The Carmela Italian Restaurant is run by the Raciti family and offers an authentic Italian dining experience for all the family. Based in Denne Road Horsham, West Sussex, the 16th century listed building has been completely renovated from top to toe in a contemporary yet charming style which is both warm and inviting. ‘A little touch of Italy’ is how your host Francesco describes it. And it does feels just like that - with an Italian mural on one wall, lit lime candles, dark table linen rustic wooden floors and a little bit of Italian chatter in the background. You genuinely feel like a welcome guest in their family run business and not hurried in any way.
As you would expect, the menu offers the traditional Italian breads, pizzas and pastas dishes but there is also a range of other dishes to delight including: Swordfish and pan fried Calf’s liver with creamy mashed potato. All of the dishes are homemade on the premises and the dough is specially made to an authentic family recipe. You can of course order a pizza, with a choice of your favourite toppings - Interestingly, the pizza arrives on a bread board already cut - an absolute invitation to ditch the knife and fork and eat with your fingers. Some people would say it tastes better that way.
As well as the main restaurant downstairs - upstairs reveals another large dining room which accommodates up to 50 diners (perfect for a private party!) and also a small private meeting room complete with a sofa for just a handful of people. The building is fully ‘wifi-ed’ and anyone is welcome to drop by at any time of day with their laptop - or indeed book some private space for meetings - or just so they can work in peace. You won’t be getting in anyone’s way if you are still there at 4pm in the afternoon with a cup of coffee - all the Raciti family are sitting around the bar downstairs and getting ready for evening service.