JJ Martin loves Milan. As the creative force behind La Double J, she’s championed a new level of made-in-Italy fashion and vaulted herself to the heavens as Milan’s Patron Saint of Patterns. I had the chance to fully immerse myself in her colorful world when I interviewed the inimitable JJ for Ciao Bella podcast and of course I asked her for her favorite Milan watering holes.
“The Bar at Bulgari Hotel is gorgeous and has the most incredible spread of food,” tells JJ and everyone agrees. Nestled within the chic garden of the Bulgari Hotel, the Bar [above] is Milan’s premier people-watching locale, especially during Milan fashion week and the Salone del Mobile furniture fair with its front-row seat to high fashion. And the drinks are delicious. Location is Brera.
The Botanical Club, the first Italian micro distillery (and the smallest) distills its own gin Spleen Et Idéaland boasts a diverse array of spirits and cocktails such as the Gentlemen Only with cognac, bourbon, vermouth, and bitters, and the classic Negroni. Two locations – Via Pastrengo and Via Tortona.
JJ also loves the Lù Bar which is in the courtyard of the gorgeous GAM- Milano (Galleria Arte Moderna). It’s like stepping into a garden, and Lu Bar spreads the love with LuBarino, a retro styled cafe (Piazza del Carmine) and Officina LuBar (Via Monviso).
There is something about Milan coffee houses – gorgeous, and beautifully preserved. You can find JJ at Cucchi, her local cafe go to, an old caffe bar from the 1930s where sheand her pug Pepper are the local celebrities.
“What I love in Italy is that the waiters that never change…. I love those places where they welcome you and you know them.”
Another favorite is Pasticceria Marchesi, a historic pastry shop and coffee house. A few years back, the pastry shop was acquired by Prada, which now has locations in Milan’s fabulous neighbourhoods Duomo and Quadrilateral della Mode (via MonteNapoleone), as well it’s original location on via S. Maria alla Porta 11.
Thinking about a trip to Milan? Let me entice you a little bit more with my guide to seeing the city through design and art for Fathom. Or just enjoy some full immersion into the amazing world of La Double J.