Who doesn’t enjoy Sunday afternoons spent shopping, eating and hanging out with some of Milan’s coolest crowds? The Lovers– aka my fantastic friends– organize a bi-annual extravaganza that brings together talented up-and-coming Italian designers and artists. Think Italy’s version of Brooklyn’s Artists and Fleas. With temperatures in the triple digits, browsing the market quickly turned into having a delicious Italian lunch in the shaded seating area. Held at La balera dell’Ortica, a multi-purpose venue on the outskirts of the city, they not only offer great dining options, but bocce, bowling and even dancing for Milan’s residents. As the Lover’s Market continued well into the evening, it was a perfect final day before venturing back Stateside.
Prosciutto wrapped melon
Prosciutto wrapped melon
Americans traditionally think of happy hour as a time to enjoy discounted drinks once the workday is over. Italians however, have an entirely different (and far better) concept for these pre-dinner, post-work hours. I was first introduced to aperitivo, or drinks with complimentary food, in Milan a couple years back when visiting my friends. I imagined bowls of chips, pretzels and popcorn. I should have known better that this would be a disgrace to the Italian culture, and rather we would feast upon an open buffet of various pastas, meats, cheeses and vegetables. Fast forward to 2012, and I found myself once again in Milan, enjoying an evening with friends at Luca e Andrea Cafe on the Naviglio Grande. Although meant for just a warm-up to dinner, their macaroni and cheese and pasta salad left me far too full for anything else.
Cocktails on the canal
Pasta, couscous, chicken and vegetables
Macaroni and cheese
I was spending a summer holiday with amazing friends in Milan, reuniting for the first time since we moved out of East London, when Vicky could not have said it any better: What is there to do besides eat and drink your way around the city (in good company, of course). I spent my days enjoying homecooked meals, family owned cafes and evening apertivos, over glasses of wine and endless stories with too much laughter. Upon my return to New York, my appreciation for food has continued to grow, so why not combine it with my life-long passion for photography. Today, I’m finally creating an outpost to display the highlights of food, both eating in and dining out, with friends and family. With the holidays just around the corner, I’ve been brainstorming menus and recipes I’m excited to capture. In the meantime, I’ll flashback to my top ten summer and autumn highlights I couldn’t bare to leave out (in order of occurrence).
A traditional Sunday meal with friends at Lucia's casa.
Fruit smoothies at a café on a rainy Milan day.
9. Lake Luzern
Salads, fruits and cheese at Seebad on Lake Luzern. While in Zurich, I had time to spare while my friend was at work, so enjoyed an afternoon at a neighboring town, basking in the Swiss sun at this bathhouse with an amazing view.
A fresh loaf of bread from Jones Dairy café. A hidden gem on a side street off Columbia Road, host of London's Sunday flower market. Quite possibly my favorite place in the world to be on a Sunday afternoon.
Modern English cuisine at the industrial chic, Wapping Project restaurant in East London. Once an old hydraulic power station, this half art/half dining venue was perfect for a dinner catch up with the old crew from Amelia's Magazine.
7. New York
Hot summer evenings on my roof, with a pitcher of Pimms and Lemonade, garnishing the leftover fruit with mint, and smoked salmon bruschetta.
Mac and cheese at Montauk's Navy Beach for a mid-summer escape to show my friend from Sydney a taste of our local beaches and sunsets.
5. Rowayton, CT
Lobster rolls at the restaurant at Rowayton's Seafood. While my parents were in town visiting we spent a day dining by the Long Island Sound.
A backyard barbeque in Brooklyn at my friend, Geordie's home. All vegetables and mint for the mojitos grown locally, right from the back garden.
3. Hoboken, NJ
An italian dinner at Margherita's Pizza & Café in Hoboken. I love taking summer ferry rides across the Hudson to relax, enjoy the view of the city and visit my friend, Beth.
2. My birthday weekend
Sandwiches, soups and salads at Cathryn's in Cold Spring, NY with some friends to celebrate my birthday and explore the small town about an hour north of the city.
Perfect autumn meals
And the party continued back in the city as we prepared stuffed squash boats, roasted potatoes and much more for a dinner party that evening.
The ingredients for the feast
1. Santa Monica
Fresh fruit from Santa Monica's farmers market. By far the best fruit I've ever tasted.
While taking a mid-October break out on the west coast, we prepared a dinner with a couple old friends, new friends and family. Buying fresh from the market, we enjoyed pumpkin pasta, prosciutto wrapped pears and roasted potatoes.