EXPO2015: THE BARS YOU SHOULD NOT MISS!
As you probably know, this year takes place from May 1st to October 31st the Expo 2015 in Milan on the theme of “Feeding the earth”. Many countries and organizations are participating with pavilions or being part of clusters. On our City Trip to Milan last June, we had the chance to visit the Expo.
One of our fears was that we would not get enough to drink with the high temperatures (it was around 35 °C when we where attending the Expo2015), but we were quite fast reassured that this would not be a problem! When arriving on the site, we discovered that almost each of the participating countries, clusters and pavilions did have an external counter where you could either buy some drinks and/or food… And on special provided places, you can find water fountains to refill your bottle with drinking water (still and sparkling)!
Dozens of “Best of” do already exist about discovering Expo2015 (which pavilions are the most interesting on a design / technical / architectural… point of view), but I did not yet found one presenting the bars not to miss… So here is my list of bars to visit because of the friendly bar staff, diversity of drinks, interior design, etc.
Let’s begin our bar tour with the pavilion of the USA, one of the official participants (as all the other countries I will be presenting the bars of) and who is meant to be an open concept evoking the lines of a traditional American barn. The bar is situated on the very top of the pavilion and you have a really good view of a big part of the area from there. The bar personnel is quite friendly, they even kept our bottle of white wine cold in the fridge behind the bar and the waiter personally came over to refill our glasses. Top service!
To stop the first hunger, you can head to the Food Truck Nation, situated a little bit behind the American pavilion. In each truck you can eat a different kind of food: burgers, seafood, etc. Unfortunately the design of the food trucks is not really appealing, they could have done better, but the food is great…
Well hidden in one of the perpendicular paths of Expo2015, you can discover the quite original Ice Bar. To enter the place, you first have to pay a little fee and wear a special coat, as the temperatures stay below zero all the time (even the bartender who only enters for the time to serve your drinks needs a special suit…)! It was a nice experience, you have to do once in a lifetime, but not necessarily at Expo2015. By the way, you can visit an ice bar when visiting Oslo, in Norway. But I have to admit, that it was quite a lot of fun with the high temperatures outdoors!
Slovenia invites itself for a pit stop at its bar! It is located outdoors, next to the main path. Unfortunately we did not try their wines, but their local beer just tasted great! For the first hunger, we ordered some local sausages as appetizer, which tasted quite good! And if you are lucky you can grab one of few the deckchairs and relax sipping your drink and watching the visitors passing by!
One of the pavilions, which I recommend you to visit, is the Spanish one on the theme of cultivating the future. We tried this pavilion by chance and we were more than surprised! The intern architecture is quite interesting and the different rooms are quite well designed. Especially the multimedia room with all the plates on floor, walls and ceiling do it! What an easy, but yet complex idea! At the end of the exhibition, the Spanish propose a small shop with local specialties like olive oil or Serrano ham (freshly cut), which you also can taste at the bar with a large sunny terrace.
Next on the list is the Brazilian pavilion on the theme of “feeding the world with solutions”. It is quite fun visiting this pavilion, as you can (you do not need to, but you will miss a great part of fun) enter it via a large climbing frame under which the different kind of plantations were growing. On the top floor you can discover a nice bar/restaurant, which, unfortunately was not open at the time we were visiting it. We however tried the bar on the ground floor and tasted some really delicious caipirinhas. Kristof even tasted some fabulous meat sandwich I unfortunately can’t remember the name of it.
Next stop on our bar tour is the Lithuanian pavilion for lunch time. You do not have to pass through the expo, you just have to go under the pavilion to reach the bar/restaurant with nice and sunny terrace. We had the choice between different local beers, with a quite nice label design. We opted for some local sparkling wine and a traditional Lithuanian meat dish we shared for lunch, dish you can compare with the Luxembourgish dish “Judd matt Gaardebounen”, cooked ham with beans and potatoes. This one did make us fit again for the continuation of our bar tour. Fun factor: kind of swing to sit on at the tables!
One of the food stands that really impressed me most is the kind of market built by the Dutch. Holland does really surf on the food truck wave, currently in vogue throughout Europe, and has built up a small and trendy place with different food stands. You will find the Dutch bar behind this market on the ceiling of their restaurant! A really nice place to chill out ! A TOP place not to be missed on your tour around Expo2015!
A pavilion much discussed around us is the one of our neighboring country, Belgium. Having studied in Brussels and living just next to Arlon, we really had to pass by and take a look at it! You first can taste good Belgian fries, beer and waffles on one of the stands on its square. Entering the pavilion you can learn some more about “Belgium’s conviviality has a sustainable future ». And at the end of the exhibition you will find the Belgian Beer Bar, one of the best bars of Expo2015! Come and discover some friendly bar staff serving a multitude of great Belgian beers! If you have the time, try out the Belgian restaurant, which is said to propose a quite excellent menu (we unfortunately discovered it too late…).
The pavilion of Great Britain, which does really impress with its structure giving the impression that it’s all transparent, is also worth a pit stop. And you have to order and savor one of their homemade, refreshing lemonades at their bar for which they only know how to prepare them right!
Well that’s my pick of bars you can or have to try on your way through the Expo2015 in Milan. Next to these bars, you will for sure find some other interesting spots. But one thing is certain: you do not need to fear to get too thirsty ‘cause you’ll find bars on each corner of the expo! Cheers!