Pizza and Prosecco Festival
Review by Susy Brett
Like many millennials, I am well acquainted with prosecco. It’s cheaper and sweeter than champagne, looks fancy and is the perfect accompaniment to a lazy Sunday brunch.
Depot Eats’ Pizza and Prosecco Festival, therefore, sounded like a dream – and I jumped on the opportunity when a chance to review with The Live Review became available.
The festival, which we attended in the garden of Studio 338 in North Greenwich, is open for two sessions – afternoon and evening. We turned out for the evening, but unfortunately, the weather decided it wasn’t going to turn out for us. On another day, this might have been a beautiful summer’s evening with flowing prosecco and excellent street food. However, when we arrived, an hour into the event, the covered area of the venue was choc-a-bloc with festivalgoers wearing thick coats and boots. The chances of getting a table seemed highly unlikely, and we didn’t fancy writhing around trying to find standing space, so we stood in the rain.
Upon entry, we received vouchers for a free glass of Aperol Spritz and a slice of Margherita pizza. Both tasted great and the queues for these were small, if the portions seemed a little stingy given a normal entrance fee of £19.99. We also received a free programme to the festival, which contained bar prices with a good amount of information about each prosecco on offer, as well as some very fun pizza facts and a Peach Bellini recipe. This was smart and useful and definitely saved time at the bar, where we ordered a bottle of the standard Di Maria.
For an alcohol that has built a bit of a reputation of being cheap, the Pizza and Prosecco Festival’s prices are steep. The cheapest bottle of Di Maria is £25, also available on Ocado for £11.99. Judging by the distinct lack of drunken festival antics, I suspect others agreed with me. That said, I can hardly call a shortage of lairy behaviour a detriment. There are 22 varieties of prosecco on offer, so there’s no shortage in choice – and a very popular option seemed to be the Bottega Gold for £35.
The pizza options are all provided from seven different companies in vans, including the Dough Shack, The Wandering Pizza and The Rustic Pizza Co. There was a good amount of variety, from one’s standard Margherita or Pepperoni to some much more out there choices. One company, aptly named Pizzacone, sold pizzas in a cone made from pizza dough, while another offered pizza toppings including the trendy Nduja and Southern Fried Chicken. Naturally, I tried the latter, and it was pretty good.
Vegetarian and vegan pizzas were available, including one appealingly named the ‘Vegan Bad Boy’. One van, The Pork Society, didn’t sell pizza at all, but dough balls or nachos covered in delicious cheese fondue and slow cooked pulled pork. Despite not being pizza, these nachos were definitely a food highlight of the evening – although they were too filling to continue sampling food after.
The crowd at this event is on the younger side, probably averaging around nineteen years of age. At the ripe old age of 26, I felt a little on the ancient side, especially when some festivalgoers got on stage to perform Beyoncé’s Crazy in Love with apparently no knowledge of the routine. The music at this event is crowd-pleasing cheesy pop, although I suspect many there did not feel the same rush of nostalgia I did from a Spice Girls number.
That said, the atmosphere definitely improved as the night went on. At 9pm, a good-looking two-piece boy band arrived as entertainment. By this point, the overcrowding had lessened and we were able to shuffle our way to the dance floor. By 10pm, we were having a fantastic party, fuelled by pizza, prosecco, decent tunes (all your favourites, Blink 182, Bon Jovi, Beatles) and a friendly crowd. Yes, it reached the point where I joined some strangers to barn dance to Cotton Eyed Joe, and I vaguely recall Festival employees dressed as giant slices of pizza joining in on the action. I would definitely recommend arriving later in the entry window to get the most out of this festival, when the crowd has loosened up and the queues for the bars and pizza have disappeared.
All in all, I enjoyed myself at the Pizza and Prosecco Festival and will accept that this event probably would have been a lot more fun in better weather. Unfortunately, this is a risk people we have to take – although the Pizza and Prosecco Festival itself could have better contingency plans in the event of poor weather. I was impressed by the variety, if not the pricing, of pizza and prosecco. I will also say I’m a fan of the cheese – and the music did deliver on this one. When one ends the evening dancing with strangers, high on pizza and prosecco, it’s probably a good one.
Review by Susy Brett