Brunello Bar at the Baglioni

Words by Thea Lewis-Yates

Gracefully acquiescing to the merciless gridlock of London, the Baglioni Hotel is a continental oasis situated in the heart of the capital. Recalling old school European luxe, it’s an Italian paradiso from a bygone era, a showcase of sophistication for the jet-set prima donna. Think opulent marble walkways and burnished bronze interiors - no overcrowded, reclaimed wooden counters or exposed brickwork here.

Observing my intrinsic need for satiation by expert mixologists, I’m at once charmed by the exotic glamour of the newly re-launched Brunello bar, glancing out whilst sipping a restorative Negroni – skilfully made to rival Florence’s finest. Led by the savviest inclination, my drinker-in-crime’s Rosewater Martini becomes an instant classic by sip 2: I’m unable to persuade her to drink anything else all evening.

Here, running chivalrously on European time, the Italian tradition of the aperitivo hour is alive and kicking, and Brunello serves complimentary, delicious snack-bites alongside it’s masterful cocktails between 5-7pm.

House chef Alberto Rossetti serves up a small plates masterclass. An exemplary saffron-infused Risotto alla Milanese ravishes the palette, accompanying treasures of rich arancini, panzerotti and crispy crochette, nutty, Kermit-green Castelvetrano olives and the freshest Parmesan.

 

The food is as refined as the hotel’s clientele… being the quintessential Englishwoman that I am, I’ll take my cue to chic drinking any day. After all, I’m yet to spot a Venetian Signora stumbling home after one Bellini too many.

DAVID NEWTON