A new Carluccio's - my favourite mainstream Italian restaurant and bringer of all nourishment lovely - has just opened up in my local shopping centre. So on this lazy Sunday, Mumma Jo and I thought we would do what 'ladies' do and go for brunch to see how the new addition was shaping up.
First thoughts; it looks picture perfect. White and blue (AC's signature colours) decor interspersed with leather seats, hanging lamps, glass panelling and fake greenery makes the restaurant feel much more expensive than it actually is. We sat in an alcove so we could people-watch (unashamedly) whilst we ate our food.
Second thoughts: the service here is brilliant. The waitress was fast to seat us even though we were early, took our order promptly and helped translate the Italian words on the menu for those of us who were struggling. When we stood up to go she gave us the 'have a nice day' line and for once it felt genuine.
Third thoughts: THE FOOD IS BEAUTIFUL. There's no other way to describe it. I had Uova e Panchetta (fancy eggs and bacon) on Italian bread, with a croissant and jam afterwards and Mumma Jo had the full Italian - mushrooms, eggs, toast, panchetta and more. We both had tea and peach juice (again, beautiful) and I was almost tempted by a Bellini before being reminded that it was 11 in the morning.
So, if you are near a Carluccio's and you have a free morning, I highly recommend you drop in for a spot of Italian hospitality. The food won't leave you disappointed and as ours came to the princely sum of just £22, it won't leave your bank account disappointed either.