I have long had a big love for Italy – it remains number one on my ‘must visit’ travel list. I remember time at home with Ma many years ago, regularly watching the wonderful Antonio Carluccio on TV while he shopped, talked to locals and cooked the bright and beautiful food of Italy, with his melodic Italian accent and infectious smile. He seems like such a kind man and I imagined meeting him and being enveloped in a warm, grandfatherly bear hug.
On my second night in London, I was pretty chuffed when I came across one of Carluccio’s restaurants, just a short walk from where I was staying in Islington.
Gloriously in summer it is still light until quite late which confused my body clock a little, especially after just arriving. I didn’t feel overly hungry but was keen for a nibble. I nabbed a table out front so I could do a little people watching and could soak up this new town.
When the waiter arrives he tells me that the pasta is made fresh each day which made ordering a no-brainer. The menu lists uncomplicated dishes with few ingredients and this is one of the things I love best about Italian food. I go for the egg pappardelle with shiitake, oyster, porcini and button mushrooms and a glass of Italian chianti.
When I said I wasn’t really hungry – well, unknowingly that was a fib. As soon as the dish came out, the sight and smell floored me. The first mouthful was incredible, it was much lighter and more delicate than I expected. And so, I ate the whole lot. I have no regrets!
Inside, the front of the restaurant is like a deli with lots of Carluccio’s branded goodies like pastas, sauces, books and kitchen equipment. There is also an impressive display of sweets in the window and I was compelled to get a little take-away snack for later. The jammy biscuits are good!
Was this just a taste of what was to come of my eating adventures in London? Well my friends, I was certainly off to a good start. Keep an eye out for more of my memorable London eats.