House of Peroni launch - feature

I felt like I was on the set of a Bond movie. Beautiful people in exquisite clothes, standing, drinking and being all around me. The event in question was the relaunch of The House of Peroni; a month long celebration of contemporary Italian style and culture that is running from the first of May for one month at 64 Lincoln's Inn Fields in Holborn. Given that last year's event proved so successful, I was keen to take a look.

I thought the mixture of food, drink, design and fashion on show was put together with humour and flair. The general theme being the spirit of 1963; the year in which Carlo Peroni created Peroni Nastro Azzurro. In the wake of Fellini's 'La Dolce Vita', the era saw the rise to world predominance of Italian Design. That essence was present, but it didn't blow you away.

The event itself is set in the beautiful surroundings of a grade II listed period townhouse and is designed by the architect and co-designer of the Enzo Ferrari museum, Andrea Morgante. It is free to enter for the general public throughout May. The whole programme includes creative and other events that people are welcome to join. One that caught my eye was 'Modern Vintage': a silk scarf workshop to 'emulate the timeless chic of Sophia Loren'. Tricky. Even for even the most beautiful people let alone myself. But hey, I'd give it a go! I'd also like a stint as a Barista! To learn the origins and qualities of Italian coffee from an expert.

I particularly liked the restaurant, with its intimate scale, glamorous setting and welcoming staff. Although I didn't dine, the menu was reasonable. To those on modest budgets, coming here would go some way to puttin' on the style. The menu for May will consist of classic Italian dishes reinvented by Italian culinary collective Bottega in Wapping (led by Creative Director Lorenzo di Francesco and Head Chef Daniele Miconi) and a bespoke drinks infusion menu created by mixologist Federico Riezzo. Italian Brunch Club promises to rework classic regional dishes. But my favourite idea of an eating experience on offer is based upon the 'explosion' of colour photography in 1963 thanks to Polaroid. The possibilities!

I also loved some of the graphic projections on display: the people responsible would run one hell of a nightclub. And in a sense that was what it felt like. A stunning, glamorous and exclusive night event. The work created using 3D printed technology also held my attention. The variations on a theme (the elegant Peroni Bottle) were interesting and worked as small objects of desire. Some of the fusions of ideas in interior design were successful in their aim to reflect 'La Dolce Vita', some left me a bit cold. However, it all fitted together fairly well in this context.

The staff on site were friendly, but busy. What was great included the general attention to detail in every corner I looked. The occasional look of incomprehension from certain individuals when I asked questions may have been linguistic rather than intellectual. But all in all, they were pretty attentive given the large (and demanding) crowds.

Finally, I really recommend looking at their website for details of the events taking place; everything from bespoke clothes to espresso workshops. DJs, Olive oils and a Sicilian Barber. The organisers seem to have taken great care with this event and one month seems too short to experience all that is planned, so I'd book now if I were you.

(C) Gideon Hall (2014)

The House of Peroni will be taking up residence at 64 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, WC2A 3JX for the entire month of May. Reservations for the restaurant and tickets for the events are bookable via The House of Peroni website www.thehouseofperoni.com

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