If you think of Gucci, Armani or Dolce & Gabbana, images of swanky shoes, stylish jeans and heavenly handbags that most of us can’t afford will come to mind. But an increasing number of prestigious fashion firms are branching out, opening cafés and eateries with a wow factor that’s proving to be quite a draw.
Avant garde Milan has more than its fair share of designer name cafés, so if you’re in town head for the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, where the Caffè Gucci (www.gucci.com), opposite the Gucci boutique, serves coffee and cakes in surroundings that ooze style. Or try the Armani Caffè (www.armani.com/lifestyle) on Via Croce Rossa for pumpkin gnocchi with Taleggio cheese and vegetarian strudel with tomato fondue. There are other branches of the Armani Caffé around the world. And Dolce & Gabbana’s ‘Gold’ in Milan serves luxury home-made tagliatelle with cherry tomatoes and lobster sauce.
If you’re in Paris, not to be outdone, Ralph Lauren (www.ralphlaurenstgermaine.com) on the Boulevard Saint Germaine serves top notch American cuisine and in Tokyo, Bulgari’s Il Ristorante (www.bulgarihotels.com) serves contemporary Italian cuisine based on quality ingredients. You may not be able to splurge on a new designer outfit, but why not set aside a few euros and enjoy a coffee and cake in trendy luxury!