An exterior lit with fairy lights and greenery, an interior decorated with elegant pattern and chandeliers and Italian food to die for - sounds pretty good to me.

I went to Cinquecento in Haverstock Hill for dinner, and it’s one of those places that it’d be hard not to recommend to a friend.

I don’t know many people who don’t love a good Italian, and a local one is even better.

There are actually a few other of the same restaurant across London – including in Soho and Notting Hill – and I have no doubt that they all live up to the same high standards as this one in NW3 does.

Ham & High:

Cinquecento prides itself on being “just like Nonna used to make” and I actually think that hits the nail on the head.

You can imagine those delicious recipes being your “Nonna’s”, and you can imagine the open-flamed oven and walls adorned with fruit-patterned plates, dried flowers and bunches of chilli just like “Nonna’s” would be.

Ham & High:

I would say the menu is predominantly pizza, with one to suit every taste, but there are also some pastas and salads on there too.

The starters are probably the best bit, with a huge array of differing offerings – including the restaurants own take on classic dishes, grandma’s recipes, and fried mini pizza options.

I went with a friend on a Wednesday evening, and the restaurant was busy which is always good to see on a weekday.

I ordered the tomato bruschetta to start, which is always one of my favourites, and my friend ordered the Cacio e Pepe which comes in frittatina form.

This basically means it’s a classic Cacio e Pepe in a fried, breaded ball – yum!

We couldn’t resist also getting a Montanara to share, which is basically a fried pizza. We got the one with tomato sauce and buffalo mozzarella, and it was absolutely scrumptious.

Ham & High:

I doubt it’s one that’s good for the diet, but it certainly was worth it with it’s huge, thick crust and melt-in-the-mouth cheese paired with fresh, Italian tomato sauce.

If I’m being honest we probably could have stopped there with our stomachs and taste buds satisfied, but it would have been rude not to try a main course each when we knew how delicious it was going to be.

I ordered the burrata and avocado salad and my friend ordered the Gnocchi Salsiccia e Tartufo pasta as we wanted to try something different, having already had a pizza dish to start.

My salad was massive, and came with rocket, tomatoes, burrata and avocado. It tasted really fresh which I always appreciate with a salad dish.

Ham & High:

My friend ordered her truffle and cheese pasta with no sausage, and she said it was one of the nicest pastas she’s ever had.

It was one of those meals where you could just tell you were eating authentic Italian food with flavours that have been carefully selected.

We were both full but to be honest I’m not sure how we resisted the dessert options, especially the fried dough with creamy Nutella – basically dough balls and chocolate.

When I go back, I think I’ll order that as a starter to make sure I don’t get too full up to get it again!