When you walk into O Cantinho de Portugal, a restaurant located in the heart of Stockwell, you might wonder if you are still in London. Owned by Francisco and Carla Durães, the restaurant looks, smells and feels like Portugal.
The proud Portuguese food lover Francisco, his wife Carla and his son Diogo moved to England in 1997. After working as a truck driver, a waiter and a cleaning supervisor, Francisco and his family decided to buy the restaurant in 2004.
At O Cantinho de Portugal, visitors can try everything from traditional cod fish to “espetada madeirense” – the food is prepared with fresh ingredients and is served by staff members who are from Portugal themselves.
“When we start serving that food and they [customers] are smelling that food, Portuguese food, with our ingredients, they say: ‘I feel at home’. That really makes me proud.”
For now, the Durães family plans on staying in London, where they hope to carry on cooking traditional Portuguese food. But when they reach retirement age, they hope to move to the Algarve, a region in the south of Portugal, buy a house and, in Francisco’s words, “go to the beach”.
You can find out more about Francisco’s restaurant by liking it on Facebook.