We headed straight out to the suburbs to one of Circolo Arci's rather unassuming little outpostings.
Arci owns a number of venues across the Milan area, notably the Magnolia nightclub (which is basically a mini festival during the summer) and the gorgeous but secretive La Santeria bar. Membership costs €11 per year and is well worth it.
Inside the atmosphere was friendly and relaxed, with a small bar, stage, dance floor, snooker table and a host of tables and sofas across which couples and friends were draped with drinks hanging casually from their fingers.
I didn't really feel like drinking but as soon as I was asked for what I wanted, I heard the word 'Negroni' escape my lips.
The Negroni cocktail is notorious for it's alcohol content. Two of these bad boys could easily floor me. I recently heard of one legend who drinks five in a night. Beware, do not try this at home: apparently a single Negroni can tip the scale between pleasantly wasted and head in a toilet unconscious. It contains gin, Campari and red vermouth, not that I was aware of this when I ordered it.
A fifth of the way through, I felt pretty merry which helped me have a little dance to this great band whose name I sadly do not know :( there was one song I particularly liked so when I track them down I shall let you know!
By 2am, we were crawling into a 24 hour bakery. Yes, that's right, not only does Italy make awesome pizza but you can buy it at any hour as well. A shade more impressive than the California Bakery's tea and cake until midnight policy although I was out for the count so it didn't make much difference to me anyway.
Sunday morning, therefore, was mainly spent sleeping. The giant feathery duvet was left at about 11:30 and we didn't get outside until 1:30 for a walk in the beautiful winter sunshine. It felt more like April (or an uncharacteristically dry June in England) with the sun pouring gold on us.
We wandered about for a while before choosing to go to the Temakeria on Corso Garibaldi for lunch.
We've been there once before and can confirm again that it is fantastic. A fusion of Japanese and Brazilian (yep, that's right), it combines the structure of sushi with the flavours of Brazil - think seaweed rolls with rice, fresh fish, mango and lime.
The official drink of the restaurant is the caipirinha, made with cahaca, lime and sugar. It's my favourite cocktail but I decided to be good and save my units for an aperitivo in the evening. Magro chose an intriguing combination of pineapple juice and mint which turned out to be so much better than I expected.
I ordered the Cebiche temako (a single, large seaweed wrap) and the Carnavale rolls (and I had to take a picture of the menu so I could remember the delicious ingredients and recreate a similar dish another time!)
I know that the main flavours were sea bass, tuna, mango, lime, coriander, peppers and mint. So so fresh and so so delicious even if the temako was a bit messy to get stuck into. I did manage to finish it in the end though.
The interior at the Temakeria is really interesting and goes perfectly with the food: light, colourful and with a splash of sophistication.
Afterwards we took a stroll in the gently fading sun which was gorgeous. I saw so many different parts of the city I'd never seen before and I truly felt like a tourist once more.
Oh hi there.
Straight into a rather fancy shopping district. Hello Tom Ford. I honestly don't think that man can do any wrong.
If anyone wants to buy me a present, I would like a lipstick in Violet Fatale and the Private Blend in Santal Blush. Thanks.
Looking down the road, we saw McQueen and DSquared, around the corner lay Alberta Ferretti and Rolex. That beautiful little cafè above with its fridges stocked full of champagne was closed unfortunately but I think I'll be paying a visit to Chic & Go (menu here) another day. And now I understand why the coffee cost so much.
This time I had the biancolatte iced coffee (coffee with hazelnut icecream and a generous drizzling of chocolate sauce, naughty) and two "sfizi", little chocolate cups filled with cream (raspberry and chestnut in this case). Absolutely delicious. Then we headed back to our room with a view for an evening snuggled on the sofa watching Arrested Development before heading out separately with friends.
Can't wait for spring to arrive!