Several years ago I visited Milan for the first time on a dreary January, the city was under siege by an unrelenting downpour that gave it a less than welcoming atmosphere. The flight had been delayed which meant I arrived later than I had intended. Hungry and in need to de-stress from the flight, I decided after checking in to look for a good Italian restaurant. I was limited with options as the heavy rain discouraged any walk further than 10 minutes. Fortunately, the hotel told me of a nearby restaurant called Trattoria La Baita. Without lingering, I briskly walked the 8 minutes. I was warmly welcomed and quickly place at a good table. The food arrived quickly satisfying my hunger. I mention this restaurant in particular because of their generosity. Having finished my meal, a waiter placed a bottle of Limoncello on my table, saying “have as much as you want, it’s on the house”. Whether they knew it or not, this made my night. Turn a stressful day into a lovely memory. Milan since has become a favourite place of mine to work, for the people have always been kind and generous.
Milan has been a fashion powerhouse for many years and this has seeped into the shops you see on the high street (many without prices, meaning if you have to ask, you cannot afford anything) and the way many of its inhabitants dress. This links to the next point, the citizens of Milan are very well dressed. I’ve had many a meeting where my associate appears to be straight out of a Dolce & Gabbana catalogue. Though it does give me an excuse to wear my best suit. In summer, those of us not habituated to the hot weather can take respite in that it is acceptable to be business casual. No one enjoys wearing a tailored suit, yet sweating profusely. Be comfy over formal.
Milan has two airports. Linate and Malpensa. Know which you travel to or from. Linate is about 30 minutes from Milan centre. Malpensa is about 50 minutes.
Taxis are eye watering expensive. €95 fixed cost from Milan to Malpensa. Public transport is best as taxis quickly add up.
Where to stay
UNA Hotel Scandinavia. With mahogany throughout the building and appealing red Chesterfield sofas providing a charming atmosphere. You will be able to impress and take a few worthy Instagram shots. The reception leads into the bar area, with comfy seating, adequate to host an informal meeting over a drink and snacks. The rooms are finely furnished with all the essentials you would require and the bed are comfy. The hotel feels like a grand hotel you would see in classic movies.
Unfortunately this time, I did not have the chance to experience the fitness center with sauna. When I do, I will update my review.
Breakfast is plentiful and of good quality, waiters very efficient even when crowded with hungry guests.
The hotel seems to attract the best of things. Unfortunately, it was not quite the taxi that I had hoped would take us to the airport, considering the fixed rate cost across the city.
All in all, the hotel accommodates the business traveller in all required ways.
Where to eat
When my associate (who knows all the best places) recommended the best seafood restaurant in Milan, I knew I could not miss a chance to try this place. Also an opportunity for a little reconnaissance for my next meeting in the city in the following months.
A’Riccione Bistrot. This restaurant’s seafood is fresh and fantastic. A very suitable destination for a business meal, or a nice meal on your own or with colleagues. A word of warning, the bill can quickly add up, but it is worth it.
The waiters are full of charm and attentiveness. While waiting we had the opportunity to talk with the chef preparing the oysters, who opened them with such skill and ease that his passion added to the delight of eating the seafood later. He informed us where the fish came from and told us about the different tastes they have depending on where they were fished. All this added to the experience.
The room had a lovely ambience, fresh and clean, with a mixture of couples and business.
We ordered a lovely dry white to accompany our meal, a Benanti Etna Bianco 2015.
If you wish to have a business meal or a treat for yourself, then I highly recommend this place.
Where to Drink
Milano Cafe. Located near A’ Riccione Bistrot, the bar is a has a fantastic atmosphere for a few drinks. The venue also has the experience to cater for corporate events with a few recognisable brands being catered there over the years.
The venue has quiet areas along with other sections that are more lively. The place is welcoming with good drinks. A stylish place that would welcome many corporate visitors, or executives looking for somewhere to relax.
Like many large cities, Milan is welcoming and friendly with much to offer in style and fashion. The food is fantastic, the ice cream a marvel and the fashion, well that’s a whole new level.