The Dolce&Gabbana Martini Bar

Couture Coffee

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I was immediately excited when I found out about the Dolce&Gabbana Martini Bar and equally worried about how much a pretty little coffee was going to set me back. Feeling like I deserved a treat, I strutted on down to Corso Venezia, the heart of all things gold and glamorous in Milan.  

The winding staircase at the Dolce&Gabbana designed Martini Bar

The winding staircase at the Dolce&Gabbana designed Martini Bar

Walking through the door was like stepping inside how I've always imagined a swish cocktail bar from the 1950's to be like.

Vintage poster in the Martini Bar  

Vintage poster in the Martini Bar  

Making Martini's

Making Martini's

BAM! Latin Jazz! Super high shine glossy black walls. Flashes of red coming from the classic Martini logo. A dragon mosaic that weaves between tables across the floor. 

Dolce&Gabbana Martini Bar menu

Dolce&Gabbana Martini Bar menu

I sat down and ordered a 'Nutellino', a double espresso, with Nutella, whipped cream and chopped toasted hazelnuts sprinkled with chocolate.

The 'Nutellino'

The 'Nutellino'

It arrived looking delicious alongside a complimentary tier of a load of different biscuits.  I ate all the biscuits pretty quickly but savored my coffee.

Biscuit tier at the Dolce&Gabbana Bar

Biscuit tier at the Dolce&Gabbana Bar

I got chatting to the resident sommelier who kindly offered to show me around, all that for €4.50! Take me back!           

The Martini Bar

The Martini Bar

 

Jxx

More Couture Coffee from Gucci and Armani

Armani Caffe

Couture Coffee

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For the second round of espresso shots in the 'Couture Coffee' series I stopped by the Emporio Armani Caffe in Milan for a quick cupa. 

Outside view of the Emporio Armani Caffe

Outside view of the Emporio Armani Caffe

Situated in the heart of the fashion district in Milan near San Babila,  its hard to miss the glittering red lights draped from the windows. 

The menu inside the Emporio Armani Caffe

The menu inside the Emporio Armani Caffe

I took a seat in the glass walled area and checked out the menu. I ordered a 'Marocchino', an espresso with hot milk and chocolate powder and scoffed the complimentary chocolate and amaretto.

Coffee and treats at Armani  

Coffee and treats at Armani  

Feeling the vibes, I  bopped along to the deep house that played, watched the men in suits talk business and took some sneaky pictures on the sly.

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The coffee, at €4.50 was pretty tasty and the atmosphere was nice and chilled with a good soundtrack. I left feeling that I needed a well tailored suit in my life and a pair of shades. I put the Armani sugar packet in my pocket as a souvenir and was on my way.  

 

Jxx

Gucci Coffee

Couture Coffee

Gucci Cafe menu

Gucci Cafe menu

For a coffee as stylish as I hoped to be, I took a jaunty stroll over to the Gucci Cafe in Milan for some extra Sa$$.   

The cafe at the Gucci store in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan

The cafe at the Gucci store in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan

Located at the front of the Gucci store in one of the worlds oldest shopping malls, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is gloriously glamorous.

The view of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II from the Gucci cafe

The view of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II from the Gucci cafe

I took a seat and had a good creep on the beautiful handbags that sat beside me. People watching is at its best here. Sugar Daddy's, ladies who lunch and well kept mistresses are all around. Fur coats, diamonds and face lifts everywhere!

Me and my coffee with cream

Me and my coffee with cream

Gucci Coffee

Gucci Coffee

I ordered a Cafe con Panna which only set me back €4.50! All this for cheaper then a Starbucks. Gucci wins!

Jxx


Check out the Wes Anderson themed cafe here

Outlet Shopping in Milan

Top 3 places to bag a bargain

Dolce&Gabbana bags at Fidenza Village, Milan.

Dolce&Gabbana bags at Fidenza Village, Milan.

Looking the part in the fashion capital of the world should normally cost you top dollar. Luckily for most, there's an abundance of fashion outlets dotted around the city. You can expect up to 70% off top designer brands in some shops, but don't be fooled. 70% off a pair of couture Dolce&Gabbana stilettos is still a lot of money. I've put together a list of three of my favorites.

Fidenza Village

Located about an hour and a half outside Milan, this entire outlet village is definitely worth the trip. With brands like Marni, Missoni, Loewe, D&G and plenty more all having their own stand alone stores your bound to pick up a bargain. 

Wallets at Loewe, Fidenza Village, Milan  

Wallets at Loewe, Fidenza Village, Milan  

MAC Makeup at Fidenza Village, Milan. 

MAC Makeup at Fidenza Village, Milan. 

Marni pouch at Fidenza Village, Milan  

Marni pouch at Fidenza Village, Milan  

D Magazine
With three stores around the city, D magazine is definitely the handiest to drop into. The stores hold a vast selection of brands for every style in a relatively easy space to navigate. Plenty of Kenzo, Moschino and Stella McCartney to go around.   

Lanvin dress at D Magazine, Milan. 

Lanvin dress at D Magazine, Milan. 

Designer discounts at D Magazine. 

Designer discounts at D Magazine. 

Rails of designer discounts at D Magazine.

Rails of designer discounts at D Magazine.

IL Salvagente  
Just A thirty minute walk from the center of Milan, arrive ready to wade through the the endless amounts of shoes and designer gear. Try not to be put off by the dingy looking basement when you get there, keep your eye on the prize!



Shoes at Il Salvagente, Milan  

Shoes at Il Salvagente, Milan  

Dolce&Gabbana shoes at Il Salvagente, Milan.

Dolce&Gabbana shoes at Il Salvagente, Milan.

Rails of designer discounts at Il Salvagente, Milan.  

Rails of designer discounts at Il Salvagente, Milan.  

Stay Gold,

Jxx

Paradiso, Switzerland

On Lake Lugano

Lake Lugano is full of custom built swimming spots. Perfect for a day off.  

Paradiso, Lake Lugano, Switzerland Complete with two tier diving board and floating pontoon for ultimate relaxation.  

Paradiso, Lake Lugano, Switzerland Complete with two tier diving board and floating pontoon for ultimate relaxation.  

Lake Lugano, Switzerland  

Lake Lugano, Switzerland  

The pool, along with 'sandy beach' vibes if the lake isn't you're thing  

The pool, along with 'sandy beach' vibes if the lake isn't you're thing  

Fresh Watermelon from the bar

Fresh Watermelon from the bar

More from Switzerland here.

More from the lake here.  

Jxx

 

Ascona, Switzerland

How are we all in Switzerland?!  

It it was my second night in Milan when I got a shout from my pal Olan Clarke of Algorithm Productions. He'd been working on an event for the 'Electronic Art Foundation' based in Switzerland, which was held in the whopping five star 'Hotel Castello Del Sole' in Ascona. Himself and his production crew, and entertainment for the event,  Mmoths and Talos were all down there. When I was asked to ''shtall down if I was knocking around'', I absolutley jumped at the chance. 

I took the train from Milan Centrale, it took the scenic route through the mountains and by the laskes. Two and a half hours, two changes and €28 euro later I arrived in Switzerland.

The view from the train from Milan to  Lacarno

The view from the train from Milan to  Lacarno

Soon enough, I was making my way up the stunning driveway of 'Hotel Castello Del Sole'.

 

 The driveway at Hotel Castello Del Sole

 The driveway at Hotel Castello Del Sole

 

I threw my bag in a room and followed Sam Mulcahy who was manning the Quadcopter filming around an art installation called 'Fog Sound Environment' by Edwin Van Der Heide'. It acts as a walkway that shoots out a fine mist of water to create a fog.  

'Fog Sound Environment' by Edwin Van Der Heide  

'Fog Sound Environment' by Edwin Van Der Heide  

Here's a snap of me on the walkway.  

Picture by Jéré DuBois  

Picture by Jéré DuBois  

The dress code was 'Dressy/Casual'. I wore this pale pink backless dress from Zara. I paired it with a watch from the Ansley Watch Company, fitting that it's both Swiss in design and an Irish Company! A Michael Kors Bronze Clutch with Gold chain and gladiator style platform sandals from Penny's.

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Anseley 'Sailor Series Rose Gold' Watch  

Anseley 'Sailor Series Rose Gold' Watch  

Every view from every angle of the hotel was stunning.

The prettiest window with the prettiest view

The prettiest window with the prettiest view

The bar, complete with a white grand piano.

The bar at Hotel Castello Del Sole

The bar at Hotel Castello Del Sole

There were so many lamps shaped like pineapples, I was in heaven.

Pineapple lamps at Hotel Castello Del Sole  

Pineapple lamps at Hotel Castello Del Sole  

After the cleanup from the storm everything was back on track. We moved outside to see Irish acts Talos and Mmoths. They played on the lake in front of a water fountain screen which 'Slipdraft' then projected visuals onto. 

Mmoths playing at The Electronic Art Foundation  

Mmoths playing at The Electronic Art Foundation  

Visual art projected on to a water screen at the Electronic Art Foundation pic by Jéré DuBois  

Visual art projected on to a water screen at the Electronic Art Foundation pic by Jéré DuBois  

After the music we moved inside and drank in the bar. A few hours passed and it was naturally time to head back down to the lake. It was drunk O'clock and it was time for a swim.

Early morning swimming on Lake Maggiore, Ascona

Early morning swimming on Lake Maggiore, Ascona

Swimming by the bandstand at Lake Maggiore, Ascona

Swimming by the bandstand at Lake Maggiore, Ascona

I woke up to the most spectacular view. There were strawberries and croissants at my bedside table, the bed was outrageously comfy and the sun was shinning. Time for a reality check. 

The view from the bed at Hotel Castello Del Sole  

The view from the bed at Hotel Castello Del Sole  

Have a look at the Ansley Watch Company's collection here

More from Switzerland here

 

Jxx

Pisa, Italy

Give me a Pisa that

If you find yourself in Italy, Pisa is a must. Not just to see the tilt of the great free standing bell tower but for the atmosphere that surrounds it. The lawns are a mess of people trying push it over or hold it up for photographs. I went with a bunch of models trying to do the same thing, take a look.

Throwing shapes at Pisa

Throwing shapes at Pisa

Too embarrassed to do the 'Hold up' pose I opted for the 'cool lean'.  

Too embarrassed to do the 'Hold up' pose I opted for the 'cool lean'.  

Me and the models.  

Me and the models.  

 

Jxx

More from Italy here

Lake Como, Italy

Brienno

I was lucky enough to be chosen for the new look book for Italian brand 'Linea Clique'. It was shot on the Beautiful Lake Como, in Brienno, Laglio. Here's a few snaps from the day.

The view from the balcony at our base camp, Laglio, Italy.

The view from the balcony at our base camp, Laglio, Italy.

The small shipping port at Brienno.

The small shipping port at Brienno.

The sign at the tiny port of Brienno. 

The sign at the tiny port of Brienno. 

A steap hill leads to the old churches

A steap hill leads to the old churches

Doorway, Brienno. Everythings a bit worn and tatty in the area but it's all part of the rustic Italian feel.

Doorway, Brienno. Everythings a bit worn and tatty in the area but it's all part of the rustic Italian feel.

'Jan Riviera'.

'Jan Riviera'.

A custom built area for sunbathing, changing, and diving by the lake at Brienno, Italy.

A custom built area for sunbathing, changing, and diving by the lake at Brienno, Italy.

We ate delicious pasta from the local 'Pizza and Pub'

We ate delicious pasta from the local 'Pizza and Pub'

See what else I got up to in Italy

Jxx

Bar Luce, Milano

The Wes Cafe

You might have noticed that I'm a bit partial to all things Wes Anderson around here so you can imagine my excitement when I found out that he'd designed a cafe in Milano in the Fondazione Prada. Having walked past it three times without noticing it, the fourth time drew me in when I noticed a woman holding a paper shopping bag with the words 'Bar Luce' beautifully written on its side.  

Nico 'These days' began playing in my head.  I stepped inside. It was overwhelmingly beautiful, here is what I saw......     

 50's style pastel pinks, blues, and greens. The ceiling recreates the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele of Milan

Inside Bar Luce, Milan. 

Inside Bar Luce, Milan. 

The working jukebox with 'Two Hundred Selections'

The jukebox at Bar Luce, Milan.  

The jukebox at Bar Luce, Milan.  

Details of the music the jukebox held inside Bar Luce. 

Details of the music the jukebox held inside Bar Luce. 

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou pin ball machine is key.

Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou pinball machine at Bar Luce, Milan.  

Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou pinball machine at Bar Luce, Milan.  

Life Aquatic pinball machine. 

Life Aquatic pinball machine. 

The waiters fit in perfectly with their white shirts and black bow ties, they always carry something delishisly Wes Anderson 

Waiters at Bar Luce, Milan.  

Waiters at Bar Luce, Milan.  

The prettiest cappuccino I've ever had was only €1.50

Cappuccino at Bar Luce, Milan.  

Cappuccino at Bar Luce, Milan.  

And all the sugar packets I stole as souvenirs were free!!!  

Sugar packets from Bar Luce, Milan.  

Sugar packets from Bar Luce, Milan.  

My 'Ice Pop Watermelon' Ray Bans fit the scene beautifully

Ray Ban's with the stable setting at Bar Luce, Milan.  

Ray Ban's with the stable setting at Bar Luce, Milan.  

They serve candy and ice-cream, of course

Sweets and treats at Bar Luce, Milan. 

Sweets and treats at Bar Luce, Milan. 

 

......I stole some napkins when I was leaving, I had to.  

Jxx

See what else I got up to in Italy

For more info click here: http://www.fondazioneprada.org/