4 August 2023

Introducing Apéro Hour

Posted by Terry Glover

From Thursday 17 August, the Cake Shop will be open before all our events for Apéro Hour. Beginning with our event with Adam Mars-Jones and Leo Robson, you’ll be able to join us for pre-booked drinks and snacks from 5.30 p.m. The Cake Shop’s Terry Glover explains all below.

Apéro o’clock is my favourite time of day. I’m borrowing the word from the French tradition here, but I’d argue that the practice is truly international: everywhere has some vague notion that a gentle reset at the end of the working day in the form of a drink and an appetizing bite is good for the body and the mind. It’s often a moment to gather with friends or family; to stop, freshen up and get yourself in the mood to enjoy the evening ahead.

We find regional specialities all over the world. At my grandad’s pub in Melbourne they would set out little dishes of mature cheddar cubes and slices of kabanos sausage on the bar as an essential part of happy hour. France has a show-stopping array of salty classics: the pissaladière from Aix-en-Provence, salted crêpes from Brittany, cured ham from Bayonne, anchoïade from Côte d'Azur – the list goes on. Venice has cicchetti (on small plates), Tuscany has taglieri (on wooden boards), and each province of Spain boasts a different variety of tapas. Just as these bold flavours help to whet the appetite, traditional apéro-style drinks often act as digestifs – herbaceous liqueurs or cocktails which stimulate the digestive system and have a positive effect on the health. Think Campari, Vermouth or Fernet Branca: bitter, potent tonics. My gran’s six o’clock staple was Cinzano with soda water and lemon, and it’s pretty typical here in the UK for the older generation to enjoy a glass of sherry or a whisky with a shot of water around that hour.

Considering that it combines two of my all-time favourite things – intense, umami-rich taste sensations, and nana drinks – it’s no surprise that apéro o’clock speaks to me. Many of the classic components have been part of the Cake Shop offering since the very beginning: deli food, pickles and preserves, cured meats alongside a ripe tomato or a slice of fruit – the ‘tasty bits’.

Now, we’re officially making Apéro Hour part of our regular schedule. From 17 August onwards, the Cake Shop is going to be open for an hour and a half before Bookshop events, offering a variety of small plates and drinks. Think brioche crostini with whipped blue cheese and preserved dates; sourdough crostini with smokey roasted oyster mushroom cream, topped with roasted shiitakes and hazelnuts; Edwardian anchovy toast with parmesan cream; and a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails based on stimulating and mellow botanicals. You can book for Apéro Hour when you book your ticket for events. We’d be delighted to see you there – to raise a glass and enjoy a refreshing and restorative moment.


Apéro Hour menu

Choose from:
Houmous & crackers

+ a glass of winegin & tonic or non-alcoholic Sentia botanical cocktail

Choose from:
Crostini with creamed goats cheese, roasted walnuts, chestnut honey, pickled dates 
Crostini with strawberry & parmesan butter, ripe tomato, basil drizzle, cornichon 
Crostini with shiitake cream, hazelnuts, smoked roasted oyster mushroom, seaweed pickle 
Crostini with whipped stilton, chorizo, hazelnuts, pickled cherries 

+ a glass of winegin & tonic or non-alcoholic Sentia botanical cocktail

Browse all our upcoming events and book here.