In the UK any excuse is perfect for socializing. The aperitivo hour fashion has come strongly to pubs and cafes that let themselves and their customers get inspired by one of the best moments of the Mediterranean culture. If Bridget Jones would had known this, she would have sung a different story.
Spain and Italy, both are pioneers in this healthy tradition that is actually the after work precursor but at a different time. It consists in going out for a drink before lunch time. Generally it is a beer or a wine accompanied by a small tapa. In the most chic version it is a cocktail and some canapés, while the most traditional side comes out when you ask for a vermouth and a plate of olives. But what, how and where they are not important, the main thing here is that it really becomes a meeting point, a place in time to relax and to unwind in the middle of the day.
Meet friends, family or, more common, approach with co-workers to the nearest bar and take a round or two, if the schedule permits, is the essence of the aperitivo hour. Those who are more fortunate can prolong it until after work and as if it is their lucky day, perhaps it can lead them straight to the happy hour. It cannot get any better.
Campari is the most demanded drink in these aperitivos but the cava is not far behind and it is order both to be drunk alone or together with something else, in a costume made long drink. Along these lines I would like to recommend to ask for the famous "Agua de Valencia" made with a mixture of cava, gin, vodka and orange juice.
The only disadvantage to the aperitivo hour if you enjoy it with grace and elegance is that after it no one is really able to get back to work. Writing those emails, billing, reviewing the project or contacting some customers seems way too uphill. The truth is that you can really relax in those twenty minutes in the middle of the day, but of course, you have to see the positive side and assess how beneficial it is for health and social relations.