This week we seek out Sydney’s best new coffee shop, Finland’s unlikely ice cream entrepreneurs and flick through a smart Mallorquín-themed magazine from Palma. Elsewhere, we offer an itinerary in Tinos, try a recipe for almond and brown-butter madeleines and discuss the merits of staying up late and hitting the dance floor. First up, Tyler Brûlé takes a turn.
With most of the northern hemisphere in the full swing of summer, it must be time for The Monocle Common Sense Quiz, edition one. The rules are very simple and open to all timezones but you must respond by no later than 18.00 Zürich time on Tuesday to be eligible for one of three prizes. While there is always a right answer to everything, our editors will also allow for creative licence and award extra marks for wit and pragmatism. As common sense is at the core of the Monocle editorial mission and is the whole point of this quiz, please ensure you take this into account with your responses.
As for prizes, it goes like this. Third place gets a set of Delfonics cases for staying organised. Second place will receive a signed copy of The Monocle Book of Photography along with a kicky, striped Monocle summer tote. And the winner receives a specially selected set of “back to work” treats, chosen by our head of retail. Sound good? Ready? Off we go.
It’s a Saturday afternoon, you’re at a lovely hotel in Sardinia but no one told you when you booked that most of the hotel was going to be taken over by Instagrammers with big lips/boobs/bums and their photographers. There’s so much augmentation around the pool that it has been blocked out by the sun. What do you do?
You’re not a fan of video conferences and you’re also a stickler when it comes to timekeeping. What’s an acceptable window to wait for someone to appear on screen? Three minutes? Five?
You’re in the lobby of a grand hotel in the Alps and your friends have invited their dog along to have its tummy rubbed. Of all the pets you’re friendly with, this one’s your favourite. Despite being more mid-sized than toy, he jumps up on your lap. Guests all around ask his name and where he’s from. He’s having a lovely time and is so relaxed that he starts emitting the most silent, violent farts. Moments later a woman nearby gags and another pulls out a hand fan. What action do you take?
You’ve just read an article in a favourite Swiss newspaper about cancel culture. It’s written from the perspective of a bemused correspondent based in Chicago who is a sharp critique of this US export. You conclude that this type of commentary would no longer get past most editors in US newsrooms, which makes it all the more intriguing. Do you send it to all of your US friends and colleagues to show them that freedom of thought and expression is alive and well elsewhere? Or leave them be?
A friend has invited you round for dinner and asks whether there are any dietary issues. In your excitement, you reply that there are no issues and that you’re “really into oysters or goat’s cheese”. When you arrive at the alfresco dinner there’s a tower of oysters that have been flown in from France and a wagon-wheel-sized block of chèvre. Perfect for the other assembled guests. After a while, the host asks why you're not touching the items you’re “really into” and you become slightly uncomfortable. Under the table you consult your phone. Horror! You forgot to type “not” before “really into”. Now what?
Alfio Genovese arrived in Australia in 1950. After a stint as an Italian-food importer, he decided to roast coffee, setting up headquarters in Melbourne in 1970 (writes Carli Ratcliff). The family has since been distributing its beans to cafés across Sydney but it’s only recently that grandson Adam Genovese (pictured) decided to open an outpost in the city’s Alexandria neighbourhood.
Bondi-based studio Alexander & Co is responsible for the warehouse’s refurbishment, rich in terracotta, copper and brick, plus leather, wool and coffee-hued textiles that give the space a timeless warmth. The menu features a lengthy list of homely Italian choices, including panini with roasted porchetta and Italian coleslaw; rosetta bread rolls piled with roasted rosemary mushrooms, truffle mayo, rucola and egg; and warm focaccia with mortadella, asiago cheese and olives. Needless to say, the coffee counts in its favour too.
On average, every Finn consumes a frankly brain-freezing 14kg of ice cream a year. Indeed, no country in Europe (not even in the Mediterranean) eats more. Until recently the market was saturated by big-name brands churning out ice cream high in sugar and packed with artificial flavours. Then Heikki Huotari, Sauli Saarnisto and Ilkka Wikholm came along. The trio ditched their day jobs, bought an ice-cream maker and began experimenting. “We decided to use only fresh and real ingredients, and were blown away by how much better the ice cream tasted,” Huotari tells Monocle. Ten years later, 3 Kaveria (“three friends”) has grown into Finland’s best-loved ice-cream brand, with an annual turnover of €10m and a team of nearly 50. The company is also melting hearts in Sweden, where it can be found in all major supermarket chains. “Until a few years ago we didn’t do any marketing,” says Saarnisto, laughing. Instead, the company relied solely on word of mouth. During the summer, 3 Kaveria’s bright-orange sales booths are a conspicuous fixture on Helsinki streets.
For more refreshing scoops, pick up a copy of our seasonal newspaper, ‘Monocle Mediterraneo’, which is out now.
Born in Kenya and now based between London and Florence, gallerist and designer Shiro Muchiri is founder of consultancy SoShiro (writes Monica Lillis). Pairing handcrafted beadwork with Italian and UK-made furniture, her gallery-cum-studio focuses on uniting craft and design. Here, she tells us about her favourite fruity breakfast and the joys of being at home.
Where will we find you this weekend?
At home in London after a nightmare flight from Bologna a few weeks ago. All the travel chaos makes me want to stay put.
Ideal start to a Sunday? Gentle start or a jolt?
A gentle start with an exciting new recipe or cocktail to make. I like the luxury of having time to experiment.
What’s for breakfast?
A kiwi fruit, plain kefir yoghurt and black coffee.
Lunch in or out?
In. Because I can decide exactly what to eat and what time to eat, which is usually at 16.00. Plus, there’s no stress of keeping to a reservation.
Walk the dog or downward dog?
Walking my black poodle, Nico.
A Sunday soundtrack?
I recommend Bien and Aaron Rimbui’s “Mbwe Mbwe”.
Sunday culture must? A market? Museum?
Watching sports or going to a sporting event.
A glass of something?
Franciacorta Ca’ del Bosco, please. It’s a sparkling wine from Brescia in Lombardy.
What’s on the menu?
Crispy-outside, soft-inside artichokes with grilled trout.
Are you preparing Monday’s outfit?
Not quite, that depends on my mood when I get up.
These tasty bakes can be made nuttier, by browning the butter first, or fresher, by serving with wild strawberries. You could also add matcha powder (1½ tsps per 50g of flour) or create a gluten-free take on things by using cornflour instead. You’ll need a madeleine mould and a little extra flour and butter. Enjoy.
130g caster sugar
50g almonds, peeled
50g plain white flour
100g butter, melted
100g egg (about three large ones)
2 pinches of salt
Matcha powder (optional)
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Blitz the sugar, almonds and flour in a blender to combine.
Add the butter, eggs and salt to form a liquid dough.
Butter the madeleine moulds, dust them with flour then fill them to the brim with the mixture and bake for about 10 minutes until golden brown.
Intent on proving that limoncello is so much more than just a palate cleanser, Cesco Amodio (pictured) founded Staibano in 2015. For generations his family has planted and harvested lemons on the Amalfi coast and turned them into liqueur. Now he’s hoping that his products can go global.
How do you produce Staibano?
In the summer our groves always yield an abundance of those beautiful lemons that everyone associates with the Amalfi coast. We remove the skin to get the rinds. Then we soak those in 98 per cent alcohol. Once that alcohol is infused, we add water and sugar.
Why does limoncello have such a bad reputation?
Unfortunately it’s frequently perceived as something that should be free, which really drives down the quality. It’s a wonderful spirit when it’s made well.
Which other markets are you looking at?
Sweden and the UK are our main markets. My mother is English and I grew up in the UK, so that has always been an important place for us. There alone, we have more than 1,300 customers, mainly restaurants. And we’re also planning something exciting in the US.
To experience a more rugged side of the Greek islands, head to Tinos, which is next to Mykonos and is rivalling that outcrop’s claim to be the “island of the winds” thanks to its gusty summer breezes (writes Daphne Karnezis). Unlike most Greek islands, the action spreads well beyond the chora (or main town), extending to its 50 or so villages, some of which are literally hanging from the cliffs. Pyrgos, Isternia, Kardiani, Komi and Volax are among the most picturesque. After breakfast at the Exomeria café in Isternia, with sweeping views of the Aegean, head to the relaxed Bianco Beach House bar for a refreshing dip or a surf at Kolibithra before starting your exploration of the villages.
Stroll through Pyrgos and stop for an iced coffee under the old plane tree of the cat-filled main square, before exploring the Giannoulis Chalepas Museum, dedicated to one of the island’s most famous marble sculptors. Finish the day with dinner at Thalassaki for traditional Greek seafood with a modern take: think octopus baked in grape molasses, and mussels with wine and fennel. Be sure to try Nissos, the island’s own, highly commendable craft beer.
Tinos address book:
For breakfast with a view.
Isternia, 842 01
+30 2283 031552
Bianco Beach House
For a dip and ample refreshment.
Vourni Beach, 842 00
+30 698 675 2100
Giannoulis Chalepas Museum
To learn about the sculptor’s peerless work.
Pyrgos town entrance
Superb seafood and service.
Isternia bay, 842 01
+30 2283 031366
Founded almost 20 years ago, Mallorcan quarterly In Palma is a love letter to the island, featuring profiles of its artists, photographers and artisans, alongside deep dives into the archives. We speak to its editor, Iván Terrasa, to find out more.
How did ‘In Palma’ begin?
I studied broadcast journalism and political science in Miami. For me, it wasn’t very stimulating to work in a local newspaper when I moved back to Mallorca. One day, in a room at my parents’ house, I saw a mountain of my father’s old magazines. Suddenly it came to me that I had to launch my own.
What is the magazine’s ethos?
In Palma is made from the heart. We want to move our readers with simple stories about human beings and beautiful places, which they can learn from or apply to their own lives.
Terrasa’s Mallorcan cultural picks:
Aba Art Lab
Sisters Maribel and Alejandra Bordoy founded this contemporary art gallery in 2004 – the same year that In Palma launched – and it has been a fresh, interesting space ever since.
Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró
More than just a museum, this is where artist Joan Miró lived and worked for almost 30 years. Walk through his studio, gardens and old house.
La Biblioteca de Babel Caixaforum
A very special bookshop on the ground floor of the Gran Hotel, one of the most beautiful modernist buildings in Palma.
Monocle’s July/August issue, which is out now, suggests 25 ideas to improve your life, from seeking out some urban greenery to learning a new recipe. This week we share an often overlooked secret to living well: breaking the rules and staying up late – if only on occasion. Here’s why we’ll see you on the dance floor.
It doesn’t matter if it’s at a cool club, chilled beach bar or naff haunt that only plays music worthy of a wedding playlist, letting go on a dance floor should be embraced. Turn that timid shimmy into a proper shake, command the room, do that extra fist pump if the song calls for it. On the dance floor, as in life, there really is no point holding back. You’re more likely to be praised for some out-there moves than judged for half-arsed ones. Too many love stories have begun inside nightclubs packed with wriggling bodies (or in their smoking room, Cupid’s favourite playpen) not to believe in the romantic potential of sweat-glistening skin. Founded in 1929 by Achille Franceschi as a little shack on the beach that played music on a gramophone, La Capannina di Franceschi (pictured) evolved into a storied nightclub in the Italian resort town of Forte dei Marmi. Its afternoon aperitivo still turns into a live DJ set every weekend. Forget about tomorrow and stay out a little later – the next track is always a great tune. Have a super Sunday, even if you need a lie-in.
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