If you are looking for something to do this sunny weekend (3 – 6 May, 2013) in London, get yourself down to the Southbank Centre to experience a little bit of a Spanish lifestyle at the Campo Viejo “Streets of Spain” event.
Not only will temperatures be more like those we expect from our Iberian neighbour, but you can buy some fantastic meats, cheese, olives and vegetables (including some delicious dried mushrooms) DIRECT from the world-famous La Boqueria Market, a major destination for UK and US travellers as they tour Barcelona.
To top it all off, you can enjoy all of this with a glass, or several, of Rioja.
London already hosts the annual Rioja-focused “Tapas Fantasticas” outdoor event in June with 20 or so Rioja wineries and local tapas restaurants, and the success of this “experience” has encouraged brands to consider more such events, I’m sure.
The exclusive sponsor of the Streets of Spain event is Campo Viejo, the well-known Rioja wine brand which is now available all over the world. The range on show includes the regular Rioja ranges of young Tempranillo, Rioja Reserva and Gran Reserva, but also two Cava wines – including a rather tasty rosé.
Campo Viejo may be a large volume brand, but I tasted the range recently and was actually pleasantly surprised by the style – approachable, but with some surprisingly complex fruit and elegant tannins. I think recent vintages are more interesting than they were a couple of years ago, and they’ll probably go down well in the relaxing surroundings.
While many wine events can be off-putting because they are overly focused on wine “education”, this is a much more relaxed and informal way to soak up some atmosphere, try some wines and get to know a little bit more about Spain.
For those with a bit of time on their hands, there are several 1-hour wine tasting masterclass sessions (but these may already be sold out, sorry!), including one where you get to blend your own Rioja wine.
There is also a tapas lunch space which converts into a pop-up restaurant in the evening, and a cinema (if you want to escape the heat for a few minutes).
And to add a cultural aspect, they’ve even brought over “street artists” who will be creating a unique piece that will be on display throughout the event
All in all, this is a great experience, and it is good to see a big brand developing an activity that will engage a broad range of consumers.