Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Soup With Ice Cream In It [Design Week With My Mum - Part 2]

Unbelievably, we managed to make it out of the apartment in time for breakfast on the Friday morning.

Pandenus in Moscova is pretty well known but we managed to miss the morning rush (by arriving after everyone else...)

Mum got her decaff coffee hit and we both feasted on white chocolate and blueberry pastries - delicious! And get a look at their snazzy cup and saucer combos:




Sadly, putting chocolate powder on top seems to be a distinctly non-Italian thing to do to a cappuccino!

We wandered down Corso Garibaldi, stopping to ooh and aah at the beautiful flowers on display (I would include a huge hint here to Magro but seeing as he has forbidden me from having live flowers in the house, I know it wouldn't work!)





With the sun blazing away by 10:30am, we queued up outside the Palazzo Reale to see the Klimt exhibition.

I was a silly sausage and forgot my Trenitalia pass which gets you a 50% discount on entrance!




The exhibition was lovely and really interesting.

I have to say though, there weren't actually that many works by Klimt himself. We saw a few but many of the really iconic pieces weren't there and were instead busy being admired in huge galleries across the world.

All the same, I really enjoyed it. It's a well organised exhibition that takes you through his life, works and those of his contemporaries. Just seeing some of his incredibly lavish, elaborate works was enough for me, too many and I imagine I'd wind up feeling drunk!

Speaking of drunk...




La Brisa is a beautiful restaurant tucked away in a hidden courtyard in the heart of Milan.

When you arrive outside, it doesn't look like much. The menu is stuck on the window and when you peer through the door, you find a miniscule and unpopulated bar area with a few cramped tables. It looks as if the place is closed. Definitely not appetising.

Open the door and go inside. Start making your way down the dark and narrow corridor that takes you past the kitchens. Around the corner, the restaurant suddenly opens up into an exquisitely spacious conservatory and, for the summer months, one of the most romantic outdoor eating spaces you could wish for.

Take a look at that living wall!



Sufficiently impressed by our surroundings, we got down to the menu (conveniently also available in English).

We both started with the truffly, cheesy egg "en cocotte" with crispy bread and a potato and leek tart.

I was very excited about this dish. When it arrived, a huge waft of truffle greeted me like an old friend. It was only when I dipped my spoon in, however, that I realised what I'd let myself in for.




Rich in flavour, creamy in texture yet somehow light at the same time; when we dug down further and discovered the potato and leeks, we died and went to heaven.



And consequently ate every last drop! (I hadn't even finished by that point...)

Next, I chose the pimiento, anchovy and burrata risotto which I'd been looking forward to since spotting it on the website. I wasn't disappointed.



Mum had gnocchi with vegetables, watercress sauce and pomegranate.

This dish really packs a salty punch until you bite through a crisp piece of pomegranate to let the sweetness burst into your mouth. Hers was a base of savoury with notes of sweet, mine was a base of sweet pepper with notes of salty anchovy - we would have gone half and half but we were both too wrapped up in our own!



When Mum nipped to the toilet between courses, she came back with a strange story to tell.

"I've just seen somebody being given a bowl of soup with croutons and a huge dollop of ice cream in the middle! I wonder what that was?"

We wondered until we were given the pudding menu and I discovered the culprit: pear soup with pieces of gingerbread and cinnamon ice cream. How could I not?


Mum on the other hand, went for the most exquisite, rich chocolate cake I've ever tried.

I normally shy away from chocolate cakes in restaurants as they can be a huge disappointment but this one ticked all of the boxes.



Until they were all gone!

The pear soup was brilliant. Light, refreshing and summery, it felt as if I'd never be thirsty again whilst the sweetness mingling with the cinnamon made me feel like I was eating a real naughty treat.

Each course came at just the right time with the waiters giving us the perfect amount of time to chat, sip our wine and admire the greenery without getting too hungry or impatient.

In short, it was absolutely lovely and with 3 courses and a glass of wine each plus bread and cover charge (yadda yadda) coming to £97 total, it wasn't ridiculously extortionate either.

Happy belated Mothers Day Mum!






The sun had begun to creep into the secret garden and, realising that time was getting on and that we'd been there for a good few hours, we realised it was time to get up and out and see some more of Design Week!

After finding our feet looking at some old ruins and taking another look at the historical centre of course.





After talking to each other through the walls at the old market place (the sound travels across the arches of the building when you stand in opposite corners, it's incredible!) we hopped on a tram and went off to the Tortona district.

Straight into California Bakery for a bit of green juice and a rest (already?!)



Happy Popping girls!

We finally got around to seeing some installations.

My reasoning is, if it's quick and cheap enough to put a swimming pool up for one week only, why can't I have one??


Is it a work of art? What does it mean? Oh no, wait, it's just somebody's washing.

































Tortona is a great district full of interesting things to see and do.

Sadly we were a little too tired after a couple of hours of wandering and vowed to go back at the weekend. Which we didn't. I'm sorry Tortona, I'll see you properly next year!

Instead, we limped on our sorry feet to Gelateria della Musica for a last ice cream in the sunset.




Another perfect day!