When Sophie contacted West Sussex Bloggers on Facebook asking for some foodie bloggers to come to an evening at Bella Italia* to try out their new menu, I immediately messaged back and said I was a lifestyle blogger and did that count? It turns out it totally did and so on Monday night, I took my first foray into the world of Yelp events. What the hell is a Yelp event, I hear you ask? Yelp events are a great way to meet new people and try out new places, all they ask is that you leave a review on their site!
Sophie had organised absolutely everything, we all had name badges and as she knew I knew another attendee; Aisling, she kindly put us on a table together! (Whether Aisling was happy with that I don’t know. I was so excited, I was bombarding her with questions. About everything!) We were also sitting with some other lovely people; Colin, Sarah and Reem.
Back in March this year, Bella Italia opened a new restaurant in North Street, Brighton. It’s a great open space which still manages to stay intimate and relaxing. They have small tables for two, larger tables for parties and plenty of tables outside, if the blimming weather ever allows it!
They have beautiful photos and paintings round the restaurant; including this awesome Italy filled with coffee beans!!
So, as I said earlier, the main point of turning up was to sample food from the new menus, and oh my goodness, sample we did!
Our table had two sharing platters of antipasti, but due to Aisling’s gluten-free diet, I had to take one for the team and sample it all by myself! Included in the platter was; ciabatta bread, breadsticks, olives, salamis, hams, mozzarella, cheese, salad, courgettes and the most incredible olive tapenade!! I devoured two of the pots; it was so good! The platter was seriously almost a meal on its own, but so delicious. All the different flavours really came together well. The only thing I didn’t like was the bits of orange. Anyone who knows me really well can testify that I hate “fruit with food”.
After the starter, we received an array of the main courses; including lasagne, carbonara and some mozzarella pizza bread on the side. I really loved the Gamberoni; which is spaghetti with prawns in a spicy chilli, garlic and tomato sauce; the added twist being that any spaghetti can be substituted for their spiralised vegetables which is made with carrots, courgettes and beetroot. A Gamberoni with “vegetable spaghetti” comes in at only 259cal! What a blimming winner!
Their new thin stretched pizzas are also divine. I tried a slice of the Queen Margherita which had the added twist of pesto. It tasted so good and I’d definitely order it again.
One of the things I really loved (but didn’t get a photo of, because the food excitement took over and I just wanted to eat all the things) was the Insalata Verde; a light salad absolutely packed with flavour which was made from avocado, mixed leaves, pumpkin seeds, spring onions and more.
Once we’d had a chance to try a bit of everything, have a relax and a chat, I popped down to the toilets to check them out. They were absolutely pristine and had a massive wall of mirrors which I took a photo of for Snapchat but forgot to save. Good move Hol, good move! Can I just say though, the lighting is pretty awesome! Yes, I’m one of those shameless toilet/bathroom selfie lovers 😀 Be thankful I wasn’t on the loo at the time!!
When I got back upstairs, I was amazed to see a range of puddings as well!! Clockwise from the top there was banoffee pie, limoncello pudding, strawberry cheescake, panna cotta and in the middle was a salted caramel pudding! I don’t like banoffee or limoncello so they were out, but the rest were delicious and ridiculously moreish. I’d eat them all again! By the way, can I point out that we didn’t have a set of desserts each 😛 We’d decided that we would have a spoonful of each one. Even I’m not that greedy; well okay, I am, but not in company!!
We were also all treated to a gelato from the adorable gelato cart at the front, which was so sweet. The gelato is flown in directly from Italy!
I had such a lovely time meeting everyone at the Yelp event and getting to sample some of the new menu at Bella Italia. It’s definitely somewhere I’d recommend and I can’t wait to go back to try even more of their food 🙂 I also got to take home a doggy bag for J; how cute is this pizza box?
Have you ever been to a Yelp event or a Bella Italia? Let me know in the comments below 🙂 x
*I was invited to the restaurant to review but all the greed and views are my own.