Superb service & healthy pizza - Donna Margherita restaurant & pizzeria, London. #review

Sometimes I wonder if I was Italian in a previous life. I love the food, the lifestyle and sunshine. I have a big family who love to eat together chatting and laughing. Yup - I'm sure there's some Italian blood in me somewhere.

healthy pizza- review of Donna Margherita Clapham

I never miss an opportunity to indulge in Italian food and luckily have had the chance to sample some gorgeous authentic dishes over the years - it's not all about pizza and pasta you know.

Recently I discovered a gem in London which I'm loathe to share really as it's already popular with locals and celebs. I'd hate it to get so busy I couldn't get in without booking months ahead!

At first glance Donna Margherita is an unassuming little place. Located in Lavender Hill, Clapham you'd be forgiven for passing it by as "just" another bistro.

Donna Margherita restaurant review

Walking through the door however is like being transported to Naples - there's even a balcony with corsetry overhead, much like would be seen from so many real Italian cafes, bars and restaurants.

Clapham Italian restaurant and pizzeria Donna Margherita

Staff are friendly and welcoming and one thing I noted during my visit, exceptionally accommodating. They really could not do enough for their guests whether it was finding the perfect table or recommending food and wine.

The interior is crowded and quirky with lots to look at while you sip a glass of something from their excellent and almost ridiculously extensive wine list.

Meanwhile the tables are large, plain and largely unadorned ready for the beautiful food to become the focus. Set in rows they are quickly adaptable to make them suitable for romantic dining for two or for large groups.

I sound gushy. I'm aware of this. But there's a reason radio and TV star Johnny Vaughan calls it his favourite restaurant declaring their pizza to be the best in London.

The food is good you see. Really good.

I took my husband along to Donna Margherita to try their 6-course Neapolitan Experience menu which I think at £20 a head is a bargain. Look what we got!

A'BRUSCHETTA NAPULITANE -Homemade sourdough bread topped with marinated Sicilian cherry tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic & chilli.

bruschetta  - restaurant review #foodblogger

A'PARMIGIAN E MULIGNAN -Baked fried aubergines with tomato sauce, basil, mozzarella and parmesan

baked aubergine at Donna Margherita

A'FRITTURIN -O`crocche - Fried potato croquettes with parmesan and parsley, O` scagnuzziell - Fried polenta with friarelli and L`aracin - Fried rice balls filled with smoked cheese and tomato sauce, fried courgettes and aubergines batons. 

Donna Margherita restaurant review #foodblogger

O'CALAMAR ARRUSTUT-Fresh squid coated in aromatic breadcrumbs, baked in a wood fired oven, served with mixed salad and lemon aioli

calamari, Donna Margherita London

PIZZA - wood fired pizza made with healthy flour - more on that later.

healthy pizza at Donna Margherita

There was also a luxurious seafood pasta dish with perfect al dente pasta and a range of tasty ingredients including octopus, mussels, clams and langoustine.

madmumof7 food blogger review

The grand finale was a chocolate and almond cake served with fresh strawberries - yum!

Italian cake

All this was enjoyed with a gorgeous Falanghina, a lovely fresh white wine, recommended by our server Massimo.

Throughout our meal I watched couples, groups of friends and families arrive and receive the same great service and food that we enjoyed. One large group of Italians we spotted apparently had discovered the restaurant and pizzeria early on during their holiday and had kept coming back. You can't get a higher accolade than that can you?

Donna Margherita's owner Gabriele and his staff are all passionate about the food and how to make it as healthy as possible without losing that rich authentic Italian taste. Check out this bread- made daily. (you can pop in and buy it along with a variety of Italian products including gluten free pasta)

Italian bread

After three years developing a unique pizza recipe they've proudly launched the first ever type 1 flour pizza which they claim is healthier than the usual type 00 flour.  

Gabriele was very proud to tell me his pizza four is rich in protein, aids easier digestion and has a natural taste of wheat – with the added benefit of Himalayan pink salt which has 84 minerals which help detoxify the body! 

He said:"We wanted to create a pizza which we are able to enjoy, full of flavour yet still remaining healthy for our bodies. Flying in many ingredients from Naples the pizzas all of our ingredients are organic and bio-dynamic. "

The pizza we tried was light and tasty with the natural flavour from the organic tomatoes really making it extra special. And because of the flour it was light and didn't leave me feeling bloated or over-full.

Gabriele says he and all the staff at Donna Margherita are dedicated to offering their guests a taste of southern Italy’s spirit of passion, warmth and loyalty. 

I would say they have managed that with an interesting traditional menu with some great modern twists, a quirky interior and great customer service. Yes, I know I keep banging on about it but it's truly a delight to meet restaurant staff who are really passionate about food and wine.

And in case you needed any further incentive to visit, if you spend around £500 during one visit (take some friends and enjoy some wine) you could go home with a beautiful free Illy coffee machine! 

Enough superlatives - go try the place for yourself!

food blogger madmumof7 reviews Donna Margherita London
Disclaimer: We enjoyed the experience menu and wine for two people free for the purpose of this honest review.