Diners can enjoy a slice of la dolce vita in the heart of historic St Albans now that Prezzo at 3 The Colonnte, Christopher's Place, is back in business and doing a roaring trade.

Prezzo prides itself in providing top quality Italian food in elegant and character-full buildings – and Prezzo, St Albans, certainly does not disappoint.

With subdued lighting, cosy candles, expansive mirrors giving an airy feel, profusions of wood panelling to make you think of home and laid-back music, this is the perfect place to while away an evening with a bottle of Frascati (or two) and a perfect pasta or pizza.

The service too is absolutely charming and I must confess on my visit this week I felt absolutely at home. It has in excess of 100 covers but you would never imagine so nicely and the place retains a surprisingly intimate feel.

There is a good selection of starters and I went for the fiery tiger prawns in garlic, chilli and spinach served with focaccia bread (£5.65). That really hit the spot with enough heat to tickle the taste buds without being too hot to prevent me from savouring the subtle flavours.

I took my 10-year-old daughter Phoebe along and there in is one of the great attractions of the place. It is equally at home pampering the palettes of old fogies like me as well as the youngsters.

She started with a wholesome bowl of minestrone soup with ciabatta bread (£4.85). It was so thick and crammed full of tasty vegetables that I feared she wouldn’t finish it but she lapped it up in no time. She immediately demanded I get the recipe to make it at home!

I had opened with seafood so I continued in that vain by ordering the lobster and crab tortelli. It is a snip at £9.95 per generous helping and is served with lightly blanched baby spinach and more red chilli in a light and creamy saffron sauce.

My daughter’s eyes meanwhile bulged wide with delight when her pick arrived. The stone baked tre gusti pizza with pepperoni, generous slices of seasoned chicken breast, pancetta bacon, fresh rosemary, mozzarella and tomato (£9.45) was a winner. And fortunately it was so big that it beat even my daughter’s huge appetite so I was able to enjoy a slice too!

She was really struggling now and full fit to burst and opted for the simple ice cream desert but our lovely waitress persuaded me – OK, she didn’t have to try toot hard – to have the fabulous tiramisu cheesecake from the specials menu dreamed up by “Raul” a chef who joined the Prezzo “family” almost 20 years ago.

For younger diners unable to boast Phoebe’s capacity for consumption there is a children’s menu offering a selection of pizza and pasta as part of a three course menu at a set price of £4.95 which seems pretty good value for money, as does the entire Prezzo dining experience.

Prezzo offers good food, well cooked and served by attentive staff in very comfortable surroundings. It’s great value for money too, so, if you needed excuses, there are five of them that should tempt you to go along to enjoy the Prezzo experience.

For more details visit Prezzo or call 01727 859050.