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Delicate and refined, this tour keeps things light and Mediterranean

Small Serves in Soho

Jane Ryan
Squashed in among Soho's raucous mess of gay bars and experimental theatre is a medley of seriously good tapas spots, as global cuisines are reduced fiesta sharing bowls to bite-size morsels. With this came a slew of aperitif-style cocktails only the Italians could dream up. Start your evening with a delicious glass of wine and a nibble at Polpetto, taste incredible seafood tapas at Barrafina and end the evening in the intimate Bar Termini sipping on Martinis and Negronis.
  • Start here

    Polpetto

    Location

    11 Berwick Street, London, W1F 0PL

    Times

    Mon-Sat Midday-11pm Sun Midday-10.30pm

    Arrive between 5:30pm - 7pm. This long, low-lit space is definitely more restaurant than bar, yet the short Italian wine list stands respected in its own right, from fresh, light styles all the way through to the rich and bold. Polpetto essentially feels comfortable and somehow familiar with its antiqued decor, pressed glass lamps, long red leather banquette and handful of intimate booths. Settled at the bar observing the bubbling atmosphere it’s a gentle reminder that London is a fantastic place to live, drink and eat. Sip on a glass of wine, or better yet the lesser known Italian fizz Franciacorta and order a starter such as Camone winter tomatoes from Sardinia dressed in oil.

  • Move On

    Barrafina Frith Street

    Location

    54 Frith Street, London, W1D 4SL

    Times

    Mon-Sat Midday-3pm & 5pm-11pm Sun 1pm-3.30pm & 5.30pm-10pm

    Arrive between 7pm - 9pm. This tapas restaurant operates a no reservation policy which means you’re almost certain to queue for a converted spot around its open bar and kitchen. Barrafina is small, tiny in fact, and the chefs take the central role, creating scrumptious food, taking orders and topping up drinks in the clean, bright space. Once you’re in the door and seated order some Spanish wine, cava or sherry and marvel as each dish serves up charcuterie, warm meats, seafood and fresh greens. Vibrant and bursting with flavour the plates make for a formidable Spanish feast.

  • End Here

    Bar Termini

    Location

    7 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 5JE

    Times

    Mon-Thu 7.30am-11.30pm Fri 7.30am-Midnight Sat 9am-Midnight Sun 10.30am-10.30pm

    Arrive before 10pm. Small and offering a taste of that famed La Dolce Vita, the room is dominated by the light eau de nil banquettes and rich wood tables, all brought together by the exposed brickwork and small corner bar. In keeping with small serves of the evening, the drinks here are nothing to drown in, making it the perfect spot to sip and digest. Opt for the Marsala Martini made with gin, Marsala Dolce, dry vermouth and almond bitters or work through the three Negroni options created by co-owner and cocktail legend Tony Conigliaro, from pink peppercorn to classic or rose petal-infused.

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