The Gentle Cycling Company

La Capilla


This restaurant is located on the Great Taste Rail Route at Appleby. In this article, Hodgson introduces the owner and chef, Takeshi Nagahama. Take left Japan in 1996 and his training has included working in a range of Michelin star restaurants in Europe and Tokyo.

Take’s food philosophy is simple, “I use fresh seasonal flavours with a focus on local produce, Nelson is a beautiful place to grow things and people make outstanding products like cheese and breads. I want people to relax and have a good time, forget their reality for a couple of hours. The original meaning of restaurant is ‘restore health’ and I to follow that general philosophy, people can come here, relax, enjoy food and wine and feel better”.

During the day La Capilla is a happy, buzzy family style cafe where kids can play in the outdoor playground while in the evening it is more formal restaurant style dining where his training in Michelin star restaurants shines brightly. Everything is made by hand on site as much as possible and reflects his own family’s attitude to food of beautiful things cooked simply. This attitude is also reflected in the pricing of his beautiful food, “in the country overheads are a little less so I can keep prices a little more friendly for diners”.

Take only has local craft beers and wines, no brand name soft drinks and make own juices including freshly squeezed orange juice, makes his own lemonade and strawberry juice from berries he buys from Berrylands across the road.

Takeshi may be Japanese by birth but his culinary career has seen him working in some of the finest restaurants in many countries and he brings this experience to the food he cooks today. 

Thanks to Neil Hodgson for permission to use this article, first published 26/1/16