Art of escape - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Sunday. 24/4/2022

Monocle Weekend
Edition: Sunday

Brighten the corners

This week our sunny Sunday dispatch celebrates Monocle’s May issue, which is out now. We drop anchor in Los Angeles for brunch and Lisbon for libations. Elsewhere we learn about chef Jessica Natali’s Sunday rituals, recharge with a smart new gadget and flick through a new edition of a favourite travel magazine. First, a missive from our itinerant editorial director Tyler Brûlé.

The Faster Lane / Tyler Brûlé

Getting the ball rolling

You might have noticed that most high-profile events that were shelved, paused and packed away over the past two years have all decided that June is the month to make a return. This is when international travel itineraries will be filled and we can ensure that Europe has a season of waiting lists for restaurants, hotel beach clubs and flights between sunny spots along the Med. Milan’s Salone del Mobile gets things under way at the start of June and then it’s Three Days of Design in Copenhagen, followed by Art Basel. Before those – never ones to miss an opportunity – the Monocle crew will kick things off by having you start your summer design and art grand tour in Paris, where we will be hosting the seventh edition of our Quality of Life Conference from Thursday 2 to Saturday 4 June.

Along with our classic themes focusing on building better communities, entrepreneurship, infrastructure and education, Paris also affords us a unique opportunity to discuss retail, the luxury-goods sector, aviation and hospitality in all its forms. A small battalion of Monocle editors and staffers will be on hand to look after you. Along the way there will be guided runs through the city, special gallery and retail tours, and an opportunity to see some of Chanel’s ateliers at Le19M, the backdrop for the core of our conference. Naturally, there’ll be some exceptional wine and outstanding catering on offer, and we’ll be taking over the disco at La Coupole with our special editor of good times and bum-shaking, DJ Pitsch.

On the Sunday after the conference, many of us will head to Milan, where we’ll be establishing a base with USM at Rossignoli in Brera. After that, it’s up to Copenhagen for a tour of the best in Danish and international design. For more on Paris and our conference, please visit us here or see more details below.

Should you not be able to join us in Paris, Milan et al, then we have a few more dates for the diary over the coming weeks.

11 May. We’ll be throwing open the doors of our Tokyo bureau for the Asia launch of The Monocle Book of the Nordics. I'll be on hand with our Tokyo bureau chief, Fiona Wilson, and colleagues to sign copies, clink glasses and celebrate being back in my favourite country. Hurray!

21 May. Our annual Badi Market in Zürich will see us gather great brands and businesses offering up all you need for a season of swimming and sunshine. To set the tone, there’ll also be a little bossa nova session to accompany the tasty bites and rosé.

28 May. The Toronto bureau and shop will be hosting a spring preview and sakura party, with a line-up of Japanese treats and drinks. We’ll also have our editors on hand for book scribbles and – all being well at the printers – perhaps the debut of our new title, The Monocle Book of Photography.

1 July. Finally, summer shifts into high gear on the first day of July, with our annual gathering of readers and friends from across Mitteleuropa and beyond at our shop in Merano.

You can find further details and notes about other events (we’re also working on London and Los Angeles at the moment) by keeping an eye on this column. And you can always drop a note to

Get packing. We’ll see you very soon.

Eating out / Bravo Toast, Los Angeles

Slice of the action

“There’s just so much you can do with toast,” says Nathan Katz, co-founder of Bravo Toast café in Beverly Hills, as a slice topped with jade-green avocado and a cloud of burrata emerges from the kitchen (writes Christopher Lord).

Image: Cody James

He and Jack Della Femina quit their day jobs in property in 2020 to found Bravo, which now boasts a refreshingly succinct menu. “We’re making avocado toast and matcha for our generation like people made burgers, fries and Coke in the 1950s,” says Della Femina. “There’s no secret ingredient. It’s authentic and we create a good energy.”

Bottoms up / Wine bars, Lisbon

Top tipples

Opened in November by French couple Caroline Bos and Arnaud Quinty, Insaciável (pictured, bottom) blends touches of their homeland with tapas-style snacks. Expect zinc tabletops, outdoor seating that evokes the Jardin du Luxembourg and bottles from niche French vignerons, alongside well-chosen Portuguese fare, such as squid from the Azores and black pork chouriço. Insaciável also offers a range of regional wine; try organic producer Cozs and its macerated white.

Image: Rodrigo Cardoso
Image: Rodrigo Cardoso

Not far from Cais do Sodré, Dahlia (pictured, top), which opened last summer, delivers a tasty menu of small dishes, such as seared shrimp with chilli bisque and kimchi, and an eclectic offering of by-the-glass wine, from orange vinho verde-style Phaunus Loureiro by Aphros to the terroir-focused Navarra reds and whites from Spain’s Viña Zorzal. Natural wine is paired with a formidable sound system and vinyl collection; ask nicely and manager Adam Purnell might take a request.

In the Estrela neighbourhood, 11-month-old wine bar Senhor Manuel is the baby brother of restaurant Senhor Uva across the street and doubles as an extra dining room. Created by Canadians Stéphanie Audet and Marc Davidson, the food focuses on Audet’s vegetarian plates – think jackfruit ceviche. They are paired with organic vintages from lesser-known wineries, varietals and appellations.

The Monocle Quality of Life Conference Paris 2022

You’re invited. The Monocle Quality of Life conference arrives in Paris in early June and we’d love to see you there. Our editors will introduce you to the big thinkers, bold designers, CEOs and makers – plus a packed itinerary to help you see the French capital’s best bits. Get your tickets today and find out what to expect in the film below.

Sunday Roast / Jessica Natali

Easy does it

Chef Jessica Natali was most recently head chef at Japanese-inspired eatery Kona in Copenhagen (writes Georgia Bisbas). She is now preparing to launch her own restaurant, Nudo, which will serve fresh seafood on the shores of Es Figueral in Ibiza. Natali has lent her skills to some of Europe’s best culinary outposts, including Noma, where she was chef de partie. Here she tells us about her perfect leisurely Sunday morning and what ingredients she cannot do without at breakfast.

Where will we find you this weekend?
I will be in Ibiza with my friends Edoardo and Francesca, busy planning to open our restaurant next month. It is a dream come true to be working just in front of the beach, serving great food with amazing hospitality.

What’s your ideal start to a Sunday? A gentle start or a jolt?
My Sunday starts slowly – extremely slowly. I wake up at about 11.00 and go for a late breakfast with my girlfriends. We work in different restaurants and environments so every Sunday we catch up.

What’s for breakfast?
I love any breakfast. On Sundays I usually wake up starving so I go for something salty and heavy: eggs, cheese and bread are the usual suspects. Cappuccino is a must.

Downward dog or walk the dog?
Exercise? No way. I practise yoga before work every weekday morning so on the weekends I don’t hit the mat at all.

Sunday soundtrack suggestions?
It has to be Pino D’Angiò’s classic tune “Ma Quale Idea”.

A Sunday culture must?
I love rooting through flea markets or trying to find a pop-up shop.

News or not?
Not on a Sunday. I try to disconnect completely on my days off.

Will you lay out Monday’s outfit?
Yes, I like to prepare my outfits early, depending on the occasion. If there’s a special event I have it all ready days in advance.

Recipe / Aya Nishimura

Curry puffs

This week our London-based recipe writer Aya Nishimura shares a recipe for vegetarian curry puffs: moreish morsels encased in a pastry crust. Enjoy.

Makes 12


1 medium aubergine (about 275g), cut into 2cm cubes
200g cauliflower, cut into 2cm cubes
1 small sweet potato (about 140g), cut into 1.5cm cubes
4½ tbsps of sunflower oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 medium white onion, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
20g fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 tbsps mild curry powder
tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp coriander powder
½ tsp cumin powder
2 tsps light brown sugar
50g raisins, soaked in water for 15 minutes
60g mild cheddar cheese, grated coarsely
2 packets (325g each) of ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry
1 small egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsps sesame seeds
Chutney to serve (optional)


The filling needs to be cooked and cooled before you wrap it in the pastry. Preheat the oven to 220C. Divide the chopped aubergine, cauliflower and sweet potato into two large baking trays, ensuring that they’re not too crowded. Drizzle 3 tbsps of oil, season generously, and toss to coat evenly. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until softened and the edges of the vegetables start to char. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Place the black mustard seeds and 1½ tbsps of the oil in a frying pan and heat gently until the seeds start to pop. Add the sliced onion, salt and pepper, and cook until it softens and starts to caramelise. Now add the garlic and ginger; you’ll know they’re ready when they start to release their aroma. Add the spices and sugar, and stir over a medium heat for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool to room temperature.

Drain the soaked raisins and add them along with the grated cheese and roasted vegetables. Toss thoroughly to mix.

While the mixture is cooling, take the puff pastry out of the fridge and unroll it. Place it on a baking tray and put in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. This will help to make the pastry firmer and easier to handle.

Remove the pastry from the freezer, cut out an 11cm circle (use a cookie cutter or small plate). You should be able to get 6 circles out of a single sheet of pastry. Repeat with the other sheet.

Divide the mixture into 12 even amounts. Spoon the mixture into the middle of every circle. Brush half of the rim of the circle with egg wash. Lift one side of the pastry and seal it to make a half-moon shape; you can either pinch with your fingers to close the pastry or seal it with a fork. Then brush the whole pastry with the beaten egg. Repeat with the rest of the pastry. Put the tray with the sealed pastry back into the freezer for 10 minutes.

While you wait, preheat the oven to 220C. Remove the pastry from the freezer and brush with the egg again. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top. Place the pastry in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and enjoy the curry puffs as they are – or you can serve them with your favourite chutneys.

Weekend plans / Hôtel de Tingry, Ménerbes

Art of escape

Image: Pierres D’Histoire/Alexis Armanett

“Our aim is to open the doors to forgotten architectural gems around France,” says Dominique Imbert, founder of Pierres d’Histoire. The latest property in the group’s 16-strong collection, the Hôtel de Tingry in the Provençal village of Ménerbes is the first to allow bookings by room on a B&B basis. The four-bedroom hôtel particulier feels decidedly Italian, with 17th-century palazzo-style interiors, a symmetrical façade and a garden dotted with cypress trees that neighbours the former villa of artist Dora Maar, a muse of Picasso. The maître de maison serves breakfast by the pool and a large kitchen is available for guests to turn the region’s bounty into family meals. The hotel also organises art exhibitions, lectures and concerts with the Maison Dora Maar.

The Stack / ‘The Passenger’ magazine

Lay of the land

Few travel guides are confident enough to tell the stories of a destination’s complex realities as well as those of their beauty (writes Annabel Martin). Published intermittently through the year in the UK and US by Europa Editions and Iperborea, the English-language version of The Passenger launched in 2020 and now has 11 editions under its belt, with the latest focusing on Rome and Ireland.

Image: Tony Hay

It has a strong focus on storytelling, with pages given over to a mix of essays, playlists and sideways glances at subcultures and thorny urban issues. The aim of The Passenger, says Istanbul-based series editor Tomaso Biancardi, is to help readers to understand “shifting cultures” and “the development of [each place’s] identities”. Next stop? The series will drop anchor in California and outer space (really) in its forthcoming issues.

Tech talk / Mophie travel charger

Absolute power

It has become a part of modern travel to carry around various cables and plugs so you can recharge your phone, Airpods and even smartwatch at your destination (writes David Phelan). The new Mophie travel charger can re-energise all three, which means that you can get away with taking just one. The Mophie’s centre unit works with any wireless-chargeable phone; the charger also has Magsafe, a ring of magnets that ensure the iPhone 12 or 13 snaps into the right place.

Image: Tony Hay

The headphone charger pad is scooped to neatly hold your earbuds and there is a smaller white circle for the Apple Watch. Though the Mophie is designed for gadgets that are compatible with wireless charging, the USB-C cable that it comes with will connect to most non-Apple devices. Have a super Sunday and don't forget to recharge.


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