Tucked away in the old town, Kitchener has supplied fashion-forward Bernese with international brands and regional finds since the Swinging Sixties.
Lunch: Du Nord: This favourite in the Lorraine quarter offers a satisfying lunch that’s served in a smart dining room.
Coffee: Adriano’s: The roasts are revered by bean fanciers across Switzerland; there’s smart bar seating and a timeless tiled floor to admire.
Breakfast: Kornhaus: A former granary that now has a fine restaurant in its basement. The arcade hall on the ground floor has become a grand café.
Drinks: Bellevue Bar: This is the place where the country’s important decisions are made after office hours thanks to its berth next to the Bundeshaus.
Florist: Farmers’ market: Pick up flowers or delicacies from the region at the farmers’ market on Tuesdays, as well as Saturday mornings. Minister Simonetta Sommaruga is a faithful customer known to shop here.
Stay: Ham Yard Hotel: Base yourself amid the Kit Kemp-designed finery of this Firmdale favourite in Soho, complete with bowling alley and screening room.
Coffee: De Beauvoir Deli Co: A spare-parts garage turned artful independent deli in north London. Expect Monmouth Coffee, pastries and fresh orange juice.
Lunch:Luca: Isaac McHale (of the fancier Clove Club restaurant nearby) caused a stir when he declared that a simple Italian using British ingredients would be his next venture. The result is this superb Clerkenwell bolt-hole.
Buy: Trunk Clothiers and Trunk Labs: These twin spaces a few paces apart on Marylebone’s Chiltern Street are part of the wider monocle family and where our editors splurge come Christmas.
Buy: Skandium: The clue’s in the name. Expect Nordic design classics from Jacobsen to Poulsen – plus oodles of Aalto – in these smart homeware shops in Kensington and Marylebone.
Stay: At Six: Opened in 2017 in an otherwise unassuming Norrmalm square, this 343-room affair is centred on a vast granite staircase, with a huge collection of contemporary art adorning the walls.
Coffee: Kafé Konditori Valand: A Vasastan mainstay that’s been going strong since the 1950s. The mid-century interiors are a reason to visit, as are the Magdalena Åström’s cinnamon buns.
Dinner: Pelikan: A traditional Södermalm stop-in complete with wood-panelled walls, abundant Husmanskost (comfort food) and a festive air.
Buy: Dusty Deco: This new Östermalm outpost of the vintage-furniture specialist is hidden behind an unassuming florist veiling goodies that include Murano glass lamps to dining tables and smart sofas.
Buy: Palmgrens: Dating back to 1896, this former leather-maker to the the royal court still does a mean trade in passport holders, bags and beautiful wallets.
Stay: The Oswego Hotel: Opened in 2007, this is a popular sleeping option for business visitors and a solid choice beyond Victoria’s traditionally big-box offerings.
Buy: Pigeonhole: Owner Carey Salvador sells a mix of old and new homeware, including well-designed fixtures. It is the only retailer of Aesop products on the island.
Service: Victory Barbers: Opened by snipper Matty Conrad six years ago, this place has become the go-to for a cut in Victoria. New alcohol laws mean that you can now enjoy a tipple during your trim too.
Drinks: Veneto Tapa Lounge: One of Victoria’s best bars is housed in the Hotel Rialto. It has a striking granite bar-top and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Breakfast: Jam Café: A no-fuss neighbourhood brunch spot, Jam Café is as known for its hearty, Southern-inspired plates as it is for the queues of hungry diners waiting patiently for a table. It’s worth it.
Lunch: Part and Parcel: A casual counter-service restaurant run by chef Grant Gard, this Quadra Village spot serves healthy dishes with European and Middle Eastern influences. All ingredients are sourced from producers across Vancouver Island.
Coffee: Hide + Seek Coffee: Jesse and Jamie Owens opened this spot in November 2015. Their brews are made using a manual-lever espresso machine for a richer blend.
Stay: Settha Palace: This former family mansion built in 1932 retains its French colonial style in its 29 rooms filled with rosewood four-poster beds and Italian-marble baths.
Buy: Lao Textiles: American owner Carol Cassidy’s most complex brocade ikat fabrics take an age to make (they grow by just two centimetres a day). Visit the workshop, studio and gallery to buy – or just appreciate – these tasteful textiles made by farmers.
Flowers: Malibarn: Owner Mali Kamonrat Chayamarit busses in most of the flowers here three times a week from a village in Luang Prabang; a portion of the proceeds goes back to the villages for more seeds.
+856 20 5866 8556
Lunch: Kualao Restaurant: The converted colonial estate is as pleasing as its classic Laotian fodder, which includes kang nor mai (bamboo soup) and mok pa nam kong (steamed fish wrapped in banana leaf).
Tea shop: Kinnari Tea: German architect-turned-tea-leaf lover Anna-Maria Phayouphorn and her Laotian husband Toun are shining a spotlight on age-old brewing methods of the mountain tribes in Xiengkhouang and the Bolaven Plateau. Try the selection of green, black and white brews.
Drinks: The Spirit House: Sip on a Mai Lao – a twist on the classic Mai Tai – or a gin-based Mekong High Tea on the tree-shaded waterfront terrace of this bamboo-built beauty.
Coffee: The Coffee Bar: Coffee connoisseurs will appreciate the slow-brewed drip, syphon d French-press creations made with beans from grower Ninety Plus, which is based in Ethiopia and Panama. There are also regional varieties from the hills of southern Laos.
+856 30 512 8195