As a kiwi student living in digs, dreams of exploring the cobbled streets of Italy simply seemed impossible. Fast-forward a life re-evaluation, living with my family for a year, working 50+ hour work weeks, an interminably long flight to the other side of the world, and I finally felt like I was getting a little closer. Asked where I wanted to visit for my first long break, and ‘Italy’ came to mind quicker than you could say pasta.
|The photos in this post are horrendous, and I apologise. The smell was just too alluring…|
As a result, Mr Kiwi and I spent a fortnight a few years ago soaking in the Mediterranean sunshine, sipping delicious local wine and visiting as many glorious churches as I could convince him to enter. In a moment of superlative drenched waffling, I decided that Florence stole my heart many, many moons ago, Venice has my soul, Rome my thirst and hunger, Tivoli my artisticly history drenched imagination.
What does any of this have to do with a busy restaurant in the tourist centre of London? Well, whilst in Florence we discovered a small, busy pizzeria that not only encouraged my halting practice Italian, but fed us the lightest, tastiest, most delicious pizzas we had ever sliced (and after hours of traipsing through the Uffizi gallery we definitely needed the carb hit.)
|The delicious Calzone.|
We returned not once, but twice and then managed to track down another branch on the busy streets of Rome a few days later which made our tourist hearts happy. Food seems to be our biggest challenge when we travel – a combination of not normally knowing the local language, not wanting to pay tourist prices and uncertain about taking a risk on a restaurant close to where we end up on any given day. Fast forward several years, and my utter delight to discover my favourite Italian restaurant less than 1.5 hours flight away – in fact just a tube ride – tucked in the midst of Soho.
Rossopomodoro is an Italy-wide chain (perhaps a franchise?) but they are unquestionably delicious. Light, crisp, the dough spun by master pizza chefs before being topped with only a handful of flavour in true Italian style, and being fired by hand in a sparkling gold wood burning over. And the best thing of all? Mr Kiwi tried the Calzone to lip-smacking approval, but more importantly THEY HAVE GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA BASES AND THEY ARE AMAZING. It’s hard to find a tasty, non-cardboard gluten free pizza base prepared freshly in front of you – and watching the practised dance of the chefs move about their kitchen is fascinating.
|My gluten free pizza – no cracking, no dryness, no gloop in the centre… hallelujah!
Righto, with that out of the way, their only gluten-free dessert was gelato, but you can’t really go wrong with the trifecta of the ice-cream world. My mouth is watering all over again. I’m disappointed I didn’t take better photos, but we were meant to be having a quiet night out. Next time I’ll take the proper camera anyway instead of relying on my poor overworked phone…
|Neopolitan selection, of course!|
I just want to go back again… one word of warning, unless you fancy a half hour wait, book ahead by phone. It’s much, much better (also let them know if you are gluten intolerant when phoning so they can check there are enough bases risen in the kitchen).