Experiencing Bella Italia

Being a 22 year old granny, I don't get out much, so when I do have an evening at the theatre, it's always nice to make a meal of it and go out for tea at the same time. Since Bella Italia have a restaurant right by Winter Gardens Blackpool, I've visited twice and thoroughly enjoyed my visits. The restaurant has been packed with theatre-goers, families, and couples on both occasions, but the staff were friendly and efficient, taking time to recommend dishes and check on our meals.

a peach coloured mocktail with fairy lights behind the glass

Since I, along with many others, don't drink (told you I was a granny) I was happy to see mocktails included on the standard drinks menu and the seasonal specials. I tried the peachberry mocktail and a raspberry lemonade cordial, and while they were really just posh juices, it was nice to order something that felt more fancy than boring old apple to accompany my meals.

white bowl of risotto topped with spinach, lemon, and prawns
chicken and bacon pizza

On my first visit I plumped for the gamberoni risotto, a twist on the traditional rice dish,  pimped up with king prawns, garlic, chilli, and lemon. The portion was huge, as were the juicy prawns, and while most risottos can become boring, the seasoning kept every spoon full of flavour.

My mum picked a chicken and bacon pizza on the classic base, but Bella Italia also offer a thinner base to shave off calories, and a cheesy crust variety. The classico base was dusted with semolina for that perfect crispy texture, and the tomato topping tasted lovely and fresh. Sadly I wasn't as impressed by the garlic bread, which was overpriced at £5.99 and no different to a standard supermarket one.

slices of cheesy garlic bread with a bowl of pasta in the background

My sister and I both sampled the paccheri calabrese, packed with chicken, pepperoni, n'duja sausage, red onion, and green chillis, all served in a fiery sauce and topped with mascarpone. While the sauce was way too hot for me to handle, the meat was plentiful and tasty. The pasta itself was perfectly cooked, and I was pleased to see that Bella Italia buy it from the Gaetarelli and Agnesi families.

The atmosphere feels family friendly, too, with fairy lights, wooden tables, and colourful tiles coming together to create a relaxed restaurant that I personally prefer to the simpler, sleeker designs of Prezzo and Pizza Express. In my opinion, Bella Italia's prices are high and don't fit their cosy vibe, but as a treat I would be happy to pay them for the quality and quantity of the dishes. Luckily they offer fantastic deals and a set menu that make the meals much more affordable, meaning I can visit more often!

What do you order at Italian restaurants? 
*this post was NOT produced in collaboration with Bella Italia, but if they're reading, I'd love to talk! 



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