The Italian tradition of aperitivo is one that everyone should be a fan of – it’s basically after-work drinks, but with better food than a packet of crisps or pork scratchings. Baglioni Hotel London recently renovated their Brunello Bar, so I popped in with a friend to sample their aperitivo menu (again!).
The new design in the bar is stylish and sleek, inspired by Milanese design.
It had a lovely buzz as we walked in after work; plenty of other people were enjoying a drink or aperitivo before going into the restaurant. As soon as we arrived, we were offered a drink to start the evening.
We went for the traditional Aperol Spritz – a classic aperitivo drink made with prosecco and a bitter liqueur, which our friendly barman Francesco prepared for us. Check out my video on Instagram of Francesco working his magic.
After our drinks arrived, we were presented with a selection of “stuzzichini” (finger foods or nibbles).
They included Sicilian arancini, bruschetta, some delicious crumbly Gran Padano cheese with vinegar, and a plain omelette. We were then served an exquisite saffron risotto with truffle.
Once we had polished off our food, we decided to prop up the bar and watch the brilliant and approachable Francesco work his magic. He was kind enough to talk to us about the products they use, including the liqueurs and flavourings that are carefully selected to create unique in-house blends.
He gave us the chance to sample one of his favourites, the coffee pepper pisco liqueur which was deliciously warming and the perfect way to end the evening.
While London now has loads of places that do aperitivo this is the original and the best – constantly upping their game by changing ingredients and dishes depending on the season and to showcase different regions of Italy.
In terms of technical excellence the service and drinks at Brunello cannot be bettered – their bartenders are Italian and at times I felt I had been transported to Milan! The atmosphere was buzzy all evening while remaining discreet and fun. Highly recommended! Book your aperitivo here.
Photo credits: LHI blogger Rajul, Baglioni Hotel London.