If you’re longing for Italian food this summer, it might be easier to visit “Eataly”:https://www.eataly.co.uk/news/ rather than Italy. It’s a very new ‘destination’ right outside London’s Liverpool Street Station (use the Bishopsgate entrance, turn left and you cannot miss it).
Although the three restaurants and counters had yet to open, we decided to suss it out. Running around the outside is La Terrazza di Eataly (Terrace Restaurant and Bar) which had a few early birds having morning coffee. Inside we found a huge, open plan area with a bar, gelato counter (yet to be stocked), take-out lunches and a huge display of chocolate bars on the wall. A rather garish lit entrance led to another area which was lined with yet more sweet confectionary.
But my favourite was the second floor ‘market’ area with meats and charcuterie, cheeses, fish and a small, interesting array of vegetables including the biggest radishes I’ve ever seen and wonderful looking artichokes. There is also a massive display of other Italian goods including pasta in every conceivable shape, size and colour, jars of sauces and everything needed for the pasta. I also loved the glass fronted kitchen where they made fresh mozzarella and watching two guys fishing out big white blobs of stretchy cheese was fascinating. I’d struggle to choose a bottle of wine from the vast array despite it being themed by area. It was extensive and expensive, but there were some large bottles which would make great special birthday presents.
Also on the second floor was a pasta school all set up for lessons.
There will be three restaurants and we have a table booked for Pasta e Pizza just after they open on 20 May when I’ll report back. There are also a number of counter areas where you can have a drink and nibble.
It’s certainly something to rival Harrods food hall, although not as varied, and it’s a great place for killing time before your train. Whilst the prices are more than Lidl, the quality will be good, and I can imagine it’s a great place for foodie gifts.
Bearing in mind the number of city workers who have yet to return to working in the area, if they ever do, it will be interesting to see how successful this venture, which must have had massive investment, will be.