House of Peroni is back for another summer residency, this time taking over Brick Lane’s Boiler House, which has had a glam Italian piazza makeover. Think La Dolce Vita minus the Trevi Fountain and you’re part-way there.For this incarnation of the popular pop-up, help has been enlisted from fashion set designer Simon Costin, who once designed catwalks for Alexander McQueen. He was asked to recreate the style of an Italian piazza, where people-watching is an all-important part of the experience. You can certainly have a good old gawk at all the east London fitties from the mezzanine level of the building as you enter the room – you’ll make an entrance more grand than Berlusconi at a bunga bunga party up here. You’ll also get that authentic marketplace hustle and bustle when you visit the small deli area downstairs – a bit of shoving is essential to reach those free cheese samples. Elbows at the ready.
The beer cocktail menu is fairly adventurous (although, we’d argue that beer cocktails in themselves can be a step into dicey territory) since they’ve roped in the Artesian Bar’s Simone Caporale to curate a list of drinks inspired by his motherland. There are over-the-top essences, scents and vapours aplenty that you’ll either love or loathe and purists probably won’t be on board with the ‘Peroni negroni’. But other cocktails meet the mark. Definitely try their twist on the bloody mary made from Italian market vegetables or the ice-cream cocktail with a hefty mezcal twist.
Our favourite part is the beautiful display of flowers in installations by artist Rebecca Louise Law, who owns a gallery right by Columbia Road Flower Market. You may find the odd onion and garlic bulb strung from the ceiling as well as stunning purple flowers that are also found outside on the pretty drinking terrazza.
There’ll be the usual food and drink masterclasses and film screenings until the end of the residency on June 10. We’re also looking forward to sampling the private dining menu by Sicilian chef Accursio Craparo, who has designed a menu that charts a typical day in the life of an Italian. We’re curious to see exactly what that means, but we reckon a pepperoni pizza for one may be out of the question.
By Laura Richards
Find out more at thehouseofperoni.com.