Massimo Bar’s Aperitivo Afternoon
I spent almost two months in Italy last year. This year? Not a week. I’ve cried real tears over this, people. Real. Tears.
I miss so many things about Italy when I’m in London, but especially my Italian “aperitivo” afternoons. Aperitivo is something like a cocktail hour, but better. It’s an Italian tradition of socializing over a cocktail and small snacks in the late afternoon while waiting for the dinner hour to arrive.
I knew the Massimo Restaurant and Bar at the Corinthia Hotel was serving a summer aperitivo and was excited when I received my invitation to try it. I brought Miss M along since she takes better photos than I do and I need to concentrate on eating and cocktailing. One has to prioritize.
A few steps from the seething masses at the Embankment tube station and we were standing in the cool, classy Massimo Restaurant and Bar. Bliss.
Once we decided where to sit…a seat at the gorgeous Art Deco Bar? Better to refill my glass and snacks, my dear.
One of the black leather banquettes under the shimmering chandeliers? Perfect for intimate conversation and people watching.
We chose a banquette close to the bar (perfect compromise!) and flipped through the cocktail menu while listening to a playlist that would make any member of the Rat Pack proud.
First up? Classic cocktails. A Bellini for me and an Aperol Spritz for the fabulous Miss M. Both arrived promptly accompanied by a beautiful tray of complimentary snacks.
Lovely arancini, freshly made focaccia, stuffed olives, grissini and a lovely melange of aubergine, mushroom, and tomato. Divine.
Next, the Negroni course. A Sicilian and a Turin, skillfully mixed and delivered by our handsome, black-tied barman.
What a fabulous way to experience a little La Dolce Vita in London.
All photography credits: Madeline Belt Photography
Things to Know:
Massimo is located in the elegant Corinthia Hotel. You can enter the restaurant and bar directly from the street (10 Northumberland Avenue) or by accidently wandering through the hotel lobby entrance on Whitehall Place. Ahem. Sorry.
The Corinthia Hotel and Massimo Restaurant and Bar are very close to the National Gallery, the Theatre District, and Covent Garden. Charing Cross and Embankment are the nearest underground stations.
There is no formal dress code for the Aperitivo Hour, although the surroundings dictate casual workday attire at a minimum (I’m looking at you, tourists in your cargo shorts, hats, and Hawaiian shirts).
Massimo Restaurant and Bar hosts the summer Aperitivo Hour in the bar, Monday through Saturday, 5 pm to 7 pm until 31 August. Drink prices range from £8.50 to £30 for a glass of wine. Mixed drinks average £16. Aperitivo is complementary, of course.
Massimo‘s also offers a well-regarded Italian dinner menu. I’ve already made my reservation.
**I was an invited guest of Massimo Bar and Restaurant. The opinion expressed is entirely my own and can’t be bought or influenced by gifts and fancy things (just ask my husband).
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