The hotly anticipated return of The House of Peroni to London took place with a 4 day pop-up in Wardour Street, Soho, from 15th - 18th March, and we were lucky to get our hands on a couple of tickets! The concept of this pop up was to celebrate the quality of craftsmanship that is so inherent to the Italian way of life; The House of Peroni gave guests the chance to experience art in 3D with Tilt Brush by Google, all within the backdrop of a vibrant Peroni Nastro Azzurro bar.
As with previous House of Peroni events, the pop up focused on quality food and drink, featuring a bar with award winning ‘Master of Mixology’ Simone Caporale, food by chef Francesco Mazzei’s Calabrian, the ‘Master of Taste’. There was also a special art exhibition featuring three Italian virtual reality artists. The entry ticket entitled us to one free drink each, as well as access to a more secluded area with loads of comfy seating.
The drinks menu featured twists on classic Italian cocktail recipes made with Peroni. Their take on the Negroni, the classic Italian aperitif, was served with Peroni beer and finished with traditional bitters – a really nice combination. A classic Bellini was modified to contain the Italian beer as well. The Peroni Peony offered a fragrant take on the traditional Bellini, with crisp white peach, grape, peony and magnolia flowers.
Continuing the traditional Italian theme, with modern twists was the antipasti platter. This featured on some of Italy’s finest meats – nduja mixed with ricotta and chives, salami and cured smoked duck with beetroot puree, all accompanied by a range of Italian breads and a selection of cheeses.
The most exciting & standout part of this pop up was the virtual reality experience, where we were invited to create our own 3D artwork. The session started with one of the artists giving a demonstration on how to use the technology and then we were set loose to experiment and explore our own artistic talent. We were also given the opportunity talk to the Italian digital artists whose work was being displayed to get their views on future of art, interactivity and VR.
Before we left, we received a signed print from one of the artists and a digital keepsake of our own artwork to share on social media.
As expected, the event was packed, and people clearly enjoyed it. However, the clash of the ‘heritage’ element and the ‘futuristic’ art creation experience did not always make sense. While Peroni definitely achieved their goal in making guests experience their Italian heritage through food & drink (even down to the bartenders’ outfits) with a modern twist, the room setup and the virtual reality activity were almost too futuristic, and left us wondering how they fit into the Peroni brand world.
Definitely an experience to be had though – keep your eyes peeled for the next House of Peroni pop up – we will be!