The Grocer checks out the highlights from this weekend’s festival held in County Hall, London

This weekend marked the second annual Waitrose Drinks Festival in London. The Grocer brings you the highlights – from ready-made cocktails to the launch of a new wine-tasting service.

Premium beer and snacks

Customers flocked to sample speciality beers, cheeses, charcuterie and crisps in the festival’s market room

Waitrose festival market room


Unsusual Sensations

Walkers Sensations was testing out demand for its two new varieties: mango & chilli chutney poppadoms and wasabi & ginger crisps. According to the brands reps, the wasabi variety was proving a surprise hit

Walkers Sensations


Italian brand Principe offered a taste of its Prosciutto Cotto and Beechwood Smoked hams

Waitrose festival charcuterie

Lindt and wine

The killer combo of premium chocolate and complementary wine drew in plenty of visitors

Waitrose festival Lindt and wine

Ready-made cocktails

Grocer New Product winner Funkin was showing off how easy it was to make mojitos and martinis with its mixer brand

Waitrose festival cocktail room


Alongside the numerous gin stands, rum brands such as Koko Kanu and Appleton Estate also made their mark in the festival’s cocktail room as Waitrose tips the spirit to be the next big thing

Waitrose festival rum

Champagne and fizz

Established champagne brands such as Veuve Cliquot went head to head with English fizz challengers such as Smith & Evans in the bubbly room

Waitrose festival fizz room

Virtual vineyard

Veuve Cliquot got customers working off their free champagne with a virtual reality bike tour of its vineyards

Veuve Cliquot virtual vineyard

Wine tasting

Waitrose wine experts ran a free tasting class, in which it promoted the trial launch of its Wine Tasting at Home service to customers in the London area

Waitrose wine tasting

Festive treats

It wasn’t all about the alcohol – the coffee lounge had plenty of Lavazza on hand alongside festive treats such as these Waitrose puff pastry mince pies

Waitrose puff pastry mince pies