This weekend’s highlights include Michael White’s new Nicoletta Pizzeria in New York, Bobby Womack’s latest album and of course Monocle’s own summer country fayre.
1. PARTY: LONDON
—The Monocle Country Fayre
Come rain or shine, the Midori House courtyard is set to be abuzz with activity all weekend. Myriad embassies and shopkeepers are setting up stalls in every nook and cranny of the building offering special treats and treasures to Fayre-goers. Add to that live music, face-painting, games and a mini zoo for kids (and the young at heart) – it’ll be a challenge to resist following the giant Monochan owl mascot and sounds of bleating goats emanating from 1 Dorset Street in Marylebone for a traditional English experience with a distinctly Monocle twist.
The Midori House Courtyard, 1 Dorset Street. Open 11.00-17.00, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 June
2. CULTURE: BASEL
Art Basel is 43 years old and still isn’t flashy, splashy or indiscreet – it’s very much a grown-up of an art fair against which the coat-tail riders often seem like upstarts. After six weeks of being on the road, galleries exhibiting at Frieze New York and Art Hong Kong will have saved their best for Basel, which again makes it a dead cert for big names and bright discoveries. Next door, Basel’s curated hangar Art Unlimited is bold, clever and has a good bar, too. No sign of a mid-life crisis here, thanks.
Halls 1 and 2 of Messe Basel, Messeplatz. Until 17 June
3. FOOD: NEW YORK
Manhattan chef Michael White has spent the past several years building a veritable empire of Italian restaurants including Ai Fiori and Marea. His latest venture, Nicoletta, highlights White’s midwestern roots with a slightly less upper crust star: pizza. While White has become one of Manhattan’s most well known purveyors of pasta, Nicoletta marks his first foray into the other classic Italian export. Highlights include the Patate pizza, topped with Yukon gold potatoes, slab bacon, mozzarella and spring onions and the Carbonara served with a delicious salsa Bianca sauce. There’s also a lovely wine list and White’s recently launched Morini Birra on tap.
160 Second Avenue near 10th St. Open daily 11:30-03:00
4. RETAIL: HONG KONG
British menswear designer Anthony Hill has caused something of a stir since setting up his brand last year. Continuing the success of his previous “season-less” collection, Hill’s first summer line will be available from a new pop-up shop in the Kapok store in the heart of Wanchai. The dressed down elegance of nautical stripes, neutral colours and all natural materials wouldn’t look out of place on a European holiday or a deck in the Pacific, seamlessly combining British design with meticulous Asian craftsmanship.
Kapok store, 5 St Francis Yard, Sun Street, Wanchai. Open Monday to Saturday 10.00-20.00, Sunday 11.00-18.00. Until 30 June
5. MUSIC: GLOBAL
—Bobby Womack: The Bravest Man In The Universe
In hindsight, Bobby Womack’s career as a soul singer has been a glittering affair, constantly mingling with the greats of the 1960s and 1970s such as Sam Cooke, James Brown and Sly Stone. But oddly, Womack’s cracked soul croon hasn’t been the lead on a huge number of hits. In later years, it’s taken Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz to make good use of this underexposed treasure. The Bravest Man In The Universe doesn’t rest on retro themes. This album is 11 songs of modern, digitised soul, co-produced by Albarn and Richard Russell, with guests spots from stars old and new. He’s always had friends in the right places.
The Bravest Man In The Universe is available to buy now