The Monocle Minute

In association with Brand Hong Kong x Monocle logo

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 17 September 2016

Image: Apple Corps

Beatlemania forever

What is there that’s new to say about the Beatles? Watch Ron Howard’s feature-length documentary film to find out. The Beatles: Eight Days a Week focuses on the band as a live phenomenon, playing for eight hours a day in the clubs of Hamburg’s Reeperbahn before working eight days a week to conquer the world. Howard’s loud and proud audio mix reminds you that the band were a sonic marvel as well as a melodic one-off and footage of landmark gigs, such as 1965’s notorious Shea Stadium concert, has been remastered so that we can hear what neither screaming fans nor the Beatles could: the music. The best bit about the film is watching the band at work and play; no-one has ever got close to being as good or as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. This is no mere document: this is electric.

All smiles

This weekend marks the start of the annual London Design Festival, which will see about 400 events and installations transform the capital into a hub of creativity for the next nine days. One of its landmark projects this year is Alison Brook’s The Smile. Formed like a seesaw, this 34-metre cross-laminated tulipwood structure will inhabit the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground at the Chelsea College of Arts until 12 October. Not only is it a stunning sculpture – its curved ends open up like a balcony onto the city and offer quite the view – but it’s also a pioneering project for the timber trade. Created in collaboration with the American Hardwood Export Council and engineering firm Arup, The Smile shows that there’s a bright future for cross-laminated timber in the construction industry of tomorrow.

Image: Getty Images

Nibbles, anyone?

Between cheap stalls at hawker centres and fine-dining establishments, eating out in Singapore leaves you spoiled for choice. But opening a restaurant here is a tough gig. Industry insiders assert that of the 9,000 or so restaurants in the city-state about 90 per cent were opened in the past five years – a sign of both the vitality of the sector and the ruthlessness of the city’s diners. So this week we raise a glass to star chef Justin Quek, who on Thursday officially launched a new wine bar in the Tanjong Pagar neighbourhood. Grignoter (the word means “to nibble” in French) is the first restaurant in Singapore to be run in partnership with the Bordeaux Wine Council. We can certainly vouch for the wines – and the menu designed by Quek isn’t bad either.

Whet your appetite

You are cordially invited to the launch of our latest book: The Monocle Guide to Drinking and Dining, a handbook for people who enjoy honest food but prefer a great burger or a crisp schnitzel over foam-coated gastronomic extravagance. It’s also about the oft-overlooked elements that make a great meal: well-honed hosting skills, the right lighting and the sharpest kitchen kit. As well as offering our favourite bars and restaurants and the world’s freshest markets, shops and most inspiring producers, it’s a book for people who want to turn their love of food into a livelihood. On 28 September Monocle’s Midori House in Marylebone, London will host speakers, including the River Café founder Ruth Rogers and Monocle editor in chief Tyler Brûlé, and serve tasty treats from London chef Tom Oldroyd and drinks aplenty. Hungry for more? We thought you might be. Get your ticket [here](monocle.com/ events).

From Monocle 24

The man behind ‘The Infiltrator’

In the 1980s Robert Mazur went undercover in an effort to entrap a ring of money launderers and ended up exposing one of the world’s biggest drug cartels, headed by notorious kingpin Pablo Escobar. His story is now being told in Bryan Cranston’s new film ‘The Infiltrator’.

From Monocle Films

Home visit

The origami roof of the new Copenhagen Center for Cancer and Health suggests that this is no ordinary hospital. Nord Architects have created a healing environment with thoughtful, original strokes. Their bold design won them a nomination for the 2013 Mies van der Rohe European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture.

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