“I believe in plenty of optimism and white paint.”
– Elsie De Wolfe
As you will have seen from my earlier blog, I spent the start of this week in Milan with Ford.
The main calling card? The company’s takeover of the gargantuan home to Milan Design Week, Salone del Mobile.
Over the week, a lot of the activities that Ford put together were a design-influenced homage to the upcoming 2016 Ford GT. The supercar – set to rival the best of Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren – is a car and design lover’s fantasy come to life. In fact, Amko Leenarts – Global Interiors Design Director for Ford – said it was his own”dream car…the ultimate accomplishment”.
As Ford wasn’t actually allowed to show the vehicle at what is wholly and completely a design convention, the tops of the latter challenged all of their international designers to pitch creative designs – anything they wished – to display at the show, as long as it followed the company’s design ethos.
The results (a foodball table, guitar, sofa, and one designer’s ideal sailboat model) were as sleek and patriotic as the brand itself.
Though I had less than half a day to sink my teeth into the res of Salone, a whirlwind run around interactive breathing lights, baby blue petal-accented sofas, towering mirrors and more made me feel as interiorly-challenged as ever.
I did, however, leave with the urge to add both the aforementioned sofa and a brand new Ford GT to my home. They’re doing something right.
For those of you who love afternoon tea with a theme, the Spring Rocks afternoon tea at K West Hotel & Spa is well overdue a visit. Launched over Easer, the tea gained fast infamousity by turning our nation’s beloved Creme Egg into a Creme Egg Burger.
Stocks willing, this is still one place you can get your Creme Egg fix while the shops run dry.
Settling into Studio Kitchen (K West’s informal but gorgeous eatery), my hungry guest and I swooned over the table settings (major points for Blondie and Beatles vinyl covers as placemats) before ordering cocktails.
It’s a rock ‘n’ roll themed tea, guys. Totally necessary.
Shortly thereafter, the ultraviolet tiers of treats arrived: perfect little hot dogs, savoury sliders, mini Hot Cross Buns, quail egg Scotch Eggs, strawberry tarts, scones, pure almond macarons, salmon and cream cheese fingers…even sprinkle-topped chocolate pops.
Not forgetting the Creme Egg Burgers, of course. Each burger was made from a sweet brioche bun dipped in white chocolate and gooey Creme Egg filling with mascarpone and strawberry jelly. Sprinkled with hundreds and thousands, to boot. I feel mostly impartial towards Creme Eggs (I know! I know! I swear I’m British!) but adored the eclair-esque results of the chefs’ innovative imagination.
As soon as I had remedied my organisational woes with a proper jewellery stand, I had the urge to fill the space with extravagant newness.
Introducing…The Bling Rings: the dainty Thomas Sabo ring from Joshua James and S-shaped pearled earrings (geddit?) from QVC. Both became surprise necessities as soon as quickly as the internet led me to them and I have not taken either off since they arrived.
After sharing my love for the Zetec S, the automotive geniuses asked me to join them in Italy to enjoy both the city and my first time at Salone del Mobile.
To this, you don’t say no.
After an early flight from Heathrow to Linate, a handful of wonderful journos and I pulled up at the stunning Westin Palace Milano, made fast friends, checked in, then headed a few streets away for a refuel at La Cadrega.
The Prosecco and salad version of refueling, that is.
With one hour to empty the day’s inbox and cleanse the plane away, we jumped in a Ford (natch) and moved to the Palazzo Reale for a sneak preview of the biggest Leonardo Da Vinci art exhibition ever organised.
Continually pinching myself, we sashayed past the Duomo and into the former royal palace. Though photos were strictly forbidden, I pranced through the space – all 7,000 square metres of it – filling my mental scrapbook to the brim. There were pieces from Her Majesty’s private collection, the Uffizi in Florence, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Louvre in Paris, and many more : St. John the Baptist, the Annunciation, La Belle Ferronnière…even the Vitruvian Man.
With minds officially blown, we headed to our final stop – Ford’s interactive design installation, “FAVILLA, To Every Light a Voice”, which will live in Piazza San Fedele for the entire duration of Salonde del Mobile.
Take a close look in the video, below, and stay tuned to the blog for more Milanese adventures.