Eating at the Italian in the film Hampstead came about because my son and his love live a short walk away and they booked it for a birthday celebration. I think any Italian restaurant is a great choice for a family get together but I was thrilled when Char (James’s love and the birthday girl) revealed it was the Italian in one of my favourite films Hampstead. To think Diane Keeton had walked through the doors, took a table on the tiny balcony and clinked wine glasses.
I was a little worried I would be disappointed, that this restaurant would be cute but the service or (horrors) the food would be lacking. So, in the line of duty we tried many dishes, sampled a few bevies and had a jolly good time. So, if you are looking for a restaurant in this fashionable part of London read on…
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During the film Diana Keeton sits on the balcony in front of the doors. It was a lovely scene but not one than suits wet weather, so sadly not one we will be repeating today. However, during warmer months the atmosphere is wonderful with the balcony tables are very much in demand. They over look the beautiful quiet side street which is typical of this area.
Before I go any further here’s the short trailer of the film, so you’re in the know…
Villa Bianca was established over 30 years ago and in some ways you can tell. It has a worn in look about it but still maintains a sophisticated ambiance. You get a warm and charming welcome and immediately the service is everything you want it to be. We got a delightful table by one of the windows which sits 6 people easily – and set off ordering Prosecco, cocktails and wine for a cheers to the Birthday girl.
Our meal included – Tagliatelle with lamb ragu’ – thin spaghetti with Mediterranean seafood, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, garlic and chilli.
The meal was started with an offering from the kitchen of mini pizza bites which were wonderfully soft, comforting and warm! The bread basket had a selection of high quality homemade traditional Italian breads – which came with butter as well as oil (I love butter, but I’m always a bit embarrassed to ask – so English!).
The menu is extensive with lots of crowd pleasers. But you won’t get a typical plate of pasta here. Although the menu is traditional it is of a very high standard so expect to come and savour Italian cuisine at its best.
Like all my favourite Italian restaurants the food is generous (my lasagne was a small portion!) the cocktails are strong (way-hay) and you can laugh and chatter loudly with your group because it’s the Italian way.
Upstairs was a bit confusing (see picture above). You’ll need to head up there if you visit the loo. They had lit the fire and some tables looked very inviting, but there were boxes and other messy things around. But to be fair, it is officially the function room (sits 50 people) and was clearly not booked. But, I feel they are missing a trick here and should set this space up so us film fans who want to see the balcony (which was closed and rather uninspiring during Winter) aren’t disappointed. I would have loved to take a photo for Instagram of me sitting on Diane Keeton’s table, or even one just across the room showing the balcony outside.
Still, you can’t argue about the quality of the food or service.
Our meal included – Méat Lasagne – Sardines with a garlic, rosemary, olive oil and lemon sauce – Fresh mint tea
As well as wanting to dine here in the summer months al fresco, it sounds fun booking a night to eat here during their live music nights. I’ve got nothing to go on so it’s completely a guess.
I would recommend this restaurant if you love excellent, hearty honest Italian food. I would travel there to eat if you either love the film or if you simply want to explore Hampstead town. Just be aware that you may not quite get the exact scene reenacted – but downstairs, where the action is at, is a really wonderful alternative.
This is NOT a sponsored post, I’m just spreading the love.
Villa Bianca, Hampstead, London (020) 7435 3131
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