Beautifully decorated in rich colours, the bar of the G&V Hotel on the Royal Mile is a fabulous place to simply sit and be. Their snacking menu includes sharing platters, classic Italian dishes and what their barman claims are ‘possibly the best zucchini fritters in the world’.
It might not seem a classic spot for aperitivo at first, but this funky basement drinking den delivers as a seriously good bar. From the street it’s disguised as an old hairdressers, but as you venture downstairs to the main room the vintage vibe kicks in. Peroni Nastro Azzurro features on their Prohibition beer menu, and accompanying food includes a cured meat board of Neapolitan salami served with sunblush tomatoes and olives.
Edinburgh is a foodie town with a passion for international influences – even if the produce itself often comes from local sources. The Café Royal has a Scottish take on aperitivo – a seafood platter of lobster, oysters, king scallops, langoustines and mussels cooked in a garlic butter, white wine and fresh herb sauce. Share this as a taster platter for £29, or go for oysters as you sip your Peroni Nastro Azzurro.
Harvey Nic’s has a reputation for fine drinking and dining (when you’ve done shopping) that goes back decades. Here in the city, their Forth Floor space lives up to the hype. The antipasti platter from the Brasserie menu (£13) is perfect for gregarious grazing over a chat.
Have your aperitivo time any way you want. Feeling patriotic? Go Scottish and snack on crab, lobster or traditional haggis or a selection of artisan cheeses. Or think Med and order the heritage tomatoes, watermelon, bocconcini and basil, or salami and pickles.