Along with sharp tailoring, sprezzatura and lip-smackingly good antipasti, the Italians know a thing or two about throwing a good party.
Spurred on by several successful ventures to date, premium lager manufacturer Peroni Nastro Azzurro is running another of its House of Peroni pop-up residencies this summer. Now in its fifth iteration, the experience allows Londoners to sample an authentic taste of Italy without ever having to leave their own city.
London’s New Little Italy
Billing itself as a month-long celebration of the very best in Italian culture, this latest instalment sees the brand temporarily put down roots in a space on London’s eclectic Brick Lane, bringing a heady mix of delicious food, masterfully crafted cocktails, as well as the finest in Italian music, art and design to the East End.
Inspired by the Italian piazza – that social space so integral to the Italian identity – House of Peroni has transformed its urban Brick Lane venue into a lush, bustling arena where revellers can feast, drink and flirt their way through a truly immersive experience.
Peroni Nastro Azzurro tasked set designer and art director Simon Costin with the sole responsibility of overseeing the experience, such was the brand’s dedication to making their concept a richly sensory reality.
Known for pushing the boundaries of the conventional fashion show, and the brains behind the sets for some of the late Alexander McQueen’s most pioneering fashion week presentations, Costin has applied his signature mix of ingenuity and the unexpected to create this little slice of Italy.
We caught up with Costin, The House of Peroni’s Experience Director, to talk the inspiration behind the exceptional space, and how exactly he pieced it all together:
If it’s something undeniably delizioso that you’re after, then you’ll want to make Michelin-starred chef Accursio Craparo’s kitchen your first stop.
Craparo, who has taken time off serving up exceptionally good food at his eponymous restaurant in Sicily, gives visitors an unforgettable taste of Italy with a six-course tasting menu that charts a day spent in the piazza, from morning birdsong through to evening aperitivo.
In keeping with Italian tradition, diners eat together like family at one communal table as authentic sounds and aromas from Craparo’s hometown are piped through to transport guests from Britain to the historic fishing port of Sciacca.
For something less formal but still indulgently foodie, there’s Sapori Di Sicilia, the residency’s weekly event which sees guests sample Sicilian-inspired street food from the finest Italian artisanal traders. Promising delicious Piadina flatbreads and other delicacies, it’s set to be the go-to for snapping up delectable bites to savour on the move.
But if you can’t make the event, you can still taste the flavours of Sicily by stopping by The House’s Emporio Strazzanti, where sisters Nina, Sofia and Emilia Strazzanti are set to retail the very best in artisanal Sicilian produce throughout the Residency.
Not hungry? Then decamp to the bar where acclaimed molecular mixologist Simone Caporale decants Peroni Nastro Azzurro-infused cocktails, including the Peroni Negroni (an unexpected twist on the classic) and the Piazza Palermo (a refreshing mix of tequila, watermelon water and Peroni). As Assistant Head Bartender at The Langham Hotel’s Artesian Bar, Caporale brings his expertise to bear on a cocktail menu inspired by his time growing up in a village near Lake Como.
Elsewhere, there’s opportunity to learn about the Italians’ passion for coffee and sample a bespoke menu of innovative blends and distinctive tastes from coffee partner Caffè Molinari in association with Stella Coffee & Tea.
Or why not discover the secret to making that classic Italian dessert, granita? Residency experience La Dolce Granita invites guests to indulge themselves in mouth-watering Florentine and Milanese takes on the semi-frozen treat.
The Finer Points
As well as The House’s myriad of events and attractions, there’s also the space itself to drink in. Contemporary artist Rebecca Louise Law’s stunning floral installation inspired by the Italian summer wraps around the piazza‘s central pillar, while light artists Luminarie De Cagna’s intricate installations are made up of thousands of multi-coloured bulbs which together create a captivating lightscape.
Along with eating and drinking their way through the authentic Italian piazza experience, guests are invited to attend unique events, scheduled weekly and booked in advance at thehouseofperoni.com/events.
The House of Peroni is open from 14th May to 10th June 2015 at 152 Brick Lane, London E1 6RU. Reservations for the restaurant and tickets for events can be booked online at thehouseofperoni.com.