Table for One – Florence!
I was early back to the apartment and not very hungry but it was far too early to call it a night so I decided to take a stroll and see where the Arno took me?
Staying in an apartment on the East Bank of the river was beautiful and I had only explored the busy, West Side of the river. I was meandering across the Ponte Santa Trinita when suddenly, was overwhelmed by the smell of cologne and instinctively followed the scent. The owner of the odor was, in some ways, similar to the financier of the Bridge, Frescobaldi. He smelt fresh, was baldy and, I guessed, Italian!
He did had a hefty looking comb over and for his age, a very strident gait. I guessed he was about 58, was in finance or law, married, or divorced, took very good care of his appearance and was fairly active. I knew all of this from the back of his head; I am, indeed, a genius. He was also dressed in the Baroque style of the bridge, wearing a velvet jacket with a silk hanky hanging from the left chest pocket.
As we near the end of the bride I falter as he takes a left and, for a millisecond, I consider going right but no, I decide keep following him. Who knows where the night might end?
I continued to tail him and at one point, nearly crashed into him as he stopped to look at his phone. He tasted delicious; yes, I was that close. Realising I was a bit too vicino I pulled back a bit and as he crossed the road I continued to stroll nonchalantly on the other side. All the while playing it cool although he didn’t even know I was alive.
My Harry, as I was now calling him, was then greeted by another man outside of a very unassuming bar and, as they entered, I decided to cross over and have a look inside. Falling in the door I was confronted by, not one, but three very elegant Maître D’s. They were dapper, handsome and keen to know if I had booked a table.
I smiled meekly, looking down at my dusty shoes. The gentlemen then scrambled to arranged a table for me in the bar area. I was made to feel very special indeed. I didn’t have the heart, or the bottle, to say I’d only strolled in having been enticed by the scintillating smell of a stranger!
I soon forgot about my new-found squeeze when I was handed the most satisfying Mozzarella stick I have ever tasted. As I held the oozing, hot, firm, tasty stick of deliciousness between my fingers, cologne guy was promptly filed away in my memory. My memory now would be of Harry’s Bar and I was in very good company because Paloma Picasso, Margot Hemingway, Burt Lancaster, Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor and Franco Zeffirelli had all sat in the very same place.
Since being founded by Enrico (Harry to me and you) Mariotti in 1953 Harry’s Bar has become one of the most renowned restaurants in Florence because of the attention to detail, care, awareness, responsiveness and kindness it gives to every customer who graces the premises. It has an elegant, yet charmingly welcoming, atmosphere helped by the beautiful lamps made from Murano Glass which create the atmosphere of a homely dining room.
Using high quality materials from Tuscany and Florence, which relate to both season and tradition, they offer mouthwatering dishes linking with their old-school ethos of providing an experience of unique charm, in a welcoming space. Whether you want a cocktail, fresh pasta or beef tartar, you can take comfort in the fact you are experiencing the very best Florence has to offer.
I opted for a chicken salad because I was still digesting the 4-course lunch I’d had in Rocco’s at the Sant Ambrogio Market. My meal was brought to me by Lapo who called me Signora Glasgow and he was so genuinely attentive and charming I’d go back simply to chat with him again. They also make their own butter which I spooned into my mouth with no bread as it was creamy and moist with hints of anchovy and garlic and I almost…!
(that’s for the naughty, sensory version of my next book)!
Anyway, if you’re thinking of taking a trip to Florence then Harry’s Bar is a must and will make your visit to this stunning city an even more memorable one. Say hello to Bilal, Filippo and the charming Lapo for me? For now; back to the subject of Harry; next time I smell a guy from behind, if it attracts me and I follow the trail; who knows where I might end up?
A horse, a safari, my heart twined around his suspenders or me rendered with my face on a bar room floor?
Table for One?
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