Walpole Daily Practice | Cocktails with Belmond and an evening at the Royal Ballet (Lockdown style)
The challenge of working from home is that there’s no natural demarcation line between the end of the working week and the start of the weekend, so perhaps a new, and ideally chic, ritual is required to give us all permission to down tools and relax.
Starting this evening, Friday nights chez Walpole CEO will go full Downton Abbey: at 5.30pm the family will be required to leave their workstations/virtual classrooms to dress for dinner, before meeting in the drawing room for cocktails and music at 6, possibly with friends if we can persuade them to Zoom with us. A virtual drinks party is a tiny bit peculiar, but at times of national crisis, we must do our best with what we have, and dream of a future when we can once more go out.
To make my first ‘At Home’ particularly special, I plan to embrace the spirit of the Roaring Twenties and the Venice-Simplon Orient Express by tuning into @belmond on Instagram where pianist and singer Joe Stilgoe will give a live performance of what F. Scott Fitzgerald would have called ‘yellow cocktail music’. I have invited a few Walpole friends (feel free to join us on Zoom), and I recommend we all have a go at making Hotel Cipriani barman Walter Bolzonella’s Amagroni (see recipe below), a sophisticated, modern take on my favourite Negroni, to drink whilst we listen and chat.
Anyone who misses their culture fix as much as I do will want to make an evening of it and watch The Royal Ballet’s Peter and the Wolf at 7pm – stream for free on Facebook or YouTube, part of the ROH’s brilliant #OurHousetoyourHouse campaign. Described by The Telegraph as ‘one of the most beguiling children’s ballets around’, Peter and the Wolf promises to be an uplifting antidote to a rather strange week.
1 oz (3 c) l mix Vermouth
1 oz (3 cl) Bitter Campari
½ oz (1.5 cl ) Bitter delle Sirene or Amaro del Capo
1 oz (3 cl )Tanqueray Gin
2 dashes Orange Bitters
Décore with orange peel
Pour the ingredients in an old fashioned glass with ice and stir with a bar spoon.
This is a classic Italian-style cocktail inspired by the king of the aperitifs “ Negroni” – a balance of sweet and bitter given by the vermouth Campari and the Bitter. Enjoy!