Cucina Rustica, Ludgate Hill, Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter
This isn't the first time I've mentioned how much I love this place - Cucina Rustica. It's an Italian on Ludgate Hill in the Jewellery Quarter and a regular favourite.
With the summer skies uncertain and overcast, we seized the quiet afternoon.
Just a short stroll from the loft towards St Pauls Sq lies the restaurant.
You pass a little canal bridge and there it lies.
Weather and space permitting - grab a table outside.
This way you can people watch and get a whole different perspective on the city. If you look towards the centre, you can see right past Hotel Du Vin in the old eye hospital and up to the Cathedral.
As part of the big city plan, there's going to be a whole lot of new development going on - the aston expressway is going underground leaving space for businesses to flow out into the street. The old buildings, derelict and adjacent to the road have been sold to developers and planning is underway for more beautiful conversions.
The city is certainly alive and filled with so much positive development, working towards a great future.
I'm getting all sentimental here, thinking about leaving to explore new locations much further away.
Perhaps it's just the deliciously crisp Italian white...
I always politely look at the menu, as in, look at it, not absorb anything.
It's always the same thing - beef medagilioni, medium, with a side of courgette fries.
And sure enough... it is delicious as always!
I'll be honest though...
The only reason I truly love Cucina, is for their desert menu...
Andrew always has chocolate torte...
Well, it's always two scoops of pistachio ice cream and one chocolate.
Now, the soft, creaminess and delicious flavours remind me of a quiet afternoon along the Vatican walls. I wandered out into the early evening, on my own without headphones, to simply enjoy the energy around Vatican city. The enthusiasm, the chatter. From a small window of a gelato shop, I had a cone of the best pistachio ice cream I've ever had.
This one comes close though...
Full, happy and utterly content, we made the short stones throw home to two very sleepy dogs after a fantastic walk earlier.