Husband and-wife team Valentina and Owen Doorly are behind Il Valentino and are passionate about Italian food. Their Grand Canal Basin bakery may boast a modern, super stylish interior – with oranges, pinks, modern plastic seating and leather banquettes – yet their food philosophy is decidedly traditional and authentic.
Viewing itself as an old-world artisan producer Il Valentino insists that the simple ingredients in its bread are of the highest quality, including filtered water, Atlantic sea salt and quality flour from Italy.
Add in the extra ingredients of passion and commitment and you’ll taste them in the wide range of products on offer, from whole wheat, five-seed bread to great pastries and excellent coffee.
For savouries try their delicious soups or chic, square pizzas made with homemade dough. Authentic toppings might include creamy ricotta, tomatoes and a zingy pesto, smoked ham with earthy mushrooms or perhaps courgette with cheese and sun-dried tomatoes.
The selection for afters is equally tempting, each made lovingly on the premises. The more abstemious can just have an espresso with a little coconut petit four or the interesting marzipan, ricotta and chocolate biscuit.
Larger offerings, like moreish pear and chocolate torte or maybe an old-fashioned chocolate éclair topped with dark high-grade cocoa make perfect accompaniments for the quality coffee on offer.
Il Valentino offers honest-to-goodness food at a great price.