Coppa Club: Fab new eaterie in Sonning
I’ve only been to Sonning twice in my life and it’s *cough* a total coincidence that both have been since George Clooney moved to the area. No need for my binoculars and wire cutters last weekend though, as I’d already intercepted George’s mobile and found out he wasn’t home.
So we headed straight for Coppa Club, a restaurant and self-proclaimed ‘social hub’ in Sonning just around the corner from The Mill theatre (and George) that has just enjoyed one hell of a facelift.
It’s been open since late August, so has had a little while to find its feet and it’s definitely has a feeling of confidence to it – it’s hard to argue with the attractiveness of its open plan interior, with its bold sofas, banquette seating and lovely position backing onto the Thames, below.
I guess this is where the ‘social hub’ idea comes from and why these kind of places are becoming so popular – they offer something for everyone. Business meeting over breakfast. A mum and baby coffee and cake meet-up. A casual pizza with friends. Or as we used it, as an early family meal out.
Head chef Matt Fanthorpe, previously worked with Jamie Oliver at Jamie’s Italian, and the food at Coppa Club follows the Italian theme too, though not slavishly – so there are great pizzas, plenty of pastas and antipasti, but also the usual gamut of crowd pleasers, from burgers to sea bass and various salads. There’s an all day menu, a special kids menu, breakfast and bar menus too. Basically, it will be a massive challenge to arrive at Coppa Club and not find something you’ll want to eat.
Our waitress was young and charming and busied herself tapping in our orders into her iphone (for tis the modern way). We were starving, so immediately ordered some nibbles – sticky honeyed chirizo and the fritto misto.
Mr Muddy went for the rib eye steak with mushroom and chips (£18.95) while I went for the flash fry steak with a large side salad. Both cooked beautifully, we scoffed the lot.
The kids had pizza, chips and portions of ice cream for afters – nothing they couldn’t have eaten anywhere else but it they loved it, not least because my youngest asked for proscuitto on his margarita pizza (not on the menu – truly his mother’s son) and the kitchen came up trumps for him.
Meanwhile Mr Muddy and I had a good cheeseboard that I forgot to take a photo of, due to the fact that I was stuffing my face too quickly. I think that probably sums it all up!
THE MUDDY VERDICT:
Good for: Everyone I’d say. Casual drinkers, coffee lovers, business lunchers, families… they’re all catered for. The large outdoor terrace and proximity to the river will be a massive pull in fine weather.
Not for: Fine diners. Though the food is good, clearly it’s not aimed at the amuse bouche and snail foam brigade. Some might feel they’ve seen the banquette/bar stool/velvet sofa thing quite a bit now – it’s a slick but familiar look.
£££: Mid-range. The breakfasts are very reasonable – cafe prices. Small plates and sharing are £5.95 – £12.95, burgers £11.45 and the rib eye, the most expensive thing on the menu is £18.45.
Coppa Club, The Great House, Thames Street, Sonning on Thames, West Berkshire, RG4 6UT. Tel: 01189219890.