Nestled in a picturesque Ribble Valley village sits a small Italian restaurant – but this quaint eatery packs a punch with some hailing it as the “best in the world outside of Italy”.  

La Laconda of Gisburn in the Ribble Valley is a family-run business that promises to deliver the authentic taste of Italy to local customers.

The small restaurant has scooped multiple awards over the years. Most recently they received a surprise award at the Lancashire Tourism Awards for their outstanding contribution to Taste Lancashire.

Lancashire Telegraph: Cinzia and Maurizio Bocchi at The Lancashire Tourism AwardsCinzia and Maurizio Bocchi at The Lancashire Tourism Awards

It’s not the only award they have received as they are regular recipients of the Ospitalità Italiana award - a certification that highlights the best Italian restaurants around the world, those which seek to defend and protect Italian cuisine and preserve its history, culture, quality and authenticity.

La Locanda can also be found in the Michelin Great Britain Restaurant Guide as well as Harden’s Guide.

Italian-born owners, Maurizio and Cinzia Bocchi, have been running the venue for 18 years and say their fresh and locally sourced vegetables and meat keep the customers coming back for more.

Maurizio said: “Our ethos is to use local produce and fresh ingredients to create authentic Italian cuisine.

“However, some ingredients can’t be purchased and replicated in the UK which is why we get some things from Italy, such as the extra virgin olive oil."

The owners want to take their customers on a journey to the “heart of Italian cuisine” by serving authentic recipes that go back for generations.

However, you won’t find pizza on their menu and their a la carte dishes change according to the season. 

Seared king scallops, sea trout filled ravioli and wild sea bass with lemon and white wine sauce are some of the items on their menu right now - as well as pasta, of course.

They even offer an ‘eat like an Italian’ service where you can purchase as many as twelve courses and prepare to spend as long as five hours relaxing and savouring the dishes as they come.

According to Maurizio, the restaurant would be nothing without its welcoming atmosphere.

He said: “We want to feel like you are coming to eat in our house.

"We want to create a nice experience for customers with a relaxed atmosphere and top service.

“We try to give every guest the best experience possible and a day to remember, with a relaxed atmosphere and top service.”

Don’t just take their word for it – read the glowing Google reviews for yourself.

They currently have a 4.8/5 rating from reviewers with many praising the food’s authentic Italian flavours.

One person wrote: “This is truly the best Italian restaurant we've ever had the pleasure of eating at outside of Italy.

“Authentic and high quality food that was absolutely gorgeous. The service was excellent and the interior and ambience is fabulous. Very much looking forward to eating here again soon.”

Another said: “True authentic Italian, fab atmosphere with a cosy feel. Food was exceptional and staff were super… I really enjoyed the experience and it is well worth a visit.”

“Most amazing Italian restaurant I have ever been to. Service was perfect and food was delicious. We were given complimentary soup and at the end of the meal…100% recommended,” wrote another.

However, running a successful business hasn’t always been easy for the couple – especially in the pandemic.

Maurizio said: “The past 18 years certainly haven't been without their ups and downs.

“The 2008 credit crunch was tough and just like everyone in the hospitality industry, the past two years have been a challenge.

“Now is the time to think about the future. We have a new website and want to become more focussed on buying local ingredients, the environment.

“We will be hosting cooking lessons in the future and we will be a lot focussed on local produce and local products more than ever.”

Find out more about the restaurant by visiting their website: