CARLO Italian Bistro – Deli has celebrated its official opening in West Street, Haslemere. 

A glass of bubbly and a selection of canapés greeted all those invited to its big opening night.

Carlo Papagni, owner of the newly-opened restaurant in West Street, Haslemere, made sure every dish came out perfect and that every guest had a drink in hand.

Mayor Jerome Davidson turned up to welcome the restaurant to the town centre.

Carlo chose Haslemere as the next location for his restaurant after diners at his Beacon Hill location begged him to open another one. 

Carlo has always been deeply passionate about food. Though originally from Italy, he didn’t quite learn from his mother’s knee – indeed whenever he tried to come into the kitchen she would send him out! The kitchen was her domain, but through her he learned to love food. 

When he came to the UK 35 years ago Carlo would call his mother up all the time to ask her how to cook, learning his craft from her in a kitchen miles away from his Italian home. 

Now despite having the demands of two restaurants to juggle, you can often find Carlo in the kitchen, where he feels happiest, passing on his mother’s recipes to all his staff.

Despite living in Esher, Carlo decided to open his restaurants in Beacon Hill and Haslemere because he said the area was so “charismatic and picturesque”.

For Carlo, his restaurants are his home away from home, a little piece of Italy in Surrey. He only cooks with the freshest ingredients and also sells some Italian favourites like pasta and amaretto biscuits. 

So far, the gelato has proved the most popular item on Carlo’s menu with the hot weather making the ice cream fly off the shelf quicker than Carlo can restock it. 

But he’s ready for the cold weather as well with panettone already planned for the autumn. 

Carlo’s is now open until 10pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday – a discovery that delighted a Haslemere resident who posted: “That’s going to come in handy on our late night dog walks this winter.”

Someone else commented on the post: “The food is excellent and the owners are the hardest working restauranteurs you’ll find around.

“To have an authentic Italian restaurant in the area is awesome.”

Carlo said: “I hope people appreciate what we are trying to do here and for the community.”

Despite the cost-of-living crisis and financial pressures, Carlo has opened a new restaurant and has welcomed everyone into his home.