After a spot of shopping in the centre of chic that is Milan, a sip of Champagne in one’s suite in Four Seasons Milano is just what is needed. Yes, order up room service in this luxury hotel and, if you are staying in a suite, if you are lucky there is a good chance that, ten minutes after you give your order over the phone (to an English-speaking person who addresses you by name) that a knock on the door means someone is arriving with complimentary Moët & Chandon, and canapés and crudités.
Since so many fashionistas use this as their home when they are in Milan for fashion weeks (or furniture weeks or other essential style shows), someone cleverly knows that to keep a zero-zero figure you need to really like, or to pretend to like, raw veggies. Crudités, therefore, are a plus-plus. If you must, dip’em in the dip that comes with them. Real style in a room service meal also means fabulous presentation. Twenty minutes after the champers-and-crudités, dinner-proper arrives. Look at it, or look at yourself, in the shiny silver cloche. Style, simply.
They use cloches, too – glass cloches – to protect some of the exquisite products at the lovely buffet they recently introduced at breakfast. Honestly, breakfast used to be really stuffy. You sat at a table looking into the gorgeous tree-filled courtyard (the cloisters, from the building’s mediaeval convent days) and waiters in white jackets presented menus, brought you whatever. Now breakfast has become really fun and not surprisingly three in every four people here go for the buffet. Quite apart from anything else, when you are up at the buffet you can look through into the main lobby and see which celebrity is arriving or going.
The fruits on the buffet include amazing mango and fabulous already- pitted prunes. The yoghurt is plain and healthy and the butters are big wraps of the best-French (the big pots of preserves are, like the Richard Ginori china, Italian). The supply of newspapers should satisfy erudite Americans and Brits – there are even copies of the Sunday Times, almost as heavy as carrying back the entire Versace outfit that you bought yesterday from the store that has a black and white kaleidoscope in its window, seven minutes’ walk away on Montenapoleone.
But the biggest surprise of this buffet, one of the world’s best when it comes to quality (it is not large, mind, but every item is the best) are the wholewheat croissants. I am told they searched high and low to find the best croissant maker, simply to satisfy a Four Seasons loyalist who had suggested they could do better. The mind boggles at the idea of Four Seasons chefs knocking on doors at four in the morning to see which bakers were up and about and what they were up to…. The result is, simply, the very best wholewheat croissant ever. To increase the sensation, try it with an egg white omelette drizzled in the hotel’s flavourful olive oil. Sorry France, no butter required. The coffee comes in a china pot, which keeps the heat in longer.
After this, frankly, it is time for a good walk. I could head up to Giardini Pubblici with its statue to journalist Indro Montanelli (it even shows his typewriter). I could go back to the hotel’s ground floor gym, an excellent facility that will relocate below ground when the stunning three-floor fitness-spa complex re-opens shortly. Or I could, simply, run up and down this luxury hotel’s main staircase. Luxury travel tip: choose a hotel, if you can, which has an easily accessible staircase for instant exercise.