Words by Simon Difford on 24-May-2014
Belmond Hotel Cipriani, Venice, 30133, Italy
Tel: +39 (0)41 520 7744
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Daily 10:30am-1am (with light snacks served until 11:30pm), Closed mid Nov-April
Style: Hotel bar
Recommended for: Alfresco, Aperitivos, Cocktails, Food, Romantic
Price guide: High-end
Food: Plates & dishes
Oozing class and tales of celebrity patronage, the splendid Cipriani Hotel sits among tree lined gardens on the tip of Giudecca Island. The covered terrace of the hotel's Gabbiano Bar overlooks the large pool with lines of sun loungers and gazebos beyond.
The lounge itself is what you'd expect of a plush modern five star hotel complete with baby grand piano. The foolscap sized drinks menu is beautifully illustrated with watercolours by venetian artist Lele Vianello and lists a vast selection of cocktails and top shelf spirits arranged by category along with a regionally led wine selection with 15 wines by the glass.
The poolside setting suits spritz and long refreshing cocktails and thirsty guests are well catered for with drinks such as the Watermelon Spritz, as are those wanting non-alcoholic cocktails. The menu includes nine derivations of the Martini, "six espresso and tea martinis" and signature drinks such as La Nina's Passion which was named by George Clooney (fresh passion fruit, elderflower liqueur and Brut Franciacorta).
This is where the rich and famous come to unwind and the menu is priced accordingly with cocktails around €20 a pop, but while you might not be able to afford to stay at Cipriani you should certainly shell out for a few rounds at its bar.
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