By Arthur Browne.
I love Italy and I love Italian food. I thought I’d better throw that disclaimer out there up front. I like Italy and Italian food even more when I poke my head out of the door of the office to make the short walk to an Italian food festival and note that it is raining that steady rain which gradually soaks you to the skin. As a Londoner, you never need a taste of the Mediterranean more than on a cold, blustery day.
Melia White House just off Regent’s Park - a previously undiscovered spot for this particular Fluid London correspondent - graciously stepped in to fill the void. The code name is the Deliziando project and the objective is to promote the products of the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy.
Melia White House: “Think fruity olive oils, prosciutto, culatello [a refined type of prosciutto], not to mention an array of pastas, such as macaroni, lasagne, tortellini, cannelloni, pappardelle and tagliatelle.” The man was spot on. I entered the room and it was a fruit and vegetable-free zone. That only made me love it all the more.
To show Melia White House’s Mediterranean roots, this theme will run until 29th April, with visitors having the chance to tuck into themed menus packed with Emilia-Romagna delights in the hotel’s bar and restaurants. There will also be another festival in July and, with the exception of brilliant sunshine and mopeds, Deliziando is a fine stab at bringing a small slice of Italy to London.
To book at Melia White House’s L'Albufera restaurant, use the calendar above. To book at Melia White House’s The Place restaurant, use the calendar below.
Having suitably whetted my appetite for cuisine from one Italy’s premier culinary regions, I went in search of some other Emilia-Romagna gems in London. Here are two to keep an eye out for: Il Portico Restaurant on Kensington High Street has been cooking regional Italian specialities since it was first opened in the 1960s by Pino Chiavarini and the family comes from Emilia-Romagna. You’ll be in for similar geographical joy at Ponti’s Italian Kitchen (Mayfair or Marylebone): they take pride in sourcing ingredients from the region and originally hail from Piacenza.
Click here to discover the Top 10 best Italian restaurants in London.
Images courtesy of Steve Dunlop.