Il Tempo, London

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  • London’s first ever aperitivo bar has taken up residency in the capital and Marie Claire went to sample its delights

    If you’ve ever been to Italy you’ll know that many bars serve a selection of canapés and nibbles when you’re drinking there in the evening, as do lots of venues across Europe.

    After visiting my sister in Milan, where she was living a few years ago, I’d always been craving the same offering back home, al fresco drinking, sunshine and bite-sized snacks to enjoy with my wine. And it appears my prayers have been somewhat answered by Il Tempo arriving in London.

    The new bar is nestled just off the Strand a step away from the people traffic of Leicester Square and provides a perfectly intimate setting for a first date without the stress of being in a swish restaurant with long menus to choose from or a bar with music so loud you can’t even hear your date. It also provides the ideal spot for after work drinks, and you won’t have to rush to find a restaurant afterwards.

    While Il Tempo’s USP is its aperitvo offering (free when you order an alcoholic drink between 6 and 8.30pm) the secluded spot’s little gem is it’s refreshingly simplistic wine menu. I could pretty much pronounce and therefore order everything on the menu that changes seasonally, often every month.

    Although there are always cocktails on offer too – seeing as it was an Italian bar I ordered the Campari and Aperol Spritz before I picked up my first plate of aperitivo, where the selection changes daily. The night I was there cold meats, crostini and breads were on offer, and all were enjoyed.

    So now I’ve found a new spot for my aperitivo, I’ve just got to work on discovering the same Milanese sunshine…

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