Aperitivo in London: Italians do it Bitter

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Aperitivo is deeply bound to Milanese and Torinese culture where it has become a must for after work relax or in any case before dinner. Aperitivo is basically what in Spain is the concept of tapas. The classic Italian cocktails are served with an array of free nibbles very different from the usual American or British idea of bar snacks.
When an aperitivo time is going, you will be surrounded by an air of sociability at the bar, with various people and new friends sharing and talking. In other words, aperitivo brings a nice buzz to the bar.
We want to show you some of our favourite bars in London where you can experience the best aperitivo! Let’s start with…

Sartoria

Sartoria, London

Sartoria is an Italian restaurant and bar on Savile Row and it is known because you can spot a crowd in the evenings. They all come here because at Sartoria they serve a menu of stuzzichini. Stuzzichini is the Italian for finger food and small delicious “something-to-eat”.

At Sartoria you can taste sweet and sour onions with Sardinian red tuna or salted Sicilian almonds, all combined with a classic Italian drink. Don’t forget that Sartoria offers some delicious alternatives to well-known cocktails, including their Tom Collins and Sling.

Bulgari Hotel

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Bulgari Hotel, London

The Bulgari Hotel on the edge of Hyde Park features a contemporary and elegant architecture, while Bulgari’s legendary flair for design lends a dose of Milanese glamour into the heart of Knightsbridge. The bar in the Bulgari Hotel is bowl-shaped and crafted from hammered silver, it presents black granite floors, a titanium finished ceiling and molded mahogany walls.

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With such an high standards for the bar itself, at Bulgari Hotel they can not serve no less quality drinks: Spritz, Bellini, Negroni and Sgroppino (a drink originating in Venice based on lemon sorbet with vodka and topped up with the Italian sparkling wine Prosecco) are pure perfection and come with Italian prosciutto, bresaola, parmesan-studded grissini and mandatory italian organic green olives.

Apero in Ampersand Hotel

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Ampersand Hotel, London

You can find lots of Italian eateries in Chelsea but you totally need to visit the Ampersand Hotel and take a look to what chef Chris Golding prepared for you with his Apero, the convivial space in Ampersand Hotel entirely focused on aperitivo hour, of course in the true Mediterranean style.

Apero features industrial accents with its white tiles, exposed light bulbs, whitewashed brickwork, metal stools and vintage look parquet. But Apero’s showpiece is the way it innovates cocktails. Apero’s Tintoretto, for example, is a modification of a Negroni which replaces Campari with Aperol, vermouth with Amer Picon and Antica Formula, gin with Banks Rum.

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The end result is very easy on the palate, if not the liver. Apero‘s Tintoretto goes well with any selection form the menu, but we would like to suggest the crispy parmesan straws and the ricotta-stuffed courgette flower.

Enoteca Super Tuscan

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Enoteca Super Tuscan, London

In the Enoteca Super Tuscan, just a stone’s throw from Spitalfields, you can experience the aperitivo time just as you were in Italy. In fact rather than leaving the snacks on the counter they bring them to your table, the italian way! These include panelle, a sort of bowtie-shaped chickpea chip, as well as olives, bruschetta and truffled popcorn.

Along with the Enoteca Super Tuscan’s own cocktails you can drink an intense Negroni Sbagliato or a refreshing Poli Spritz. If you have a practiced palate you are a oenophile, you can find the right wine in the wine bar, boasting one of the most diverse menus of vino hailing from the Tuscany region in Britain.

Classic Italian Aperitivo, photo by Matteo Paciotti

Classic Italian Aperitivo, photo by Matteo Paciotti

You have just read where to find our favourite spots for Italian aperitivo in London.
Tell us your favourite ones in the comments below!

Thank to Niklas Hellerstedt for the photo on top.

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