A social Italian tradition has been brought to the capital’s Covent Garden by way of Il Tempo – a laid-back Italian bar/café, where you can freely graze on utterly delicious quick bites, known as Aperitivo.
Aperitivo is a totally Italian social affair that originates from the north of the peninsula, between the Alps and the Adriatic. It marks the end of the day when locals take the cobbled streets and gather at piazzas, exchanging air kisses and ciaos over cold drinks and delicious traditional bites. We were warmly greeted in by Turin-born entrepreneur, Stefano Patrone, whose vision is to bring a piece of this desirable Italian lifestyle to a city that obviously loves having a good time.
The concept at Il Tempo is simple – purchase at least one Aperitivo drink and enjoy the canapés (freshly prepared daily by the in-house Michelin star restaurant experienced chef) freely and for free of charge. We were easily sold on this novel opportunity in London and enjoyed our pre-theatre pit stop cocktail with pepper salami pastries, juicy olives, a myriad of herb crusted savoury nibbles along with a plate of hearty gnocchi with wild boar ragu from the lunch menu.
Il Tempo also opens from the early morning as an Italian coffee bar, which we hear, amongst other hot brews, serves up amazing signature Turin hot chocolate. There are also light breakfast bites and a short but sweet sandwich and salad lunch selection available to eat in or takeaway. As evening falls, it transforms into a chic after-work drinks destination, specialising in Italian tipples, aperitifs and rare regional wine, always accompanied of course, with scrummy, authentic Aperitivo in a true Italian fashion.
By Reena Patel