Category Archives: Restaurants

Jamie’s Italian

Photo © Jamie’s Italian

For my birthday last week, (on the hottest day of the year so far), we decided to go out to dinner to Jamie’s Italian in Guildford, rather than the ‘local’ curry house or chinese restaurant which are within walking distance of home, as I wanted to enjoy something different. I had heard mixed reviews of the restaurant, with some giving it high praise and others telling me it was below average. I still wanted to try it out regardless.

We booked in advance, which allowed us to have a side booth for the evening, meaning we were not as crowded as others in the very full (good sign) main eating area. The staff, who were welcoming and very attentive as soon as we arrived, got us seated with menus to browse, without the usual forcing us to order drinks as soon as our backsides were planted. We liked the ‘urban’ kitchen eatery décor of the place, as it seemed to match that of Jamie himself, from the good old early days on TV. I’m not sure I would like to have been sat in the middle of the crowded main area though, as people did seem to be sat on top of one another, while some were dodging pillars. Sat on the side, I was wondering for the sake of a few covers, if re-arranging would have made it more enjoyable for the others?

Anyway, after a short period, we noticed that many were there celebrating their birthdays too, as a procession of cakes, puddings and candles kept leaving the kitchen pass area, with ‘Happy Birthday’ ringing out in various tones and keys, across the restaurant (some sang better than others). This prompted my other half, to inform our waiter that it was my birthday too and ‘could my pudding possibly have a candle in it as well’, when it eventually came out. 🙂

We were not in the mood to drink ‘too’ much, especially with it still being 25C+ outside at 8pm and one thing we both really liked, that you don’t really see in many other restaurants, is being able to buy wine by the carafe (50cl rather than 75cl), which went down great, (along with all the water we were drinking to stay hydrated), especially as we ordered one carafe each, Montepulciano Red and Pinot Grigio Rosé.

We didn’t have to wait long for the food to arrive once we ordered it and for what we ordered, I personally do not think it was overpriced. In fact, for the starters we had, I was expecting it to be more expensive, having had ‘similar style’ first courses for more inflated prices elsewhere.

For our starters, we both chose the Antipasti Meat Plank which consisted of cured meats, Italian cheeses, pickles and a crunchy salad, which set the scene for the rest of the evening.

For our mains we had Black Angel Spaghetti (which probably had a bit too much chilli for our tastes) and Seaside Risotto which was delicious.

Finally, for our desserts we had Sicilian Cheesecake and Panna Cotta, with a candle stuck out the top of my Panna Cotta when it arrived, along with a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’. I chose the Panna Cotta as I wanted to see if it was as good as the one in my last blog post. I also got my hands on a menu that was signed by all the Chefs and the front of house team working there, which was a great reminder of the evening.

To top the evening off, just before the bill arrived, we were presented with two shot glasses of Limoncello on the house, which would always go down very well!

To sum up it all up, I would say it was a really good experience, with very friendly, attentive staff and with very tasty food that you don’t really get elsewhere and the price wasn’t too bad either. I would go back again, to try something else from the menu, without a second thought, to see if it was as good! I’m glad I dismissed the negative reviews and shows that if you want to judge somewhere, you have to try it out for yourself.


Carluccio’s, Covent Garden, London


Having spent the morning on the underground going from shopping area to shopping area across London, we decided to get off at Charing Cross and walk from Trafalgar Square to Covent Garden, to have a look at the smaller shops, galleries and restaurants along the way. The last time we did this, we ate at the Med Kitchen near the Coliseum which was very nice. After we left on that occasion to get to Covent Garden, we walked along Garrick Street WC2 and stumbled across Antonio Carluccio’s self named restaurant. Looking at the menu by the door, we noticed the prices we so similar to what we had just paid and of course it wasn’t a part of a restaurant chain – so we promised ourselves we would come back next time we came to London.

We were welcomed in and taken upstairs to a lovely bright airy room which wasn’t over-bearing and as my girlfriend said was ‘just enough and not over the top’! We dont often eat out in what we class as a ‘top nosh’ restaurant, so this was going to be a treat we hoped.

The waiting staff were very attentive and after asking for a wine recommendation, the waiter chose one of his personal favourites after asking what I kinds of wine I enjoy. So while going through the menu, a large glass of Salice Salentino Reserva, Candido 2005 from Puglia arrived for me and a Peach Belini for my girlfriend.


We both ordered and not too long a period after, our starters arrived. Between us we had a plate of Bresaola (Thinly sliced cured beef with rocket, parmesan & lemon) and a Bruschetta of fresh tomatoes with basil, oregano, yellow peppers and olive oil on a toasted Toscano bread rubbed with garlic. Both were superb and just enough to get us ready for the next course.



For our mains we both chose the same dish being big seafood fans and so chose the Linguine Al Frutti Di Mare – Linguine pasta with squid rings, mussels and prawns with garlic , herbs and chilli. It was simply mouth-watering and perfect for a lunchtime treat on our day out. I am always worried when choosing something with squid in but I didnt have to worry as it was cooked to perfection and was very soft. The wine was a perfect choice as an accompaniment too.



After enjoying our two courses, we didnt have room for a dessert, so asked for the bill and again was very pleasantly suprised with it being under £40. We left a nice tip, said our goodbyes and thanks to the staff and went back downstairs to the shop to have a look at the goodies on offer. It was a perfect lunchtime treat on a very warm ‘end of summer’ day and a restaurant I would recommend to friends and family who want to something slightly different from the norm of eating out in London!