Italy meets London

I met up with my husband in London last week where we stayed at one of my favorite hotels.  Squee!!!! There are few things I love more in life than fluffy bathrobes, wide puffy hotel beds,  heated bathroom floors, and of course ROOM SERVICE!  I’ve stayed at the Savoy several times since they re-opened in 2010 after their very large, very expensive three year renovation, and I have never been disappointed in their rooms or customer service.

Rooms at the Savoy come in two style varieties — Edwardian and Art Deco.  This was my first time staying in an Edwardian-decorated room, and while I still prefer the dashing sophistication of the Art Deco rooms, I did admire the over-the-top Italian crystal chandalier and thick damask drapes of the Edwardian room.

Edwardian room at the Savoy

Art Deco room at the Savoy

But on to Italy…

The mister and I tend not to dine very frequently at Italian restaurants.  While I could eat pasta until the cows come home, the mister is made miserable by red-sauce joints and so generally we avoid Italian food like the plague.  However, somewhat spontaneously, we ate at two superb — and dare I say — authentic Italian restaurants in London that we will absolutely visit again:

  1. Bocca di Lupo, Soho.  This cozy but lively restaurant serves in small-plates “tapas” style and  is nearly always packed.  Despite calling ahead for a table, when we arrived the only seats available were at the bar in front of the chef’s station.  No matter — it was great fun watching such professional staff cook up plate after amazing plate.  Everything looked amazing, and it was so difficult to choose!  We ordered up a smorgasbord, but  our two mains — a simple spaghetti for me, suckling pig and grapes for the mister — were beautiful and delicious.

Simple but delicious spaghetti with tomato and olives at Bocca di Lupo

  1. Pizza East Portobello, Ladbroke Grove.  I had a hankering for pizza one night, so we canceled our reservation at some gamey-British gastropub and high-tailed it to the West-London neighborhood of Ladbroke Grove.  This charming enclave of well-heeled but fun-looking clientele was absolutely packed at 10pm on a Friday, at it was near 11 until we sat down for dinner.  Worth the wait!  Amazing pork belly pizza, served by an Italian staff that barely spoke English.  I think that’s exactly what one should look for in the perfect pizza joint 🙂

Pizza East Portobello in Ladbroke Grove, London

For now, I’m back in Austin for my last two weeks as a Texan.

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