Yesterday marked the start for design devotees to make the annual pilgrimage to Milan. Yes, it is the creatives hot diary entry, Salone del Mobile. The event gets bigger every year with new districts to visit and growing lists of people to see. I thought, instead of giving a preview of what’s in store I would give you my own tips to Milan of what to do, eat, shop and all the the hidden highlights in-between.

INSIDERS CITY GUIDE

I like Milan, not that I get to go as much as I would like. Years ago we bought a lot of our products from suppliers but now we’ve switched to designing and manufacturing our own collection, we don’t really need to. Odd as this may sound, I don’t really want to be influenced by what is trending – I want to follow my gut instinct. 

corso

Photo: Courtesy of 10 Corso Como

10 CORSO COMO

Housed in a converted garage Corso Como is one of the original concept stores. The ground floor is brimming with all things beauty and fashion. While the upstairs has a myriad of bestselling books and an inspiring gallery of art. My favourite bit – the leafy courtyard café outside, with lots of pots and foliage.

NILUFAR GALLERY

This is the place to gasp in awe at the beautiful rare 50’s pieces and other amazing 20th-century furniture. Also check out the warehouse, a 1500 square metre space housing historical and contemporary design pieces – just fabulous! 

Rossana

Photo: rossanaorlandi.com

ROSSANA ORLANDI

This is always my first stopping point. It’s located in a former tie factory – look out for the hidden doorbell it is very discreet. The space is rather higgledy-piggledy, split over four floors mixing together showroom, a retail store, offices and a courtyard. The courtyard has a wonderful restaurant, which is magical, I am obsessed with the courtyard and the hugest fan of Rossana and all that she does.

raw

Photo:rawmilano.it

RAW

Full of fabulous finds this place is always on my list of places to go. You can find antique furniture, beautifully scented candles, rich fabrics, vintage glassware – the list goes on. Raw changes with the seasons so you always find something new to fall in love with every time you visit. 

officina-santa-maria-novella

Photo: blogs.italysegwaytours.com

SANTA MARIA NOVELLA

If you have time, you must visit Santa Maria Novella (the oldest pharmacy in Italy) where you can pick up a bag of their fabulous incense, which I am forever banging on about. They are lined with cafes, antique stores, little bookshops, art galleries – I love them because they are grittier and more boho than anywhere else in the city. 

Ciao bella!!