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The Northern Italian tradition of ‘aperitivo’ hour is justly celebrated at this welcoming all-day café/wine bar in Covent Garden. Unlike some other London pretenders, Il Tempo’s varied selection of
quality bar bites is served free from 6- 8.30pm as an adjunct to Moretti beer, limonata or vino (from £6 for glass). Flavoursome fresh treats include homemade gnocchi in pesto, bruschetti topped
with tuna carpaccio or pumpkin purée, plump artichoke hearts, cured meats, cheeses and regional savouries according to chef’s whim. Service is simpatico, but the promise of Italian cocktails fell
short on our visit; a wholesale lack of red vermouth preventing la famiglia negroni from putting in an appearance. Also open for breakfast, light lunches and afternoon tea, this ‘little taste of
Italy’ somewhat hides its light under a bushel – some explanatory signage might help to pull in more inglesi.
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