Milan | The Yard

Smart small hotel near Porta Ticinese in the city centre, The Yard is entirely designed around an original theme: sport. But don’t run away with the idea that this is some cheap gimmick or – perish the thought – anything to do with football (soccer to those on the far side of the pond): only the more genteel forms of recreation are represented here, and in mannerly style. Each of its 24 sumptuous suites or apartments is dedicated to a specific discipline, with a corresponding atmosphere conveyed by more or less subtle hints in the décor. So there are rooms reflecting the worlds of hunting and horse-riding, motor racing, yachting, golf, tennis and rugby, finely decked out in wood, steel, granite and silks in a sort of vintage minimalist fashion as befits the no-frills sporting types of yesteryear. First floor suites have a balcony or open onto a common terrace and lounge area, while the second floor has fully-equipped apartments.

The large lobby recreates the retro elegance of the gentleman’s club room, and is the pulsing heart of the place and its sporting-life concept. It’s known as The Yard Club. Accessed through what I presume is theyard, it’s the venue for breakfasts, brunches or a cocktail, but also for a game of backgammon or a film showing. Last but far from least, The Yard incorporates The Doping Clubapparently famous cocktail barsomehow missing from my loop! Designed along similarly refined vintage lines, it delves into the darker side of sport, with a couple of moustachioed mixologists doing their utmost to enhance your performance to the strains of jazz. Thanks to Ferruccio Maggioni, quoted above, for the tip!

What? You’ve never heard of The Doping Club??!!

Ferruccio Maggione