Friday, 24 February 2017
Lunch at Bella Italia, Exeter
Last week, I decided to go back to Devon for a couple of days to visit my family and, inevitably, we found ourselves on the bus heading towards Exeter for a big spend up. My eight year old sister had already browsed the Claire's Accessories website and selected a fair few sets of earrings which she wanted to buy. Having three younger siblings, I am used to shopping trips being centred around Claire's, Build A Bear, and Smiggle but we did manage to make it into Lush and a couple of clothes shops as well - thankfully as my sanity was slipping after the bright lights of Smiggle. We then headed to Bella Italia for lunch as we had heard that the kid's menu was great. I can uphold this - the kid's menu looked almost as good as the adult's menu.
The restaurant was dimly lit (as you may be able to tell from the picture quality) and felt very homely. There were little antiques and trickets all around and photographs and artwork adorning the walls. It was super busy on the day that we went but I think that is testimony to the popularity of this restaurant.
They had a large selection of cocktails and mocktails (finally something for the adults on this day out!). My auntie ordered meloncello - one of her favourites - but I decided against ordering alcohol as I am not too fussed on it in all honesty. So, I chose the peachberry mocktail which consisted of peach puree, cranberry juice, and soda water. It was pink and ombre and I could have drank about 5 of them.
My auntie and I decided to forgo starters (despite how tempted they sounded) but we nabbed a garlic bread strip each off of my sister's plate. She got about 5 garlic bread slices as a starter on her older kid's set menu and trust me when I say they were delicious. I love garlic bread anyway but this was so light and moreish. I had to hold myself back from grabbing the whole plate from her.
For my main course, I opted for the salmon with pesto, potatoes, and veg. The sauce that it came in what so delicious and the pesto with salmon was a combination I had never thought of before but I loved it. My auntie opted for the lasagne which was massive and so cheesy (just how it should be!). My sister got two mini burgers, a job lot of chips, and a salad skewer on her set menu. She spent most of the time smothering everything in tomato sauce before saying she was too full and giving me a plate of fries bathed in a pool of red - very horror movie-esque.
There was no way that I was going to ever say no to dessert. No matter how full I am, there is always space for dessert. And I was very happy to see that they had a dairy free chocolate cake with cherries on the top. Trust me, this was the most rich, chocolatey dessert I ever had. I couldn't even finish it because I felt like Augustus Gloop falling into a chocolate river. Or Bruce Bogtrotter. Or both. Definitely the way to go for dairy free people though who sometimes have to forgo that chocolate cake fix. My auntie went for the limencello meringue pie which I was also so tempted by. And my sister got mini donuts in chocolate sauce.
Overall, we had a delicious meal and the total bill for the three meals was under £40 which, I think, is quite good. I would definitely go back again as I have my eye on a mushroom burger that they have. Also that limoncello meringue pie - I need it!
Disclaimer: food was paid for in full and the restaurant did not know I would be blogging about them