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4.8 /6 Excellent 116 Reviews

The Villa Italian

Centre Italian £££ +100
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About The Villa Italian

At Guild Hall Arcade on Lancaster Road, The Villa Italian shines as one of the Lancashire’s very best restaurants, setting itself apart from the rest by utilising local artisanal ingredients and fresh seasonal produce. This sophisticated establishment provides the perfect setting for lunch or dinner with its light-filled dining space and amicable service, and even offers options for afternoon tea complete with a selection of sandwiches and cakes for sampling. Found in the town centre, The Villa Italian is a convenient location to enjoy an Italian meal that leaves a lasting impression.

Opening Hours

  • Monday 12:00 - 21:45
  • Tuesday 12:00 - 21:45
  • Wednesday 12:00 - 21:45
  • Thursday 12:00 - 21:45
  • Friday 12:00 - 21:45
  • Saturday 12:00 - 21:45
  • Sunday 12:00 - 21:45
The Villa Italian, Lancaster Road, PR11HT Preston

Further Information

With head chef Stefano La Camera leading in the kitchen, you know that you’re in for a treat when dining at The Villa Italian. The emphasis here is artisanal ingredients and seasonal produce sourced from across Lancashire, including cheese from Gornall’s Dairy Foods, meats from Clifton Quality Meats, produce from Ribble Farm Fare and beer from Thwaites brewery. You can find the Villa Italian at Preston Guild Hall on Lancaster Road, open seven days a week in the town centre.

From hand-crafted pizzas and pastas to tasty grilled mains, The Villa Italian in the town centre excels in bringing the freshest ingredients and the boldest flavours to each and every one of their authentic dishes. The Villa Italian’s menu is largely made up of rotating specialities depending on what’s fresh and available, so you can expect to try out a range of different dishes that are out of the ordinary and unique. Some examples of the amazing dishes on offer include the pressed terrine of lamb shoulder with fennel and artichoke with wild pear chutney, the charcoal grilled veal chop with marsala sauce and rosemary and sea salt potatoes, plus numerous pasta dishes with seafood and meats from local butchers. The secret’s out about The Villa Italian, so make sure to book a table in advance to experience Preston’s best Italian cuisine.

CHEF'S CHOICE

116 Reviews

4.8 /6 Excellent 116 Reviews
Service: friendly
Waiting Time: short
Atmosphere: entertaining
Food: delicious
Noise: quiet
Quality/Price: cheap
43 6
39 5
14 4
14 3
4 2
2 1
Lynne B.
2 reviews so far 6
05.05.2017 06:25

Great place for a pre show dinner. Food was lovely. Prices reasonable. Would be good for a large party plenty of space. Staff very friendly too

David O.
1 review so far 6
11.04.2017 16:16

really great food and atmosphere warm welcome would go again only 1 thing payment is an issue because it's only one till could do with paying at table

Peter M.
1 review so far 6
02.04.2017 22:04

Good day there, custom on the 1/4/2017. I would like to say a big thank you to the business. i have provided a full review here in this post. All the star ratings i have given from personal testing of the meal me and a friend had with you. First of all i would like to start with: Venue: The venue is easy to find, and bookings are easy to do online through the website. The decoration of the venue is simple but very easy on the eye, With a open kitchen you can see what the chefs are doing with ease, The venue is clean with the kitchen being spotless, this is good to see in a venue where foot trade is important and trade from the shows at the Guild Hall attend the venue, with glass windows to the front so you can see whats happening, that is a added bonus by far Staff: Severs Service was spot on, with our server Ellie, who i must admit is 18 is very well grown up for her age, Even with this she is well spoken, and will do what she can for the customers, she has fun at all times when serving you, this will make any customer feel that they are important to the business, well done Ellie keep up with the good work. As for the rest of the servers who we didnt get the names of, you all did a great job, ensuring that we was well looked after Management; The management team, Thank you for your service you provided to us and any other customer you get in to the business, you are by far the most professional managers i have come across in a long time. it shows that you pick the right staff to work with you, and getting the balance of management and staff is hard, but you have got that mix right. Chefs: The chefs on site OMG the best i have come across witty in all ways, and by far can tell that they have passion in what they do, They are knowledgeable in the food they cook for you, clean and tidy at all times. Well done Guys keep up with the good work you do. Waiting time for service and food: Even after booking a table for 1815 when we came in and asked to be sat at the bar, the manager took right there, gave us time to pick our drinks and talked through some things she would recommend, she was chatty and even made sure that our order was in before been taken to our table, when our starters was done, they made sure that the service we was getting was right at all stops, our server who i spoke about above Ellie, she made sure that we had time between each part of our meal, and gave us time to chill and relax. So then on to our food: Starters: Shared a Garlic bread with Mozzarella, The right amount of mozzarella on the garlic bread, the Garlic wasnt strong in taste. the base was thin and easy to eat. Mains: Penne Arrabiata: Right amount of meat, sauce to pasta, pasta cooked to perfection Lamb: This was part of the specials for the week, it came with Creamy mash and a red wine Garvey, the meat came on a bone to keep the taste there. it fell apart has it need to do. This is now getting placed on to the main menu for every one to try Pudding: We got two sticky toffee puddings and came with a chocolate on top and tasty ice cream on the side. the mix between them all is a great tasting pudding. Drinks: Drinks was fast to come, and nicely priced by all means for the venue, but not the cheapest around nor the more costly around. So has we come to end of this review: We like to go on to what we overall think: The over all cost for 7 drinks and the meal it self came to about £60 and would be more than happy to pay that again for the food and service. I would like to give some ideas for the business to got more custom: The food size on the plates can not be improved, and staff can not be improved, but i like say is that if you can get some form of entertainment on the weekend or within the week every so often it will help to bring customers in to the business, such as in person signers, or some form of other entertainment. I know you have music going in the background that is a little touch all places need. The Garlic for the garlic bread, can i please say that if you can please try and roast the garlic, this will be a added sweetness to any dish such as the garlic bread, and personally think it will go well with some of the strong cheeses Our over all rates in stars: Management: 5 stars out 5 Service: 5 stars out 5 Venue: 5 stars out 5 Food: 5 stars out 5 Price: 5 stars out of 5 Location: 5 stars out of 5 Entertainment: 4 stars out 5 29 stars out 30 Please note that entertainment will need to be improved on. So over all, if you needing somewhere to go to then please go here. You will not be let down by this venue. Thanks all

Tracy H.
1 review so far 6
22.03.2017 17:57

The food was lovely and the service was great. My friends and I really enjoyed it and would definitely go there again. We had the lunch offer which was great value.

Norah P.
1 review so far 4
16.04.2017 22:15

I booked a show and dine meal for £25 for 2 people when I booked the theatre but the restaurant staff were unaware of what the voucher entitled us to. After the waitress consulted the manager we were told that it only applied to the £9 menu. As my husband wanted a steak we asked if it would be ok to pay the difference and were told that would be fine. The meal was acceptable although we were given soup spoons to eat our deserts with, but when we got the bill we were charged for the whole meal without a deduction of the £25, After much discussion £25 was deducted from the bill and we left in order to get to the theatre on time. We were not however given the 10% deduction that our theatre tickets told us we were entitled to. May we suggest that the staff should be made aware of the show and dine offer.

gethin b.
1 review so far 4
05.07.2016 03:14

OVERALL EXPERIENCE 3-4. It was a very a busy and noisey Sat night when we attended. Our table was not ready when we arrived and so we were seated on high stools at the bar- not ideal initial impression. That said, staff were nevertheless welcoming and attentive and we were found a table within 10 mins. Once comfortably seated our service was good and we had no unreasonable delays. Our food whilst acceptable and inoffensive was rather mediocre, bland and presentation was uninspiring. Generally we were disappointed as did not live up to our expectations and we felt did not represent value for money - generally overpriced. We choose from the a la carte menu - veal chop, swordfish and pizza. Decor and surroundings were pleasant. Not sure if we would go again for meal - possibly try a snack and drink deal special and at a quieter time before dismissing entirely.

Mr B (Show & Dine) D.
1 review so far 6
03.08.2016 18:26

It was our first visit to the Villa Italian in Preston and certainly not our last. The décor is excellent being bright and easy on the eye. The staff were very attentive but bearing in mind the restaurant had only been opened for just 2 months some of the staff were unsure of the pricing structure if you were in the Guild Hall show package. We liked the idea of being able to view the kitchen and how the chef and his team worked so well together and the food was excellent. Keep up the good work !

Suzanne H.
1 review so far 3
09.05.2017 18:22

the food and value was ok - as expected for price. the service was very poor. everything we ordered was repeated back and misunderstood, errors arrived consistently. there were only 6 of us and ordering off a set deal menu - not that many options (which we were fine with but seemed incredible how many errors were made). drinks errors were made. request for tickets were demanded after already handing them on entering the restaurant. it was difficult to get the attention of staff to order more drinks - in the end we didn't get chance. not offered parmesan, same main meal came very different portion sizes, It was like we were an inconvenience. we saw other diners leave with the meals not finished as they had to get to the show, no apology offered from staff - just thunderous faces. IT was not busy, there were plenty of staff standing by the kitchen service area, seems like a great theatre/meal idea but not followed through with service or care at all. I always tip but on the group decision we left a very measly tip...

Shelley M.
2 reviews so far 6
03.08.2016 12:39

We huad a great eve with friends on Saturday eve at the Villa the food was wonderful . Will definitely go again in fact we are on Wednesday. My only criticism is the waiting staff could have smiled more and tended to rush to get your plates collected almost the moment you finished!! More waiter/ waitressing training needed I think 😟 The head chef was amazing working under so much pressure as very busy restaurant and two staff having decided not to turn up. shame on YU guys !!!!!

Holly h.
1 review so far 6
12.09.2016 03:13

Visited with my partner before attending the Guild Hall for an event. The service was next to none and all the staff were so friendly and welcoming. The food was also beautiful. I asked them if they could arrange a cake/desert to be brought out, as it was a special occasion and it was lovely and so nicely presented. My partner was delighted. They made the whole evening so special for us and they also didn't charge me for the surprise desert! Will be visiting again, fantastic experience. 10/10

Simon P.
2 reviews so far 6
13.10.2016 02:27

Really enjoyed our first visit to Villa Italian, on a Saturday night at 7.30. Very nice atmosphere, not too busy. A nice modern restaurant but not clinical, a nice choice of open and secluded seating. The staff were very friendly and attentive. A good selection of drinks were on offer and a nice traditional menu. The food arrived promptly and was very nice, we both had a starter each and a main course, but sadly no room for a dessert, maybe next time. Overall a very pleasant experience.

Barbara S.
1 review so far 4
05.04.2017 15:51

Overall it was pretty good, staff pleasant and the food was very nice. The restaurant wasn't particularly busy when we first arrived but it still seemed to take a long time for us to be served. We had chosen our meals and had our menu's down for well over 10 minutes before we were even asked what we would like to drink. I personally think this a big mistake... I like to start my drink and chat with my friends about what food we are going to choose (and inevitably share). From a business point of view, we drink like fishes, so you lost out on at least a full round of drinks.

jayne m.
1 review so far 5
14.09.2016 15:19

We visited the new Villa Italian on Saturday, the food and cocktails were really nice and the restaurant has a lovely atmosphere. The only thing I was disappointed by was the service, the restaurant was quiet but we had to ask the staff whenever we wanted more drinks, desserts, the bill etc I feel like they could have been more attentive. This wouldn't put me off visiting again though as like I've said above the food and drinks were a really high standard and good value for money. Thanks

Keith S.
1 review so far 5
14.10.2016 17:39

Not the cheapest Italian in Preston but certainly amongst the best we have tried. Food was excellent,the seafood linguine was packed full of fish as was the seafood risotto. Friendly and helpful staff asking if we were going to the show that evening which gave an extra 10% of the bill. The only reason for not giving a top mark was service was a little slow just pleased we had given ourselves enough time to eat (and enjoy) our meal before the start of the show.. Highly recommended.

Robert H.
1 review so far 3
09.07.2016 14:15

The food was amazing and the finish to the restaurant was fantastic as well. Only issue would be service. Entering the place, we felt like we were disturbing the man on his computer. He was very dismissive and made the first impression arkward to say the least. Even when I went to pay the bill with him he just waved someone else over to deal with me. I only approached him as he was the only staff member doing nothing sat at his computer, 90% of the time we were there. The rest of the staff, really friendly. Like I said before the food was really good, but we didn't get a check back so it was a good job. Maybe the office worker at the front door would be better positioned on the restaurant floor in this case.

Keira M.
1 review so far 2
07.05.2017 08:35

Booking made for 5pm, not a busy time at all. Starter of antipasti and garlic bread to share between 4 was lovely, however, we ordered 4 pasts dishes for mains. Two were the same, but one requested to be spicy and one mild. They arrived, we're slammed onto our table and we had no offer of parmasan, black pepper or spoons to eat our pasta with. We weren't asked if we needed/wanted anything else and weren't told to enjoy our meals. The waitress just walked off. The dishes where one was requested spicy and one mild tasted exactly the same, to the disappointment of the party who wanted the spicy food. Our dirty plates were left in front of us for 25 minutes before cleared. When we explained our disappointment at the poor service, the waitress said she was busy.. It wasn't. To top it off, the table next to us were offered all the appropriate accompaniments for their food straight away! Unfortunately, although the food wasn't bad, it didn't blow us away and the service was poor so we will not be returning.

Catherine B.
2 reviews so far 3
06.12.2016 00:33

Slow service despite only two other people in the restaurant when we arrived. Our waitress didn't process our order correctly and so we were charged for drinks that were supposed to be part of the Presto Rapido menu. She didn't understand our comments regarding this so we left paying nearly as much in tips than the meal itself. We asked for extra hot cappuccinos - they were tepid ! Very cold in the restaurant especially when the outer door was continually being left open by customers and staff alike. Despite asking for this to be closed, the waitress didn't offer to move us or keep an eye on the door to ensure it was being closed. We were cold during our meal.

christine L.
2 reviews so far 6
13.12.2016 16:49

Excellent food and service. We had a meal on a Friday prior to attending a concert at the Guild Hall and given that there were 3 Christmas parties of at least 20 in each group the service and attention by the staff to my husband and myself was excellent. All dishes arrived hot and well cooked. Thank you to the team.

Diane D.
1 review so far 5
15.01.2017 18:04

The meal was excellent. Very tasty, freshly cooked food and generous portions. The experience was somewhat spoiled by the very slow service. A 40 minute wait to get our starters, and people around us complaining about the slow service. Such a shame because the meal was spot on. Very busy and noisey, piped music far too loud, with people trying to shout over it.

Neil F.
1 review so far 5
03.08.2016 16:28

Went here prior to a concert at the Guild Hall. Not knowing Preston it was very conveniently situated on the ground floor of the Hall. Food and service very good - authentic Italian. Frito misto was an excellent starter and a generous portion. My wife and son loved their pizzas and I had a nice pasta with meatballs. Worth a visit.

George D.
1 review so far 3
30.10.2016 18:11

The waiting staff were excellent but I'm afraid the same can't be said of the chefs. It is supposed to be an Italian restaurant but the Italian dishes I had bore no resemblance to anything I've eaten in Italy. Shame as the restaurant is really very nice. Maybe I should stick to what Italians expect the English to eat. My partners food was very good though which compensated somewhat. The price of wine by the glass is also exorbitant. Save money and buy a bottle. All in all a bit disappointing but we shall return and give it another chance.

Simon S.
1 review so far 3
22.12.2016 17:25

Our first visit to this venue and initial impressions from the outside were very favourable. The restaurant was busy as we arrived at 7pm pre-theatre time. However we were then shown to a table in a corner away from the main restaurant despite there being various spare tables We were then left for 20 minutes which is simply too long. A lesson perhaps that the restaurant will learn from as after that service and food were very good. First impressions matter though so for now I'll not rush back but I will go back sometime

Victoria T.
1 review so far 5
01.03.2017 20:33

The restaurant was lovely, staff very helpful, food delicious, reasonably priced. Only problem was the noise from the bar above but we were told that you could only hear it in the part we were sat in. So if you go don't sit in the far left hand corner on a Saturday night. Overall it was fabulous!

Luke F.
1 review so far 4
02.10.2016 05:16

We thoroughly enjoyed the food we received, just felt the table service was lacking due to the fact we were often left with empty drinks and nobody offering a top up for 10+ mins. This was due to the lack of staff suited to the number of guests in the resteraunt. Would go again, but would look to order drinks in advance maybe, other than this point it was fantasic.

Cheryl W.
2 reviews so far 5
25.09.2016 16:15

The food is always great. I found the portion sizes to be a little overwhelming this time. This is far from a complaint, I felt a bit bad sending my plate away with some food still on there! The lady who looked after us (not sure of her name) was brilliant! We will definitely be back.

Jenny C.
1 review so far 5
20.06.2016 13:59

Beautiful food, from start to finish. The score would have been 6 if the final service had been just a bit better. We sat for sometime after our mains had been cleared and waited for a dessert menu, in the end we had to ask for one. Other than that everything was great.

Pauline T.
1 review so far 3
26.09.2016 03:51

I think this place may be ok for a group who just want pizza and drinks. We were shown to our table and the drinks starters and mains were fine. Then it all went downhill. No offer of dessert we had to ask then the same for coffee.The food was nothing to write home about The seafood sharer was much as weve had elsewhere and more pricey. The swordfish was salty and not cooked well. (yes we have had it before) We wont be retunring.

Sheena P.
2 reviews so far 5
12.11.2016 19:18

Tasty food, good atmosphere and friendly staff, highly recommend The Villa preston and will definitely be visiting again. Only downfall I would say is that it is slightly expensive but it is well worth it especially for a special occasion. I went for my birthday and had an amazing time.

Tina C.
2 reviews so far 6
15.06.2016 16:34

Really enjoyed, again. Tried the pizza this time and was really pleased to know that I could have a Gluten free base, it was delicious. I also had a gluten free cheesecake, yummy. The staff once again were brilliant.

Lawrence C.
1 review so far 3
25.04.2017 14:30

Very noisy and bright restaurant, not great if you want an intimate meal or to chat whilst eating. The staff weren't very attentive and we were never asked if we wanted a dessert or a coffee. For a restauant to have less than 6 people after 9PM on a Friday speaks volumes. The risotto that I had was good although we feel the meat that was on the starter platter was bought ready prepared from a supermarket.

Martin S.
1 review so far 3
25.07.2016 16:48

Great venue, excellent service and reasonably priced but the chef is too heavy handed with the olive oil - my steak was swimming in it - which was a shame because it was beautifully tender - but ruined by the oil slick !!! Also need bigger plates to put the steaks on - mine had to be folded to fit on the plate. Will return but next time ask for no oil or try the pasta.

Shelley M.
2 reviews so far 6
16.09.2016 02:12

We ve been several times to the Villa restaurant and never been disappointed . THe staff are friendly shut professional so service is very good and tHe food excellent ! So we will keep going back 😃😃😊

John A.
1 review so far 5
28.10.2016 14:20

It was very good food and the staff attentive, it was our first our first visit as we were attending a show in the Guild Hall later. We will certainly return to sample the full menu, as we were booked on the restricted menu.

Peter I.
1 review so far 6
25.02.2017 06:54

Excellent food served promptly and well presented. Good value for money as well. Comfortable surroundings with an upmarket quality feel. First time visit for a pre-theatre meal, and I don't think it will be the last.

JOHN B.
1 review so far 6
11.10.2016 17:12

Superb meal prior to our visit to Theatre. Most attentive staff and friendly atmosphere we'll definitely be back. We tried the set meal option and are keen to explore the a la Carte menu next time.

Gill A.
1 review so far 5
18.09.2016 06:28

Food was excellent but there seemed to be a shortage of waiting on staff as the service was a little slow. Don't let this put you off though, the quality of food does compensate and we did visit at an exceptionally busy time.

Tegan W.
1 review so far 4
15.10.2016 16:43

Fantastic food, service good but took me ages to get someone to come for a drinks order. The room was decorated modern and was very bright, perhaps a little too bright for evening dining. The room is big but it was also a little cold. All in all a good meal out.

Matt P.
1 review so far 6
12.08.2016 23:18

Really enjoyed our meal and the place was clean and tidy and the staff was very polite and helpful we will defiantly will be back and we will tell all our friends and family

Joanna H.
1 review so far 6
19.09.2016 16:14

Reservation made online 15 minutes before we arrived. Food arrive before I could even pour my water in my glass! Great service, allowed us to make it to the theatre on time :)

Tina C.
2 reviews so far 6
30.05.2016 23:18

Absolutely fantastic. From start to finish it was wonderful, the waiting staff and Giovani very pleasant, the food, OMG, the best ever! Would definitely recommend and will be going again and again.

Richard B.
1 review so far 6
12.06.2016 05:21

Food fantastic, can't fault it, the starter was really good and the seafood pizza was the best I've had in years. service really quick just a shame about the company I keep

Gillian (Show & Dine) M.
1 review so far 6
14.01.2017 23:16

Food was absolutely excellent. Service was friendly polite and efficient. I would definitely recommend. We had booked tickets for a show and got 10 per cent off the total bill as well.

Danila D.
1 review so far 5
19.09.2016 02:56

Nice place and atmosphere. Kind staff and very good food. They took our plates when we finished what we had ordered and were ignored after that. We were not asked whether we wanted to see the dessert menu.

Peter S.
1 review so far 5
14.10.2016 02:28

Service good but not rushed, the food was fines do was well presented in pleasant surroundings. Overall the price of the meal was reasonable and would visit again although there is plenty of competition with other Italian restaurants.

Martyn J.
1 review so far 6
05.09.2016 21:55

It was really nice clean and tidy and staff were helpful and the food was absolutely delicious really good price too for the quality, authentic Italian would definitely go again !!

Jenni R.
1 review so far 5
04.05.2017 22:38

Very good meal, even my brother-in-law couldn't find fault and he can be very picky! But seriously, have been to Villa several times now and the food has always been of an excellent quality. Staff helpful too!

Helen C.
1 review so far 5
06.06.2016 06:04

Excellent food and great atmosphere. Staff were very attentive. Will definitely go back. Although it is a confusing on the menu that it doesn't give times for the pronto fixed menu which is only available at lunch.

John M.
1 review so far 6
24.02.2017 18:11

Enjoyed the whole evening food was excellent service was outstanding a great place go to if you are go to watch a show at the guildhall. Makes a great evening.

Mrs J T.
1 review so far 5
13.08.2016 18:53

very friendly staff. Smart setting. We booked through the Guild Hall the same time as booking tickets a great service. food very good . Will go again. Little noisy due to a large party of 50

Janet B.
1 review so far 6
05.03.2017 17:28

The Service was a little slow but was worth it the food was delicious all of us enjoyed what we ordered staff very pleasant we Will be visiting again