We were looking for somewhere to grab some snacks and have a drink with a friend, but we hadn’t booked anything, and this being Soho on a warm day, we were very lucky that Polpo had a table downstairs, as every other place was so full of people.
The food is very similar to Polpetto, so I will skip that bit.
Let’s just focus on other things… such as the name of the basement: CAMPARI ROOM.
It is dark and cosy, with dim lights and a vintage-style decoration with Venice memorabilia all over. A subdued bar on the left side and the fact that we’re in the basement
screams seductively whispers “speakeasy” to me; the decor makes me feel like we turned a grandmother’s flat into said speakeasy, and it kind of makes a lot of sense, once you remember the well stocked drink cabinets that grandmas proudly treasured and meticulously dusted off, even if they barely/never drank, anyway.
You’ll also probably have to negotiate a protocol with the neighbouring tables in order for you to sit and for them to leave (eventually), but I guess it’s part of the charm.
I should have ordered a Negroni—to be more on brand with the Campari Room— but given it was a week-day and that also nothing can beat the Negroni my spouse prepares (è superiore! 😏), I risked an Aperol Spritz. The last time we ordered one in Polpetto it was quite weak, but this time it was nicely done, and refreshing.
After having been to both Polpo and Polpetto, it’s hard to draw any differences between the two, apart from the sizing (the latter feels a touch smaller). If you’re in the area and looking for something to nibble on while imagining you fell into a transdimensional space-time vortex that opens into an alternative past-future in 60’s Italy where you have mobile phones and cell reception in a basement, this is the place. And better yet, put the phone away and enjoy the atmosphere!
Cin cin! 🥂
41 Beak Street, London W1F 9SB
Negroni vs Aperol Spritz
Alternatively, this is how to mix both drinks:
And I guess now you understand why it’s maybe not a good idea to have Negroni on a week-day! 😇