La Famiglia, Chelsea (Darling).

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Sorry for the radio silence chaps, I hit a minor bump in the blogging road, so took a couple of weeks out to think about how to re-work the way I write and blog. Last week certain social media comments (not aimed at me I should say) got me thinking about my blogging style – is my blog one of those ‘picture after picture sandwiched between paragraphs of crap’ blogs. As I said, not aimed at me, more the official restaurant critics who have apparently adopted a blogging style to their writing, but non-the-less it hit a nerve.

Yes it probably is – is the realistic answer. But, know what? I don’t care.

I take rubbish photos because I can’t bring myself to buy a posh SLR (let alone carry the sodding thing around to take pics of my food) and my writing is done generally on the tube or bus on the way to work. Which explains why it has a certain amount of pointless waffle to it – it’s mostly me writing my inner-monologue down – well the bit that is publishable! But I don’t get paid for it or get free stuff, I do it because I enjoy it and I’ve loved seeing my writing change (maybe even improve) over the last 4 years. My readership numbers aren’t huge, those of you who do read it I thank you, and those who don’t, well, they don’t know what they are missing do they!

I shall now step down off my soapbox and write about a Chelsea institution frequented by smug couples, gentrified families and aged rellies receiving their half-termly visits from grandchildren. La Famiglia. As I said, an institution, it’s been there since the dawn of time, my mother used to dine there when she lived on Beaufort St in her 20’s (as one does) and I’ve been wanting to go forever. It’s still family owned. I think the founders are still working the floor – our waiter was about 80 but couldn’t be faulted at any point during the service!

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I doubt the menu has changed since it opened, but much like Langans, Otto’s and Simpson’s; if it ain’t broke…. My Asparagi alla Duchessa were delicious – first asparagus of the year for me (I doubt they were English) but they were cooked how Mummy does them, non of this charred nonsense (Michelin star junkies look away now); they were boiled to perfection. Doused with a rich thick Parmesan sauce. Himself had deep-fried mozzarella with a seriously rich tomato sauce – delicious, but enormous for a starter.

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My ultimate favourite pasta dish ever in the whole world is Carbonara, and yes, I know it’s fairly bad form to order it at a posh restaurant, but it had been a long old week and I NEEDED it! So don’t judge. It was the richest most delicious carbonara ever. I struggled to finish it, it was that rich. But, the struggle was worth every cheese, egg and bacon laden mouthful. And no cream.

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Obviously I couldn’t fit pudding in, but he had profiteroles served off the THREE-TIER dessert trolley, serving proper classic old fashioned puddings! Tiramisu, Black Forrest Gateaux, pana-cotta, rum baba (sitting in a vase of rum).

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Our bottle of Gavi di Gavi went down a treat with dinner, and had we not been heading to a birthday do after dinner I would have settled in for another bottle. I want to become a regular there. I want to be one of those posh smug couples, or like Hugo and Janie who take Henry and Francesca there when they are at home from school for an exeat weekend, I can do without being the Russians next to us who got the waiter to take loads of flashy photos of them and I bloody hope I’ll still be dining there when I’m as old as the waiters! I reckon I’m much more ‘crap picture after picture sandwiched between paragraphs of wisdom’. I mean, what self-respecting blogger posts a picture of an empty plate for God’s sake!

Photo score – 2/10
Food Score 8/10
Smugness Rating – 11/10. So there!

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