This Autumn, Italian restaurant Mercante is celebrating Italian tradtion by encouraging Londoners to take the time to connect with each other on a leisurely pre-dinner, sunset walk: a passeggiata.
As evening sets across Italy and piazzas catch a beautiful sun-kissed glow, Italians of all ages step outside to meander through their local area and socialise with friends and family before dinner. It’s a chance to see loved ones and the city at dusk, as well as to ‘be seen’, with people dressing to impress.
La Passeggiata stems from the Italian verb ‘passeggiare’, meaning to stroll or take a slow walk. It’s a long-established social tradition in Italy, removed from the hustle and bustle of every day life. Mercante is bringing this tradition to London by offering guided, free weekly passeggiatas around its fascinating district before dinner.
The short, leisurely walks, allow the same social pleasures as in Italy. Keeping with tradition, dressing in finery for the occasion as the Italians do is also highly encouraged.
Led by historian and London expert Peter Berthoud, who has previously appeared on BBC One’s Inside Out London and ITV’s ‘I Didn’t Know That About Britain’, The Mayfair Passeggiatas will follow a circular route around Mayfair, taking in places of historical interest such as the famous Shepherd Market and Down Street Station. They will offer the opportunity to learn little known facts and intriguing anecdotes about the cultural area (such as why there are no flower beds in Green Park).
The Mayfair Passeggiatas will end at Mercante with a complimentary classic aperitivo of an Aperol Spritz on the restaurant’s newly-renovated, sun-soaked outdoor terrace.
Mercante’s authentic Italian menu, created by Head Chef Davide D’Ignazio, changes regularly to reflect seasonal Italian market food and the concept of ‘Per Oggi’ – ‘for today’.
‘Everything on the menu is created with authentic Italian meals in mind and so, to champion an Italian dining custom – so ingrained in the culture across the country – feels like the perfect way to elevate the Mercante experience. Hopefully we’ll inspire people to keep up the wonderful ritual.’ – D’Ignazio
8 September – 6 October 2018 every Saturday night.
Sheraton Grand, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7BX
Booking is essential as spaces are limited. mercanterestaurant.com