Spaghetti Tree offers an exquisite dining setting and was named the best independent Italian restaurant in the country at the PAPA Awards in both 2017 and 2018. The whole length of this bright and airy restaurant has fabulous views across Mere Pond, which was as busy with wildfowl as the dining room was with customers on the day we visited. The maître d’ Dana made us feel instantly welcome and set about recommending delicious-sounding dishes from the tempting menu. My classic Parma ham and melon starter was tasty and refreshing, with lots of sweet fruit and smoky ham.
My partner opted for penne messinese, one of the many pasta dishes that can be enjoyed as a starter. It came with garden-fresh spinach, peas and broccoli in garlicky tomato sauce with just a hint of chilli – she loved it. A main of vitello saltimbocca was also stunning, comprising melt-in-the-mouth pan-fried veal layered with Parma ham and sage. The sole fillet was grilled to perfection, letting the flavours of this delicate fish shine through, complemented wonderfully by light, tangy tartare sauce. A plate of zucchini fritti was the perfect accompaniment to both our dishes. A slice of cassata – a traditional dessert of vanilla and chocolate ice cream with candied fruit – and a chocolate and cinnamon pancake rounded off a wonderful meal. We can’t wait to return to this lovely family-run Sicilian restaurant in a dream of a setting – next time we’ll visit on Sunday, when children eat for free.