Thursday, May 30, 2013

Milan, Italy - Giacomo Bistrot

I was in Milan for work last week and had the pleasure of catching up with one of my dearest friends, the always chic Venetian fashion plate, Cecilia (you may remember her fabulous guest posts on Bora Bora, Hong Kong and Jaipur). She will be guest blogging for me on her seaside trip to the hottest destination in Italy right now, Puglia, so stay tuned for that in July.

We dined at Giacomo Bistrot, a cozy little dim-lit, leather bound book lined restaurant frequented by Milan's fashion and business tycoon power players. The later it got, the more gregarious the dining room became (and the shorter the skirt lengths). In between fork twirls of pasta I was reminded how handsome the Milanese men are ... here's what we sampled:

Compliments of the house: rice balls (arancini) and fried zucchini
Souffle of green asparagus with saffron cream
Eggplant Parmigiana
Homemade orecchiette pasta with fresh seasonal vegetables
Tagliatelle with meat ragu (alla bolognese)
Crostata with fresh strawberries

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Milan, Italy - Luini

Yes, that's the line!

You can't argue with a bakery that has been in business for 125. If you find yourself by the Duomo in Milan, head down a small side street to the now famous Luini, which sells piping hot panzerotti, baked or fried. Don't be daunted by the line of 50 people in front of you, it moves quickly and service is efficient. (For you Bostonians, Luini seems to be the Galleria Umberto's of Milan!)

Giuseppina Luini came to Milan from Puglia with her family in 1949 and opened the bakery in Via S. Radegonda, 16. She was the first to have the idea to bring panzerotti, a typical stuffed savory pastry from Puglia, to Milan. In the first few years, the business focused on making bread, supplying to the most important restaurants and hotels in the city center, but Signora Giuseppina was always interested in the traditional foods of her region. One day while going through the recipes handed down from her grandfather, she found the family recipe for panzerotti.

She began frying up a few. The Milanese initially weren't accustomed to the taste of the panzerotto, but in just a few years, it would become a staple food item. There are many different varieties, from the classic cheese and tomato to sweet panzerotti filled with ricotta cheese and chocolate. 

The classic mozzarella cheese and tomato panzarotto

Grab a bag of these hot, delicious panzerotti and eat them while strolling by the Duomo and Galleria. Yum!

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Friday, May 24, 2013

London, England - Chelsea in Bloom 2013

Now in its eighth year, Chelsea in Bloom, in association with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), sees the streets of Chelsea filled with blossoms from 20–25 May. The annual competition heats up year after year as the areas stores and retailers compete for the coveted awards with a display of breathtaking floral designs.

This year’s Chelsea in Bloom theme is the ‘Decades’ and celebrates the 100th year of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The floral displays will reflect iconic periods of British design, while taking inspiration from participating retailers’ archives from the past 100 years.

Here's a look at this year's displays.

Smythson of Bond Street:

Brown's luxury clothing:

Swanky Italian clothier, Brunello Cucinelli:

Hackett of London:

Savills Estate Agents:

Links of London:

Basia Zarzycka:

The White Company bedding and linens:

Space NK beauty products:

L.K. Bennett:

Partridge's gourmet grocery store in Duke of York Square:

Rag & Bone in Sloane Square:

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