I’ve recently spent time in South Kensington, an area I’m somewhat familiar with after living in London for five years. But there’s a lot more to it than the few places I’ve been to, and I have already started to discover some new ones. One of them is the Baglioni bar, which invited me and a fellow London blogger to try out its summer cocktail menu and bar food.
The Baglioni bar—which is officially called the Brunello Lounge—is located in the Baglioni Hotel, a five-star boutique hotel right on the edge of Hyde Park in London. The Brunello Lounge is located adjacent to the dining room, and its low light and sleek decor make it a great place for cocktails and nibbles.
I started out with a Cool as a Cucumber cocktail, which is made with Hendrick’s gin, fresh cucumber, archers, midori, and pineapple juice. It was the perfect cocktail for a hot summer evening, and went down a treat. While I sipped, I grazed on plump olives from Puglia, Italy.
Next on the list was the Sun Surprise, a cocktail made with St. Germain Elderflower, lime juice, cranberry juice, and Moet & Chandon Champagne. It was served with a golden orb of dried pineapple, and was almost too pretty to drink. But I imbibed, and I’m glad I did. It was light and refreshing, and like the Cool as a Cucumber, just right for the warm night.
While we sipped, we talked to the barman, Marcello, who was from Sardinia. He recommended we try a Moresca cocktail, which was made with Mirto di Sardegna, a myrtle berry liqueur from his island.
The cocktail also contained egg white, angostura bitter, cranberry juice, and lime juice. I tasted it, and found that it was packed with flavor. Far from the subtle Sun Surprise, the Moresca was forward and fruity, and hit my taste buds with a pleasant smack.
After drinks, we started on food. Out of the kitchen came a huge bowl of bread overflowing with everything from focaccia to Sardinian flatbread. It was all so delicious that we ate every piece.
The bread was followed by a sample platter of aperitivo-style bites. We had some amazingly creamy burrata, great Parma ham, fried eggplant, bresaola with Parmesan cheese, marinated mushrooms, buffalo mozzarella with cherry tomatoes, and prawn tempura.
Then came the pasta. Each of us got a tray filled with miniature portions of three types of pasta: rich ravioli with sage and butter, classic ravioli, and tagliolini with tomato sauce.
Just when I thought I was too full to move, the desserts arrived. There was a delicious passion fruit delice, a rich Baglioni tiramisu, and a vanilla cheesecake with cherry sorbet. They were served with a shot of iced espresso on a bed of tricolor ice that Marcello decorated for us.
By the time our evening at the Baglioni bar came to an end, I was well on my way to food coma. I had to travel back up to north London in order to sleep it off that night, but it was a deliciously dangerous combination.