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Pizzeria meets party palace

Travel

For anyone who loves London or will visit the city some time in the future, make sure you visit Bunga Bunga in Covent Garden.

Developed by Charlie Gilkes and Duncan Stirling - the duo behind Mr Fogg’s, Cahoots, and Maggie’s - the location is a completely immersive experience spread over two different worlds.

On the ground floor BungaTini is an authentic all-day, family-friendly Italian pizzeria and bar.

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Bunga Bunga in Covent Garden, one of London's hidden gems.

But look again and in the far corner is a secret door to the meat locker - here is where the real fun begins.

Those brave enough to venture beyond will find themselves in Bunga Bunga proper, an underworld brimming with old school Italian glamour.

Descending the stairs, guests embark on the experiential journey leading to an all-singing, all-dancing supper club hidden beneath the streets.

On the Thursday I visit, the party was in full swing.

Welcomed at the door, we are informed “Paulie” is being welcomed into a mobster family, the beginning of a loose narrative that runs through the evening.

We’re ushered to our table and the drama unfolds around us, actors using the entire restaurant as a stage to present the story, with a collection of jugglers, diablo acts, singers, live bands, and dancers cavorting through the space.

It’s quite a spectacle, bizarre, sometimes hilarious, and certainly full on.

The decoration is a decadent affair, with a life-size Disaronno Riva Boat, an Emperor’s box, and a Martini Room providing some of the most original spaces in which to dine in London.

Inspired by the original imperial box in ancient Rome’s Colosseum, Bunga Bunga’s Emperor’s Box (occupied by an utterly sloshed hen party during our visit) offers a great chance to indulge, for those who have always secretly longed to be an emperor.

The box offers the complete regal treatment, with one lucky “sovereign” given a grand entrance, held aloft in a sedan chair, before being seated on the central golden throne, looking down upon the loyal subjects and giving the gladiatorial thumbs up or down for each entertainment act.

With so much going on, the food could be almost forgotten, but Bunga Bunga excels here.

A set menu - priced at £39 a head - includes burrata and pappa al pomodoro, mushroom and truffle risotto, and a choice of famous Metro Pizzas.

The mozzarella is fresh, the food plentiful, and while connoisseurs of fine dining might need to look elsewhere, it fits perfectly with the feel of the place.

Not for the faint-hearted, Bunga Bunga is certainly an experience - highly recommended for those who feel the world’s a stage. - Johnny Stephens, Breaking Travel News

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