff from Boy but too scared to go in some days! And spent my childhood in Biba, red clogs, rainbow knitted jumpsuit and snakeskin jerkin, oshkosh, Clothkits, trailing behind my Mum in Bus Stop, Che Guevara and Kensington Market while she got chatted up by leery men smoking dope and getting her to try clothes on…loved it