“I’lllll misssssssssss yoou” I wailed with complete sincerity. “What’s the big idea. I mean….[stumbles] you can just as easily live here. Yes! In London! In Kensington. Next to me. Wanna come live with me?”
Vanessa looked at me, the way she does when yours truly gets overexcited (this happens a lot).  
Then in her smoky French-English replied, “Sweety, you’ah coming to see me in June, my summer party, remember?.. That’s only a few weeks away”
At which point I untangled myself from embracing her knees, she stretched out a hanky and I dabbed away my sniffles.
Vanessa lives just outside Lugano, Switzerland. Her neighbourhood boasts lakes, valleys and le chocolat chaud that will have you whimpering with pleasure. I was to spend a few days with her at her family home. Following a slight hiccup on arrival and a taxi driver who spent 45 minutes circling me around Milan instead of taking me to Lugano, my train pulled into the station and shortly after we were pulling into V’s driveway. From my bedroom I had boundless views of the vineyards and the mountains. We sat in her garden amongst the blossoming bougainvillea as bunny rabbits surreally hopped around us.

As always, V  knew exactly what I needed. She took me to the local galeteria- an ice cream parlour to you and me.
“Three scoops please.” Creamy. Dreamy… Done.




We then decided to drive into town and take the boat out for a spin on the lake. The plan was to recline, do some sunbathing, pop a bottle (or two).  Typically, I did all the leg work, despite being 5ft3, whilst 5ft8 Vanessa sat in the back and critiqued my technique (rarely happens).
As you can see, Lugano is beautiful, peaceful, idyllic and elegant…

In the evening we headed to a Grotto. Grotto’s are restaurants that began as wine cellars carved into the mountains. They serve up traditional local fare.  Our table groaned (as did ultimately we) under the weight of chacuterie boards, polenta, rabbit, wines, breads and cheeses. After dinner Vanessa literally carried me back and put me to bed.
Lake Como
I woke up Saturday morning and contemplated the lunch awaiting us at another Grotto and the dinner at Villa d’este on Lake Como.
Lake Como is a destination. It’s where George Clooney brings his broads. It inhabits the daydreams of young women who write in spiral notebooks and wear taffeta on special occasions. It’s romantic in the best not-trying-to-be-romanticsort of way.
Dinner was at the hotel’s restaurant on the shores of the lake. The food was exquisite. My date sat next to me. She replenished my plate and made me laugh. We like it when that happens.


Incidentally, Vanessa is an extraordinarily talented jewellery designer. She is wearing a pair of pave ruby and sapphire dragon earrings from her eponymous line – Vanessa Martinelli- drool. Check out the rest of her fabulous collection – http://www.vanessa-martinelli.com/








The last two days of my trip were spent in Milano. The heat was sweltering and the city was deserted. But we had the best time, we always do. See below for outtakes.








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1. STUNNING photos!
2. Beautifully written.
3. How many Birkins did you take, guurrrll?!


I only hope there was a third Birkin for Milan! You look fab Hanushka! I really do think you have a wonderful style of writing, it's so nice to read (sorry if it sounds like I'm grooming your blog) Lottie xxx


1. I love when the Londoner comes to visit; and
2. enough to satisfy my 'more is more' approach to dressing



Hey Lottie! I'm happy you enjoy my little scribbles 🙂 Milan witnessed the utter destruction of my entire wardrobe to the heat and potholed pavements, so a birkin wouldn't have made it out alive. xx


There is some seeerrriiious bag porn here!
And I second Rosie's 1, 2 & 3! X



I am in agreement over the birkins!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Also loving the look of that amazing ice cream! If you're ever in Bath, (my home town) if you liked that you'd love this…… http://therealitalianicecreamcompany.weebly.com

just found your blog, & thought id let you know it super cute, ill be reading from now on! xx


Wow!! Gorgeous photos!!!!Great post!!! New follower.




Wonderfully written, as always! Spring trips to Milan and Como are a family tradition, when the weather is bit friendlier (and the new season's collections are all fresh and ready to be picked along Spiga and Montenapoleone!)… Hope you had a lovely time, and I'm loving Vanessa's creations too 🙂 xxx


Beautiful photos, love your style of writing and have of course serious Birkin envy…


Girl, I love your blog and your writing!! Great stories!!!!!


Where is your maxi dress from? It is so gorgeous. x


Hey ladies!! I love both of your blogs!! Have you checked mine out yet?? http://www.thelunavine.com Let me know what you think!

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