Saturday, 31 August 2013

Yelping in Milan

Yesterday I took the train from stazione Garibaldi, Milan, to Chambery, France, from which I took a bus to Grenoble. The day before yesterday however I left Cremona for a night out in Milan with a school friend who now lives near Wagner. She took me to her lovely little flat, had a natter and catch up, then took the metro to i navigli. From there we wondered around until reaching our destination: Ginger cocktail lab.

As many of you may know I write reviews for Yelp, and have been an elite member since March. This has meant that I have been able to try out some of the best service, food and drink in Edinburgh. Since moving to Italy I had been relatively distracted, and only managed a few reviews as I didn't really go to many restaurants/cafés, and the ones I did frequent were in Cremona, a city which has no community manager. For this reason, I am registered as being in the Milanese yelp community. This summer I haven't had many opportunities to visit Milan thanks to the expensive train fares, lack of "abbonamento" and intense heat. I will be making almost daily trips to Milan from January to July when I start studying there as a full-time student.

Coincidentally the August yelp elite event fell upon the day I was planning to go to Milan anyway. My train the next morning was at 8.30am, and I didn't really fancy getting up at 5am to commute into Milan. I felt better being able to offer my friend something in return for hosting me, and invited her along as my plus one.

We got a great welcome reception from the Milanese yelp community. So many people were talking to us, most spoke in Italian though  many people made an effort to at least say something in English to make as feel more at home. 

We got two free cocktails, I had a fruity pineapple and passion fruit cocktail followed by the most delicious ginger cocktail ever, topped with thin strands of dark chocolate which solidified on the surface of the drink. The aperitivo was Milanese style, which meant that an abundance of food was available in the buffet, much of which was vegan and gluten free. I tried about 5 different tofu salads, some with walnuts and avocados others with thinly sliced raw vegetables. There was also a rice salad which was very good, and some foccaccie and pizzette which I couldn't eat. There were plenty of non-veggie options too, which my friend enjoyed, and some fresh pineapples and watermelon wedges which were a welcome treat after the delicious food. We didn't feel rushed nor restricted to one plate, the buffet kept refilling itself.

The barman was like a robot, he seemed quite the master of cocktail making, and yet still retained a friendly demeanour. The waitress was very friendly, even after having to return our first cocktail (major blunder, the barman thought we said we really liked liquorice when in fact the music must have drowned out the "only thing we don't like is..." bit.

Definitely stolen from Michele Florio

This was definitely a very cool evening. We both got a little tipsy and ended up walking for an hour before getting home, feeling very high on happy vibes.

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