Hope & Sesame, opened in March 2016 is the first “speakeasy” cocktail bar in Guangzhou. Tucked away behind a traditional Cantonese cafe in the quaint neighborhood of DongShanKou, the bar is a joint venture between seasoned hoteliers – Bastien Ciocca & Andrew Ho
A unique testing ground for cocktail innovation. From liquid clarification, redistillation and exploration of different ice to sous-vide infusions, you will discover a wide repertoire of techniques that ultimately, perfect the drink. However, simplicity is key, so in most of the cases, the curious guests will ask and we will be pleased to explain them more on the technics and recipe for each drink.
While we rotate our menu about every four months, we do have drinks very close to our heart. The Earl Grey Dark & Stormy is one of them, it was literally the first drink when we opened our doors. It’s simple and refreshing. It’s a great introduction to cocktails for new costumers and yet technically interesting with a house brewed ginger beer and earl grey fast infusion into a dark rum served on the side with some earl grey ice cubes.
THE JAZZ ROOM
Behind a secret door within Hope & Sesame is “The Jazz Room”, a salon with passionate jazz players congregating nightly to perform lively tunes, it is a true sanctuary even for the most discerned jazz enthusiasts. It opened on November 2016.
THE SPIRITS KITCHEN
The brand new “Spirits Kitchen” at Hope & Sesame is a space dedicated to conducting tasting of premium spirits in a “test kitchen” setting. The bar staff will provide careful recommendations for connoisseurs who would like to pick from the carefully crafted gin menu, with over a 100 types of the owner’s favorite gin available by the glass. The “Spirits Kitchen” is also an innovation cocktail lab, where customers can learn about the various cutting-edge techniques used at Hope & Sesame to create their signature cocktails.
Andrew, a Hong Kong native graduated from Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, majoring in international hospitality management. Andrew’s career commenced with trainee positions at Amber – Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong. After joining the Hyatt group upon university graduation, Andrew has progressed from management trainee position to Assistant Director of Food & Beverage at the prestigious Grand Hyatt Hong Kong in the span of 3 years. Upon leaving his position at Grand Hyatt, Andrew has successfully opened a modern Vietnamese restaurant and the first “speakeasy” cocktail bar in Guangzhou – Hope & Sesame. In 2018 Hope & Sesame was named “Bar of the year – China” at the DMBA hosted by Drinks Magazine and in 2019, named #35 at the Asia’s 50 Best Bars awards. Over the span of 3 years, consulting projects, guest bartending shifts and brand events has taken Andrew to over 40 cities across the globe, visiting over hundreds of bars. In 2019, the Hope & Sesame team launched their new project in a multi-level historic building in Guangzhou, housing an Italian cafe / bar and a modern bistro focusing on seasonal Chinese produce.
Bastien, born in Switzerland to a family of restauranteurs and spirit maker, is a graduate of Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne. As a former vice president of the Swiss barkeeper association and F&B manager at Shangri-la Hotels, his experience expands over 3 continents, thus giving Bastien a worldly perspective of the F&B industry. Upon leaving his position at Shangri-la, He opened the first “speakeasy” cocktail bar in Guangzhou – Hope & Sesame. In 2018 Hope & Sesame was named “Bar of the year – China and best cocktail program” at the DMBA hosted by Drinks Magazine and in 2019, named #35 at the Asia’s 50 Best Bars awards. Within the last 3 years, he worked with his team on multiple consulting projects across China with groups such as Four Seasons (Guangzhou) and Mandarin Oriental (Beijing). He also hosted bartending shifts & brand events to over 40 cities across the globe, visiting over hundreds of bars. In 2019, the Hope & Sesame team launched their new project in a multi-level historic building in Guangzhou, housing an Italian cafe / bar and a modern bistro focusing on seasonal Chinese produce.
2019: Asia 50 Best Bars #35
2018: China Bar of the Year / China Best cocktail program
Finalist Top 4 China: Best Design / Best Bar Team / Sustainability / Innovation
Top 10 China: Bartender of the year / Music program / Service
2017: Finalist Top 4 China: Bar of the year / Best cocktail program / Best Design
Top 15 China: Bartender of the year / Music program / Bar Team
2016: Esquire Top 50 Restaurants & Bar in China
That’s PRD Guangzhou – Cocktail Bar of the Year
City Weekend Guangzhou – Nominee Best New Bar
Charlie’s is our take on a traditional Italian Caffe. “Artigianale” is the key element, from House-Roasted espresso to handmade fresh pasta & perfect-balanced negronis, it is everything we love about the Italian Caffe culture.
COFFEE BEANS & ROASTING
Most of our green coffee beans at Charlie’s come from Yunnan, China. We strive to create our signature espresso blend from coffee plantations promoting fair trade, by roasting the green beans almost daily, in house, we proudly fly the “made in China” flag high and serve the freshest coffee possible. All of our roasted coffee beans are available for purchase.
Aperitivo is a major focus at Charlie’s. Classic aperitivo cocktails such as the spritz and Negroni will be given a lively twist, whereas our signature will definitely be the in-house roasted coffee cocktails. Expect a classy-yet casual environment for a drink before or after dinner.