Going out for a pizza and a glass of decent red wine is one of life’s simple pleasures.  We’re welcomed into Nonno’s Pizzeria on Hatfield Road by the headwaiter, quintessentially Southern Italian, charming and loud; he asks us to take a seat.

The place has a rustic charm, furnished with antiqued wooden tables and chairs and the walls have a rough brick finish. The huge wood-fired pizza oven behind the curved counter glows with warmth giving the restaurant a homely feel and savoury aromas fill the air. I order a mushroom pizza with some rocket and spinach heaped on the top. My husband, teenage daughter and friend order Americanos.

The chef is a young Italian from Trento, a natural, kneading and flinging the dough about; there isn’t a rolling pin in sight and I watch him creating a small disc, re-flouring the surface then throwing it back down, stretching it into a wider disk and making sure it never gets too thin.

He pours on the tomato sauce with a small ladle in circular motion, then its time for a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese and a drizzle of oil, after that he adds the toppings with care and finishes with oregano and garlic. The pizza is put into the oven then served at the perfect temperature, its crust a deep golden brown and cheese bubbling.

When the pizzas arrive they’re huge, and we’re relieved that we didn’t bother with starters. They’re utterly delicious! The waiter sings along to the Italian music as we demolish our food.

The place is getting busy as it’s a Friday night and the headwaiter holds it together by speaking more loudly and flitting from table to table, making sure everybody is happy. My daughter doesn’t quite finish all of her pizza but being a teenager, is likely to devour the rest of it stone cold for breakfast tomorrow morning.

We leave full and content, ready to brave the cold air.

“Ciao e grazie.” I call out as we leave.

The waiter smiles and gives us a wave. “Ciao al prossimo!”