Sunday 2 May 2021 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Sunday. 2/5/2021

Monocle Weekend
Edition: Sunday


Public figures

Good morning and I hope the weekend’s been a good one so far. I had planned for the same sunny skies as last Saturday and Sunday but instead it’s been low clouds, heavy skies and a bit soggy. This hasn’t damped the spirits however as most of Saturday was spent in the basement lockers of my building editing my summer wardrobe, storing winter looks on sturdy, suspended rails and wading through enough eco-totes and various cotton holdalls to stitch together a canopy for a sizeable music festival. What was supposed to be a 30-minute, energetic assignment turned into a more ponderous affair but it now means that the lockers are no longer near bursting, a few classics will be making their summer debuts on my upcoming Italy road trip (more on this in a moment) and next Saturday someone roughly my shape and size will hit gold at the local thrift shop. As sorting through garments, footwear and poorly stored nik-naks doesn’t demand too much mental agility, I was able to process and make sense of what’s been a whirlwind week while also looking ahead to a few get-togethers that you’re welcome to join. Today I’ve decided to illustrate with numbers.

One: Every year, 1 May sees the loony left, the aggressive and the overly pierced stage protests and create mayhem in the centre of Zürich, and many other cities across Europe. By late afternoon there’s always shattered glass to be swept away and considerable damage from paint-bombing and spraying. For a day that’s supposed to be devoted to celebrating labour and the struggle of workers I’m always puzzled why it’s small shop owners who have to suffer and why the water cannons don’t come out sooner.

Three: The past week was a tale of three cities – Zürich, Paris and London. All are in various stages of attempting to get their groove back and it’s been fascinating to be in all three in less than 36 hours. If you go by Oxford’s Stringency Index then Switzerland is the most open country as people have been free to travel on holidays, and retail and the service sector have been in full swing for a while now. Paris was looking handsome under sunny skies but it all feels very strange with trees in blossom and boulevard seating chained up. Thankfully this is set to change in two weeks. Across the Channel in London it’s a mixed picture as much has re-opened but there seems to be a new leisure class of men in their mid 30s who pedal around the city in Rapha gear, stop for coffees, chat in groups, pedal some more and then park for lunch as if it’s midday Sunday – only it’s midday Wednesday. Is this what work from home looks like? Is this roving tribe the same one that’s leading a charge to not return to the workplace? I’m concerned.

Five: Monocle has a new book on homes coming out in the coming weeks and we’re going to be hosting five evenings to launch this fine edition at Midori House. More on this soon, so keep your eyes peeled – space will be limited.

Six: I was invited by my friend Mark to sample a new restaurant he’s involved with so I booked a table for six of us. Ooki Pavillon is everything you want from an easy, Japanese-y joint, set in the grounds of an architecturally significant residential estate on the outer edges of Zürich. Ino-san, one of the founders, will take very good care of you; aim for a sunny eve to enjoy the sprawling terrace.

One, three, zero: Why oh why did I let one of my dinner guests persuade us to follow him to his house and carry on for a few more hours? Staying out till 1.30 on a school night is tricky when you’re out of practice.

15: This is a date for your diary if you live in Mitteleuropa and have been waiting for our shop in Merano to re-open. Linda Egger is already waiting for you and a good contingent of the Monocle crew from Zürich will be on hand to welcome the official re-start of Südtirol.

There you have it dear reader, a few dates for your diary. See you super soon!


New tricks

This new art deco-inspired bar makes the most of its space, on the top floor of a Victorian building that it shares with downstairs bistro, Poodle.

An intimate watering hole with atmospheric interiors, dark-wood arches and an open fireplace, it offers classic cocktails and great bar food, such as the house-made crumpet with kefir cream and salmon caviar.

Subscribe to Monocle’s Digital Editions to access the latest issue of the magazine, our back catalogue and regularly updated tips for exploring key cities – such as this editor’s pick from our Melbourne guide.


Fast favourite

After enlivening the corner of Olé Olé bar on Zürich’s Langstrasse with a foodie start-up focused on grilled-cheese sandwiches, entrepreneurs Linda Hüsser (formerly a Monocle staffer) and Meret Diener (pictured, on right, with Hüsser) are back with a new spud-focused takeaway (writes Desiree Bandli). This chip off the old block resides at the window of the Gotthard Bar at Langstrasse 63, where it will be until late May.

“We wanted to use a simple, everyday product and produce a high-quality result,” says Hüsser. Blanched then twice fried, Atomic Fritten’s chips have the requisite crunch on the outside with a fluffy potato filling (fritten meaning “fries” in German). Everything, including the delicious sauces (our favourite is the kimchi mayo), is made from the best Swiss ingredients – try the signature cocktail with a homemade cherry syrup, potato brandy and tonic water. Treat yourself while you can – we recommend the filthy fries: all four sauces, plus pickled onions, in one indulgent serving.


Inner voice

As the host of CBC Radio’s flagship morning talk show, The Current, Matt Galloway’s voice is known and trusted across Canada. Starting out as an arts and culture reporter in the Toronto newsroom, he’s now been broadcasting with CBC for more than 15 years and has interviewed the likes of Barack Obama and Bill Gates. Here he talks about seeing the city on foot, rising early and the importance of a decent slumber.

Where do we find you this weekend?
In a ravine, surrounded by songbirds and trees, looking for a bit of quiet. Ravines are my favourite running routes; they’re the lungs of the city.

What’s the ideal start to a Sunday? Gentle start or a jolt?
Up early to run and read. Currently Patrick Radden Keefe’s Empire of Pain about the Sackler family [founders of Purdue Pharma].

Soundtrack of choice?
Ideally, on the weekend, silence. I listen to music and podcasts constantly for much of the week. It’s nice to have a few moments to clear your head.

What’s for breakfast?
Grains and fruit. It’s mango season, the most wonderful time of the year.

News or not?
I’ll read The New York Times front to back. I always read the New York section first – it reminds me of why it is such a great city and why I can’t wait to return post-pandemic, when it is back to its best.

Walk the dog or downward dog?
Definitely a long stroll with the dog. We call him a “lottery-winning former Mexican street dog”. His name is Tony.

Some exercise to get the blood pumping?
A long Sunday run.

What’s for lunch?
Greens. We have a large garden and one of the joys of it is being able to get out there and pick what you eat.

Larder essentials you can’t do without?
Beans. A lot of rice. Many, many different kinds of noodles. Great coffee.

Sunday culture must?
Writers and Company on CBC Radio hosted by Eleanor Wachtel. I listen to hear authors explain the world back to me.

A glass of something you’d recommend?
I’m partial to cider from Revel these days. Based in Guelph, Ontario, there’s a sense of joy in the experiments they do with their cider.

Dinner venue you can’t wait to get back to?
Bar Raval in Toronto. Sitting in the little seat in the window with a plate of “kitchen bread” in front of me.

Sunday evening beauty or betterment routine?
Sleep – it’s underrated. I wake up at 05.00 and the alarm doesn’t care if you’re tired.

Will you lay out your look for Monday? What will you be wearing?
Probably a cardigan. Never not a good idea.


South Korean-style beef ‘bulgogi’

Our Swiss chef’s culinary travels take us to South Korea with this toothsome bulgogi (literally “fire meat”). The beef takes a minimum of 30 minutes to marinate but you can leave it overnight for a fuller flavor. Spice it up with some kimchi on the side and serve with rice as a filling main.

Serves 4


600g ribeye steak or another well-marbled cut
1 onion, ½ roughly diced and ½ thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
½ apple, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 spring onions, 1 roughly diced and 1 thinly sliced
2 tbsps brown sugar
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tsp gochujang (South Korean red bell pepper paste)
50g soy sauce
3 tbsps sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil

As sides (optional):
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
Cooked rice


  1. Slice beef as thinly as possible and set aside in a large bowl.

  2. In a blender, purée the roughly diced onion pieces, garlic, apple, roughly chopped spring onion, brown sugar, ginger, gochujang, soy sauce and sesame oil until smooth.

  3. Pour the marinade over the beef, add the thinly sliced onion and mix. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or ideally overnight).

  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Pat the meat dry then sauté it with the marinated onions in the skillet until browned.

  5. Plate up with the rice then add the remaining spring onions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve with South Korean side dishes.


Fort authority

The pale stone castle that gives Castello di Reschio its name overlooks the grassy slopes, oak forests and vineyards of Umbria, Tuscany’s wilder, less-touristy neighbour. Reschio’s fortress has surveyed this frontier between the regions for a millennium and after decades as a tobacco plantation and farm, the castle will reopen its gates and 36 rooms to visitors in May 2021 as Italy’s most intriguing new hotel.

And the pleasures of castle life go well beyond the furnishings. There’s a spa built into stone wine cellars, at which masseuses use treatment oils infused with Reschio’s own herbs. That’s not to mention the grass-edged, 30 metre-long pool surrounded by umbrella pines, with poolside bar, inside a watchtower – plus a pianist playing a 1909 Steinway in the lofty, beaux arts-style palm-tree-filled conservatory that serves as the castle’s lobby. “Nothing here comes from a catalogue; everything is made by hand – everything is custom,” says owner Count Benedikt Bolza, who is also an architect and lived in the castle for a decade with his wife while renovating it. “This is a huge project completed with small artisans, which would only be possible in Italy, where they’re still making things with passion.”


City speaks

Eavesdropping and the broader discipline of people-watching were two of the great pleasures of pre-pandemic urban life. They are what makes author Craig Taylor’s new chronicle of New York – told through interviews with 75 residents, whittled down from 200 transcripts and six years in the making – crackle with chatty charm and vitality. And maybe a pinch of nostalgia too.

The characters? Variously a private cook, a retired cabbie, a curator, a personal-injury lawyer and a used-car salesman among others. The subjects? Resilience and rebirth. There are hurricanes, terrorism and a pandemic, yes. But also talk of possibility and of hope. What rings true through the book is the extraordinariness of the everyday and the pep, vim and verve of a city audacious enough – as the dust jacket claims – to call itself the greatest in the world. They say that you can see the whole universe in an opal; you can see plenty in a Big Apple too.


The art of advertising

When done well, posters can persuade us to buy a pen, observe social norms or fly to a faraway land. They look great too. Put them on your walls. Here’s a small selection of mid-century marvels from a feature in our out-now May issue of Monocle, enjoy.

From left to right:

A 1960s design by Reymond Zahler for Swiss stationery workshop Caran d’Ache.

Piet Sluis designed this poster for Aer Lingus in 1950.

Mirosław Adamczyk’s design was created for the Wybrzeze theatre in Gdańsk.


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