The House of Peroni
When the creative director of Gingerline works on a project, you know it's going to be utterly immersive and captivating with the upmost attention to detail. I was actually lucky enough to work on part of 2015's winter House of Peroni; themed on an Italian home experience...with a twist; so was eagerly awaiting the opening night.
Brick Lane's Boiler House had been transformed. Walking through a neon blue mirrored tunnel, we wandered straight into the heart of an Italian home. Actors, dressed as 1950s Italians and complete with (pretty convincing) accents, threw up their hands and welcomed us inside, ushering us over to the central bar where we enjoyed a selection of Peroni Nastro Azzurro-infused cocktails - the Madre Bianca (a vodka-based bergamot and yuzu medley, finished with coriander and chilli) being a real highlight. We made our way outside to the 'laundry room'; a bar and aperitivo area and tried to grab as many canapés as we could reach. Savoury platters included creamed cod with pomegranate salad,‘inside-out’ pizza, broccoli and cheese sformatino, meatballs with potato purée and arancini with meat ragù; proving why Italians are famed for their culinary skills.
The House offered a series of secret experiences to be discovered, and so we began our surreal journey through paper artist Francesca Signori's wildly colourful installation of autumnal grapevines, which transported us into a Tuscan vineyard.
We chose intricate paper headdresses for a photoshoot in the 'dressing room' upstairs, peering down over the balcony to catch the dj spinning Italian dance tracks. But the most striking space by far, was the magical dreamscape created by set designer Rhea Thierstein. We sipped candyfloss drinks whilst listening to narration of Italian poetry amongst a multi-sensory dreamscape, with furniture floating weightlessly upon glowing clouds. It was inspiring.
We were waved out at the end of the night, blown kisses by our extravagant hosts, all wishing we had Italian holiday houses, just like this.