Saturday, 18 October 2014

Bar Review: Cartizze, Mayfair

This review is a guest post from the wonderful guys at Social and Cocktail - you can view more of their guest posts here.

The Lowdown: It’s time for bubbles! Get yourself to Mayfair to experience a truly opulent evening of fizz and glamour. Cartizze is a bellini bar that offers a taste of luxury in a gorgeous and intimate environment, with a classic cocktail list to swoon over. It is the epitome of style - the bar version of Audrey Hepburn.

Where: You probably won’t naturally stumble across Cartizze - veer off New Bond Street and down the cobbled walkway of Lancashire Court. Here you’ll find a host of unique eating and drinking establishments jostling for space, but look out for this intimate little prosecco bar and duck into it’s reassuringly refined interior.

First Thing You Notice: The sparkling back-bar will immediately draw your attention - much of the cut-crystal is authentic and looks more bling than the contents of Jennifer Lopez’s jewellery box, only far more elegant.

What You’ll Tell Your Friends: That you’ve found the perfect place to re-enact a murderrrrr. There’s something oh-so Downton-meets-Poirot about Cartizze. It’s the kind of place women will want to don a flapper dress and proceed to spend the evening speaking like Kiera Knightly, while guys will feel themselves hankering after a handlebar moustache and a gold-plated pocket-watch.

Atmosphere: Relaxed yet undeniably classy. Frank is playing piano, there’s a soft murmur of voices, and the tinkle of crystal on crystal as people touch glasses. Something seductive and inmate about the space makes you want to reveal all your secrets.

Decor: Decadent yet not pretentious. A Nero Marquina marble fireplace, soft lilacs and blues, dark wood panelling and low leather couches continue the authentically classic theme. There’s also a hidden back room perfect for larger groups or even a swanky soiree.

Creative Concept: Cartizze is a little gem that exudes all the glamour and decadence of the post-war eras, when flapper dresses, sparkles, pearls and spats were the rage. It’s a bar for bubbles first and foremost - they have fizz on tap, and the name Cartizze refers to the famous prosecco vines in that region of Italy. Drew the barman has come up with some delightful twists on classics that will have you clapping your silk-gloved hands in delight.

So You’re Thirsty: You can’t not have one of their bellinis - the rhubarb version smells divine and has a surprising subtle flavour that marries perfectly with the effervescence of the fizz, while the blood orange offering is a burst of deep, intense richness that will make you think about mimosas in a while new light. 

Hungry Too? The aperitivo are as tasty as they are tasteful. Parmesan chunks arrived like huge nuggets of gold beneath a smoke-filled glass cone, while the scallops in pancetta and brioche buns melt in your mouth and will have you expressing uncouth moans of delight. Cartizze also have the best bar snacks we’ve seen in ages - little cones complete with garlicky peanuts, popcorn, and on-trend toasted broad-beans.

Don’t leave without trying: We heartily recommend their specialist barrel-aged cocktail - when we visited it was a negroni, and each sip was as powerful and delicious as the last. Drinking this amber-glowing liquid from the heavy glass tumbler was cocktail-heaven indeed.

Prices Please: Okay, so it is a little more on the expensive side, with drinks between £12 and £14. But you’re paying for the whole experience, and they truly are superbly made. This isn’t a place to sweat about costs - just a look at the premium spirits on offer attest to that. And hey, everyone needs some glamour in their lives - it may be pricey but sitting in Cartizze sipping a bellini will make you feel a million dollars.

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