Floral oases for gourmets and aesthetes

  BY Анастасия А.   6 June 2016

Milan, being an industrial center, the city where people are always on the run, nevertheless, places a great importance on balance between urban life and a natural environment. In recent years, it became very common to combine gardens with cafés. A flower shop or a café, can you guess? It is not surprising that in a very short period of time such places became very popular and loved by many locals and visitors alike.

Something similar to this opened a few months ago - Cafe Riad, in Arabic means "garden", - a traditional Moroccan house or palace. The Riad Cafe is located in the central area of ​​Milan, a charming Porta Venezia. The location is literally buried in flowers and evokes a feeling as if you are in oasis, where you feel relaxed and pleasant. Most importantly, it's one of those places where, literally, every detail is not accidental and is picked by a person in love with her work. Owners of the Riad, Laura and Luke, people of different ages and experiences, tried to create a space that combines their passion for plants and style, carefully selecting rare plants, handcraft objects made of ceramics and glass, creating a harmonious mix between Northern Europe and Morocco.

Interior objects and plants can be purchased right on the spot.  You should pave a visit, also, for the sake of food: for breakfast, a sweet set of pastries, coffee or Moroccan style - with hummus, a seasonal meal, dinner or Saturday brunch - there is nothing disappointing, and the attentive service will make you feel like at home. Before the order arrives, they bring you a fragrant tea. Wifi is available in side the café as well as a leading periodical literature for pleasant reading while you are waiting for your order.

Potafiori - unusual cafe, it may seem disorienting inside, because the space is full of bright and stylish flower arrangements. Fragrant symphony of colors is perfectly combined with a selection on the menu, meat and vegetable dishes and, of course, they almost always have risotto on the menu. The seasonal menu is not large, but is made wisely, so everyone interested in visiting this place could find something for themselves. Here, you can purchase floral arrangements, authentically designed aprons and items for kitchen interior. You can come here for any reason - from breakfast to dinner, but the special charm Potaifori gains is during musical evenings when the sound of jazz music and a charming Rosalba Piccinni, the soul of the place, fill this already stylish place with more 'color'. 

Mint Garden Cafe - the cutest place in the Porta Venezia area. The bar, bistro, and even a flower shop is one of the best breakfasts spots in Milan with a large selection of freshly baked goods (especially, chocolate cake and chocolate cake with pears), herbal teas, freshly squeezed juices, and coffees. You can visit the urban garden and for lunch, aperitif offers a decent selection of wine and cocktails for a romantic dinner among English roses, cacti, and other kinds of plants, which could be purchased in the store of the cafe.

Al Fresco is located in the Tortona district (acquires a special atmosphere during the design week in Milan). Previously, on-site of the restaurant was a warehouse, which is difficult to imagine from the incredibly light and comfortable space with high ceilings, and large windows that overlook the garden - an unconditional place of attraction for all types of esthetes. Kitchen corresponds to the name of the restaurant, biological seasonal products - the basic components of light and fresh dishes with original presentation. The chef, Kokichi Takahashi, had previously worked with the most famous Italian chefs Carlo Cracco and Andrea Berton. Now, Al Fresco serves dishes full of flavor and not overloaded with creativity. The Al Fresco restaurant feels easy and light - an ideal to meet up with good friends, come to eat after work, or just to have a relaxing dinner in a cozy garden separate from the buzz of the city.

Fioraio Bianchi Caffè - a Milanese restaurant with a French charm. Raimondo Bianchi - the founder of the bistro, took a long time (40 years ago, it all began with a simple florist stand) to create one of the most popular places in the city. Until now, you can buy flowers, but most customers come for the magic atmosphere and a decent food. The interior is designed in a shabby chic style and rather intimate atmosphere, warm colors, small hall with délabré style walls, round tables and flowers - flowers and their wonderful aroma! Among the prevailing beauty and style, a flower shop and a restaurant harmoniously create an ideal place to relax. France appears here in many ways: in the furniture ordered from Paris, typical French specialties on the menu, wine and baked goods based on original recipes.

Photo credits: @anastassiaav, http://www.fioraiobianchicaffe.it/, http:// www.bigodino.it/, http://www.girandomi.com/.

translated by Anastasia Ostapenko