Last year’s House of Peroni was quite the event – a modest door on Brick Lane, leading to a space that had been transformed into a showcase for the best of Italian creativity.

Peroni has always prided itself on its ability to tap into the absolute essence of Italian style, and this year’s six-week admission-free residency at Proud East in Haggerston, East London is themed around For the Love of Italy (Amare Italia), and is just as – if not more – exciting than last year.

The ideas of three influential contemporary Italians,  Margherita Maccapani Missoni, Francesco Mazzei and Simone Caporale, have formed the backbone of the residency both visually and creatively: from pasta making classes to apertivo masterclasses, via feasts, brunches, and private dining.

Sasha Wilkins portrait by Garcon Jon

Last month Peroni invited me to Milan to hang out with Margherita Maccapani Missoni at the places she loves in and around the city, and which were helping to inspire her input into the London House of Peroni. Staying at the venerable Hotel Grand et Milan in the centre of the city (where I used to stay for the collections, back when I was a fashion editor), we managed to fit in culture, architecture, sightseeing, and a quite phenomenal amount of eating and drinking into two days. And a quick portrait session on the shores of Lake Como, thanks to the photographer Jonathan Daniel Pryce, aka Garcon Jon, who was with us (style notes at the end of this post).

fondazione prada milano
We kicked off our Peroni style adventure at the Fondazione Prada in Largo Isarco. Dedicated to contemporary art and culture, the Fondazione has been co-chaired by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli since 1995 and, whilst the Fondazione has been in existence for over twenty years, this permanent Milan venue was opened just over a year ago.

fondazione prada milano
Designed by Rem Koolhaas and his architecture firm OMA, the site is the home of a former distillery dating back to the 1910s, to which three new structures have been added.

fondazione prada milano
It’s hard to miss the focal point of the site: The so-called four storey “Haunted House” clad in 24 carat gold foil, where pieces from the permanent collection of art of the Fondazione Prada are permanently on display.

fondazione prada milano

fondazione prada milano
Along with the permanent collections, there are frequent fully-realised installations, and there is just time to catch Goshka Macuga’s work “To the Son of Man Who Ate the Scroll”, which closes on the 19th June.

fondazione prada milano
Once you’ve absorbed all of the culture, you can decompress in Bar Luce on the site, where director Wes Anderson has recreated the typical mood of an old Milan café. It’s a really lovely place to order coffee and cake, an aperitvo, or eat lunch.

bar luce fondazione prada wes anderson a

bar luce fondazione prada wes anderson
Then we headed for lunch. Ceresio 7 is owned by Dean and Dan Caten, the designers behind Italian fashion house D2Squared.

ceresio 7 dsquared milano restaurant q

ceresio 7 dsquared milano restaurant q
ceresio 7 dsquared milano restaurant q


ceresio 7 dsquared milano restaurant q


ceresio 7 dsquared milano restaurant dessert dolce

ceresio 7 dsquared milano restaurant q

Then, a short working break at my hotel, before heading to the Duomo for an aperitif – or two at Camperino di Galleria.

milano duomo piazza

camparino in galleria milano

peroni nastro azzuro
We also had a cocktail masterclass from one of the Camperino’s barmen, who showed us how to make a Peroni Negroni. I must confess I had my doubts, but it’s surprisingly drinkable.

camparino milano bar
As well as the classic Campari cocktails, the Campari Americano, the Negroni, the Campari Orange, and the Negroni Sbagliato, one can, of course, drink an ice cold Peroni.

camparino in galleria milano peroni

Cocktail imbibing done, we headed out to supper, to one of Milan’s oldest and most venerable restaurants, L’Antico. Founded in 1696, it prides itself on its traditional, formal Milanese rituals. (Think acres of perfect pressed linen, impeccable service and a menu featuring the highlights of Northern Italian cuisine.)

I had yet to eat a risotto on  this trip, and the restaurant were willing to make me a Risotto Milanese, heady with saffron, and minus the traditional chicken stock. The unctuous risotto would have been more than enough but there was more to come. With no vegetarian secondi on offer,  a plate of perfect fat spears of asparagus was produced, before I happily investigated the contents of the dessert trolley.

Eweet trolley Antico Ristorante Boeucc MILANO
And so to bed…next day we headed out to Lake Como to explore the Villa d’Este and to eat lunch by the water.

como italy

villa deste lake como italy gardens

villa d'este lake como italy

The food is both eye-wateringly expensive, and staggeringly delicious. This was the mushroom pasta with shaved truffles. Ridiculously rich but a once in a blue moon treat.

mushroom risotto villa d'este

Likewise the gelato. And those raspberries, which were more raspberry-ish than any raspberry eaten before – or, quite possibly after.

fregato gelato villa d'este

And, then, a final Aperol spritz before heading to the airport.

APEROL SPRITZ villa d'este

Fondazione Prada and Bar Luce
Address: Largo Isarco, 2, 20139 Milano.  Telephone: +39 02 5666 2611

Ceresio7 Pools and Restaurant
Address: Via Ceresio, 7 – 20154 Milan.
Telephone: +39 02 31039221

Il Camparino in Galleria 
Address: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Piazza del Duomo, 21, 20121 Milano.
hone:+39 02 8646 4435

L’Antico Ristorante Boeucc
Piazza Belgioioso, 2, 20121 Milano.
hone:+39 02 7602 0224
Villa d’Este

Address: Via Regina, 40, 22012 Cernobbio CO, Italy
Phone:+39 031 3481.

The House of Peroni is now open until Friday 1st July at:
Proud East, 2-10 Hertford Rd, London, N1 5ET.
Mon– Tues: Closed. Weds–Fri: 5pm-11pm. Sat: 11am-11pm.Sun: 11am-10pm. Entry To The House Is Free.

Click here to book ticketed events, including pasta making classes, aperitvo masterclasses, feasts, brunches, and private dining at The House of Peroni

Black Laura sunglasses: Sunday Somewhere. Available here
Navy Bardot top: Marks & Spencer –  sadly now sold out
(Black version £29.50 here. White cotton version £35 here. Broderie Anglaise version here)

With many thanks to Peroni Nastro Azzuri for hosting me in Milan, and for sponsoring this post.

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Nice post!


Thank you for sharing! What an experience. Lov ethe photos!

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