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Milan is the capital of Italian design – a fact which shines in hosting the ‘Salone del Mobile’ every year. But throughout the year, there are many addresses and shops that celebrate beauty and are much loved by locals. There's the Italian wallpaper boutique, the furnishing showroom that is also a bar, a former service station decorated in an automotive theme by Lapo Elkann and the design pizzeria at the Triennale.
Milan is changing and sometimes holds on to traces of the past. This can be seen at Baxter Bar, a place to have a nice drink in what feels like a large, cozy living room, and wanted by the eponymous Italian furnishing company as its flagship store. Alongside, Baxter Cinema, the former Milanese Cinema, that after being closed for years has been brought back to life as a showroom. The style is typical of 1950s Milan, with brass and octane, couches and low coffee tables; it’s cozy and fashionable, and for mature customers. Located right in the centre, in Largo Augusto 1, it’s the perfect place for an aperitif or after dinner drinks.
In the spaces of the Triennale, on the ground floor, a new pizzeria with a park view and design furnishing was opened in 2018. The pizza is neither Neapolitan style nor pretentiously gourmet, but light and digestible, made with sourdough and seasonal, local ingredients, DOP products and Slow Food Presidia, a mozzarella made with 100% Lombardy derived milk, produced daily by expert dairies with Brown Valtellina breeds. The bright dining room is furnished with the exclusive T-tables, wooden tables produced by LightsOn, designed by Giulio Iacchetti, together with the Fra-Thin table by Matteo Ragni and the L60chairs by LightsOn. Try the red prawn pizza, with Mazara del Vallo red prawns, stracciatella pugliese cheese, chives and purple potato chips, the signature of the two-Michelin star chef of Terrazza Triennale restaurant, Stefano Cerveni.
Garage Italia was once a gas station in the 1950s in the West suburbs of the city. Now, after a two-year renovation project, a radical restructuring has brought it back to life; It’s a bar, restaurant and showroom for the customization of yachts, planes and cars. The bartenders in Sparco racing suits serve drinks under a roof of toy cars, the roof terrace and bathrooms are Riva yacht themed and every detail refers to the glorious history of Italian engines and riders. The cuisine is by chef Carlo Cracco, beginning at breakfast, on to cocktails and dinner; It is best to book in advance, given the prices average around €50 for a dinner. Everything is exclusively conceived, from cutlery to the bottle of bubbly. Parking available.
Al Fresco is a special place, right in the middle of the Milan design district – but it doesn’t seem to be in Milan. It’s found in a former industrial space, with plants everywhere, a secret garden and a terrace overlooking greenery. The cuisine is in line with the environment, mostly vegetarian – but the chef is from Rome, therefore first courses are his forte.
The most beautiful showroom of wallpaper, fabrics and furniture coverings in Milan, with international catalogues and in-house collections. But even if you aren’t renovating your home, the concept store offers great inspiration for home furnishings, home décor accessories, decorative clothing and accessories – and all by internationally renowned designers.
Pandenus was born as a multifunctional bakery where customers could come in for breakfast or later for an aperitif. Its success led to the opening of five locations in Milan within a few years, including the latest and exclusive one in via Mercato, in the heart of the historic district of Brera. The coffee shop is on the ground floor, and on the first floor is the two-Michelin star restaurant by chef Enrico Bartolini for the evening and the possibility to stay overnight, choosing from one of the four suites that recreate the atmosphere of your dream home.
The chef of “pop cuisine”, based on poor raw ingredients, opened his new restaurant in Cornaredo, outside Milan. Overlooking the town square through a large window, it is a must for lovers of functional design. In addition to being an acclaimed chef for his cuisine (one Michelin star), Oldani is also a table engineer and designer of everything that revolves around food. His Triposata, a spoon-fork-knife tool, is famous. Other designs include the inclined bowl to sip the soup more comfortably and all the furnishings of the place, from tables to chairs with phone holder on the armrest. The latest product, is the I.D.Ish. Look for the defining feature of this collection: the embossed stamp on the edge of the plate. A contemporary Italian cuisine dining experience combined with the pleasure of a beautiful and functional design, made to put guests at ease while enjoying a meal. Towards Malpensa airport.