Sunday 17 July 2022 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Sunday. 17/7/2022

Monocle Weekend
Edition: Sunday

In full swing

Time flies and we have many delights to occupy you on this fine Sunday morning. First we survey the rising fortunes of a Brazilian-owned bakery in Madrid and suggest a scenic roadtrip through Cilento. Elsewhere, we share a recipe for a scrummy pizzetta with stracchino cheese and check in with a Slovenian designer who reveals her favourite Sunday musts. First up, Monocle’s editorial director Tyler Brûlé on a long-anticipated preview.

The Faster Lane / Tyler Brûlé

Real showstopper

As premieres go, this one is special. I’ve been waiting for this sequel for nearly three years. What started as a few whispers and rumours about the original cast and crew getting back together to produce something “even better” than the original was soon confirmed by the project’s director and executive producer. “It’s official – we’re going to carry on with the story but go even further,” she told me over Christmas drinks. For the past few months I’ve been following the production closely, hoping for an official release date and perhaps a press junket (even though we’re not big on those at Monocle) but, like so many projects, the team behind the venture has been more than a little guarded.

A few weeks ago things changed swiftly when our executive editor told me that he was heading to Stockholm to see a first cut and then dropped me a note to say that he was with the director and how impressed he was with what he’d seen. As I already had a Stockholm trip in the works I rang the director and asked her if there was any way I could also get a sneak peek. “You know I want you to see it – I also want everything to be perfect,” she said, trailing off. “But yes, I will make sure you see it. It still needs quite a bit of work and we’re working around the clock, so you’ll have to forgive us if things aren’t quite what you’re used to.” As a firm fan of the original I assured her that I’d be more than understanding and thanked her.

On Wednesday morning I touched down at Stockholm Arlanda Airport and headed directly to the special preview, half-knowing what to expect but at the same time not quite sure how this story might have evolved or how it could be better than the original. Pulling up kerbside and stepping through the familiar heavy wooden door, I had the sense that the production was being refined – a final scene being shot here, a little tweaking there. I was promptly greeted and led across the courtyard, and I instantly felt part of the scenography. Was this my walk-on part? Did I want something to drink before the preview? Or should we just begin?

It’s been a decade since Ett Hem made its elegant debut on the global hospitality scene and the past week or so has seen this remarkable villa open up the archway to a set of adjacent villas, fully restored and reworked to surpass the expectations of all those who’ve become regulars since owner Jeanette Mix welcomed her first guests. As sequels go, the expanded Ett Hem is seamless and doesn’t jar with the original. With the official premiere still a month away, it’s in very fine shape and was already welcoming friends of the property when I visited. With some savvy agenda shuffling, you just might be able to secure a preview before the doors are thrown open and the busy autumn season kicks in. For all those Monocle readers who’ve still not made the pilgrimage to Sköldungagatan 2, now’s the time to catch a stretch of Sweden’s too-brief summer and a tasty dinner at the nearby Babette.

And speaking of previews, we’re putting the finishing touches on Monocle’s very own concierge desk, with marble being cut and a brass bell being buffed. From today we’ll be taking enquiries for all your travel needs in markets that are part of our regular beat. So, correct, we won’t be a source of recommendations for safaris in Botswana or kitesurfing retreats in the Urals. We’ll be answering queries in the Monocle Weekend Edition from next Saturday. Ding our bell at

Rising fortunes / Amasa, Madrid

Breaking bread

Neighbourhood bakeries are booming in the Spanish capital and Madrileños are increasingly embracing flavours with an international influence (writes Francheska Melendez). Don’t believe us? Try the spicy babka cake at Cientotreinta Grados or the pão de queijo (cheese bread) at Brazilian bakery Amasa, owned by Silene da Rocha (pictured), which also does a mean sourdough.

Image: Ben Roberts
Image: Ben Roberts

In Spain, bread is linked not only to the language of war – a baguette here is known as a pistola – but also to the language of love. “Contigo, pan y cebolla” is a popular expression in the country, loosely meaning, “I’d stand by you even if the only things we had to eat were bread and onions.” With humble pan rising to new heights in Madrid, it’s an oath that many will be pleased to take.

Summer sojourn / Cilento, Italy

Slow and easy

Just south of the Amalfi coast is Cilento, a region that has one of the world’s highest concentrations of centenarians. In part, this is down to the food that people eat – local produce, excellent olive oil, delicious fruit – but it’s also related to a gentler outlook on the world. The residents of Cilento know how to take things slowly and appreciate what life has to offer: a glass of wine, a lengthy gossip with lifelong friends.

Image: Andrea Pugiotto
Image: Andrea Pugiotto
Image: Andrea Pugiotto

And it’s not just the elderly who are enjoying the extraordinary quality of life here. Young chefs, creatives and nomadic workers are also flocking to the region. As Lea Pinto, who moved to Cilento from Rome with her husband, says, “To be able to put down roots in a small community like this is a boon that makes all life easier to handle.”

For the full roadtrip report and an itinerary of where to visit, buy a copy of our summer newspaper ‘Monocle Mediterraneo’, which is out now.

Sunday Roast / Lara Bohinc

All that glitters

Slovenian designer Lara Bohinc’s talent shines in everything that she devotes her attention to, from jewellery to furniture. After training at the University of Ljubljana’s Academy of Fine Arts and Design and then London’s Royal College of Art, she spent a decade at Cartier before launching her own furniture studio in the UK capital in 2016. Here, she tells us about catching up on sleep, the benefits of a long bath and the perfect Sunday tipple.

Where will we find you this weekend?
My friend in London is hosting a mini-festival at their house on Saturday. On Sunday I will be relaxing in the garden. It’s supposed to be hot.

How do you like to begin a Sunday – with a gentle start or a jolt?
Gentle, please. I like to catch up on my sleep. I can even do 14 hours in one night. Sleep is my secret superpower.

What’s for breakfast?
I always start with a cup of English breakfast tea. Then I stew some cherry tomatoes with chilli, add some eggs and grill it all in the oven – plus some toast to mop it up.

Lunch in or out?
Sometimes I feel like having a big cooking session; other times I go out for lunch. My favourite is a late dim-sum feast at Royal China restaurant on Baker Street.

Any exercise?
Yes, ideally. I try to do a 45-minute barre session every Saturday and Sunday.

A Sunday soundtrack?
I have a playlist called “Sunday Morning”, named after the Velvet Underground and Nico song. It features film tracks (Vangelis, Judy Garland), reggae (“Killing Me Softly with His Song”) and electronica (KLF, DJ Shadow, Darkside), mixed with old rock (The Doors, Rodriguez). It’s a mellow mishmash.

News or not?
Sadly I’m obsessed with the news. I’m not sure that it’s doing me any good.

What’s on the menu?
I like to cook fish. Usually it’s roast turbot with fennel and potatoes or baked sea bass with cherry tomatoes. On the side there are always some greens and potatoes or rice.

Sunday-evening routine?
I love long baths with magnesium salts and some bubbles. And a film afterwards.

Do you prepare Monday’s outfit?
Never, unless I’m travelling the next day. I used to do this but I can now get dressed in literally two minutes.

Recipe / Ralph Schelling

Pizzetta with stracchino cheese

This week our Swiss chef, Ralph Schelling, shares his recipe for a small but scrumptious snack. “Set the oven to its highest setting and ensure that you preheat the baking tray,” he says. “Try to make the temperature resemble that of a wood-fired oven as much as possible.” You can also add or subtract toppings as you please.

Makes 2 small pizzas (serves 4 as a starter)


For the dough:
10g baker’s yeast
125ml lukewarm water
250g plain white flour
5g table salt
20ml olive oil

For the topping:
3 medium-sized potatoes (waxy)
1 medium red onion, sliced in thin strips
100g stracchino cheese
2 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps rosemary leaves
Salt flakes, to taste

Illustration: Xihanation


Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water.

Pour the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the yeast-infused water, table salt and olive oil, then combine into a dough.

Mix in a food processor with a dough hook for 2 minutes (or knead by hand for about 5 minutes) until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise at room temperature for at least an hour.

Set the oven to 250C and preheat the baking sheet.

Slice the potatoes very thinly into 2mm rounds and blanch in a saucepan of boiling water for 30 seconds, before rinsing in cold water.

Roll out the dough thinly (2mm to 3mm) and spread the stracchino cheese evenly on it. Place the potatoes and sliced red onion on top. Drizzle over the oil and sprinkle with rosemary and salt flakes.

Bake for 5 minutes or until the dough is crispy and browned. Enjoy immediately.

*Ralph’s tip: the steps work whether you’re making something sweet or savoury. One plea from our chef, though. “If you’re making a sweet version for the children, don’t use Nutella,” says Schelling with a certain amount of Swiss pride. “Use real chocolate instead.”

Weekend Plans? / Tavira, Portugal

Foodie finds

Holidaying in the Algarve can be tricky (writes Ivan Carvalho). The overdevelopment of sections of the coast for visitors has led to the area losing a little of its charm in places but that just means you’ll need to do some planning. There are sunny spots with a refined air to the eastern end of the Sotavento Algarvio region that extends towards the Spanish border. Here, you’ll find attractive towns such as Tavira, with its picturesque whitewashed residences. Follow the locals who flock to the Noélia e Jerónimo restaurant (pictured, top) in the Cabanas area that sits on the shore of a narrow stretch of water. Or plant your sun umbrella in the long, sandy Cacela Velha beach (pictured, middle) and then wet your toes in the sea. Here’s a Monocle-approved itinerary for sunseekers looking for a weekend away.

Image: Francisco Nogueira
Image: Francisco Nogueira
Image: Francisco Nogueira

The Addresses
These three houses in different locales along the coast are tastefully decorated with contemporary design and have a pool each. Casa Um (pictured, bottom) is the nearest to Tavira.

Pezinhos n’Areia
Expect superb dishes in tasteful surroundings at this laid-back beauty on Praia Verde beach.

Part of a teeny Tavira gelato chain, this shop makes delicious frozen treats with natural, seasonal ingredients. You can’t go wrong with a few scoops of passion fruit in a cone.
Rua Dr José Pires Padinha, Mercado da Ribeira, Lojas 5/6, 8800-354

Top extra-virgin olive oil can be nabbed at Monterosa’s farm, west of Tavira, where hand-picked cultivars are ground in a traditional granite mill.

From the salt flats in Castro Marim, producer Jorge Raiado makes the best fleur de sel. Top Portuguese chefs swear by it.

Parting shot / See friends

They’ll be there for you

Monocle’s quality of life-themed July/August issue, which is out now, includes a feature espousing 25 tips for living well and being happy. Here’s a simple one to try: organise a sunny get-together.

Having your own back only goes so far. At the end of the day, there’s nothing like being able to rely on someone – and knowing that they can count on you too. Studies show that spending time with friends can enhance your mood, boost happiness levels and reduce stress (we’re talking about the real deal here by the way, not social media). Most people are constantly being bombarded with emails and texts. But how often do you take the time to see someone face to face?

Image: Felix Odell

“Interestingly, friendships appear to be most important for those who are the most vulnerable in society – those who have risk factors for poorer health and wellbeing,” says William Chopik, a professor of psychology at Michigan State University, who specialises in personal relationships. “But having more and better-quality friendships is something that can improve nearly everyone’s lives.” So make plans to see old friends this summer. Go for that drink or dinner you’ve been meaning to set up. In the grand scheme of things, taking the time will do you some good. Have a super Sunday.

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