Berlam Coffee Tea & Cocktail (TS)

by Lavinia Colonna Preti
Berlam Coffee Tea & Cocktail (TS) — Friuli Venezia Giulia Secrets

The Imperial Trieste, the stately splendor of its Art Deco buildings, and the welcoming literary cafés. With these premises, let's discover the Berlam Coffee Tea & Cocktail, a wonderful historic café housed in the majestic former RAS building, today part of HNH Hospitality.

It is the great history of the most important insurance dynasties in Italy, born in Trieste at the end of the 19th century, that you breathe as soon as you cross the monumental threshold of the DoubleTree by Hilton Trieste. In fact, guests are welcomed by an imposing foyer with Roman opus and marble floors and, in the centre, the gigantic Mercury Fountain by Giovanni Marin which portrays the proud Roman god while taming three lions, the symbol of the man who dominates the force brute of nature.

The perfect metaphor to introduce you to the building, five floors of Renaissance grandeur, that was built between 1911 and 1913 to house the new headquarters of the Riunione Adriatica di Sicurtà, an insurance company founded in 1838. The project, which was to testify to the “power” of RAS, was entrusted to the architects Ruggero and Arduino Berlam, respectively father and son, the latter also author of the famous Faro della Vittoria in Trieste.

Berlam Coffee Tea & Cocktail (TS) — Friuli Venezia Giulia Secrets
Berlam Coffee Tea & Cocktail (TS) — Friuli Venezia Giulia Secrets

A palace which, for its size, for its wealth, for its magnificence, for its pulsating and vigorous artistic life, from the vast conception to the most tenuous and delicate details, renews the traditions of enlightened elegance of Reinassence Italy.

(Il Piccolo newspaper, 1914)

Dedicated to them, Berlam is the new café and cocktail bar of DoubleTree by Hilton Trieste which opened in 2019 after a conservative renovation. The works lasted over two years and saw the complete restoration of the building and, in particular, of all the areas protected by the Superintendence for their particular historical-artistic value.

Berlam Coffee Tea & Cocktail is today located in the hall on the first floor, once dedicated to the top executive meetings of RAS management, which can be reached by climbing a monumental marble staircase that opens onto a hall that leads to the café.

Berlam Coffee Tea & Cocktail (TS) — Friuli Venezia Giulia Secrets
Berlam Coffee Tea & Cocktail (TS) — Friuli Venezia Giulia Secrets

“Masterpiece of late European eclecticism” as the architecture historian Marco Pozzetto would define it, the building is embellished with numerous finely crafted ornamental friezes such as precious works in wrought iron and inlaid wood. Everything inside Berlam’s has remained just as it once was, from the splendid coffered ceilings to the marble columns, from the crystal chandeliers to the small ornaments (now covered by display cases), thus offering guests the pleasure of taking a trip back in time at the turn of the century.

Inspired by the great Italian literature of this century to which the city has given birth, from Svevo to Saba, up to Rilke and Joyce, Berlam Coffee Tea & Cocktail opens at 5 in the afternoon, the perfect time to enjoy the tea ritual, perhaps reading a book.

Berlam Coffee Tea & Cocktail (TS) — Friuli Venezia Giulia Secrets

At the aperitif time, Berlam’s turns into a mixology paradise and its expert bartenders offer excellent classic and signature cocktails, such as the Berlam based on vanilla Vodka, passion fruit, Passoa and vanilla accompanied by a shot of Prosecco, or the Hemingway Daiquiri based on white rum, maraschino, lemon and pink grapefruit. Perfect to be accompanied by a snack, such as sandwiches and salads, or a wide tapas selection.

After an aperitif, on the same floor, you can stop at the Novecento Restaurant, open every day for dinner also for non-hotel guests, which offers contemporary dishes inspired by recipes and raw materials mainly of local origin.

Berlam Coffee Tea & Cocktail (TS) — Friuli Venezia Giulia Secrets

Through the DoubleTree by Hilton Trieste social networks you can stay updated on the various events organized by Berlam’s such as literary evenings, tastings, photographic exhibitions and even small concerts in the spirit of the liveliest literary cafés in Trieste.

The Secret

The room facing Berlam houses the suggestive former RAS library with original deco paneling and lights. Ask the hotel staff to show you the historic meeting and event rooms that occupy, beautifully restored, the old executive offices of the insurance company and where you can still see the stunning 1914 office furniture inspired by the Anglo-Saxon luxury representative offices.

Useful Info

Berlam Coffee Tea and Cocktail
DoubleTree by Hilton Trieste
Piazza della Repubblica 1
34122 Trieste
Tel. +39 040 9712950

Signature Cocktails: from 11 euro
Snacks and Desserts: from 9 euro

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