we had never visited the classic nardinis even though we live only a few miles away but we'll definitely be going again. the cafe/restaurant is in a stunningly well preserved 1930's building and you immediately have the feel of entering a venerable well established cafe/restaurant.
the decor is just superb - pure 1930's with a piano nook, lovely rattan and glass furniture, stepped lights and murals. the large windows look out onto a car park and the sea, but on a beautiful sunner winter's day such as the one when we visired, you do get a real holiday atmosphere.
we were glad it was midweek, early lunch time, as it was quite busy. but you can imagine the queues and long waits at weekends and in the summer months. as it was, there was noone waiting to be seated and we were shown immediately to a window table.
service was fast and efficient, indeed after we had given our order we were approached by a second person who was confused we'd already given it!
we were not hungry enough for full lunch, but regretted this when we saw very appetising plates of what looked and smelled like great lunch time fare and spectacular ice creams, especially the seaside staples of fish & chips and sundaes.
we instead had very good coffees, and some cholcolate/amaretto cheesecake for my husband. this was delicious but so rich he had to sadly leave quite a bit of it. i need to have gluten free food, and though there was not much choice there were at least 3 simple gluten free options and i had a fruit slice so he didnt chomp alone.
most enjoyable though was the atmosphere, just busy enough to be lively with plenty of families and people of all ages enjoying the ambience and the food. despite this, there was also a tranquil air about it.
one disappointment was the loos. they were clean and well equipped, but i had expected something in harmony with the rest of the building. the loos are quite modern however and particularly bland to boot.
we will now go back again however to try the lunch menu, and will again make sure we go midweek and out of season as i can appreciate it would not be half as enjoyable if absolutely packed to the rafters with a snaking queue out onto the street. one thing we noticed on the way out was that there are one or two fantastic curved booths which looked as if they would seat a pary of about 6, and one was reserved - if there are enough of you goong for lunch, it would be excellent to book one of those.
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