Spilling over from the continent is the trend for aperitivo hour. A cocktail and a light bite are served before dinner – usually nuts or olives.
A relaxed and refined tradition for the Milanese, and now for Londoners too. The perfect setting for such a thing is the newer underground bar space from Paesan, known for its rustic Italian menu. With vintage furniture, exposed wood and secluded booths, it’s a great escape from the buzz above.
Drinks are Italian too, with homemade limoncello, prosecco cocktails, Italian beers and classics like martinis done to perfection. If you’re looking for something more unusual, try a savoury rosemary and ginger spritz. Drinks tend to pack a punch, so stick to one or two before heading upstairs when you’ve discovered your appetite.