L’Anatra Italian Kitchen - Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire

Food: 2
Service: 6
Atmosphere: 4
Location: 8

Restaurant reviewers always seem to follow the same "set menu", if you will. They spend an awful lot of the time writing an introduction that doesn't seem to have any connection to the actual restaurant they're writing about. Then there is a single final paragraph where they list off the food they ate and that's it - restaurant reviewed.

But is that the whole point of a restaurant review, to not talk about the food? Going to a restaurant is all about the food, surely...or maybe that has something to do with my inherent greediness. So, like Nigella Lawson on heat, let's talk about some food.

L’Anatra Italian Kitchen is located in Bourton-on-the-Water, postcard-Britain's answer to Venice - except the masses of canals have been replaced with a single piddly stream. Set back a street away from the water is a building that, from the outside, doesn't look very Italian. It is the same story once we step inside, there is a distinct lack of any charm or character. It is dull. If it were a singer it would be Taylor Swift, if it were and actor it would be Tom Cruise, and if it were a band it would be Coldplay.

The whole place is pretty much empty except for three old biddies guzzling down cups of tea before making a hasty getaway out into the rain. Despite the lack of customers, we're still shoved in a table in the corner out of the way, as if to be forgotten. A waitress - who clearly had better things to be doing other than working on a Thursday lunchtime - handed us menus and brought us a bottle of their finest tap water.

The menu was nothing new or exciting, "the usual Italian" as one might call it: pizza, pasta...more pasta. The most exciting thing on there was a vegetarian calzone (and yes, I don't eat meat so my only other option was "pasta in a tomato sauce"), my brother opted for a lasagne, my sister chose the carbonara and my dearest mother went for the penne bolognese.

Not enough time had passed for the food to be freshly made before we were presented with four gigantic plates of food that didn't really look like what we had in mind. My calzone looked like a Frankenstein version of a Cornish pasty, complete with a side salad of vegetables that had clearly been sat in the back of a fridge for two weeks.

By this point a couple of Japanese tourists had taken a seat on the table next to us, and while they were waiting to be served the man was holding his phone to his ear desperately trying to learn to say "soup of the day". The closest he got was "supa day" which I think is close enough.

Once they waitress had served them their supa day, she ambled over to our table and asked if everything was okay with our meal. Being typically British we responded with nothing but positivity, "Mmm yeah, everything is great thank you. No no, there's nothing wrong with our meals". A blatant lie. We were all hating our food.

My brother's lasagne was a steaming pile of grease, the carbonara that my sister ordered was absent of any flavour, and my mother's bolognese was just a tin of chopped tomatoes on top of overcooked pasta with a few pieces of dry mincemeat hidden away from prying eyes.

I would however argue that my calzone was by far the worst of all. A gigantic mound of dough filled with a teaspoon of tomato puree and the saltiest olives I have ever tasted in my life. It was like they'd been grown inside a fisherman's scrotum before being spunked into my calzone, along with what seemed to be congealed "man fluid", but that just turned out to be goat's cheese.

We ate what we could then loathingly paid the bill and made a quick getaway, vowing never to return. Goodbye Bourton-on-the-Water, you were...kind of average really.

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