There’s something about the French countryside that just makes me smile: the rustic charm of cottage homes that shout comfort; fields of green, yellow and lavender that stretch to forever; the abundance of fresh produce from herbs to protein and the gorgeous, glorious food that comes with; and of course, the lovely wine from vineyards.
So when I got invited to The Folly’s “La Petite Provence” pop up for a sensory wine tasting (erm, blindfolded), I put my Francophile hat and said, “Oui. J’aimerais bien venir!”
I’m a fan of the Drake & Morgan Group, with their chicly themed bars and restaurants always providing a decent setting for group nights out (particularly post-work with colleagues). The Folly is their outpost in Bank and is inspired by all things botanical.
La Petite Provence is set up like a Provençal-inspired garden abloom with lavender and rosemary, terracotta pots with herbs, shabby chic French furniture and vintage shutters. If you zone out all the background noise, it’s almost as if you were in the French countryside yourself.
Our wine tasting experience kicked off with some bread, black olive tapenade, lovely saucisson and cheese. As I went for the second batch of tasters, I gobbled up a little French picnic for myself with a few glasses of the Montrose La Balade Rosé which I thought was nice, light and easy to drink with its fresh, citrusy notes. Would’ve been rude not to!
For the blind tasting, we were instructed to taste the wines in raw form and then re-taste them after smelling essences and tasting ingredients that are in them. It was interesting to note how the flavours changed depending on what we’ve smelled and chewed. A good testament to how our senses can really elevate our perception of what we eat or drink.
The ‘garden’ offers Provence’s fine wines from vintage dry rosés to delicate whites. Tutored tasting sessions are led by wine specialists from Château Riotor, Château Unang (22 June) and Domaine Montrose (5 July). Spaces are limited so best get crackin’ and contact The Folly!
The sensory wine tasting usually costs £18.95 or £22.95 with food. There are also other “La Petite Provence” packages available which allows punters to explore the various wines on the menu.
The pop-up runs until end of August and can be hired for private events. I say go and be transported to the French countryside. Definitely a nice spot to relax and sip rosés in the heart of London.