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Early Doors – the joy of an aperitivo

— by Alyson Walsh

Photo: Matt Monfredi. Hair& Makeup: Anna Durston

 

Early Doors the brilliant BBC sitcom based in a fictional Manchester pub, The Grapes, is one of my favourite comedy series ever. The show’s title refers to the fact that a group of regulars ( including Maxine Peake and a young James McAvoy) go to the pub at opening time, every evening. Sometimes they’re so early they have to wait for the landlord to unlock the doors. I’m not quite there yet, but I do like a drink once the sun is over the yardarm.

Manhattan Brother thinks it hilarious that I’ve turned into someone who likes an Early Bird Special. My oldest friend, one I have partied and after-partyied with for donkey’s years, is bemused by my newfound, non-nocturnal tendencies. She keeps trying to arrange drinks at 9pm. Ooh no, far too late for me. I’d much rather have a couple early doors, go home for dinner and tune in to my latest ‘comfort watch’ on TV (I enjoyed The Change, and am currently working my way through Dreaming Whilst Black).

The same approach applies to the cinema (and if it means we can get a table at our favourite local Italian, eating out, too). At the weekend, we were going to book tickets for Oppenheimer but the only available seats were at 7.30pm. At three hours long, I’m sorry Cillian Murphy you’ll have to wait for a matinée…

On a trip to Italy earlier this year, I delighted in joining the locals for an aperitivo; sending a couple of photos to my pal as proof that it’s actually quite chic, and no, I haven’t turned into a miserable git. Friends gather for an early evening beverage – often an Aperol Spritz – and to socialise. Served with snacks, the aperitivo was originally designed to stimulate the appetite; though as we discovered many years ago, on a budget in Bologna, sometimes the food is quite substantial and can replace an evening meal.

Early Doors drinking is even better at this time of year when you can take it outside. The aperitivo, soirée, sundowner, or what we are now calling in the office the ‘demi-soir’ or plain ‘ demi’ is a wonderful thing. This is the new time for socialising and it feels very grown-up.

 

 

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STYLE NOTES

Striped Daija shirt by Faithfull the Brand, loaned from Fenwick. Silk cargos, from NRBY. My leather sandals are a few years old from Grenson (no longer available but continued in other colours HERE). Bangles on loan from Branch Jewellery.

 

 

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