Briciole: A bite-size taste of Italy in West London

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Well, once again Giles Coren has pointed us towards a winner. Briciole in Marylebone grabs your imagination as soon as you walk in. The Italian deli counter, gelato cart and shelves of wine and pasta transport you immediately to a small trattoria in Italy − at least they transported me there. Once through the front bar area, the place takes on a more London look; a bit more shabby chic than Italian side street, but still charming.

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Tomato and Basil Focaccia

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Bread is a funny thing. It’s the stuff of life and the one thing I probably couldn’t live without, but the thought of making it at home fills me with dread. Maybe it’s the time and effort you have to put in which, in an instant, can all be for nothing – a minute too long in the oven, a forgotten pinch of salt, so many little things that could be fixed in cooking are irreparable when you’re baking.

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Italian Picnic Sandwich

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It looks like summer has finally arrived in England. Thank goodness. As I write I’m looking out the window at blue skies and sunshine; it would be a great day for a picnic. Thursday evening was forecast to be a good evening for a picnic, too. From 5pm onwards it was supposed to be glorious sunshine and a balmy 18ºC (64ºF) − yes, in England 64ºF is considered balmy. The pleasant forecast was very welcome for Thursday because we had tickets to an open air showing of Richard III at Dover Castle. It was a “Bring chairs and a picnic” kind of deal and we were really looking forward to enjoying a bit of evening sun and taking in some culture.

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