Category Archives: Out & About

Out & About: 10 Corso Como

Nubby Twiglet | 10 Corso Como

Nubby Twiglet | 10 Corso Como

When I asked for recommendations on what to do in Milan a few weeks back, the answer was nearly unanimous: visit 10 Corso Como. So, that’s exactly what I did.

Before we dig into what this place is all about, let me just say that there’s no way to do it justice in a blog post. There’s just too much to take in and I didn’t have a ton of time (you’ll need a minimum of an hour to get through all the complexes). With this being my first visit, I was a bit overwhelmed at the scale and detail of it all but I hope this gives you a taste of the brand.

Nubby Twiglet | 10 Corso Como

10 Corso Como was founded by Carla Sozzani in 1990, an Italian gallerist and publisher. She started small with an art gallery and bookstore but the cult secret spread fast and the brand quickly grew to include a boutique, mini hotel, restaurant and rooftop garden a few years later.

Carla’s love of design is immediately evident in every detail, down to the printed materials. As you walk through, it becomes almost comical when you realize how many variations of cards, menus and sugar packets there are. Trust me, this wasn’t everything! There’s an on-brand design for everything you can imagine. Artist Kris Ruhs has truly created an alternate, pop-centric universe.

Nubby Twiglet | 10 Corso Como

Nubby Twiglet | 10 Corso Como

The complex is a bit hard to spot as you stroll down Corso Como and I nearly missed it. The entrance is covered in greenery and the tiled sign is fairly high. The mystery is part of the fun, though because as you enter the courtyard, you can’t quite tell what you’re walking into.

Is it a clothing store? A restaurant? A hotel? As you start exploring, you realize it’s all of those things…and much, much more.

Nubby Twiglet | 10 Corso Como

My favorite part of 10 Corso Como is the boutique. It feels like a show of tightly curated art installations where everything happens to be wearable AND for sale. There’s the in-house line featuring hand-illustrated patterns covering everything from perfume and shirts to tarot cards and pins.

Nubby Twiglet | 10 Corso Como

Then, there’s a killer selection of avant garde men’s and women’s designers, an area dedicated to the best shoes and finally, jewelry and accessories sprinkled throughout. If you’re in Milan with a stack of cash to burn, this is obviously the place to do it.

Nubby Twiglet | 10 Corso Como

The attention to detail trickles down to the restaurant. I ordered a coffee….and it came out with a specially wrapped chocolate and a basket of branded sugar packets. There’s a fantastic selection of organic, healthy options on the menu, too which is nice when you’ve been traveling across Italy, gorging yourself on pasta all week. Oh come on, I can’t be the only one!

This is a place where the art crowd and who’s who in Milan gathers. Everyone that was seated around us was stylishly dressed and if people watching is your jam, you know where to find it.

Nubby Twiglet | 10 Corso Como

I had to take a selfie to remember that yes, I was really here and yes, this place is real.

Nubby Twiglet | 10 Corso Como

In an age where everything can be ordered with a click of a mouse on Amazon, where everything feels rushed and lacking in imagination, it makes me happy to know that places like 10 Corso Como still exist.

Details do matter.

So does art, design and fashion.

I’m so glad there’s a home for it to all thrive.

Out & About: Bar Luce

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Hello from Milan!

Before I arrived, I asked around about what to do during my visit and Bar Luce was at the top of everyone’s list. After stopping by this morning, I can see why.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Commissioned by Prada’s art foundation, the cafe was designed by Wes Anderson in an effort to recreate the atmosphere of a typical cafe that existed in the 50s and 60s in Milan. The baby pink juke box plays classic 50s tunes, the bow-tied waiters offer impeccable service and the coffees and tarts are out of this world.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Even though Anderson is famous for his meticulously detailed film sets, he wanted the space to feel like a functional real-life hangout. Of Bar Luce, he said, “While I do think it would make a pretty good movie set, I think it would be an even better place to write a movie. I tried to make it a bar I would want to spend my own non-fictional afternoons in.”

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

The tables have formica tops and the soft colors throughout mimic the same palettes that were popular during the time period. I walked in shortly after it opened at 9 am and the two other people that sat down were older locals who were reading the paper alongside their morning coffees. Surprisingly, the place wasn’t overrun by tourists at all.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Even with all the design-focused details and a famous pedigree, Bar Luce feels cozy, functional and welcoming. If you’re going to Milan, this is a must-visit.

Out & About #15: The Butcher’s Daughter

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #15: The Butcher's Daughter

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #15: The Butcher's Daughter

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #15: The Butcher's Daughter

If you’re a creative that also loves juice, then The Butcher’s Daughter may just be heaven on earth.

I spent the last week in New York (yes, during the epic blizzard), and this place was at the top of my must-visit list. Due to that aforementioned blizzard, the normally fully-stocked shelves were nearly bare but I had to show you anyway because this place has that perfect balance of being ridiculously cute and having healthy, hearty food choices.

Design firm Wanderlust crafted the cozy space The Butcher’s Daughter calls home with an old school butcher shop feel. Think wooden counters, steel hooks holding hanging fruit baskets, plenty of subway tile and rustic brick walls.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #15: The Butcher's Daughter

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #15: The Butcher's Daughter

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #15: The Butcher's Daughter

The name may seem counter-intuitive considering that The Butcher’s Daughter is meat-free but it does hold a distinct purpose as they explain below:

“At The Butcher’s Daughter, we treat fruits and vegetables as a butcher would meat: We chop, fillet and carve fresh produce into heathy vegetarian dishes and press them into pretty juices.”

Around the corner from the picturesque cafe is a small juice and sweets shop, also owned by The Butcher’s Daughter. It’s full of fresh baked goods that are free of refined sugar and gluten and a wall of juices arranged by color.

The overall experience at The Butcher’s Daughter is one that’s full of simple pleasures, bright pops of color, an abundance of plants and the feeling of knowing that everything from the soups to the sandwiches to the sweets are free of the unhealthy additives that fill so many of our basic meals these days.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #15: The Butcher's Daughter

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #15: The Butcher's Daughter

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #15: The Butcher's Daughter

As I sat at a butcher block-style counter eating butternut squash curry soup and staring out at the slushy, slippery streets on Monday, I was happy I made the trek. This place is truly a ray of sunshine.


Featured: The Butcher’s Daughter.
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Out & About #14: Work/Shop

Nubby Twiglet | Work/Shop Portland

Nubby Twiglet | Work/Shop Portland

Nubby Twiglet | Work/Shop Portland

It all started with a candle.

A few weeks ago, I discovered a Portland made brand of soy candles by Aspen Summit at Darling Press and fell in love with a scent called Copper, described as “a warm drink, cozy sweater on & your favorite record spinning.” How could you not be intrigued by that?!

Wanting to learn more about the brand, I headed over to Instagram and realized that the owner, Heather had just opened a brick and mortar store called work/shop.

Nubby Twiglet | Work/Shop Portland

One I saw this wall on Instagram (impressively done in just a day with sharpies and a projector!), I knew I had to visit.

Nubby Twiglet | Work/Shop Portland

The store is so thoughtfully curated — I was impressed with the mix of affordable, gift friendly ideas, not to mention the really cool lineup of workshops.

The shelves are stocked with small plants (mostly succulents), notebooks, greeting cards, Aspen Summit candles and natural bath and beauty products. It’s a cozy, welcoming place that is also incredibly photogenic.

Nubby Twiglet | Work/Shop Portland

Nubby Twiglet | Work/Shop Portland

I loved chatting with Heather about her beautiful line of candles and checking out this great small business. It’s a pretty awesome feeling when you see people taking a chance, acting on their dreams and making places like this a reality. You can just see the love that went into it.


Featured: work/shop.

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Out & About #13: Liberty London

Nubby Twiglet | Liberty London

Nubby Twiglet | Liberty London

Nubby Twiglet | Liberty London

“Liberty is the chosen resort of the artistic shopper.” —Oscar Wilde

Nubby Twiglet | Liberty London

2Nubby Twiglet | Liberty London

Nubby Twiglet | Liberty London

Visiting Liberty is always a highlight for me when I’m in London. Built in 1875, setting foot inside this department store is like entering another world altogether. The tudor-style building is packed with the most eclectic mix of clothing, accessories and housewares sourced from around the world, not to mention its in-house line of prints. The care and detail taken for merchandising the inside of the store is pretty epic but equally amazing is the exterior which features timbers sourced from two different ships!

Nubby Twiglet | Liberty London

Nubby Twiglet | Liberty London

Nubby Twiglet | Liberty London

When it opened in the late 1800s, Liberty was immediately successful due to its penchant for importing exotic housewares. It was a place of fantasy and eccentricity, even back then.

Nubby Twiglet | Liberty London

Nubby Twiglet | Liberty London

Nubby Twiglet | Liberty London
Today, even though styles have changed, they have two upper floors dedicated to interiors and they’re packed with an enticing mix of styles, from very classic to full-on mod.

Nubby Twiglet | Liberty London

Another draw of Liberty is its large display of flowers by Wild At Heart. It’s the first thing you see before walking through the main entrance and even when these photos were being snapped, the florist was busy gathering blooms for a custom bouquet.

When you hear of Liberty, their beautiful line of prints probably comes to mind first. Most are floral-based and it’s pretty amazing walking through the third floor, seeing them up close and personal and thinking about their history.

Nubby Twiglet | Liberty London

In today’s world where everything feels rushed and thrown together, I’m intrigued by the thought Liberty puts into its own product lines, archives and in-store merchandising. It feels like a rarefied world were quality is valued and every detail is taken into account.

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Have you seen their in-house products before? It’s so cool to see how they apply their style to everything from wallpaper to jewelry. 1. coffee, 2. tudor piggy bank, 3. zip wallet, 4. cupcake set, 5. coloring book, 6. Theodora candle, 7. cuff, 8. radio and 9. wallpaper.

Nubby Twiglet | Liberty London

Nubby Twiglet | Liberty London

You may be wondering what the phone booths have to do with Liberty! As you know, booths everywhere are much more scarce now since everyone has cell phones but there’s still a large bank of these iconic red ones located outside the back of the store. Just beware if you plan on stepping inside for a photo op — they’re more commonly used as bathrooms now, which I learned the hard way. Ha!

Nubby Twiglet | Liberty London

Taking this trip down memory lane is making me wish I was in town to see the store for the holidays. Speaking of the holidays, Happy Thanksgiving to my U.S. readers. Hope it’s a good one!


Photos: Lisa Jane Photography and Shauna Haider.
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Out & About #12: Dapper & Wise

Nubby Twiglet | Dapper & Wise

Nubby Twiglet | Dapper & Wise

Nubby Twiglet | Dapper & Wise

When two people who didn’t know each other both told me that I should visit Portland-based coffee shop Dapper and Wise, I knew something was up.

Over the weekend, I finally stopped in and fell head over heels with the place when I noticed that they made their own ginger and pear-infused chai. Then, I bit into a moist boysenberry scone. Both were so good that I went back early the next morning and was greeted by the same, cheerful barista.

Nubby Twiglet | Dapper & Wise

Nubby Twiglet | Dapper & Wise

While I haven’t had a chance to try their coffee yet (seriously, you’ll have to pull me away from this magical chai concoction first), their passion for roasting is a big deal. They choose to only partner with farmers that are being paid fair wages.

Nubby Twiglet | Dapper & Wise

While the quality offerings and ethics of Dapper & Wise are fantastic, the extra special treat is their decor. Black, modern chairs are balanced out by a big green espresso machine, Rifle Paper Company black and gold wallpaper and wood flooring and accents arranged in diamond patterns. Visually, the space has a lot going on but somehow, it all works. And, I love their crisp, simple branding by Forefathers Group.

Independent coffee shops are everywhere in Portland these days but what really makes a few including Dapper & Wise stand out from the pack is impeccable customer service and an attention to detail. It really comes down to the ability to transform a simple offering into an experience.


Featured: Dapper & Wise
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Out & About #11: Darling Distraction

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It’s official: my new favorite store in Portland is Darling Distraction. It’s a palm leaf wallpapered mecca of cool girl trinkets and I’m warning you now, it’s impossible to walk out empty-handed. I’d been stalking this shop for a few months on Instagram (thanks to a tip-off from my friend Kat!) and it was love at first sight.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #11: Darling Distraction

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Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #11: Darling Distraction

Whether you’re in need of brightly patterned gift wrap, a card with just the right amount of kitsch or a vintage flamingo figurine (because everyone needs one of those, right?), this is your place. The shop owner, Katrina has a knack for picking out the most enticing goodies and hey, I love anyone who welcomes Rocky with open arms!

If your mouth is watering and your debit card is burning a hole in your pocket but you don’t live in Portland, the good news is that Darling Distraction has a tightly curated online shop as well. Here are some of my picks:

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #11: Darling Distraction

Sources: 1. rorshach notebooks, 2. vintage deer, 3. love matchbox, 4. flamingo, 5. bad girls throughout history postcards, 6. Bahama iPhone case, 7. xoxo card, 8. mini garland pompom and 9. birch floral card.

It’s cool to see so many new independent retailers popping up in Portland and I’m so glad that Darling Distraction has brought a big dose of fun to town!


Featured: Darling Distraction.
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