Opened in 2016, the Elephant Bank Italian Restaurant occupies a prominent spot on Neston's main thoroughfare, The Cross.

The site of a former Natwest bank, the impressive brick facade now complements a lovingly-restored and comfortable interior.

A small, smartly-tiled bar area gives way to a welcoming dining space comprised of tables and booths offset by ambient lighting and an exposed brick decor.

For a quirkier eating experience the owners have also converted the original bank vault into a private dining area, which can accommodate

up to 14 people for food.

A compact but enticing evening menu reveals that many of its ingredients are locally sourced from renowned suppliers.

An array of starters and smaller dishes including standard Italian appetisers including bruschetta and olives are on offer, as well as larger antipasti platters to share.

Our party of five (four adults and an infant) opt for olives and rosemary focaccia, which is served with a rapeseed oil and balsamic dip.

Shared among the table, both starters are excellent and whet the appetite for the four pizzas that follow as main course -

our decisions based on the establishment winning the Best Independent Pizzeria in the UK Award in 2017.

For the record, the mains menu offers plenty of alternatives to pizza, with appetising pasta dishes, risottos and a selection of burgers also available.

However, the eatery's reputation for quality pizza proves justified, with my wife and I both enjoying our traditional stone-baked pepperoni with mozzarella, basil and San Marzano tomatoes.

The shared side portions of a green salad and 'funky chips' are both generous and delicious, and are washed down with a pint of draft Moretti (me) and a glass of Prosecco (my wife).

Our fellow diners devour their own pizzas in earnest, polishing off a South Devon Chilli Farm option and a gluten-free Fire Roasted Pepper with Goats Cheese choice between them.

Flavours in all of the dishes are uniformly excellent, with waiting staff attentive on a reassuringly busy Thursday evening.

Offering a reasonably priced and relaxed dining experience, Elephant Bank's informality should impress newcomers and returning diners alike.

An elephantine success story.

How it rated:

Elephant Bank Pizzeria & Bar, The Cross Nelson. Tel: 0151 306 9984

Ambience – 9/10

Service – 9/10

Food quality – 8/10

Children welcome – yes

Disabled access – yes