New Leamington Italian opens its doors in 200-year-old venue

The bar area of Tavol.a in Leamington
The bar area of Tavol.a in Leamington -Credit:PR supplied

A new Italian restaurant in Leamington Spa is set to open its doors today (Friday) in a well-known 200-year-old venue. Tavola, in Clarendon Street, is set to serve diners following a period of closure and transformation.

The former 44 Café reopens in its new guise today (May 10) sporting a theme and décor inspired by Italian surrealist painters of the 1920s – the vision of Birmingham-based design company Faber.

Proprietor Rob Singleton said: “Tavola is a homage to the bars and trattoria of northern Italy and Rome where the best Italian ingredients are prepared with love, care, and skill and where hospitality is done right. We feel we have created somewhere our neighbourhood can be proud of, somewhere our guests will always find a warm, open-armed welcome."

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“Team members who have grown up in Leamington as well as Italy make up our front of house. We all have the same values around hospitality and every member of the team is here because they love people and love nothing more than being part of the most enjoyable parts of people’s lives, eating and drinking and being together.

“The rebranding is a natural extension of the refurbishment and history that we are proud of.”

Italian classics on offer in Tavola
Italian classics on offer in Tavola -Credit:PR supplied

Heading up the team is a familiar face to regulars, Luke Hampson, who stayed on as front of house manager and mixologist after several years in the business’s more recent history. Central to the restaurant’s new culinary identity though is Tuscan executive chef, Martin Serafino.

Martin looks forward to showcasing his passion for authentic Italian cooking through his new menu, the secret to which is, he says, a combination of ‘tradition and innovation.’

“I'm very excited for this new menu. I want to encourage people to try something they never tried before,” he said.

“I love to express myself through food so there will be some experimenting. But my main goal is to share the beauty of my own country as well as celebrating how every country has different traditions and different ways to cook.”

The seating area of Tavola in Leamington
The seating area of Tavola in Leamington -Credit:PR supplied

As well as seasonal and specials menus, Martin is also serving up his signature Schiacciata sandwich range – using a special Tuscan pressed focaccia made fresh on the premises. Visitors to Tavola - which translates from Italian as ‘a table you would dine at’ - can choose from a new Bottomless Brunch Menu, available every day of the week between 11am-4pm.

Northern Italy inspires the drinks menu too where the art of aperitivo means after work drinks are accompanied by antipasti sharing plates of calamari, olives, and crostini.

Rob said: “We needed to create a space where our guests can both grab a sandwich and a coffee in the day, then come back in the evening to spend a few leisurely hours eating and drinking while enjoying good company. Being a wheelchair user myself, I realise the importance of accessibility and inclusivity and understand the positive impact those adaptations would have.

"We have completed the first phase of refurbishment, while in the planning stage for the next phase involving ramped access and an accessible toilet and we will announce plans in due course. We look forward to welcoming our first guests and unveiling the vibrant and fresh new look. It’s a look which befits this quirky building and complements the imaginative new menu as we start this new chapter.”

To see the menus or to book visit the website here.