A food-focused tribute to Italy that your nonna would approve of
Far be it from us to be down on London’s outdoor drinking options – rooftops, parks and pub gardens are our purpose in life as soon as shorts weather kicks in – but there’s something eternally desirable about the atmosphere in a classic Italian piazza. Beer brand Peroni is once again bringing la vita bella to London to create a temporary themed venue offering specialist menus and classes. It’s our chance to peer at passers-by through oversized sunglasses, holding a negroni in one hand and gesticulating wildly with the other.
Continental socialising is not just about striking a pose, and the nightly six-course tasting menu is undoubtedly the Godfather of this set-up. Michelin-starred Sicilian chef Accursio Craparo is taking charge of the kitchen to create a feast that represents every function and facet of the piazza, from the sounds of a town waking to the bustle of the aperitivo hour. Remarkably, considering his country of origin’s national dishes almost all involve cheese, Craparo will serve a vegan version of his menu as well as one involving meat and fish.
There are also food options for those not on an expense account to rival Berlusconi’s. Friday nights will feature a menu inspired by Sicilian street food, and Tuesdays are your chance to enjoy some seriously posh slushies from the Granita Bar. Mixology workshops (Saturdays) and screenings of classic Italian films (Sundays) can be booked in advance, and there’ll be daily introductions to the culture of coffee in Italy.
But don’t get too caught up in the planning – as long as you’re in the mood to sit back and sip a drink, it’s worth dropping in just to say ciao. Mixologist Simone Caporale, who works at the Langham Hotel’s celebrated Artesian bar, has created a cocktail list specially for the venue. They all involve Peroni Nastro Azzurro ‘infusions’ – the price we pay for brand-organised events these days – but Caporale’s so good you probably won’t notice, and there will of course be plenty of ice-cold beer. Ashleigh Arnott