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Welcome to the Auberge Monocle
Monocle has so far resisted the temptation to open a hotel – but that doesn’t mean that we don’t spend time thinking about who we’d hire to oversee a renovation, run the bar or design the uniforms. With this in mind, here are the six house rules we’d strictly enforce to keep things civil and serene around the pool, in the lobby and on the balcony.
Infusing classics with local flavours
Nestled in the vibrant neighbourhood of Wan Chai, the St. Regis Hong Kong is attuned to the beat of this enthralling city. The drinks served at its revered bar reflect far-reaching inspiration. We join bar manager Mario la Pietra as he develops the cocktail menu.
Tokyo 2020: on top of their games
This year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are unlike any that have come before. In the run up to the event, we met the designers, planners and people behind the scenes.
Ginza neighbourhood guide
First-timers to Ginza will be struck by its impressive department stores and glossy luxury labels. But head to the back streets and this area offers a riveting mix of exceptional bars, galleries and small shops. This was where Tokyo’s westernisation began in the 19th century and a stroll through Ginza is as popular as ever.
Ryogoku and Kuramae neighbourhood guide
With any luck you’ll spot a sumo wrestler out and about in Ryogoku, the riverside neighbourhood that is home to Kokugikan, Tokyo’s distinctive sumo stadium. Across the water is Kuramae, another old neighbourhood that has long been famous for its craft workshops and still hums with industry.
Harajuku and Aoyama neighbourhood guide
Harajuku is a neighbourhood of contrasts, home to the Meiji Shrine, which is surrounded by one of Tokyo’s largest green spaces, and a dense network of small streets packed with shops and cafés. Aoyama attracts a more grown-up crowd. Here, chic boutiques sit alongside one of the city’s most exquisite museums.
Kanda neighbourhood guide
This historic corner of northeast Tokyo was once described as a place for “universities, bookshops and intellectuals”. Academic institutions are still there – along with the Holy Resurrection Cathedral – but Kanda is also home to electronics district Akihabara, a huge shrine and dozens of Japanese curry restaurants too.
Yanaka neighbourhood guide
Yanaka moves at a different pace from much of Tokyo. As the city has changed around it, Yanaka has retained its old-fashioned atmosphere. Vacant wooden buildings have been brought back to life as new businesses such as cafés, noodle shops and galleries give them a fresh purpose.
Nihonbashi neighbourhood guide
Nihonbashi has deep roots in finance. In the Edo period this was the commercial centre of the city, with bustling canals, streets and markets. Recently, the neighbourhood has been attracting attention once again as exciting new businesses set up shop. Look behind the modern face to discover centuries of history.
A night in bustling Tokyo
Tokyo manages to avoid the chaos of other big cities. How? Rules and etiquette are important here – some old, some new. They are not always obvious, so let us show you how to fit in seamlessly and stay safe along the way.
Japanese gift-wrapping: Lesson 6
If you wish for a steady stride to navigate the challenges of the coming year, the Bally curling boot might help to get the message across. This heritage footwear design comes in an equally elegant box. Affirm your gratitude by wrapping it in a beautiful fabric square, known as furoshiki.Find your perfect gift at The Monocle Shop.
Japanese gift-wrapping: Lesson 5
If you’re looking to up your wrap game this year, we recommend furoshiki – a Japanese approach that’s stood the test of time for centuries. This cotton square is especially handy when wrapping soft or oddly shaped gifts. For an indulgent bundle, we suggest Arpenteur wool jacket, soft corduroy De Bonne Facture trousers and a cosy beanie from Organics Basics. Your loved ones deserve a treat.Find your perfect gift at The Monocle Shop.
Japanese gift-wrapping: Lesson 4
Christmas is best enjoyed through a child’s eyes, so remember to add a touch of cheer and enchantment among those practical gifts. This original Viennese snow globe, with Monocle’s mascot Monochan at its centre, will do the job nicely. Let it snow.Find your perfect gift at The Monocle Shop.
Japanese gift-wrapping: Lesson 3
No other country has refined the ritual of gift-giving as much as Japan. Get inspired with our nifty wrapping tricks to deliver ‘The Monocle Book of Japan’ in style. This beautiful tome unpacks the nation in a multitude of ways: from design and hospitality to transport and business.Find your perfect gift at The Monocle Shop.
Japanese gift-wrapping: Lesson 2
Our notebook collection produced in collaboration with German fine stationery purveyor Leuchtturm1917 comes in a variety of sizes, colours and styles. Stop by Dufourstrasse 90, our Zürich headquarters, to adorn the pretty linen covers with gold embossing – a thoughtful touch that’s sure to delight the new owner.Find your perfect gift at The Monocle Shop.
Japanese gift-wrapping: Lesson 1
Many of us are planning to stay closer to home this Christmas, so make sure your loved ones have plenty of reading material. A Monocle magazine subscription and the inaugural issue of our stylish sister publication ‘Konfekt’ will keep you entertained and inspired well after the holiday season.Find your perfect gift at The Monocle Shop.
Copenhagen: healthy city growth
The concept of kolonihave, a blissful combination of an allotment and a summer house, has shaped Danish cities since the late 17th century. Today, avid growers convene in these colonies to find a peaceful place to commune with nature as well as a community of diverse characters.