• Great escapes: Bologna

    by  • August 4, 2015 • 0 Comments

    HGN_2015_008_AUG_039STAY: The superb five star deluxe Grand Hotel Majestic Già Baglioni, is the oldest hotel in Bologna. Situated on the main street and within walking distance of most major landmarks it is by far the most prestigious place to stay in the city. Prices start from €266 for a Classic double room with breakfast. For something a little more unusual try the Il Convento Dei Fiori Di Seta, a chic four-star boutique hotel housed in a 14th-century convent. Religious-inspired frescoes sit alongside Mapplethorpe-style flower photos and modern light fixtures. Rooms start from €79 per night.

    EAT: In Bologna the aperitivo is almost as important as lunch and dinner and the place to be seen is Café Zanarini on the Piazza Galvani. A calice (champagne glass) of prosecco or pignoletto is accompanied by a selection of carefully prepared and presented stuzzicati, the Italian equivalent of tapas. Then, to experience some of the best traditional cuisine in the city, head to AlPappagallo, a Bolognese institution with pictures on the wall of its many VIP and celebrity guests. Here you can enjoy a traditional tasting menu including tortellini in a capon broth and tagliatelle with Bolognese meat ragu, two of Bologna’s famous dishes.

    SHOP: Food, books, clothes, shoes, art, antiques and particularly leather goods (including wallets and belts) are among the best souvenirs to be found in Bologna. The four main shopping streets lead off the central Piazza Maggiore in crossroad formation, all the big-name Italian designers can befound here, as well as a proliferation of antiques and bookshops. For a real taste of the city enjoy wondering through the narrow streets of the old city market, the Quadrilatero (4), where you will find stalls overflowing with local produce, from seasonal fruit and fresh fish to tortellini and mortadella, an Italian sausage that is the speciality of Bologna.

    VISIT: The Fountain of Neptune (3), located in Piazza del Nettuno, next to Piazza Maggiore (5), is one of the symbols of the city and the work of the Flemish sculptor, Giambologna completed about 1567. While in the Piazza Nettuno, visit the Biblioteca Salaborsa. One of the favourite meeting places for the people of Bologna, it was once the location of the city’s economic centre, today it is a place of culture, with its rich, multi-media library. At the centre of the building is a covered square, with a glass floorthat provides a view of the original city. Here, you can enjoy a coffee, while admiring the art nouveau ceilings and seeing close up the archaeological remains on which the city stands today. The Archiginnasio of Bologna (2) in the Piazza Galvani, is one of the most important structuresin the city, once the main building of the University of Bologna, the oldest university in the western hemisphere founded in 1088. It is also home to theTeatro Anatomico (Anatomical Theatre), built in 1637 where anatomy lessons were once held, which is well-worth visiting.

    Feature Becky Ambury

    Photographs Gordon Sinclair, Ian G Dagnall, Photobliss/Alamy; Shutterstock.

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    Elegant new furniture from Minotti

    by  • August 2, 2015 • 0 Comments

    YANG_Minotti-Homes-&-GardemsLovers of sleek and luxurious design, rejoice! Coinciding with our current Italian-themed August issue (we can’t get enough!), internationally renowned furniture brand Minotti have launched their 2015 collection; a range that is distinguished by an aesthetic of geometric forms, the use of fine materials and an emphasis on craftsmanship. The elegant collection, which has been designed in collaboration with architect Rodolpho Dordoni and includes two new seating systems, coffee tables, side tables and dining chairs, combines soft greys, moody teal hues and midnight blues with leather upholstery and gold finishes for a distinctly retro, 1950’s feel.

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    Cotes Mill: A beautiful stone floor showroom

    by  • August 1, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Floors-of-Stone-showroom-Homes-&-Gardens-8Having laid empty for nearly six years, natural stone flooring suppliers Floors of Stone have recently rescued this 16th century water mill on the banks of the River Soar in Loughborough, Leicestershire. After a little renovation work, the grade II listed building, which is set in 12 acres of beautiful countryside, has now been transformed into the perfect showroom for Floors of Stone – the sister company to deVOL Kitchens.

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    Canvas Home: simple, sustainable style

    by  • July 30, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Canvas-Home-Homes-&-Gardens-1Excitement reached fever point earlier this week here at H&G when news reached us that US homeware brand Canvas Home had arrived in the UK. Summed up by the motto ‘Simple, Sustainable Style’, this savvy brand have been welcomed into London’s Selfridges, where their collection of artisan-made interior goods, including ceramics, glassware, cutlery and linen, will be sold exclusively.

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    Dazzling new wallpapers from Brian Yates

    by  • July 29, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Planish-Brian-Yates-Homes-&-Gardens-4Acting as a distributer for some of the most renowned contemporary design companies, representing Maison Martin Margiela and Armani Wall coverings amongst others, Brian Yates specialise in unique fabrics, unusual textures and unexpected finishes. Their latest wallpaper collection, named Planish, is no exception; prepare to be dazzled by an array of shimmering patterns, gold threads and silver reflections.

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    Homes & Gardens Fabric Awards 2015

    by  • July 27, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Fabric_Awards-Homes-&-GardensCalling all fabric and wallpaper designers! The Homes & Gardens Fabric Awards 2015 are now open for entries. Every year, our panel of expert judges meets to discuss the fabrics and wallpapers launched since January, and the entires provide a fascinating insight into this exciting, inspirational and fast-moving world. Previous winners span the little-known, independent companies to some of the world’s most prestigious brands, such as Designers Guild, Osborne & Little and Mulberry.

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    Conran Italia: a taste of the Amalfi Coast

    by  • July 26, 2015 • 0 Comments

    The-Conran-Shop-Homes-&-GardensIt would seem that we’re not the only ones with Italian fever here at H&G. Coinciding with our August issue, in which we celebrated the luxurious fabrics, mouth-watering food and to-die-for holiday destinations that Italy is renowned for, The Conran Shop has presented the high summer edition of its Conran Italia collection; a carefully selected edit inspired by a journey through Italy and the country’s rich design history. Having begun in Milan (February) before travelling south to Tuscany for late spring, we now arrive in hillside town of Positano on the Amalfi Coast, where the vivid Mediterranean palette presents itself in a range of outdoor furniture, beach essentials and outdoor games.

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