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Sometimes you have a day where you just need to get outside. Thursday last week was for me one of those days. I was waiting on some news and I needed to clear my head so when one of my friends suggested a bike ride I jumped at the chance.
NB: I have a Bella Italia gold card which means the food we ate was complimentary but all drinks were paid for.
From West Kirby where we live to the Bella Italia in New Brighton is 9 miles along the promenade so it’s a lovely safe route. The difficulty of the cycle does depend on the direction of the wind and this can even effect whether you can chat as you cycle too, but it is flat and so 18 miles as a return trip is definitely doable. The best solution is to be pushed along by the wind on the way out, and to be pushed back the other way too but this rarely happens.
I’d like to be able to convince the kids that they can do this route too come Spring next year and I’m sure they will be able to, particularly if there is pizza on offer at the other end too.
The day that we cycled was particularly spectacular as you can see!
There was four of us cycling on this particular day and we arrived at Bella Italia around 12.30pm. The staff were really helpful and immediately gave us water to drink and offered to re-fill our bottles for the bikes too.
We were presented with the menu and decided to have starters and main courses (all in the interests of having some more energy to cycle back you understand!).
One of the ladies that was with us is Gluten Free and another Vegan and I have to say their hopes had not been too high that Bella Italia would come up with many options for them. They couldn’t have been more wrong.
Bella Italia and Gluten Free
The Gluten Free menu is excellent, and the comments from my friend was that it was one of the best gluten free menus she had ever seen.
Very sensibly Bella Italia seems to have decided they can make pretty much every pizza with gluten free dough, pretty much every pasta with gluten free pasta, and she could even have garlic bread – that particular treat had apparently been missing for a very long time.
Bella Italia also do a fantastic lighter menu (under 600 calories) and a few of those dishes are suitable for those with a gluten allergy too. The lighter menu does include salads as you would expect but it also includes the option to have spiralised vegetable spaghetti as an alternative to many of their pastas. This mixture of carrot, courgette and golden beetroot (we had it served with prawns and spicy tomato sauce) is absolutely delicious and the perfect thing to have for lunch, whether you have a gluten allergy or not. (pictured below).
On the photos below, the gluten free mussels dish is at the bottom, and the original above, same with the garlic bread.
Being able to eat practically the same menu and being gluten free gave Bella Italia a huge tick from Lynne and I know for that reason her and her family will be back.
Bella Italia and Vegan
Whilst Bella Italia couldn’t quite manage to knock up a vegan menu as extensive as their Gluten Free menu, Mel was still impressed by the quality and choice on offer.
Mel also commented that lots of the options could have quite easily been turned into vegan dishes and she was genuinely pleasantly surprised at that.
The staff were also able to express an opinion on the vegan food options and suggested a few alternatives too. Mel was happy with the salad she had and has also added it to the list of places they can eat as a family.
We’ve visited Bella Italia four times now since we’ve had the gold card and I’ve had genuinely great experiences every time we’ve been. Most recently I went for brunch in Chester (which is actually only £5 a head) so look out for that review soon.
To read our other reviews of Bella Italia please do check them out here.
I was also very impressed by the service in the Liverpool branch and the staff were great at meeting our timing issues as The Nativity was starting at the earlier time of 7pm, even down to serving the kids ice creams in little pots that we could take with us on the walk to the theatre. Thanks Bella Italia we will be back soon.
So this week I took my eldest and four of her friends for dinner at Bella Italia after school. They put the kids menu and the staff in Bella Italia though their paces and this is what they thought.