Leamington Spa’s taste of Little Italy

Published in The University of Warwick student newspaper, The Boar, in March 2013

Looking for an escape from the limited restaurant selection on campus and the generic chain restaurants out in the real world? There is no place quite like La Coppola.

Whether you live on campus or in Leamington, La Coppola will make for a unique treat out with friends or an unforgettable date. It provides a refreshing restaurant experience that goes beyond  the food.

Family owned and with all Italian-speaking waiters, it immediately feels like a special place. As you open the door you are greeted with warm smiles. Your walk to a table will be lit up by fairy lights draped among blossom branches running along the ceiling.

Murals on the walls depicting rural Italian scenes add to the feeling that you have stepped out of cold, wet England and into a delicious holiday. Even the outside of the restaurant is full of promise, stimulating the imagination with lavish displays of colourful fruit and vegetables – a beautiful display with the promise of healthy eating.

The menu is refreshing, with choice ranging from brochette starters, pizzas, risottos, different meat dishes, and they specialize in fish. Even for vegetarians, there is plenty to choose from. My favourite is Melanzana Parmigiana, which is baked layers of aubergine and parmesan in a rich tomato sauce, topped with buffalo mozzarella. There are many side dishes available, ranging from chips to some healthier options. 

Melanzana Parmigiana

The pizza menu should come with a warning about their size, as the pizzas are humongous! When I had one it took me two days to eat, but the staff are more than happy for you to take home the leftovers!

The puddings – if you can still manage them- are works of art. The sorbets are very colourful and a refreshingly light dish at the end of a big meal, and the Fondente Al Cioccolato is a killer. The presentation really does take your breath away! There is no restaurant that goes to the same amount of detail with a pudding.

La Coppola for all its unique charms, quirky ways and extremely high quality cooking, is fairly priced and affordable for a treat. It is about the same price as Pizza Express, but the food in this family-run establishment is far superior.

The café Corleone, on Regent Street too, and Angeli café, are also managed by the La Coppola team. If you are looking for a spot of afternoon tea and quick catch up with a friend, rather than an indulgent supper then either of these two are good alternatives to the high street chains. In Bar Angeli, the hot chocolate is not only delicious but also beautifully presented, but wither establishment will give you a flavour of the uniqueness of La Coppola.

The combination of this amazing restaurant and two unusual cafes are some of the Leamington’s top selling points.  Some of my friends and I have jokingly said we will have to make special trips back after graduation to revisit these gems. Joking aside, I can see it happening.

The combination of the ambience, displays, friendly and lively waiters and of course the quality Italian food is like no other. La Coppola redefines the restaurant experience and reflects well on the whole of Leamington. The fact that its popularity has been created through word of mouth adds to its charms and authentic feel.

 

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