We have eaten at La Cantina four times in as many weeks. On each visit, we received a warm welcome from Ludo, the owner, and his excellent staff - all of whom are Italian. This restaurant is ideally situated if you want a break from Christmas shopping without wandering too far away from the town centre. It is spacious and very clean with a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere: black and white photographs of old Italy adorn the walls and the background music (usually Italian or light classical) is soothing rather than intrusive. The lunch menu is very good value at £6.95 for a starter and main course. We like simple, tasty, well-presented food that is prepared with fresh, high-quality ingredients so La Cantina is just right for us. Among the delicious food we ordered was potato and Parmesan croquettes with a tomato and cheese dipping sauce, broccoli in bechamel sauce, freshly-made minestrone with lovely bread, and penne with mushrooms and cream. The orange panna cotta was gorgeous too! One of the things that we particularly like about the staff is their kindness and patience with children: we had a three-year old with us and she was made to feel very special - the menu was adapted for her and she was treated with respect and courtesy. Unlike many chain restaurants, where you are practically sittting in the laps of people at the next table, the seating at La Cantina is well-spaced so that everyone can enjoy their meal without inadvertently intruding on the privacy of others. We also appreciated the very clean toilets with the lemon-scented hand wipes. This is a lovely place to eat for families, couples and friends, and would be a great venue for a staff meal at Christmas as there is plenty of room and the chef is excellent at changing the menu according to the needs of the customers. Buon appetito!
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