Sunday, 30 October 2011

Cortina at Cantina

The clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in. With winter upon us, it may feel tempting to hibernate under your duvet until spring, but the thoughtful people at Cantina del Ponte are determined to keep us partying through the chilly season by bringing the glamour and fun of Italy's chicest ski resort – Cortina d'Ampezzo, to London.

Nicknamed the celebrities living room, the Queen of the Dolomites has long been popular with the Italian glitterati, and became something of a celeb hangout in the '60s, with Hollywood starlets Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman and Brigitte Bardot all taking to the slopes. Riverside restaurant Cantina del Ponte has built its own wooden ski shack (minus the chalet girls) – Cortina at Cantina, serving up hot chocolate, warm Mojitos and hazelnut Martinis. For those fond of fondu, try the Bagna Cauda, a traditional Piedmontese dish of seasonal vegetables dipped into a deliciously moreish hot anchovy and garlic sauce.

If the biting breeze becomes unbearable, you can always nip inside for a nibble in the main restaurant, which serves up authentic Italian fare. Highlights include beef carpaccio, wild boar ragu and an Italian cheese plate with a side of heavenly white truffle honey. You may not be able to hit the slopes, but for that après ski feeling without having to leave the city, Cortina is a must.

Cortina at Cantina is open until 17 November. Moon boots optional.

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