Not only the best Italian café, with the best Italian food in the New Forest, and probably beyond, but the only one that’s the genuine article, run and staffed exclusively by Italians.
Luca and his team have done a marvellous job in less than 9 months since opening. The place is chock-a-block full of wonderful produce; meats, cheeses, pastries, ice cream, pasta, coffee, biscuits cake, chocolates, beer and a multitude of other authentic Italian foodstuffs both available to take away and to eat in the café.
I’ve now had several meals at Ciao Belli, principally pasta dishes and charcuterie as they are personal favourites, and each one has been absolutely delicious, prepared with both care and passion by the very talented duo in the kitchen, Dario & Carmella.
The service is excellent, fast and friendly, the facilities are scrupulously clean and the ambiance is always cheerful and welcoming. It’s the sort of place you would be equally at home popping in for a brief coffee or spending hours in the company of some friends. Luca and his team clearly work very hard to ensure that their customers have a great experience and are always attentive and on hand to assist or help out with any advice or information you might need.
If you want a quick espresso, a longer, more indulgent cappuccino with a pastry, a cold beer with a panino or some cold meats and cheese, an exquisite plate of pasta or a full on meal with a bottle of wine… and you want it all to taste like the best meal that you had on your last holiday in Italy, then this is the place to visit. They can even arrange Italian lessons for you if you wish!
You may have guessed that I’m a fan. My wife and I go to Italy on holiday every year and miss the country between visits, so Ciao Belli has been a godsend since it opened last April…. it’s just like being in Italy itself. In summary, I can’t recommend this wonderful place highly enough, and I advise you to try it before word spreads and you can’t get a seat!
One final thing. I don’t usually comment on other postings but there are four here for Ciao Belli that are misleading, and so for the sake of fairness and balance I feel I need to address them; one in May is unreasonable in its expectation as the café had only just opened; one in July is overly critical on scant evidence; one from September is judgemental and wholly without evidence, however the most unpleasant and inarticulate of the four is from the 12 December. All I wish to say about this comment is please take a look at the other contributions on Trip Advisor from this reviewer before coming to any conclusion.
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