Only a year old, Cartizze is one of the newest and most swanky additions to Mayfair's exclusive drinking scene. Named after the 1,000 foot prosecco vineyards in Northern Italy, Cartizze oozes all the style, sophistication and class of a Venetian bacaro, but with a 1920s twist. With so much local competition, can Cartizze stand out among London's lavish drinking dens, or will the elegant interior remain a hidden treasure? I went down one Wednesday evening to find out.
Positioned next to the stylish Mews of Mayfair, the bar is conveniently located just around the corner from Bond Street. The almost hidden entrance opens to a number of alfresco tables where well-heeled drinkers chatter and sip expensive looking cocktails. Upon entering you are greeted warmly by the staff and seated. The luscious interior, which is all dip dyed woods, soft leathers and shiny golden tones instantly give the bar a feeling of class. In short, this bar is a real looker.
The Food & Drink
With a menu designed by superstar mixologist Richard Woods (of Duck and Waffle and Sushi Samba fame) it isn't surprising that the drinks are ambitious. While you don't see anything quite as off-the-wall as Woods' Chocolate and Blue Cheese Martini, what you can see is a carefully crafted selection of well-balanced Italian influenced cocktails. If you are a fan of Negronis, you are in safe hands, as the Negroni trolley will see you get exactly the measurements you need. Standout drinks have to be the Amor y Amargo – a tantalising twist on an Amaretto sour – and the Negroni Fiorella – a drink created by manager Eric McDonald as an easy-going Negroni. The food is mainly sharing portions, with an excellent charcuterie board and moreish hand-dived Orkney Isles scallops served with smoked pancetta in bite sized brioche buns.
Exclusivity is the first impression that comes to mind as you approach the bar, with its plush interior gleaming invitingly. However, while there are strict rules that the bar is for seated guests only, the atmosphere is surprisingly cosy and the service personal. The usual clientele may consist of city workers, girlfriends lingering over Bellinis and a smattering of date night lovers, but it feels very much open to anyone.
Mayfair can often be the kind of place that alienates drinkers with its snobbishness, thankfully Cartizze is one bar that subverts this trend. Cocktails are designed to be crowd pleasers, but with enough speciality libations available to please a connoisseur or exploratory drinker. Visit Cartizze for a date night treat, visit for a small celebration with friends or simply come to escape from the bustle of London and imagine yourself sipping a Gin Fizz by the Venetian Lagoon…