A few weeks ago I went for brunch with a lovely group of expat ladies.
Un paio di settimane fa, sono andata a brunch con un bel gruppo di ragazze "expat".
Of course there's only one place you can go when you all fancy an American style brunch and that is California Bakery. Except there's more than one so there's technically more than one place to go but you know what I mean. We headed to the one on Corso Como which ended up being a little difficult to find as it's currently hiding underneath some pesky scaffolding.
I ordered the egg and avocado bagel with spinach as a side because I was trying to be healthy - I didn't expect it to be this green! I have to admit I was a little disappointed as I'd hoped for a freshly cooked egg with slices of avocado rather than an egg/avocado mayonnaise concoction. Nevermind, I know for next time! My companions definitely had the right idea with their orders though...
After you've finished stuffing your face it would be a crime not to peruse the freshly baked cakes that line the counter (I actually spent €25 on their cakes for a film night last night. Oops. What can I say, I'm a generous hostess!)
Their cookies are to die for. Yep, those giant, fat things on the top shelf there are cookies. If you're lucky, they'll come so fresh that the chocolate chips are still melted. My favourite is the peanut, gianduha and dark Belgian chocolate monstrosity. Harriet is a huge fan of the cream cheese brownie whereas Elena's favourite is the rich chocolate cake topped with strawberries and cut through with raspberry jam. You get the picture.
How could you say no?
Unfortunately after our bagels and a couple of hours of laughter, we couldn't stomach anymore so the cakes were left untouched this time. This time.
After a days shopping though, I did have space for one of these...
Cioccolati Italiani has a few branches across the world now (sadly none in the UK sob sob) and there are two in Milan. Why so popular? Well aside from the ice cream being absolutely deliciously fantastic (marrons glaceés being my personal favourite and yes I have probably spelt that wrong), if you remember to ask them, they fill your cone with your choice of white, milk or dark chocolate. Melted. Yes.
You can see why it's so busy.
I had to abandon the lovely ladies and rush home to get ready to go out for the evening. Ok so I didn't exactly choose the best outfit for clubbing BUT I really wanted to wear my new trench, jumper and boots. The boots! €19.99 in Zara's sale. They're supposed to be over-the-knee but I'm a bit too long for that apparently. Hattie bought the same ones and they were definitely over her knees hehe.
(Oh and yes, I did regret wearing this to the club later on. My feet felt like they'd had the soft under part sliced off so that the bones were pressing into the cold, unforgiving floor.)
Before we danced the night away, it was time for homemade pizza at Charlie and Lidia's. What a beautiful pair of genii (geniuses??)
I topped mine with artichokes and tuna before we got onto the real business of the evening...
Just watch Magro's expression change from optimistic to apprehensive to concerned to defeated...
The absinthe had obviously taken effect so it was time to get moving and head to Plastic for the House of Bordello night.
These guys apparently got paid to sit behind a window and feed each other chocolates and strawberries and drink champagne. I'm quite talented at these things if anyone wants to give me a job? The chocolates were sitting on the bar too (and there were lots of them, these skinny minny Italians don't know what they're missing hahaha) and I can tell you they were delicious! Like everything that I eat here...
I want to be her.
There were different dancers on stage all night in a continuous rotation and they all looked like they were having so much fun! I wonder how much they get paid for doing this? It's surely not a bad life!
Magro and Charlie are rocking shirts from Coton Deux the Parisian shirt specialist. Ok perhaps this isn't the best advert ever but they are lovely shirts. I chose the bicycle print one on the left. I did not choose the facial hair. That was not part of the deal when we got together. It has, fortunately, calmed down since.
So you've been watching this guy rock out on stage for a couple of hours when suddenly you see his shoes... what?? He did a lot better than I did, that's for sure. Evidently he wears heels more often than I do.
As does this dude..
There's nothing that upsets me more than a man who looks better as a woman than I do.
By the end of the night I was ready to cry. My feet were fighting a losing battle against the shoes and the crowd had just got crazy tight. I'm not a huge fan of having absolutely no personal space whatsoever but not being able to move or breathe was just a little too much. Plus there was another room which looked absolutely beautiful and interesting but they had implemented some kind of exclusive door system that left us waiting to get in for 15 minutes without success whilst other people rocked up and were picked from the (pushy and shovey) crowd within seconds. We gave up. Maybe I'll go back in more appropriate dress and stick it out next time. But if there's one thing that really grinds my gears in this world, it's pointless discrimination (yup, I'm turning this into a big social issue!)
In any case, I was more than ready for a nice long lie-in the next morning followed by a walk around the city and a slice of cake at the famed Chocolat.
They have a LOT of different chocolate tarts and cakes and ice creams and slabs and drinks. We only shared a slice of the chestnut tart but it was absolutely delicious. If only it were on our side of Parco Sempione!
We finished the weekend with a quiet night in and a bowl of pasta.
Look at that handiwork! I'm practically Italian.
Ciao for now!