Me and N are in Stratford-upon-Avon this weekend, mainly to touch Mr Tennant’s bottom (well, according to Nicky). Last night we arrived mid-evening and needed feeding so wandered into the town to see what was available.

Our first two choices were booked up (or at least would want us to wait 2-3 hours for a table), but our meanderings led us to a restaurant called Carluccio’s on Waterside. Well, I say “restaurant”, it’s more of a shop with a bloody big Italian cafe in the back of it.

We had a full dinner – I opted for chilli prawns to start, calves’ liver, and rounding off with a pear and ricotta ice-cream. Nicky went for bread, rib-eye steak, ice-cream. We washed it down with a bottle of the ‘house’ red, a reasonable Sicilian red ‘Sicani’.

Not bad. Although the prawns were pricey for what they were (£7.95 for a side-plate of five plus rocket salad) they were quite tasty. The liver was cooked to perfection and for once Nicky asked for ‘rare steak’ and actually got rare steak. In fact on the main course the only valid wah was the rosemary potatoes being undercooked, a complaint mitigated by the absolute perfection with which the spinach was wilted.

Pear and ricotta ice-cream. Who’d have thought it? Going to try making that one myself I think…

A nice touch was asking whether we’d like a mild or strong blend for our coffee (we usually prefer stronger blends and I find the usual ‘Italian Restaurant’ fare to be a little too mild for my tastes).

Total bill for aperetif-starter-main-dessert-coffee for two, plus a bottle of wine: £75.50. A little pricey for what is essentially a cafe with plastic tables, but in the context of ‘dinner in Stratford-upon-Avon’ it seems to be average. Back to the hotel for a Remy and a Baileys, collapsing in the corner in a contented heap.

The Italian shop at the front looked interesting. I think we may wander that way a little later.