A trip to Venice is arguably not complete without a trip to Harry’s Bar. Opened in 1931 by Giuseppe Cipriani, “it wasn’t just the most famous bar in Venice -- it was one of the most celebrated bars in the world,” writes Robert Simonson in Punch. Cipriani named it after Harry Pickering, an American who gave him the seed money. “At the time, if you wanted class and cocktails in Venice, you went to a hotel bar … Harry’s was an anomaly, but it nonetheless became a destination watering hole for the cultural jet set: Noel Coward, Orson Welles, Barbara Hutton, Truman Capote, Peggy Guggenheim and, most famously, Ernest Hemingway.”
“This bar is synonymous with Venice,” says World’s Best Bars, and is known as “the place where the Bellini (fresh peach juice and sparkling wine) was invented by Arrigo Cipriani.” Now, it is famous across the world and the much loved first in an international family of Cipriani bars, cafes and restaurants -- “Harry's retains its charm today, as do its friendly staff with the aid of a dazzling array of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails, they will help to anaesthetise you against the size of the bill at the end of the night.” The interior decor hasn’t changed, notes Becca Blond at AFAR, and the food is “classic Venetian … try the baked sea bass with artichokes for a main, and make sure to save room for dessert ... Harry's is famed for crêpes flambées and also its Cipriani chocolate cake.”
“The decor is pleasing because it is so unlike the rest of Venice,” writes Tanya Gold in The Spectator -- “it is pared-down art deco, with pale brown chairs and a long brown bar, and it is painted in soft shades of gold.” And the waiters are traditional too -- “the waiter trundles over … he is witty, ancient and wise … he is in white, like a physician, and he knows that good service is all infantilisation; by the end of the meal we are approximately six months old between us. Bread, he says lovingly. Butter. Cuddles.”
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