On booking our place at Taste of London last year, the Mirabeau team cooked up some ideas for creating a super stand. The rather outrageous and unanimous favourite was to convert Belle, our beloved Citroën Acadiane (the van version of a 2CV) into a rosé wine bar. Michael, our architect, was called in as he also works on classic cars in his spare time.
The project was going on swimmingly when Matthew Clark, our restaurant wholesaler in the UK, asked us to join them three weeks earlier at London Wine Week using Belle as a popup store. The renovation team pulled through and Marcel drove the little blue van down on the trailer behind the RoséRover, tweeting postcards from the péage along the way. He joined Stephen at Devonshire Square, where the nostalgic French car was a huge hit among the suits in the financial quarter of London. Belle then took a holiday in the leafy suburb of Wilthsire, waiting for Stephen to fetch her for Taste of London on the 17th of June.
Timed to perfection, Marcel and I met Stephen outside the flat we were staying in, and rushed off to take delivery of our wine for the festival. Stephen had been in the USA the week before, meeting with our importer and distributors. We had a couple of hours to set Belle up and get the wine on ice before the grand opening at 17h30. The new rosé bar worked a treat!
Waves of people streamed in during the 8 sessions from Wednesday to Sunday; and with good reason. Taste of London is a fabulous restaurant festival, with food and beverage tastings from all over of the world. Our delicious Provence Rosé was very well received, especially with the gorgeous, sunny weather we had … well, most of the time.
In the showroom in Cotignac, I’ve told the Mirabeau story so many times. It was wonderful sharing it with Londoners, and getting a glimpse into the life Stephen and Jeany left behind. High 50 Startup interviewed Stephen during the festival about following his dream (watch the video below).
People often ask me if I get tired of saying the same thing. How can I? Giving up one’s security and comfortable familiarity to follow a passion is massive. It’s incredibly inspiring being with people who are turning their dream into a (gastronomic) reality, and doing it with such aplomb and style. An authentic family story to match their incredible wines.
ps. the absolute highlight of my trip was introducing Stephen to Marcus Wareing!