By Charlotte Hope, Lifestyle Editor @charlottehope
I like cocktails a lot. There, I said it. I like drinking them, I like looking at them, I like making them, and I like drinking them. I normally err on the side of gin-based cocktails, but for whatever reason this has been the summer that the Aperol Spritz has come into its own. Clever marketing enterprising on a lust for the Italian way of life (minus the political corruption and bunga-bunga parties) has meant the Spritz has had quite the year. With this in mind and the powerful desire to prolong summer at any cost, I headed (in the rain) to Ca’puccino on Kings Road to see what they had to offer.
Ca’puccino prides itself on Italian produce and Italian recipes. With its origins in Italy, there are now a few Ca’puccinos’ around London (and one at Heathrow Airport). The Kings Road café had limited seating upstairs but plenty of seating in the cosy downstairs area, where I was promptly shown. The menu is extensive and offers Italian-style Afternoon Tea as well as traditional lunch items, brunch and desserts. I was most intrigued by the Aperitivo menu, having particularly embraced this Italian tradition when in Tuscany on holiday last year. Nibbles and alcohol before a full dinner? Yes please. It’s something I’ve tried to add to my nightly routine but my limited resources and imagination have rendered the entire endeavour useless and added about six inches to my waistline.
Imagination was certainly not lacking here with the dessert-sounding savoury canapé menu. I opted for a tuna pannacotta and a goats cheese, mascarpone and olive layered cake, to go alongside the Aperol Spritz I took no time in choosing. Both canapés were delicious and fresh; I could have eaten about 20. The spotlight had to be on the Spritz, however, which was easily the best one I’ve ever had. This is in part due to running out of Aperol at home and settling on Campari (don’t do it, just absolutely don’t) to make my own, and in part due to whatever magical genuine Italian Prosecco they’re using. I asked the manager a little about the Spritz and he was proud to say they source non-commercial but very much ‘authentic’ Italian products. It shows.
I then enjoyed a sweet canapé alongside the signature ‘Shakerato’ cocktail that Ca’puccino offers. This is coffee blended with Amaretto – eliminating the need for sugar to offset any incidental bitterness in the coffee – and is the perfect after dinner treat. This was complimented by an adorably presented chocolate eclair esque sweet canapé with a dark chocolate coffee bean on top. I was sad to leave the café but did so knowing I would be back, possibly this week to celebrate London Cocktail Week but certainly in the near future for further Aperitivi with my friends.
Ca’puccino can be found at 138A King’s Road London SW3 4XB