Carluccio’s signature blue & white awnings have been brightening up high streets (& boosting house prices) since 1999. These classy-looking caffè/delis are places to use rather than adore, whether for a mid-shopping pit stop or for an impromptu lunch with pals or family. Open all day, they’re a good shout for a pick-me-up espresso or Prosecco (depending how the day’s going). The mid-priced food is ‘reasonably good’ rather than stupendously so, but the chattering classes still pile in for their fix of Puglian olives, wild boar ragù, pasta alla puttanesca & osso bucco milanese. ‘Stick to the simpler stuff’, advises one regular. The produce in the shop is rather more drool-worthy: ‘I would refuse to leave without making a purchase from the deli’, insists one fan. Wise words.
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