Located in the heart of the shopping district Bella Italia is the perfect spot to refuel after a busy spending spree. It's equally good for a family meal and even a romantic meal.
Bella Italia has seating outside where you can watch the world go by, if the weather permits, and inside you’ll find a mix of wooden tables, rustic walls, tiled floors and a spacious bar area with chalkboards displaying the house specials.
Bella Italia is everything you'd expect from an Italian restaurant. The staff can’t do enough for you, from making sure you’re drinks are refilled to helping with pushchairs and highchairs. It has a relaxed atmosphere where, like its country of orgin, eating becomes a social event. Here it's all about enjoying the food and soaking up the atmosphere. This is not a grab, gobble and go restaurant.
Even if you don’t like pasta and you’re not too keen on pizza something on the broad menu will take your fancy quicker than an Italian stallion on a Lambretta. Starters range from £4 to £5 and the antipasti is amazing. A variety of Italian meats are served with roasted artichokes, peppers, sweet sun-dried tomatoes, olives, fluffy and creamy mozzarella cheese and warm ciabatto allowing you to make a variety of combinations to please yourself. It's available to share at just over £10, and you won't be arguing about the price but about who has what.
Pizzas come with a host of toppings so you can either choose one from the menu, add to existing ones or create your own. All of them are thin crust and have that rustic feel, and you actually feel healthy eating them which is quite a feat. Pasta dishes consist of all the old favourites but if you wanted something a little different, the Linguine Marinara is a lovely option. The King prawns sauteed in a creamy salmon and lemon sauce isn't as rich as it sounds but refreshing, filling with plenty of big succulent prawns poking out of the fresh pasta.
If you want a break from the staple diet of pasta and pizza you could opt for chicken or steak, salmon or duck served with seasoned vegetables, new potatoes and various sauces. Mains are priced from £6 to £12.
For the bambinos there is an excellent choice on the children’s menu including various pasta dishes, pizza and fish and meat with vegetables. These come with a drink and a dessert for £4.95. The portions are a good size and there is the added bonus of crayons and an activity book which should hopefully keep them quiet long enough for you to tuck into your dinner.
The amiable and helpful staff will be able to point you in the right direction of which wine will best accompany you’re chosen dishes. Bottles range between £12 and £17.
The Last Word
A fantastic restaurant where nothing is too much trouble for the staff. Totally child-friendly Bella Italia is an excellent venue for good food, good company and a good time.