WITH the festive season fast approaching, a Christmas-type meal can really tickle your fancy. So I went for a highly recommended Italian one at Pizzeria Amici instead.

There are a vast array of different ways to describe the establishment, but to truly hit the nail on the head, I needed the input of another.

As I and my trainee vet pal, let's say she's called Gert for amusement sakes, sat there in the cosy confines of the restaurant, ruminating on how best to describe the place, she summed it up in a pretty laconic and straight forward manner.

“Italian.” Genius.

Apart from that terse summary, it could be described as a quaint, charming and bijou establishment with polite and attentive staff. So attentive in fact that whenever I looked around the place I kept catching the attention of our waiter, good work sir.

The combination of a takeaway, with pizza boxes piled high to the ceiling by the window, and restaurant seemed to add to the character of the compact place.

One of my many weaknesses is that I take an eternity to choose my meal and also have the juvenile and bizarre habit of deliberately changing my order if someone plucks for the same one as me.

So after I had all sorts of abuse and insults hurled at me by my dinner buddy for taking longer than the Ice Age to choose my dish, I finally went for a tomato, mozzarella, bacon, mushroom, caramelised onion pizza (£11).

Admittedly this was only after she changed her order to a tomato, mozzarella, chicken, sweet pepper and olive pizza (£12) at the last minute; crisis averted.

I have been lucky enough to go to Italy and sample the heavenly delights of their exquisite cuisine, eating pizza in England is not quite the same.

However, Pizzeria Amici gave it a darn good go at emulating the Italians with a stonking good meal. The portion size was just about right, the taste gave off a whole cavalcade of flavours and the crust, always important to me, was crispy and more-ish - just the way I like it. Washed down with a nice bit of Orange Fanta (£2.50) and Lemonade for my fellow diner (£2.50) we polished off that dish in no time.

Once again however, my eyes were bigger than my stomach and I failed to muster the strength to order a desert but my less feeble friend did the right thing and ordered one, whilst I went for a very rich hot chocolate (3.25).

She went for the cheesecake monterosa (£5.75) which was made up of mascarpone, sweet ricotta, layers of sponge and topped with strawberries.

When I had was able to man up a bit I had a wafer thin slice, I thought it was pretty tasty, as did Gert, who said it was, "Good", (concise as ever) but, "Not a traditional cheesecake but still nice."

It's not quite Italy, but it is not that far off. The bill came to £37.

Pizzeria Amici

22 silver street, Bradford on Avon, Ba15 1JZ

Dinner: Tuesday-Saturday, 6-10.30pm.

Lunch: Saturday 12-2pm.

01225 863661, http://www.pizzeriaamici.co.uk/

Parking: No

Disabled access: Yes


Food: 8/10, Choice: 7/10,

Décor: 8/10

Customer service: 8/10

Main course prices: From £8 to £12.50

Trip Advisor rating: 4.5/5