Established by Comm. Lino Quaradeghini in 1951 and named after the Ligurian port, near Genoa, La Spezia is the oldest Italian restaurant in London to still be run and owned by the same family. The manager, Michael, has been at La Spezia for 26 years and many of his staff have been with him for long enough to really know their regular customers, which means most of the clientele. This longevity and customer loyalty, testifies not only to the warmth of the service, but also to the consistent quality of the cuisine.
Occupying a railway arch close to London Bridge station, the vaulted, split-level dining room has cream walls and white napery, maximising the available light and giving an impression of spaciousness. Students of 1950’s decorative style will note the floor of random marble pieces set in coloured concrete, and the distinctive ‘cartwheel’ windows at the rear of the restaurant which look onto London Bridge Street, where free car parking space can, surprisingly, still be found in the evenings.
This is a restaurant where the customer is King and the style of the food is resolutely traditional, providing the regulars with exactly what they expect.
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