Italian charm radiates from Gloria on Great Eastern street. The shopfront is decorated elaborately with planting, a traditional awning and incredible detailing- down to the typical Italian bell button plate. All colluding to create a prelude of what is to come inside.
Stepping inside we are greeted at a welcome desk; behind a bustling bar and busy waiters dressed in stripy shirts dash around in good humour. This first room and bar front is adorned in beautifully rich marble that is full of movement and colour, adding to the alluring energy of the space. We are then brought through into the main dining room, which is abound with plush upholstery, trimmings and piping that embellish all cushions and banquettes. Half height curtains dress the windows, constructing privacy from the busy road and creating the element of a smokescreen, allowing you to believe you could really be somewhere in Italy sitting in a traditional Trattoria.
Once sitting we eagerly grab the menus, illustrated in a subtle 70’s style with a single colour print, and try and decide what to order. The tables are dressed formally in white linen; paradoxically the tableware appears informal, with the plates and bowls colourfully painted and served mismatched, building a homelike feel.
The food is as rich and theatrical as the interior. The primary food offering is pizza and pasta, with a mix of traditional starters and antipasti. On the menu there are plenty of sharing options suitable for both couples and larger groups. The carbonara, ordered on our adjacent table, must be ordered for two and once a huge Parmigiana wheel filled with the Carbonara arrives, it soon becomes evident why. As the waiter serve the couple, the eyes of everyone sitting in close proximity dart in amazement and an excited chatter erupts between tables exclaiming that they may have to rethink their order.
We ordered a number of antipasti to share and try two of the pasta dishes, both are delicious and plentiful. While we were having desert, which consists of a huge slice of their notoriously-good lemon meringue pie, a number of waiters run over to a table near ours and start singing and dancing to the lady celebrating her birthday. The energetic energy of the waiters radiates through the restaurant and everyone joins in as if we were all friends and family.
As Big Mammas first restaurant in London, Gloria has definitely made a good impression. It’s one to visit for a truly entertaining experience that celebrates the jovial charm of Italian dining. We look forward to visiting their second restaurant Circolo Populare in Fitzrovia!;