Zeferellis is a true multi-purpose meeting place in Ambleside, the English Lake District. During the day it is a high class coffee shop, and in the evening it transforms into an excellent vegetarian restaurant. There is an attached cinema with several screens, and is one of the few in the area. They also have regular live music performances in the Jazz Cafe Bar and holds concerts in the auditorium, although it is not clear where this is located.
The coffee shop and restaurant both have extensive menus which obviously change once the sun goes down. The menu is strictly vegetarian, but there are plenty of options and most people will be entirely satisfied by the choices on offer whatever the time of the visit.
The evening menu is especially impressive, with a large and excellent selection of tasty starters and small bites. It can be difficult choosing a main course, with a selection of pasta dishes, vegetarian chilli, casserole and pizzas, all of which look worth a try and if you have the time, working your way through the whole thing, would be a great way to spend a few weeks. There are several dishes which will keep our vegan and gluten free friends happy too.
Of course a menu is incomplete without a dessert at least that is what my female friends always assure me. It is again fairly extensive without being too overwhelming. For me it is always difficult to get past the tiramisu, which is a favourite of mine, however there are some other equally good options for those who are a little more dessert adventurous than me.
Those of you that know me a little will be aware that I would not write any review about a restaurant and give it a ‘thumbs up’ if it did not have a top wine list, and Zefferellis certainly does not disappoint. There is a range of high quality red and white wines to suit all budgets. If your pockets are deep or you have a reason to celebrate the Barolo at the expensive end of that list is sensational.
One of the things that really makes Zefferellis stand out is the cinema which has four screens in total, and although it sometimes requires a short walk to the ‘annex’, it also shows all the latest releases. It may not be the most modern cinema and sometimes has a few technical hitches that sometimes seem to hark back to an earlier and slightly less professional era, but this just adds a little to the charm of the place. The absolute show stopper though is that you can book a package which includes two courses in the restaurant and a seat for the latest must see release in the cinema, your seat is reserved, I may be easily pleased, but that rates as a great night out to me!
I have yet to experience the live music in the Jazz Cafe Bar, but it is a deficiency that I seriously intend to remedy very soon, as the list of planned performers for the next few weeks certainly has me intrigued. The final clincher is the website, it has a full list of the activities available, cinema, Jazz Cafe Bar and the menus and wine list are also downloadable, enabling you to decide what you want before you even arrive ……….. that includes the dessert; girls!