10 May 2015

Bella Italia - a Restaurant Review

“I want to come here every day!” declares J as we sit tucking into the most delicious bread basket. The setting is Bella Italia in Didsbury, a bustling Manchester suburb. We are there on bank holiday Monday to check out the new refurbishment and enjoy a relaxed family meal.

Bella Italia, Italian restaurant in Didsbury



The first thing that strikes me about the revamped Bella Italia is the use of bright colours. Not gaudy, but more reminiscent of a 60s retro feel. Bright lamp shades, vibrant red and blue furniture and bold wall art are the perfect way to recreate an Italian café and Bella have got it just right. Add little things like a well-stocked bar, a dedicated gelato cart and the most humongous pepper mill, and the stage is set for the perfect meal.

Bright new interior, Bella Italia

Spectacular retro interior, Bella Italia

Spacious and well laid out interiors at Bella Italia


J, the seasoned restaurant reviewer that he is (and very vocal too), sits pouring over the children’s menu, while M and I ponder over the drinks. As M is driving us back, we both opt for colas. J goes for orange juice, “with no bits.”

Pouring over the menu at Bella Italia, Didsbury

The drinks are on the table

The Leaning Tower of Pisa gets a make-over at Bella Italia, Didsbury

The staff at Bella Italia are courteous and attentive, and provide J with a miniature bucket of breadsticks and a large colouring-in sheet. The child gets busy giving the Leaning Tower of Pisa a make-over. His parents nibble olives.

Breadsticks in a bucket, Bella Italia

Getting stuck into the olives at Bella Italia

Balsamic vinegar in olive oil - a match made in heaven!


The food arrives promptly, cheesy garlic bread for J, mushroom and risotto balls for M and golden-fried squid with a delicious garlic mayo and tomato dip for me. It is beautifully presented on wooden platters and tastes just as good as it looks.


Cheesy garlic bread. Yummm!

Arancini Funghi - mushroom risotto balls with mozzarella at Bella Italia

Calamari - Lightly breaded and deep fried squid at Bella Italia, Didsbury

On to the mains and we all opt for our respective favourites. J goes for the trusty margherita pizza with chicken and peppers. M does the creamy prawn risotto with chilli and garlic. I pick a Diavola calzone. There is something about eating a giant folded crescent pizza that I find particularly appealing. Even more so when it is stuffed full of sausage, pepperoni, chicken and spice.

Pizza! at Bella Italia, Didsbury

Gamberoni Risotto - creamy risotto of king prawns, spring onions and peas with a hint of chilli

An old favourite - Diavola Calzone at Bella Italia

The portions are extremely generous, and we have to give puddings a second thought. J has no such qualms, and heads off to find the gelato cart. He picks the strawberry flavour with smarties as toppings. Only an under-20 can pull that off!

M is torn between the chocolate fudge brownie and the chocolate cookie dough cake. And I thought I was the chocoholic in this relationship. He settles for the latter, and promptly comments on the chewy nature of his pudding after the first mouthful. I have never known cookie dough to be anything but chewy!

From the Gelato Cart

Cookie Dough Lava Cake - need I say more?

Refreshing Torta Limone

I almost settle on a coffee liqueur, but opt for the lemon tart instead. Turns out I have made a wise choice. The refreshing tangy zestiness of the lemon contrasted beautifully by a jug of cream is the perfect way to end a bank holiday meal at Bella Italia.

I am literally like the cat who got the cream as I walk away from this comfortable, spacious and welcoming Italian restaurant in Didsbury. Bellissimo, indeed!

Never seen such a gigantic pepper mill! At Bella Italia


Disclaimer: We were guests of Bella Italia for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

35 comments:

  1. I love calzone, the best food ever! The restaurant interior is so nice, love the colours they have used. So hungry now!

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    1. Me too! It's been a while since I had one, so this was the perfect opportunity to reverse that.

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  2. This all looks great - especially the ice-cream with smarties on top.

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    1. Ha ha ha! J agrees. I don't know if I could have managed that, tbh.

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  3. oh my goodness I am now starving and searching for the closest Bella Italia! it looks amazing

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    1. It really was scrumptious. I know I will be heading back before too long.

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  4. Your son sounds like mine - a proper little restaurant critic.

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    1. Oh, he is. Knows exactly what he wants and how he wants it. And is not afraid to voice is opinion :)

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  5. oh wow this looks lovely and so friendly and inviting

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    1. It was amazing, Lisa. The decor just did it for me.

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  6. I dont think I have ever been to a Bella Italia!

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    1. Time you reversed that trend, Jen. Bet you won't be disappointed.

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  7. Replies
    1. Me too! I am partial to pizzas. How about you?

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  8. I've never been to Bella Italia, I'm sure tempted now, your photographs made my mouth water and I've only just finished dinner!

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    1. I can imagine! It is making me hungry as I sit here staring at those pics :-D

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  9. I love Bella Italia. Really like the look of your local, very different in style from mine x

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    1. They've just undergone a refurb, hence the invitation to try it out.

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  10. Calzone is my favourite and this one looks amazing! I love the decor too. I must visit the Cardiff branch

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    Replies
    1. We've never been to the one in Cardiff, bet it is just as good.

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  11. I so love a good Calzone and the one above looks amazing. Great decor! I must visit the Cardiff branch

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  12. What a lovely bright space. We had a lovely meal at Bella Italia recently, their food is great and your meal makes me want to go again soon!!

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    1. I think we will be heading back too, before long.

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  13. Bella Italia is one of those restaurants I haven't actually tried, I would love to now though, it looks delicious. x

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    1. I can highly recommend an outing. We've been before at other places, and the food has always been good. x

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  14. I am not sure we have one near us but am going to check. Looks lovely

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    1. The food was amazing, Kara. And the new look just added to the experience, imo

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  15. Wow does that food look tasty! Its been ages since ive been to Bella Italia x

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  16. J looks well at home there lol - the food looks amazing. I haven't been in a Bella Italia in years, in fact it was just before I married the wife 10 years ago. The food then was great, so not entirely sure why I haven't been back! Stephen :o)

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    1. He would have gone back for dinner if I had let him! Can't believe you haven't been in 10 years. Perhaps over this weekend?

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  17. What a wonderful experience all the food looks delicious.

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  18. Love the colours in that restaurant. Didsbury is such a posh place, am sure it fits in well :)

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  19. I have never been to Bella Italia - it looks fab Great review. Kaz x

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  20. I love how bright and cheerful it looks and that ice cream looks amazing!

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  21. oh it all looks so bright and cheerful which always leads me into thinking the place is healthy too

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