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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Then, a short working break at my hotel, before heading to the Duomo for an aperitif – or two at Camperino di Galleria.
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.
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.
Likewise the gelato. And those raspberries, which were more raspberry-ish than any raspberry eaten before – or, quite possibly after.
And, then, a final Aperol spritz before heading to the airport.
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 http://www.ceresio7.com
Il Camparino in Galleria
Address: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Piazza del Duomo, 21, 20121 Milano.
Telephone:+39 02 8646 4435 www.camparino.it
Address: Piazza Belgioioso, 2, 20121 Milano.
Telephone:+39 02 7602 0224 www.boeucc.it.
The House of Peroni is now open until Friday 1st July at:
Proud East, 2-10 Hertford Rd, London, N1 5ET. www.thehouseofperoni.com
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.