I recently had the pleasure of spending the evening at La Goccia, Petersham Nurseries latest offering to the Capital.
Located in the heart of Covent Garden, this brand new cocktail bar is discreetly tucked away behind a dark, red velvet curtain and is decorated with contemporary art from Petersham Nurseries founder Francesco Boglione’s personal collection.
The bar’s design also takes its cues from nature, centred around the bar made from real leaves collected from the gardens and streets of Milan, where artist Ossanna Visconti has her studio, and hand-dipped in bronze. Handmade bar stools with metal legs shaped to look like knobbly branches have been designed by artisan John of India, and the cushions covered in a bold leopard print fabric. Curving, low-slung velvet sofas are the perfect spot to while away an evening with a cocktail or two, while red Art Deco chairs, antique mirrored tables, and Middle Eastern patterned rugs follow Petersham Nurseries’ signature aesthetic of understated grandeur.
As I waited for my guest, I was greeted by the head barman Manolis Afordakos who was the perfect host. He explained the botanical-inspired drinks menu to me and brought up a glass of bubbles while I pondered over which cocktail to choose first. Now I love a cocktail, it’s the not knowing what to expect, followed by a taste that always transports me to a beach paradise. For my first drink of the evening I went for a Pear Tree White Rum with Pear Cordial and Citrus, which combines rum with pear juice, tonka bean and cloves. Not only did it taste gorgeous, but it looked beautiful too, it was perfectly delicate with edible flowers floating on top.
The bar has a really lovely ambience and the design and drinks draws extensively on Petersham Nurseries’ connection to nature. On the walls, the bar is lined with contemporary pieces featuring abstract flowers, reflecting both Francesco Boglione’s love of modern art and Petersham Nurseries’ rich horticultural heritage. Madrid-born painter Jorge Galindo’s Rosas de Ayer (2021) characterises the artist’s signature ‘dirty pop’ style, with bold, expressive brushstrokes, splatters, marks, and sometimes collage elements that cultivate a sense of layered lushness and frenzy. American figurative artist Alex Katz’s Rose Bud (2019) depicts two rose buds in brilliant pinks and reds on a simple blue-grey background, with saturated shades and flat blocks of colour reminiscent of Japanese woodblock prints. Elsewhere, bar-goers will find artworks and paintings by artists such as Elizabeth McIntosh, Oisin Byrne, Sarah Graham and Jim Dine, each with its roots in flora and foliage.
As I chose my next cocktail Manolis explained how their aim is to get to a point where they are only drawing on smaller boutique and local suppliers to stock the bar. He also organised a couple of bar snacks, including the Hummus with Pinzimonio which looked absolutely stunning, and was a refreshing starter along with the marinated olives. When my guest arrived I ordered another cocktail, including the Mexican mezcal which had a smoky undertone and he had the Apple Star which was a combination of Gin, Apple Cordial, Citrus and Amaretto.
We enjoyed some more food including the Burrata with roasted Squash Agrodolce which was probably my favourite dish, the cheese was incredible. We also had the Cauliflower with Salsa Verde Mayo, Coccoli and Prosciutto Crocchette with Fonduta di Parmigiano all of which were extremely tasty.
This bar is a great addition to the Petersham Nurseries brand, it’s a perfect location to enjoy good food, elegant cocktails and amazing service whether you are thinking of somewhere to meet with a group of friends or for a romantic evening for two.
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