Rich pickings - Issue 171 - Magazine | Monocle

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Roter Delfin

Roter Delfin is a celebration of simple food done well – specifically, bread and butter. Meret Diener and Linda Hüsser (a former Monocle staffer) met at Lausanne Hospitality School. Following the successful 2021 launch of their first venture serving grilled cheese sandwiches, they opened Zur Goldige Guttere restaurant in Zürich in 2022.

Teaming up with Samuel Kürz (pictured with Hüsser, centre, and Diener), they have now opened a second restaurant in the city, this time focusing on bread. “We wanted to create a place that’s open from morning until late – for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a drink,” says Hüsser of the space on Langstrasse. Its small but well-considered menu offers comfort food, from scrambled eggs on toast with honey-glazed bacon to pulled pork and savoury apple sauce. The trio take pride in using locally sourced ingredients. Much of what they serve is made in-house, from the pickles and dough to the evening cocktails.


Shallot and porcini tarte Tatin


What could be better than a shallot and porcini tarte Tatin for your Sunday brunch? This savoury riff on the classic French dessert will have you wondering why you hadn’t tried it before.

Serves 4

100g white caster sugar
40g butter, cut into pieces
2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp thyme leaves
300g shallots, cut lengthwise into thirds
100g porcini mushrooms, sliced 
Puff pastry, rolled out into a tart shape (diameter of 32cm)
Black pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 220C. Evenly spread the sugar on baking paper in a tray and place in the middle of the oven. Allow to caramelise until light brown (about 7 minutes), then remove.
2. Spread the butter, vinegar and thyme on the caramel.
3. Arrange the shallots and porcini mushrooms on top so that they overlap slightly.
4. Return the tray to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, then remove.
5. Prick the pastry dough tightly with a fork and place loosely on top of the shallots. Press the dough between the shallots and the edge of pan.
6. Return to the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and allow it to stand for 2 minutes. Turn out onto a cake plate, peel off the baking paper and season. Serve warm or cold.


Located at the foot of bustling Broadway Market, Sune is a perfect fit with its east London neighbourhood. Launched by Honey Spencer and Charlie Sims, the restaurant is a welcoming, unfussy space without a hint of haughtiness, despite Sims’s background of working front of house at Noma. Its comely interiors are all timber floors and tabletops, with high stools beside the floor-to-ceiling window and a zinc-topped terracotta-brick bar.

Chef Michael Robins’s inventive snacks include a confit egg on a thick, Jenga-block-shaped wodge of potato and strozzapreti (a pasta whose name literally translates as “priest stranglers”), which comes freckled with pickled mushrooms and an egg yolk. The red mullet is seasoned with salty sea herbs and is served swimming in a smoky broth. We particularly enjoyed the side of grilled potatoes in a silky brown-butter sauce.

For afters, we ordered poached pear on a creamy white-chocolate crème anglaise that begs to be finished. A menu this pleasing demands a second visit.


Dotori and Soopoollim

Korean cuisine has long appealed to Berliners. Wine bar Dotori, which opened last July in the city’s Weissensee neighbourhood, specialisies in anju, small plates eaten with booze. Pair dishes such as haemul pajeon (seafood and spring onion pancake) and fresh kimchi with drinks such as Czech craft beer Métaphore. The restaurant’s goal is to serve Korean food as it is eaten in its homeland. “Our dishes aren’t watered down for a perceived difference in palate,” says co-founder Dax Defranco.

For a contemporary take on the Korean tradition of drinking tea for medicinal purposes, head to Mitte’s Soopoollim, which opened in September. Try the ssanghwacha tea, made from a blend of ingredients including goji berry, ginger, liquorice and arrowroot, accompanied by the white bibimbap, which is made to the recipe of founder Yurim Byun’s mother.; Ackerstrasse 149, Mitte



All change

With new hotels and restorations alike waiving the design rules, European rail getting back on track and a luxury long-haul bus project, travellers can expect the unexpected this year. Plus, we plug in to a few technological innovations that will be music to your ears.

The Hotel Maria


In Helsinki’s historic Kruununhaka district, four protected neo-renaissance buildings have been renovated into a new five-star offering, The Hotel Maria. The residence boasts the largest number of suites (38) in the city, as well as private saunas and bespoke services such as in-room butlers. Its founders spent a great deal of time staying at some of Europe’s leading high-end hotels and felt that Helsinki lacked somewhere that could compete. “We hear the same message from luxury travel agents who cater to international tourists in Finland,” the hotel’s commercial director, Heli Mende, tells Monocle as she shows us around the 160 sq m Imperial Suite. 

While many of Helsinki’s luxury properties lean on Nordic minimalism, The Hotel Maria confidently opts for elegant finishes, such as art deco-inspired chandeliers, a white and ivory colour palette and natural textures, including marble and wood. There are even subtle nods to the hotel’s heritage, with one room displaying its original wallpapers and ceiling paintings. “We commissioned several works by Helsinki-based painter Pia Feinik, who uses Finnish landscapes to inspire her art,” says Mende. 


The heart of the hotel is the Maria Spa, with its large atrium allowing for generous natural light and hanging greenery. In between treatments from Finnish skincare brand Niki Newd, guests can enjoy the hot sauna and ice-cold plunge pool – another popular Suomi pastime. If you needed any further encouragement to unwind, the sleek bar provides guests with signature cocktails and rare champagnes. In addition to drinks, the hotel’s two restaurants offer delicacies such as wild-caught fish and reindeer from a herder in Lapland. 

The Hotel Maria is the latest opening that has tapped into Helsinki’s growing luxury market – and its take on grandeur is a welcome addition to both the Finnish capital and northern Europe’s offering of high-end residences.



The bus hasn’t always been the most popular form of overnight transport – and certainly not the most luxurious. This is something that travel company Twiliner is seeking to change with a bus that has all of the amenities of flying First Class – think wi-fi, a snack bar and 21 seats that can be reclined for a good night’s sleep. Its maiden voyage between Zürich and Barcelona is scheduled for late 2024. We caught up with Twiliner’s co-founder Luca Bortolani to discuss his company’s plans to disrupt intercity travel in Europe.

How did Twiliner start?Luxury night buses don’t exist in Europe. We wanted to create an alternative to flying, so we asked people what could convince them to swap the plane for the bus. They wanted to be comfortable and use their time well. Privacy and sustainability were also important considerations. That’s how we came to the idea of putting a First Class plane seat on a bus. 

Why would someone choose a bus over a plane?
We know that people want to be more sustainable. Some people also need to travel early in the morning but don’t want to take a flight at 05.00. We want to make travel a more joyful experience.

Why Zürich to Barcelona?
It’s a popular flight path with a mix of business travellers and young people. We want to roll out 25 routes across Europe. Our next one will be from Geneva to Brussels.

The Orient Express and La Minerva

The Accor-owned Orient Express (not to be confused with Belmond’s version) has partnered with Arsenale to launch luxury rail project La Dolce Vita. The service will cross Italy via six stops, which include the Alps, Rome, Venice and the southern coast. The original Orient Express cars feature renovated cabins and suites, and a restaurant that celebrates Italian gastronomy. “Italians are relaxed but appreciate luxury,” says Anne Benichou, vice-president of global communications, partnerships and retail at Accor. “This is clear in the design of the train.”

The experience is paired with the brand’s new La Minerva Hotel in Rome’s Pantheon district, a refurbished 17th-century building that will serve as a stopover for passengers. The Orient Express’s expansion is only just starting to gain steam – next is a hotel in Venice, a sailing ship and the return of the classic Paris-Istanbul train route, which ran from from 1883 to 1977.



Set atop a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Regina hotel is an unmissable early-20th-century building in Biarritz. The five-star hotel, previously managed by Accor, was taken over by French hotelier group Experimental in 2022.

“The goal of the renovation was to bring back some of the hotel’s grandeur and rethink its common areas, making it a real player within the local food scene,” co-founder Pierre-Charles Cros tells Monocle. New elements pay homage to the building’s regional heritage, while there are also modern Japanese pieces. “We wanted to emphasise Japan’s close ties to the Basque Country,” says Dorothée Meilichzon, founder of Chzon studio, the interior design agency responsible for the project. The renovation marks a return to the building’s belle époque elegance, with added contemporary comforts.


inventory:Tech corner

Play by play

From a finely tuned radio to a phone you can write on, the best new tech lifts from the old.

R410 streaming system


Encased in handsome wood-panelled cabinetry, UK audio company Ruark’s all-in-one streaming system has a classic look. Its touchscreen display allows you to select audio from a turntable, TV or Spotify; there are also DAB and FM tuners for the radio. This device is rich in audio quality and it looks sleek on the shelf.

Galaxy S24 Ultra phone


This smartphone is packed with innovations that are powered by artificial intelligence, including a feature that can translate your phone calls in real time. AI also enables deft photography edits, removing unwanted people out of a shot or eliminating irritating reflections. You can use a stylus to scribble right to the edge of its 6.8-inch screen, so you can be more precise than ever.

FreeClips earbuds


You’ve never seen earbuds like the FreeClips. While they might resemble a daring pair of earrings, they’re held sturdily in place by a flexible bridge that wraps around your ears. Open earphones can be prone to sound leakage but here it’s kept to a minimum, meaning that you can stay more in touch with the world around you.

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