Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day. A day that when you’re a kid you don’t fully appreciate. You never quite understood the meaning behind it. “Why is there a Mother’s Day? Mum’s just mum?” or “why is there never a Child’s Day?” were two quite common, moaning questions always asked.

It’s very easy for us to take our mothers for granted when we’re younger. Never taking into account all the things mums do for us, big or small. As you get older you start to realise that our mums mean more to us than anything. They are the one person we can always depend on. Through the good and bad times, our highs and lows, our accomplishments and our falls – mum will always be there. From babies we have been nurtured and cared for. No request we ask for is too much for mum. Where would any of us be without them? It’s the little things that we don’t give them credit for; doing our washing, cooking dinner, picking up little bits from the shops for us when we can’t be bothered to go ourselves, lending us money when we’re too young to have jobs and, of course, finding anything that we think we (or they) have lost – the last one being something my mum knows a little too well!

So, now that we’re older the earlier question of “why is there a Mother’s Day?” almost sounds stupid. Why wouldn’t there be? Our mum’s do more for us than we could begin to imagine. Every day should be Mother’s Day, because they deserve it. I know mine certainly does.

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My treat for my dear mother today was to take her for a late lunch/early dinner at the newly opened Bella Italia in Colliers Wood. Let me start off by saying that I love Bella Italia. I have been quite a few times and it is somewhere I have always recommended to people, which is why I was quite excited to hear that one was being opened literally around the corner from me. My mum hasn’t been to any Bella Italia before so I decided to book it for Mother’s Day so she could get a taste for herself!

Everything was great – we were greeted by the manager and shown to our table as soon as we entered. This particular Bella opened on the 10th Feb this year and it looks great! The interior design is lovely, very vibrant and alluring. Mum and I were very impressed on first impressions. I only wish the rest of this review was as positive. Unfortunately, it pretty much went downhill from here…

Our booking was for 3pm. We arrived on time and were swiftly shown to our table. I am not even exaggerating when I say we waited a ridiculous amount of time to be asked if we would like to order drinks – by this point we were ready to order our entire meal. The staff seemed to be intent on staring either at the floor or straight ahead, making it impossible to catch anyone’s attention. We waited around 20 minutes for our drinks to arrive after ordering (two Bellini’s and jug of tap water). I recall the time being 15:47pm when I said to my mum that we had been there nearly an hour and all we had been served were drinks. 5/10 minutes later, our starter came out. We pointed out to the waitress that we appreciate they are busy however, we had waited 40 minutes for a starter of garlic pizza bread something that surely didn’t take 40 minutes to cook? To this, we received a rather unsympathetic “oh, sorry”.

It had started to get to the point now where my mum and I were getting a little tired of the waiting and thought we would pay for our drinks and starter and leave. Then around 16:20pm came our main meals – an hour and twenty minutes after arriving at the restaurant! Considering what we had ordered, it should not have taken so long. Mum ordered a pasta dish and I a chicken dish with green beans and what was supposed to be new potatoes. I say ‘supposed to be’ because what was actually on my plate were chips. By this point, we needed to voice the problems in service to the manager. Whilst he seemed quite apologetic, all it felt like we were getting from him were excuses. I understand that this is a recently opened branch, however, Bella Italia has hundreds of restaurants all across the UK, therefore there’s really no excuse. When I mentioned that I had asked for new potatoes but was given chips, his response was “I’m sorry you weren’t made aware but we have actually ran out of new potatoes – I don’t know why nobody told you”, because there’s zero communication between the chefs and other members of staff, clearly. It sounded as though he was trying to fob it off, which is just not good enough really.

With a promise from the manager saying he would return once we had finished our meals, we tried to enjoy the rest of our visit. Upon paying, we were given £10 off the bill for the inconvenience. Good, yes, however I have a friend who works in the Leicester Square branch who told me if that was in her restaurant, the diner would have pretty much gotten everything free. Not that we were expecting that, but it does go to show.

I would like to point out that this isn’t a negative review of Bella Italia as a whole, just this particular branch. It seemed very disorganised; the manager wasn’t helping out as much as he could have been, the chefs were eating whilst preparing customer’s food (which is quite disgusting), the hot plate by the kitchen was either overwhelmed with food or completely empty and one particular dish had been sat there since we had arrived. Honestly. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to get this Bella on par with the others. On a positive note, our waiter was absolutely lovely. His name was Jay and he seemed to genuinely care about the feedback that was being given. He was attentive, smiley and understanding – a true gem who stood out from the rest of the staff.

Will I go back to this Bella Italia again? I’d give it a few months but honestly, yes I would. Giving them the benefit of the doubt; they’ve recently opened and today was their busiest day to date. If they take the feedback on board then they’ll improve and shine, if they don’t then it’s unlikely they’ll last for too long around the Tandem Centre.

The food is usually very tasty and the service is normally second to none. Don’t be disheartened, try your local one out!

Despite the slight drama with our meal, mum seemed to enjoy herself. All that matters is we got out the house, did something together and she had a good time.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the lovely mummies out there today!





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