It’s not just diehard football fans who’ve been celebrating England’s nerve-shredding victory over Denmark. Recent converts to the beautiful game, headline writers, sports historians and, for some reason, my neighbour’s dog, have all been caught up in the excitement and the anticipation of the Euros.
England now meet the Azzurri in Sunday’s final at Wembley, so whether you want to prepare for this encounter with burrata or black pudding, here are 5 Italian restaurants and 5 traditional British pubs to get you in the mood. And if you’d prefer to stay glued to your sofa watching re-runs and slow-mos, they all do takeaway too.
Enoteca Turi, Putney, London
In 1990, Giuseppe and Pamela Turi moved from Puglia to Putney – and then on to Pimlico in 2016. Their long-standing success is testament to their warm hospitality, superb wine list and flavour-packed dishes originating from all over Italy.
They also offer an extensive collection and delivery menu to enjoy at home.
Bocca di Lupo, Soho, London
Bocca di Lupo is a popular spot: the atmosphere buzzes, cooking is fresh and vibrant, and service is switched-on and speedy. Italian specialities are joined by an all-Italian wine list featuring seasonal selections.
Deliveries include individual dishes, feasts for 2, deli products and drinks.
Caldesi in Campagna, Bray, Berkshire
Flavoursome Tuscan and Sicilian specialities feature at this chic, passionately run restaurant with a cosy conservatory and a lovely covered terrace.
The wide-ranging Italian takeaway menu has plenty of choice and includes Sunday roasts.
Cin Cin, Brighton, East Sussex
An old single-car garage houses this modest, quirky little place, which seats 21 around a horseshoe counter. Homemade pastas and fresh, unfussy small plates see natural flavours shine through.
The weekly changing delivery and takeaway menu includes a 5 course chef’s menu, 3 course dinner boxes, sharing lasagne and other add-ons.
Sapori, Anstey, Leicestershire
This former Victorian Working Men’s Club is proudly and passionately run. Sapori means ‘flavour’ and there’s certainly plenty of it in the refined, authentic dishes which centre around the family’s home city of Naples.
They offer a good range of ‘ready to eat’ and ‘ready to cook’ dishes for collection, along with starters, sides and desserts.
Clarence Tavern, Stoke Newington, London
Contemporary details fuse with 19C architecture at this charming pub, whose back doors open out onto a courtyard terrace. Dishes are boldly flavoured and arrive in gutsy portions.
For their collection and delivery service, they offer a concise menu of ‘heat at home’ dishes for 2 or 3 to share, plus an extensive range of add-ons from their deli.
Bell Inn, Horndon on the Hill, Essex
Built in the first half of the 15C, the Bell positively oozes history; keep an eye out for their historic hot cross bun collection! Cooking has a satisfyingly classical edge and a modern touch.
They offer a collection service for Sunday roasts (pre-order by Fri 7pm), with add-ons for sides, cheese and desserts.
Magdalen Arms, Oxford, Oxfordshire
This sizeable pub has a lively, easy-going atmosphere; it opens at 10am for tea and cake and even hosts a monthly flea market. Hearty dishes feature on a wide-ranging menu which can change up to twice a day.
Their concise weekly ‘heat at home’ menu offers dishes for 1-5 people, with extras and specials available at their small pub shop on collection.
Dawnay Arms, Newton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire
A handsome village pub with stone floors, low beams and open fires – and an airy dining room looking down to the river. The owner is passionate about seasonality and the robust British dishes feature plenty of local produce.
They offer pub classics and a few frozen dishes for collection and, for those of dual nationality, pizzas and risottos too!
Bell Inn, Langford, Bedforshire
The Bell Inn’s rustic charm is hard to resist with its cosy bar, impressive inglenook fireplace and 16C origins. The large menu offers plenty of choice and the wood-fired garlic, parsley and bone marrow flatbread is a must.
The takeaway menu offers British classics and pizzas.