The Ampersand hotel in London is launching a new bar and restaurant this month, aiming to celebrate the Italian tradition of the aperitivo.
Apero, which will open on 29 August, will be set within the Victorian vaulted cellars of the South Kensington hotel, which has undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment.
A collaboration with the Gorgeous Group, it will offer a menu of small plates, as well as a cocktail menu focused on classic Italian drinks.
The food offer will be overseen by head chef Chris Golding comprising a Mediterranean-inspired menu of predominantly sharing dishes, which will start at £6. Typical dishes will include cured mackerel with purple potatoes, fennel, pistachio and candied lemon; crispy tapenade straws or gnocchi with rainbow chard and smoked scamorza.
Golding, who was previously head chef at Grangers & Co and worked at Nobu, Mirabelle and the Square, commented: "When creating the menu I was inspired by the European culture of communal eating, where food and drink bring people together. We want to create the same neighbourhood feel at Apero."
Meanwhile cocktails will start at £7.50 and will focus on classic Italian brands such as Campari and Martini, including the "Browning's Rapture", a mix of Sipsmith gin, Galliano L'Authentico, fino Sherry and celery bitters.
Robbie Bargh, founder and creative director of Gorgeous Group, added: "We wanted to create a food and drink offering that would engage with the neighbourhood of South Kensington. Apero is more of an intimate ‘local' restaurant and bar serving great modern Mediterranean dishes and fantastic Aperitivo style drinks."
The Ampersand hotel will also open the Drawing Rooms this month, serving artisanal coffee, Champagne and sweet and savoury plates created by head pastry chef Ji Sun Sin, former sous chef at Nobu.
By Kerstin Kühn
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