On & Around the Street


Harry's Dolce Vita, Basil Street London
Harry's Dolce Vita

There are a lot of excellent reasons to make a booking at the just-opened Harry’s Dolce Vita on Basil Street. For one, you’ll want everything you see for your own dining room. The giant hammered brass vases on the bar, the sleek stools that line the bar, the little red glass goblets that serve as saltcellars, the quaint floral patterns on the flatware, the Fortuny fabrics and the Murano water glasses decorated with playful blue squiggles. You may even want the jauntily striped awning outside – we do.

Yet another reason: cocktails. The Harry’s Dolce Vita bartenders don’t mess about. Theirs will possibly be the best Negroni you’ve ever tasted. For each of the three ingredients (gin, vermouth and bitter aperitivo) there are six options on the cocktail list, so you can design your own or roll the dice and let fate decide. Then there’s the Espresso Martinis. You could order the classic (and you won’t regret it, we promise), or you could try Harry’s version with a twist, made with limoncello, espresso and gingerbread syrup
with an “H” monogram dusted on top in chocolate.

But, for us, these are the six reasons why you need to try Harry’s Dolce Vita as soon as humanly possible.

1. The Talent

Harry's Dolce Vita, Basil Street London
General manager Giancarlo Princigalli and chef director Diego Cardoso

Harry’s Dolce Vita is inspired by the glamour of Italy in the 1950s and 1960s and by its namesake, Harry’s Bar in Mayfair, the exclusive private club that opened in 1979 and is now owned by the team behind London nightlife institutions Annabel’s, Mark’s Club, The Ivy and Scott’s.

A crack team heads up the restaurant. Chef director Diego Cardoso, who was formerly at The Connaught and head chef at Angela Hartnett’s Murano, has created a menu centered around Italian classics with dishes like Pappardelle Al Ragù Bolognese and Fiori Di Zucchine; bar manager Flavio Lombroni has updated classic cocktails with a Harry’s slant; and general manager Giancarlo Princigalli is running the show, bringing with him experience from esteemed restaurants Pétrus, Maze and HKK. Believe us, you’re in very capable hands.

2. The Pasta

Harry's Dolce Vita, Basil Street London
The Harry's Tagliolini

The Harry’s Tagliolini, which is billed as an antipasti option, is an outrageously indulgent plate of gratinated tagliolini covered with truffle, parmesan and cream, while lemon and chervil give a little edge to the Crab and Scallop Ravioli, which is topped with a zucchini and caviar cream sauce. Worth breaking the no-carb rule for.

3. The Location

Harry's Dolce Vita, Basil Street London
Harry's Dolce Vita (@harrysdolcevita)

The restaurant’s remarkable brass doors open onto Basil Street, just a short stroll away from the boutiques on Sloane Street and Brompton Road. The gourmet delights of Pavilion Road, the shops of Duke of York Square and the Saatchi Gallery are all within easy reach on foot, as are the Knightsbridge and Sloane Square Tube stations, making Harry’s Dolce Vita an ideal start- mid- or end- point of a day spent on and around Sloane Street.

4. The Bellinis

Harry's Dolce Vita, Basil Street London
Harry's Dolce Vita

The Bellini was first created at the Harry’s Bar in Venice in 1948 and named after the Italian painter Giovanni Bellini, who was the subject of an exhibition at the Ducal Palace that year. Harry’s Dolce Vita adds a little cane sugar to the classic peach nectar and prosecco recipe – and it’s delicious. But don’t miss the Harry’s Bellini, which offers a twist via frozen peach juice spheres and peach liqueur, topped with prosecco.

5. The Funghi

Harry's Toadstool

Seriously. There are three different types that go into the Truffled Chicken, fresh porcini, chanterelles and oyster, topped with a truffle sauce. The signature Harry’s Toadstool is the most adorable (and Instagrammable) pudding ever: what looks like a whimsical red and white toadstool on a bed of moss is actually white chocolate and mascarpone mousse, white chocolate, fresh raspberries, mascarpone mousse, iced vanilla parfait and pistachio biscotti crunch served with warm pistachio sauce. And then there is the king of funghi: truffles. The driest October which Italy has seen in 60 years means that there is a scarce supply of white truffles but they’re in abundance at Harry’s Dolce Vita, with a dedicated truffle menu from December offering shavings over dishes including Beef Carpaccio and Pizza Bianca.

6.The Dolce Vita

Harry's Dolce Vita, Basil Street London
Harry's Dolce Vita

La Dolce Vita is all about unhurried pleasure and luxury, so while the waiters weave with alacrity between tables and the bartenders keep up a steady pace making cocktails, this is not a place to rush.

And while there is no relation between Harry’s Dolce Vita and the legendary Harry’s Bar in Venice, there are echoes of its renowned sybaritic hedonism in the Murano glass, walls hung with black and white photos of Italian starlets and dashing leading men, awnings and floors reminiscent of Venice’s striped gondola mooring posts, and, of course, in the Bellinis.

Everyone from Ernest Hemingway to Kim Kardashian has been a guest at the original Harry’s Bar in Venice, charmed by its flawless cocktails, service and beguiling atmosphere. The original founder of Harry’s Bar in Mayfair, Mark Birley, wasn’t immune to its charms either: he was such a fan that he opened his own version of the Harry’s Bar in London, which has evolved into a benchmark of sophistication and can today boast as much repute.

We foresee an identical level of veneration for Harry’s Dolce Vita, a nascent legend in its own right that’s set become one of the most desirable dining experiences in London, whether it’s for brunch, a leisurely lunch, or dinner.

Harry’s Dolce Vita, 27-31 Basil Street, London, SW3 1BB; +44 (0)203 940 1020; www.harrysdolcevita.com