Vicky Mayer samples the delights at L’Anima, a modern Italian for city slickers

If you’ve got relatives or friends coming to stay over Christmas or the New Year it pays to have a fantastic restaurant up your sleeve so you don’t become a slave to your stove. L’Anima, which is handily situated just behind Liverpool Street station, is a sure-fire winner for all ages and will accommodate even the fussiest of eaters.

Situated in a pedestrian-only courtyard this modern restaurant has the wow factor before you’ve even sat down. Floor to ceiling windows with white leather seats and crisply set tables provide the perfect setting for a memorable meal.

Here Head Chef Lello Favuzzi and his team create gorgeous looking food you’ll be Instagramming before your meal is over. We started with two moreish starters, a langoustine and prawn filled ravioli with spicy lobster broth and an equally delicious dish of crab with sea urchin and red onions.

Unlike many other restaurants the starters here aren’t too overwhelming and the incredibly professional staff give you a proper amount of time between courses to digest your food and catch up with your dining partner. We asked for the sommelier to help us with pairing the wine with the courses, taking away the pressure of which bottle to order. Our main courses not only looked good, they tasted amazing. I opted for the black cod in prosecco with clams while my sister tried the pappardelle with wild boar ragu. Both dishes deserved to be on a michelin starred menu with the ragu, a clever modern take on spaghetti bolognaise getting both our votes.

On the evening we visited l’Anima was packed with tables of city folk and those on first time dates, all enjoying the ambience and buzz of this high end restaurant and judging by the quality of the food and service, it’s no surprise that it’s so popular.

Like us, you’ve probably had many meals where two courses in, you vow not to eat a dessert, only to look at the menu and cave in. And cave in you must, because the signature chocolate dome, combining all manner of delicious chocolate flavours, is not to be missed.

This is a truly memorable restaurant, serving five-star food. Visit it over the festive season and it will soon become a favourite for 2016.

1 Snowden Street EC2A 2DQ; lanima.co.uk

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