Wednesday 3 May 2023


I had the most wonderful long weekend visiting my friend Irina in Rome.

She was at first a work friend in London, but is now a friend for life and left the UK during lockdown to move back to her native Italy and settled in Rome where she has remained ever since.

She was the most excellent, fun, wonderful host, who I have to thank for taking me to all the places I am about to introduce you to.

I usually love to plan trips and do lots of research beforehand but being crazy busy at work in the run up to my Rome adventure, it was actually so nice to hand over the itinerary making and restaurant picking to Irina who could not have done a more brilliant job!

It was my third trip to Rome but by a long way my favourite so far and there is a very special place for this city in my will for sure not be my last visit there, that much I know. 


Da Teo is you what you would call a proper Roman trattoria. Think chequered napkins, loud waiters and a buzzing dining room plus humongous plates of fresh pasta.  

On our visit the man himself, Teo of Da Teo, took it upon himself to treat me and my Italian speaking friend (being with someone fluent in Italian meant I really was granted a more authentic experience rather than a touristy one) like the personal guests of the chef himself for the night which meant copious amounts of amaro, a very tasty but lethal herb liquor, free dessert and just about befriending half the restaurant while we were at it.  

It was one of those long evenings that you won’t forget, filled with chance encounters, plates of delicious food and the real Roman dining experience one can’t plan but that happens by pure chance. 

Giulio passami l olio was the perfect spot for our Saturday night dinner

Tucked away on a quiet side, a short walk away from the Vatican, Giulio passami l olio has a super cosy dining room and an even better large array of outside table that are spaced out enough that you feel like you can gossip the night away. 

The wine menu is HUGE, and I mean so huge that a literal book showed up when we asked for it so it is for sure a place that will satisfy wine lovers.  

That is not to say the food comes second. Pasta is the star of the show here and my truffle cacio e Pepe was absolute heaven but I would also recommend ordering a starter as our bruschetta with straciatella and anchovies was an utter delight - simple but fantastic ingredients working together in the most wonderful way!  

Booking here is a must, as is with most good restaurants in Rome when it comes to dinner and even lunch, but here the effort to plan ahead is very much worth it. 

Another dinner (or very fine lunch) spot where booking is essential. Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina is a restaurant /delicatessen / fine food store which means whilst you enjoy the most wonderful homemade bread, incredible wine selection and fantastic, imaginative pasta (the cod filled ravioli are out of this world) you are sitting amongst walls and walls filled with Italian delicacies.  

There aren’t too many tourists hat find this place by chance, no, its the locals that come and fill up the place and they aren’t wrong - food, atmosphere and service are on point here and I may have had the best huge slab of tiramisu of my life here to finish off a flawless meal.  



If you are after a vibey place with cool people drinking on the street on any given warm evening head to Monti. It may prove pretty hard to find a sit down spot but that is the fun of it. 

Struggling to find a single free chair, let alone 2, early on a Saturday night, we ended up getting a couple of €4 takeaway Aperol Spritz’s (mixed to perfection I may add) and perched on metal fence in a cute Piazza and watched the world go, all of Rome’s young and fabulous out and about, ready to have a good time. 

Bang in the middle of vibrant Trastevere you will find this iconic bar. Come before the sun sets and you get a free vegetarian buffet with your drink of choice, while it night it turns into THE meeting point to start a night out on the town. Drinks are cheap, the vibe is fun and young and you will be hard found not to love this place. 

Oste Nostro the sweetest cinema themed cocktail bar on the fringes of Trastevere that is open late, has fantastic cocktails and lots of cosy seats inside and outside. It is the sort of bar that is a total gem to stumble across and which we have far too few of in London. My must order: their spicy marg - very spicy, very good! 


Slightly worse for wear on the Saturday morning Irina took me to a local cafe and we endured a rather mediocre breakfast which prompted her to reminisce about how much she missed London’s brunch offering, the sort of Antipodean inspired fare that is hearty, innovative and far removed from your standard European croissant and jam brekkie. 

I took that as challenge to find a place in Rome that would serve us a proper brunch and some googling and insta stalking later we stumbled across Marigold Roma.  

Run by an Italian & Danish husband and wife duo, you could easily think Marigold is located in NYC, East London or Copenhagen with Scandi inspired, hipster friendly interior, photogenic dishes and natural wine offering but it is in fact in the studenty, slightly less pretty Ostiense neighbourhood but oh is it worth venturing a little out of Rome’s centre for. 

The constantly changing menu has so many amazing sounding dishes, it is almost impossible to choose. When we finally did, with a side of perfectly made flat whites, we were not disappointed.  

I had some smashed beans with courgettes, mushrooms and beetroot on sourdough which looked so pretty plated up and was a veggie’s dream, while Irina had a wonderful take on the classic bubble and Squeak.  

We also shared a perfectly moist hot cross bun which came with custard and which turned out to be dessert perfection. 

We would have ordered even more (their freshly baked buns and cookies looked amazing too), if our bellies were not ready to burst by that point. 

I loved the whole place - the food, the service and specifically the Italian/Scandi hybrid brunch they have perfected here. In fact I would be here every weekend if it was in my neighbourhood.  

You can’t book and you almost certainly will have to wait if you are after a weekend brunch but take it from someone that HATES queuing for food, here it is really worth it. 

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