The Yard Milano | Milan, Italy

Unless you knew it was there, you’d probably walk right past the discreet side-street alleyway down which you’ll find our favourite hotel-cum-bar-cum-gentlemen’s club in Milan.

When we first walked into The Yard, we weren’t sure if we’d stepped back in time, stepped through the looking glass or stepped into one of the most eclectic antiques collection in Italy. Possibly all three were true.

Vintage Louis Vuitton trunks are stacked beside antique barber’s chairs and stainless steel 1950s Cinzano posters are hung on the wall besides Modern Victorian portraits. If you fall in love with any of these treasures you can even buy them from the hotel and take them home with you…which makes it feel even more like being in Aladdin’s cave. We spent over an hour looking through the stacks of oversized hardback photo-books choosing a souvenir coffee table book.

The bright, covered courtyard is a mish-mash of big comfy sofas, gorgeous lamps and ornate tables. We had breakfast here in the morning before playing a game of pétanque in the indoor sand pit while The Yard’s house Staffordshire terrier mooched around, giving us an inquisitive but nonchalant look.

The vibe at The Yard changes after dark. The Doping Club is Milan’s moody, mysterious bolt-hole where the immaculately dressed mixologists with braces, beards and full-sleeve tattoos prepare cocktails stiff enough to loosen even the most rigid Englishman’s upper lip. We watched while the barman mixed us a sweet Old Fashioned then we scurried away to the secret cinema room to watch a movie and relax.

We went out in Milan for drinks and dinner and when we came back to the hotel the party was clearly only just getting started. The Doping Club clearly attracts a cool crowd of beautiful and stylish types of mixed ages. The drinks were flowing and the music was turned up. This was no down-market, noisy lock-in - this was something from a Dolce and Gabbana ad! We stayed for a nightcap then went to chill on our own in our suite.

The rooms at The Yard are light, spacious and designed with the hotel’s cool antique style in mind yet every fitting is modern and top-end. Each room is designed with a unique inspiration and décor. The Louis Vuitton Cup poster hung on distressed white-washed wood panel-effect walls and various other sailing mementos left no doubt that we were in a room inspired by yachting. Fresh, dreamy and cool.

If you’re looking for a quirky, cool, hotel dripping in smoky old glamour and an eclectic, interesting design where you can cuddle up in a discreet corner with a cocktail or get involved in the party then you have to stay at The Yard.

Truly, the distinguished gentleman’s choice in Milan.

We stayed in a Dependance room on a B&B basis for €504 per night.