Meeting with approval | Monocle

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Let’s start with the final pages of this issue: the Expo. We have recently been interviewing candidates for the role of travel editor and I’ve found myself launching into some rather detailed explanations of what makes for a perfect monocle hotel or restaurant story. I stress that we, of course, want to apprise people of the latest openings but that we are also just as happy to put the spotlight on an establishment that has navigated the decades untouched. That sometimes a simple three-star with a good owner can outshine the five-star joint run by a global chain. How modest but delicious food can satiate more than a laborious 20-course tasting menu. That luxury comes in many guises. I might have left a few candidates just wishing that we wanted to run the same style of reviews that you see in other titles.

But from now on, if asked to explain our perspective, I will simply hand over this issue and ask people to drink in the restaurants that made our Expo. Commissioned by our editor, Josh Fehnert, it’s a story that looks at “hospitality holdouts” – establishments that have triumphed with consistency, tradition and the knowledge that sometimes all you have to do is nothing much at all. Just before we send any issue to print, we do a final run through of all the pages. This month everyone ended up staring at the tempting dishes from the likes of Kronenhalle in Zürich and The Odeon in New York, hoping to somehow be transported to their dining rooms; to find themselves eating the perfect smørrebrød and having a lunchtime glass of red.


What these establishments also have in common is a reputation for well-oiled hospitality; knowing how to welcome people in from the rain or a harried day to slowly restore their usual ease. This theme of being hospitable runs throughout the issue – and not just in the realm of restaurants and hotels. We also have a masterclass on the broader subject of hospitality delivered as 50 lessons. Because how you treat people, how you greet and take care of folk, is a discipline that needs to be perfected by every airport chief, diplomat, business owner, receptionist and mayor. The steps you are willing to take to be a good host reveal everything about your qualities and beliefs. It speaks to who you really are.

This issue is also our Fashion Special and, as always, these pages have been elegantly stitched together by our fashion director, Natalie Theodosi. Just as in our coverage of travel, when it comes to fashion we also have a different take on what makes for the perfect mix of stories. Of course, we want to offer some suggestions on brands and shops that really should be on your radar but we also want to take you behind the scenes and into the boardrooms and ateliers where you get to see how businesses are really made. So in addition to a peerless Fashion Top 25, Natalie delivers a series of stories that explore the remaking of Jil Sander by design duo Lucie and Luke Meier, the revival of Piaget and how apc is planning to become a total lifestyle brand. It’s a complete look.

“How you greet and take care of folk is a discipline that needs to be perfected by every airport chief, diplomat, business owner, receptionist and mayor”

Monocle has been back on the road this year and we’ll be in Hong Kong for the latest edition of The Chiefs summit on Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 March. We hope you can join us (ticket details at And the squad will be at numerous trade, design, diplomatic and urbanism events across the coming weeks too. We look forward to sharing some monocle-style hospitality with you soon. Until then, have a great month.

If you have ideas for stories, recommendations for forgotten hospitality holdouts or even a few style tips, feel free to contact me at — L

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