With all the sunshine we’ve been lucky enough to experience recently, it’s the perfect time to sit outside and enjoy a drink and a bite. I recently did exactly that at luxury hotel Baglioni London (which recently celebrated its 10th birthday), sitting out on their terrace facing Kensington Gardens.
The hotel is known for their classic Italian style, so naturally they do summer drinks and nibbles the Italian way.
The Italian tradition of aperitivo is an after-work drink with light snacks, for winding down after a long day. The snacks stimulate the appetite for dinner, while the traditional drinks, such as a spritz or negroni, prepare the palette. The luxury five-star hotel serves their own interpretation of the pre-dinner food and drink, heavily influenced by the tastes of Italy.
With most of the staff and many guests hailing from Italy, attention to detail is key when it comes to the Baglioni’s aperitivo menu.
Everything is done with the greatest care to provide a classic authenticity. For example, while Negronis have become trendy across London, with many bars giving the cocktail (traditionally made with gin, vermouth rosso and campari) its own twist, I’ve never tasted one as impeccable as at the Baglioni London. And that includes one in Milan a couple of months ago!
The food was brilliant too, with traditional favourites well executed. Italian breads, including a regional Sardinian crispbread, were a lovely accompaniment to a cold meat and cheese platter (including Italian cheeses and classic meats, such as Mortadella and prosciutto cotto).
Bruschetta with creamy burrata cheese and a plate of lightly fried seafood added even more variety to the spread, and we finished off with some sweets and an espresso. My Italian friend even said that she felt as if she were back home, especially as we sat on the terrace bathed in sunshine, looking out onto Kensington Gardens.
The Baglioni London truly delivers on their aperitivo experience in every way. The food, drinks, service and the views live up to the hotel’s 5-star rating to become so much more than simple after-work drinks and nibbles. Prices start at £15 for drinks and a selection of antipasti. An absolute bargain when you consider the quality, with the portions so generous that it ended up being the perfect summer evening meal.
Photo credits: LHI blogger Rajul.