Stop and smell the rosé

Rosé lovers rejoiced at London’s inaugural Rosé Festival, taking place over three days in Hoxton. Behind this latest venture are friends Chris Crosby and Myles Donneky, experts in luxury spirits and brand development, spreading the word that rosé no longer solely caters to a female audience but is to be enjoyed by all. There’s no better place to celebrate the love of rosé than with knowledgeable producers against the backdrop of the 18th century Geffrye Museum. Crosby and Donneky have brought a country-style fête to East London with colourful lawn chairs and straw bales strewn across the museum’s gardens under a canopy of lush trees adorned with glistening fairy lights. 

While the festival was dedicated to rosé, there were a range of exhibitors whose speciality varied from rosé ciders and vermouths to prosecco and champagne, giving guests the opportunity to sample a range of wines. We started our afternoon with a glass of pink bubbly at the Laurent Perrier Champagne stand, the official partners of the festival. The luxurious champagne house offers blissful aperitifs in the form of their Cuvée Rosé and Cuvée Rosé Alexandra. Classic rosé was also on offer – just whisper at the Whispering Angel stand and you’ll be granted a glass or bottle of refreshing Côtes de Provence rosé.

Eager to try the world’s newest frosé craze along with like-minded guests, we headed over to the Berlin-based Belsazar bar. It’s no surprise that frozen rosé, made from a mix of Belsazar Rosé Vermouth, rosé wine, agave syrup and strawberry purée, is taking the world one slurp at a time. Perfect for a summer’s day, the slushie-style cocktail served with candy-striped straws and fresh strawberries is a fruity delight.

Maison Sassy was another highlight of the festival, deserving mention for their name alone. Stirred on by the popularity of the Anglo-Saxon cider market, the Sassy producers were keen on creating a higher quality 100% natural cider, hand-crafted in Normandy. The cidre rosé lived up to its reputation with sweet tones in stylish glass bottles.  

As the evening proceeded, guests flocked to the finest food trucks scattered across the festival for a pick-me-up in between drinks. The Cheese Truck, London’s famous grilled cheese hub, drew us in like moths to a flame with its stellar Mexican queso chihuahua, chorizo and jalapeño salsa toastie. Bob’s Lobster and its 1950’s VW Camper Van also made an appearance with its indulgent lobster rolls and a Laurent Perrier rosé masterclass paired with their food. Bubbledogs, home to the posh hot dog, was also a favourite while Poptails provided gourmet cocktail popsicles to the crowds. 

No festival is complete without entertainment. The playlist turned out hit after hit, featuring the likes of Whitney Houston, Chic and Will Smith. Operatic performances gave the festival its classy daytime edge while DJ sets later in the night played recent chart-toppers to get people dancing. 

Armed with a bouquet of white roses and a newfound wisdom on the techniques used to create rosé wines, our faces glowed with pink hues on our journey home. The event encompassed all the best parts of a festival spree with a timeless playlist, high-end British street food and rosé from all quarters. We hope to see it again next year with its ‘Drink Pink’ motto out in full force.

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