The Who singer says he loves La Bella Vista, on Grand Parade, because of its great atmosphere and food. “I love restaurants, and I love taking people to dinner,” he says. “There’s a wonderful little Italian one in Hastings called La Bella Vista – I’m a massive fan of the town. There’s something funky and down to earth about it that suits me. Eating out with the banter going on, people laughing, the bonhomie - it’s wonderful!”
La Bella Vista specialises in contemporary Italian dishes, and is run by Aldo Esposito, his wife Deborah, and brother Franco. The family have owned it since 2015, and say it has “evolved considerably” since then, both in “food and experience”.
They use fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, including fish landed by Hastings’ beach-launched fishing fleet. They do a wide variety of Italian a la carte dishes, and a set lunch menu on weekdays from noon to 4pm (£12.95 for one course, or £16.95 for two courses). The antipasti dishes include choices like Napolitan pasta frittatina, containing ham, cheese, peas and bechamel sauce. The secondi include dishes like aglio e olio - spaghetti with garlic, chilli, lemon zest, breadcrumbs and parsley.
Daltrey, 77, is a regular visitor, but he says at home he tends to eat very simply. The only exception is Sundays when he and his wife cook roast lamb for their grandchildren. “I can’t do very spicy food,” he told Waitrose Food magazine. “I swallowed a nail when I was four years old so my guts are a bit chopped about. But I don’t suffer from iron deficiency!”
The rock star says he spent lockdown setting up a microbrewery on his farm in Sussex. “I was talking to my son and my two sons-in-law at the start: none of us knew how long this was all going to go on for, and we were all trying to think of a cyclical thing that we could do on our farm. Sussex is a famous hop-growing area, so we started a microbrewery - it’s called Lakedown Brewing Company. We’ll be using water from a spring there, and the grain we use in the brewing process will then be fed to cattle. And it’s really good beer! I’m not even really a beer drinker but I think it’s fabulous.”
:: La Bella Vista is open seven days a week. Serving times are from midday to 9pm.