Villa Toscana, 179 Brockley Road

Having spent the last few weeks getting the restaurant up to speed, and earning some decent reviews from BCers in the process, Villa Toscana's manager Susan Caroleo has spoken to us about the new Brockley Road venue.

Having been through a few recent incarnations in recent years, the new place has prompted more reader questions than most places in the area, so she's taken the opportunity to address them and tell us more about the restaurant:

How would you describe Villa Toscana to someone who'd never been?

Villa Toscana Restaurant is a modern Italian restaurant, serving fresh and authentic dishes.  Our speciality dishes include

- Bocconcini di pescatrice in umido con pancetta affumicata, salsa al limone e fagiolini  (Medallions of monkfish wrapped in smoked pancetta, lemon sauce and steamed french beans) and also
- Costolette d’ agnello alla piastra con rattatuia al profumo di menta (Grilled lamb cutlet with minted ratatouille)

At the same time we have a fantastic choice on our a la carte menu, with also weekly specials available.

What are your opening hours?

We are open at present from Wednesday – Saturday 5.30pm – 11.30pm, and Sunday 12Noon – 6.00pm, with Monday and Tuesday closed.  We are available for hire, for any type of function or party.  We will also be opening this year Christmas Day & Boxing Day.

What are your contact details?

Our website is, you can email us at, and of course we can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Who's in the team?

Our Head Waiter Alexandro, is in charge of the floor, and Head Chef Mauro in charge of the kitchen, who between the both have extensive experience in Italian restaurants at the highest level, and which will ensure that our customers will have the best in food and service.  This is a completely different team from when it was run as La Lanterna, although the owners are the same.

What happened with 'Alby's Place'?

When Lanterna closed down, and refurbishment work started on the building we unfortunately found out that the building was unsafe and therefore the amount of work and money that was need to rectify the problem was immense, which is why unfortunately has taken so long to re-open.

We had on completion agreed to rent the premises out to a company that was going to run the business as a private club, but as soon as we found out that there were issues surrounding this, we immediately cancelled their contract and they left.  We therefore decided that the premises needed to go back to being an Italian restaurant, which is what we feel the area needed, and at the same time we decided that going forward we should change the name to give a new fresh start.

We are extremely happy with the outcome and the positive feedback from all our new customers, and hope that those who have doubts about our business come and visit us to experience the restaurant themselves.

Why have you done this now?

The area has changed such a lot in the last couple of years and very much for the best, with various restaurants opening up that can only improve the area even more.

Is there a hotel above the restaurant?

The upper parts of our building will be run similar to a hotel, but is primarily for those people that may want to rent a room for a long period of time, or whether locals have visiting family or friends that they cannot accommodate and need to put them up a room, or even business clients.

What happened to the Lanterna model chef?

Unfortunately the model chef that used to sit on the roof at Lanterna, has gone into retirement back to Italy, as the English weather got to him!