Abbey Road's cafe scene was, let's say, sedate, until Ambria arrived a few months ago. Now this flamboyant Italian deli has injected some energy into this quiet area of St John's Wood. Owned by the Pignatelli family, Ambria sells an excellent range of freshly home-cooked lasagnes and pastas and traditional Italian deserts for around pounds 3 a portion, as well as a huge range of imported packaged foods (pastas, sauces, olives, sundried tomatoes etc.) Outdoor seating, flamboyant service, sublime espresso.

59a Abbey Road, St John's Wood, London NW8, 0171 328 8692. Open daily 7am to10pm.