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‘I visited Cinquecento in Notting Hill and I felt like I was in Italy’

Notting Hill is the home of that 1999 film and hosting the annual carnival, cementing itself as one of the most famous neighbourhoods in the city. But I believe there is so much more in this corner of London to explore.

So when I heard there was an authentic pizza restaurant on Portobello Road, I began to lick my lips at the prospect. I was determined to prove this area offered more than the Hugh Grant juggernaut.

Before I made my way to test out Cinquecento, I briefly read some reviews on TripAdvisor and – Mamma Mia – this place is meant to be out of this world. One customer describes it as “one of the best pizzas in London”, while a second says: “Potentially the best pizza of my life… or at least in London.” Absolutely no pressure, then.

: ‘I went to a London rooftop terrace that had stunning views and I felt like I was on holiday’

Upon arriving at the venue, the restaurant is a delight to behold. I am no longer in Notting Hill – but Lake Como instead. The rustic tiles on the walls, flowers on the tables, the ceiling lining with plant pots and quaint seating arrangements – it is an Italian paradise.

The interiors boast a very laid-back atmosphere, which continues to trick me into thinking I am in the middle of a European holiday. The background music combining with the open restaurant also provides the perfect ambience – all I need now is an Aperol Spritz.

Due to my dietary requirements I opt for a simple vegan margherita (£10). I think my wait lasts for seven minutes before a plate of piping hot pizza presents itself to me. The smell of the Neapolitan pizza dough is so traditional – and since the the team have worked in top Italian restaurants – I know this will be the best of the best.



I am no longer in Notting Hill – but Lake Como instead

The first thing I noticed is the texture: bliss. This pizza did exactly what any pizza should do. It was fresh, light and doughy with just a little crisp to it. I try to avoid use of the term ‘melt-in-the-mouth’, but on this occasion I simply can’t ignore it.

Despite the fact that the kitchen staff used ‘fake’ cheese, it could not have been more real. It was gooey. It was runny. It is an Italian taste explosion. Pizza has always been a permanent feature in my life, and I can safely say that this is one of the best I’ve ever had.

Pizza, a food that everyone loves, is so hard to get right – but Cinquecento have nailed it. While I definitely wasn’t in Italy – and trust me I pinched myself twice – it certainly felt like it. Notting Hill is not just your average Instagrammable neighbourhood, dearest reader. In fact, you can feel like you’re on holiday by just visiting there.

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