Lucy Self heads to new Mayfair cocktail bar Cartizze and feels the stirrings of something special…

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Being the romantic souls that we are, we spend a surprising amount of time sniffing out decent date destinations. Some of you might be under the illusion that finding a swoon-worthy hot spot is easy, but we think there’s more to ‘the woo’ than that and it all comes down to location.

Luxe is lovely (who doesn’t want to feel fancy?), but not to the point where stuffy service stuffs up the conversation. A nice pub can be perfect, but pick a Soho-institution on a Thursday night and you’ll spend less time swapping compliments and more time struggling to find a seat. Restaurants can be tricky too (ever tried to talk and eat elegantly?); but not eating leads to unsightly slurring. If the lighting’s too bright even the most perfect features will appear flawed – too dark and it all gets a bit ‘brothel’.

Brand new Bellini and cocktail bar, Cartizze, has obviously taken these (and many other) crucial factors into consideration. For starters the secret entrance. Just tucked away off a cobbled Mayfair courtyard, bring him/her here and you’ll get serious kudos for insider knowledge.


And well done Fable design, for creating an interior (smart leather high stools and booths in dusky shades of blue and purple, immaculate bar glittering with gold and glass and ambient pools of dim light) so sexy we’re surprised we didn’t spot some hot couple getting it on in one of the (many) dark corners.

They might say food is the fuel of love, but we were feeling pretty amorous after sampling the signature olive oil-infused sour, a frothy concoction with serious kick – though we wouldn’t kick the sharp yet sublimely smooth Blood Orange Bellini out of bed either. Tiny scallop sliders served on what can only be described on an elaborate marble and salt-slabbed Bunsen burner were cute, delicious and welcome after two cocktails. They, and the aged Parmesan presented under a glass dome of smoke, also provide an excellent talking point (useful if you and your date are struggling for conversation).

Add in excellently lit loos for prime hair/make-up checking and suitably good-looking (this is Mayfair darling and appearances are everything) service and Cartizze goes top of the list of fitting spots to take that special someone. Or, if there are no ‘potentials’ on the horizon, we can’t think of a more fabulous drinking den in which to drown your sorrows….

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