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Large portions and bright, cheerful ambiance.  L'Italiana has a friendly and fast paced atmosphere, the food is rustic, traditional and nutritious, and the prices are reasonable.

This restaurant is ideally suited to dinner with a group of friends or perhaps a midweek meal after work.

I tried:

Insalata Tricolore
Filletto al Pepe Verde - grilled fillet steak in a brandy and peppercorn sauce
French Fries

The Albany, St. Albans

Delicious food with cheerful, if disorganised service.

We ordered:

Gravadlax with sweet mustard sauce - this was a huge portion of succulent fish, surrounded by fresh salad leaves and ribbons of cucumber, drizzled with sweet mustard dressing.

Slow baked peppers with tomato, grilled hallumi, rocket & olive salad - finely chopped morsels of hallumi and smokey peppers mixed with tomatoes, olives and rocket, perfectly complimenting one another.

Pan fried supreme of Scottish salmon with a sweet chilli prawn & saffron risotto - tender salmon with a risotto that was both creamy and spicy.

Gressingham duck breast, with vanilla mash, sugar snaps & baby carrots - the duck beautifully fell apart in my mouth.  I was surprised by how well the vanilla flavour paired with the mashed potatoes.

Our food was ordered before our drinks, which when they arrived were actually wrong, but there was no one around to mention it to, so we had to make do.  When we had finished ordering our meals, the waitress tried to take the menu while my partner was ordering drinks.  Our mains were initially brought before our starters.  Wine glasses were left on our table despite us not having ordered wine.

The venue - lovely wooden beams, a little cramped in the back section but we were happily seated in the front by the bar.  The ladies toilets were shocking, one door wouldn't close and the other would, with a great deal of force, but would not lock.

I haven't decided whether or not I would return, the food was incredible but the rest of the experience was only salvaged by the company.

Cruel Intentions

Scandalously sexy and sordid adaptation of Dangerous Liasons.

Step brother and sister Sebastian and Kathryn weave their way into the beds of Manhattan's socialites and staff alike, Sebastian counting his conquests, forever immortalizing them in his journal, while Kathryn strives to maintain her position at the top of the social ladder, at the cost of anyone who gets in her way.  With the help of Sebastian, Kathryn sullies the reputations of her enemies, whilst maintaining their friendship.  Kathryn manipulates Sebastian into bedding and leaving the one woman he ever loves, in order to be with her, but on realising he no longer loves her, she admits she has played him for a fool.  Whilst trying to win back his love, Annette, Sebastian gets into a fight with one of his conquests' true love, who has been informed of his actions by Kathryn.  It all ends in tragedy as Sebastian dies, and Kathryn's rein is brought to an end by Annette's publication of Sebastian's journal.

This film makes you want to become a seductive and manipulative siren, it is the perfect antidote to a break up.

La Cosa Nostra, Lattimore Road, St. Albans

This converted house is warm and cozy, with a home cooked feel.

If you're after a table on a Friday or Saturday night you will need to book in advance, there are only a few tables and these are usually full by 8pm.

The wide menu is all cooked freshly in the open plan kitchen.  Every meal I've had there has been equally tasty, this is real hearty food rather than anything fancy.

This is a charming place to take someone on a date, your pocket will agree.  Quality with great value.

Gold Diggers by Tasmina Perry

A tragic tale of the shallow world of London's most successful gold diggers and the men making the most of their wealth and power.

Sex, lies and betrayal.  Fidelity seems to be out of fashion, replaced instead by contrived liaisons lacking in love.  Who cares about trust, when you can have fists full of cash?

Only Erin, the lowley assistant/author, perhaps a characterisation of the author herself, seems to have any moral code.  She is almost pulled into the seedy but fabulous world and yet she teeters on the outside and manages to escape despite various heart breaks.


A killer combination of murder, detective work, and suburban life that will have you biting your lip with nerves and watching through spread fingers.

Dexter is the murderer next door, the good guy on the surface with a darkness within.  He makes Miami safer by killing off the murderers and rapists, following his code instilled by his foster father, in order to satisfy his need for blood.  Only occasionally does he get it wrong and kill someone undeserving.

Dexter is Miami Metro's blood analyst, when he isn't creating crime scenes of his own.  He works alongside his foster sister, Detective Debra Morgan, in the same department their father had previously.

Dexter is a family man with a wife, two step children, and a son of his own.  Since having married, Dexter's need to kill has been combined with his need to protect his family, both from his own dark secret and from the evil lurking elsewhere in Miami.

Nip Tuck

The trashy epitome of the phrase "sex sells".

A mixture of plastic surgery, sex and endless drama that makes you wonder what they can possibly do next.  Just when you think there is no lower level they can sink to, you are shown how wrong you can be.

You can't help but be hooked whilst at the same time wanting to avert your eyes.

Whilst starting out as the happy family man, Sean MacNamara is at heart as tawdry as his narcissistic business partner Christian Troy.  Sean veers to the mildly more moral level than his bad mannered colleague but neither can be said to be all bad beneath their outward behaviour.  They are fatally flawed and at the same time gifted with tragic backgrounds making their actions almost excusable.