To me, nothing says Christmas like London and Oxford Street is at the heart of those festivities. St. Christopher’s place and all its little boutiques, cafes, bars and pubs simply adds and extra sense of warmth and welcome from the hustle and bustle during the festive season. Carluccio’s is in the centre of St. Christopher’s Place and last Thursday we were treated to the most amazing array of flavours as we attended the Christmas preview from Carluccio’s.
On arrival you we were greeted by the minivan full of panettones and invited to try all the wonderful selection of Christmas food. We were bowled over by the presentation and it won’t surprise you to know that the seafood platter and giant gorgonzola that caught our eye first. We tried several of the pasta dishes served from behind the counter but the stars for us were the sausage and the crab tortellini, they simply melted in the mouth. We are huge fans of pasta and so it was a joy to taste such delicious alternatives to the usual mainstream pasta.
Next cheese, we make no secret in our family of our love of cheese and today, oh wow, we were not disappointed. It was some of the best we’d ever tasted from Italy. The gorgonzola just oozed flavour and was soft and was delicious with the accompanying walnut bread. In contrast, the Pecorino, also delicious was filled with it’s distinct sheep’s milk flavour and complimented the salty unctuous gorgonzola perfectly.
Then the seafood. The seafood shells were packed with flavours and were served with langoustine, squid, octopus and king prawn on a bed of picked salad and chilli. Slightly too much of the hot stuff for us but if you like more then this will be right up your street ! The accompanying salad of red and green tomatoes, peppers and radishes was very refreshing on the palate and the flavours complemented the seafood well.
The breaded lamb cutlet stuffed with cheese was lovely, cooked very rare, but lovely and juicy all the same. Pudding was pear, a mousse cream, and nuts which was light and not too sweet, balanced and was just right
All washed down with a few glasses of Prosecco perfectly dry !
We then moved onto the main Christmas displays. These were mainly sweet. We particularly liked the Clemente in Camicia (choc orange) which was awesome. You could really taste the orange and chocolate infusion which was perfectly matched. We also loved the Fig, Rum and walnut bar which has a warming rum flavour.
There were a large selection of different flavoured Panettones, One our favourites ! The choices were excellent, including a gluten free one and alcoholic infused ones. Carluccio’s is a great place to choose a different type of panettone. We were particularly impressed with the massive display Panettone which we thought would look fabulous in a restaurant setting as a centre piece.
When we left we were all treated to a jar of the gold chocolate stars which were scrummy. They were milk chocolate with a very soft praline centre, excellent served with coffee.
Carluccio’s has a lot to offer this year both on its Christmas menu and in it’s Christmas shop. You’ll be able to order online soon enough. Here’s their website address or you can follow them on Twitter or Facebook.
There’s only one thing left to add…. Buon Natale e un nuovo anno felice!