I’m not a great one for Comic Relief.
It’s not that the causes it supports aren’t worthy – they most definitely are. It has more to do with the pain I suffer when the most jarring night of television hits our screens.
Hours of dumbed downed dross featuring Z list celebrities, newsreaders and weather girls competing in Strictly Come Bathing in Baked Beans is not really my thing.
But, thanks to Bella Italia, there is a much more civilised way to donate. That’s because the Italian eatery is giving a proportion of the cost of items from its Red Nose Day menu to the charity.
And as well as filling you with a feel good glow, the restaurant’s food is pretty top notch too.
The Red Nose Day menu is as short as the Godfather Rosso dessert it features is sweet, but diners can sample items from the main Bella Italia menu too.
If you are feeling thirsty the Martini Rosso Royal sounds perfect. Described as a delicious mix of Martini Rosato, Prossecco and strawberry purée over ice, the dink costs £4.95 with 25p going to Comic Relief.
Sadly, my wife and I were driving so we opted for orange juice and dived straight into the main course.
The Red Nose Red Hot Pizza and Not Hot Pizza are the two options, both costing £8.95 with 50p donated to the charity.
The Not Hot pizza, sampled by Mrs Lewis, consists of baby plum tomatoes, spinach and sautéed garlic mushrooms on a creamy white mascarpone and mozzarella base. She tells me it is beautifully coooked and full of flavour.
The Red Hot is something completely different – it’s so spicy restaurant manager Gavin even offers me a glass of milk.
Spicy N’duja Calabrese sausage and Italian salami, chillies, cherry bell peppers and mozzarella on a fiery tomato base make for a pizza that’s not for the lighthearted.
But despite the heat there is plenty to like. If you’re a chilli lover or enjoy a bit of spice with your food then you’ll love this.
Dessert is the magnificent Godfather Rosso (£5.50 with 25p for Comic Relief), a decadent mix of vanilla pod ice cream, rich chocolate brownie pieces and morello cherries topped with whipped cream, morello cherry sauce and chocolate popping candy.
Perfect for quenching the fire of the Red Hot.
So, if like me the main show isn’t your cup of cold bakes beans, then a visit to Bella Italia could just be the way forward,
And if you love the programme, it’s a perfect warm up before you do something funny for money.
Bella Italia, Unit C1b, Theatre District, Lower Twelfth St, Milton Keynes MK9 3LF
Phone: 01908 395369