Living in Surrey and getting married in Wiltshire, where I grew up and my family still lives, I was worried that I would be making endless journeys backwards and forwards to visit suppliers. Luckily that wasn’t the case – our wedding venue came complete with caterer and we were able to combine meeting the photographer with a meeting with the venue event coordinator before Christmas. There was no need to visit bakeries and taste wedding cakes because my sister and I are doing my wedding cake together and I happily booked us into a hotel for our wedding night just from seeing the website.
I did want a hair and makeup trial though, because I know my hair and it never holds a style for long as it’s so slippery (the nice term is silky!) and fine. On the wedding day, the hairdresser and makeup artist will come to the hotel where I’m getting ready, but for the trial, I had to go to them. They both work from home or are mobile, though are attached to the same salon, and they agreed that I could go to the hairdresser’s house, a beautiful cottage in Dorset, for the trial.
I took one of my bridesmaids to make a girly day of it and really liked what they did with my hair, though the curls fell out within two hours and the front section looked terrible, so I’ve told the hairdresser she will have to come up with something different for the big day!
I spent the rest of the day with my bridesmaid and we drove back to Andover where she lives, and went to a restaurant in the town centre for dinner. Villagio is inside the Guildhall so the setting is impressive; I wondered whether the food would live up to it.
Villagio describes itself as a “convenient, modern Italian restaurant with a classic family menu”. It’s a chain, with a few locations around (mainly) Hampshire that says it offers live music in the evenings – but looking at the website, every single thing they have between now and Christmas is either a Frank Sinatra or a Michael Buble tribute act. So if you don’t like that sort of thing it may not be the best choice!
The menu is quite broad as it offers most types of Italian dishes – pasta, risotto, pizza, meat, fish. I love calzone pizza and don’t have it very often, so was tempted by the seafood ravioli on the specials board but plumped for the pollo calzone, containing chicken, pepperoni, pancetta, roasted peppers, tomato sauce and mozzarella instead (£11.50). My friend did ask for the special ravioli, but the waitress returned to our table to say they had run out – surprising as it was only 6pm but I guess they must have served a lot at lunchtime.
My pizza was very good – nice dough and stuffed full, with a side salad to accompany. I did think it was a bit expensive for what it was, but maybe the location puts this restaurant at the top end of the town centre choices in Andover. We shared a mozzarella garlic pizza bread as a starter, which was pretty average – I’ve had very similar and often better versions of this in other Italian restaurants. Overall though it was a nice meal with friendly and speedy service and made a nice end to a memorable day.