Sunday 4 September 2022 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Sunday. 4/9/2022

Monocle Weekend
Edition: Sunday

Out and about

This week we sun ourselves by a rooftop pool in Miami Beach, explore Sardinia’s enigmatic capital, Cagliari, and meet a musician for breakfast in Vienna. Plus: a sweet-but-citrussy recipe and how Dijon’s food scene is flourishing. First up, our editorial director, Tyler Brûlé.

The Faster Lane / Tyler Brûlé

Join the club

We start this Sunday with a bit of context and a gentle request. As Monocle approaches its 16th anniversary since operations commenced, we now employ more than 70 full-time editorial staff and almost as many across our publishing, retail, café and distribution departments. On top of this, our correspondent network has grown to more than 35 journalists reporting in cities from Helsinki to Madrid, Seoul to Bangkok. As global media businesses go, we’re on the small side but nevertheless manage to produce more than 20 magazines and newspapers, three books, 1,000 hours of “live” radio, multiple events and hundreds of newsletters every year.

While strong commercial partnerships (welcome to our new Sunday partner, Bergos!) allow us to cover the world and file features and reports from myriad locations, a newsletter like this (and the seven others we publish throughout the week) also require a paying audience. Ideally, everyone would pay a small sum every day for our journalism and we’d have a tidy little business on our hands. A €1,000 subscription to our newsletters would certainly be a handsome business and would allow for more bureaux in exotic locales. But there’s a less expensive and simpler way to ensure that we can do what we do and that’s for readers to take out a subscription to Monocle (in print, digital or both) – and it’s a little over a tenth of that price.

As the majority of our newsletter readers are not subscribers to the magazine, we would be thrilled if you could take out a subscription and enjoy the discounts, invitations and special previews that came with being part of our global community. As Christmas is not that far away, it’s a good time to sign up colleagues, cousins and corporate clients. If you’re already a subscriber, I’d like to extend a huge thank you from all of us for your support.

On the topic of community and why it’s good to be a subscriber, here are a few forthcoming dates for the diary.

On 1 October, we will throw open the doors for our annual Herbstmarkt (autumn market) in Zürich. As usual, we’ll have a selection of unique vendors, good wine and beer, and a full grill-on-the-go with the region’s best Wurst. Subscribers enjoy the regular special benefits.

Then on 14 and 15 October, we will host a special pop-up restaurant in Zürich – for two nights only. We’ll be working with a guest chef from Tokyo to deliver a tasty mix of Japanese-Italian classics, smart cocktails and some after-dinner entertainment in our lounge. We will also be announcing a date for a similar evening at Midori House in London later in the month.

And finally, we’re heading to Dallas for our first-ever US conference in the form of The Chiefs, Monocle’s summit devoted to leadership, opportunities and entrepreneurship. Following the success of the St Moritz edition in 2020, we’re taking the format to downtown Dallas and will be hosting speakers and delegates alike across a full day of discussions, debates and plenty of fine hospitality on 8 and 9 November. I’ll be on hand with editor in chief Andrew Tuck, editor Josh Fehnert, our man in the US, Chris Lord, and a host of other Monocle editors and presenters. For more information on The Chiefs, take a look at the line-up here. Speakers will be announced over the coming weeks and you can be sure that we’ll be bringing our unique take on the world of business and brand building with a sharp global line-up of voices to challenge, inform, entertain and inspire.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our forthcoming events (our Christmas markets in Zürich and London will be announced soon) and, of course, having you as a paid-up subscriber.

Food frontier / Dijon

Cutting the mustard

The best place to see how far Dijon’s food scene has come is Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin, an ambitious, €250m complex that opened in May after four years of construction. With a Ferrandi cooking school, restaurants, an exhibition space and a “Made in France” food court with a wine cellar, it’s an attempt to make Dijon France’s culinary capital. So far it seems that there’s an appetite for this: some 18,000 visitors arrived on the opening weekend. “On sunny days, you can see people all around the site with picnics and bottles of wine,” says William Krief, an investor in the project and the man behind the Cité’s food court. “It’s like one big village where the city comes together to have a good time with good food.” All around Dijon, product-driven restaurants and épiceries founded by a more conscious generation of entrepreneurs are springing up amid the old town’s half-timbered houses and pattern-roofed hôtels particuliers. “Five years ago, restaurants in Dijon were still all white tablecloths, snails and boeuf bourguignon but now things are finally moving,” says Hugo Schneider, who serves inventive vegetarian tasting menus at his restaurant, Betterave (pictured).

Dijon address book

Michelin-starred restaurant run by chef Angelo Ferrigno (pictured).

Home of Hugo Schneider’s unmissable vegetable-first tasting menus.

Bistro serving dishes made from fresh Burgundy produce.

Papilles Épicerie
Grocery shop at which to stock up on the region’s fare.

Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin
New €250m hub for food and wine in the city centre.

Les Halles de Dijon
Belle époque market that’s still the place for fresh ingredients.
Rue Odebert

For the full low-down on Dijon’s high-minded food scene, pick up the September issue of Monocle magazine or subscribe today so that you don’t miss a beat.

House news / Marbella Club, Spain

Pick-up truck

Late summer plans on the Costa del Sol? We’ll see you there. Monocle has taken over the iconic Marbella Club Hotel’s El Olivar food truck to create a small but well-stocked seasonal kiosk.

Buy and browse the latest issues of Monocle and Konfekt, our first-ever paperback, The Monocle Companion, or our sunny Mediterraneo newspaper. All while enjoying ice lollies, fresh lemonade and cookies courtesy of the chef. See you in Andalusia.

Image: Jen Castro

New opening / Esmé, Miami Beach

Down to an art

A series of buildings that were created to be an artists’ village in the 1920s have been transformed into a smart, 145-key South Beach hotel. Mixing Latin and US influences, the décor includes dashes of rose and emerald hues, as well as textured mahogany.

Four of the building’s rooftops are connected, forming a deck with a pool and cabanas. In the evening, the bar there – aptly named The Roof – becomes the stage for chef Fabian Di Paolo’s Latin-influenced cuisine. Try the citrus shrimp, wagyu burgers or tuna poké. It’s an artful addition to the neighbourhood.

Sunday Roast / Sofie Royer

Quiet reflections

Sofie Royer is a composer, artist, musician and DJ. Born in California to Austrian-Iranian parents, she moved to Vienna as a teenager to study concert violin and viola at the Wiener Konservatorium and performed with the Junge Philharmonie. Here, she shares her tips for a traditional Austrian brunch and where to take a dip, and reflects on the tranquillity of Chopin.

Where will we find you this weekend?
Probably at a swimming pool. The Amalienbad in Vienna was built for workers in the 1920s; I usually go there to decompress, steam, take a sauna and swim laps.

What’s your ideal way to begin a Sunday – a gentle start or a jolt?
I’m a jolt-into-the-day kind of person. I usually wake up early, though I’ve managed to sleep until 08.00 on some days this week. Getting started early makes me feel like I’m ahead of the curve.

What’s for breakfast?
I’m not a big breakfast person.

Lunch in or out?
My favourite thing to eat is a dish called Eier im glas at a place called Café Prückel. It’s an Austrian delicacy of soft-boiled eggs that come in a little champagne glass. They’re perfectly waxy.

Walk the dog or downward dog?
I do a lot of exercise. I love boxing, ballet and rhythmic gymnastics. Last week I pulled some muscles in my hand, knee and lower abdomen during sparring practice. I’ve never had a boxing injury before so I’m taking it more slowly this weekend.

A Sunday soundtrack?
I’ve been listening to the sweet sounds of Luiz Bonfá, a guitar player and composer from Rio de Janeiro.

News or not?
Most days I try to avoid the news, to be honest. Politics and pop culture dictate so much of our lives right now. I prefer to have a bit of quiet.

Your Sunday-evening routine?
I’ve been playing a lot of Chopin on the piano to unwind. I’m trying to perfect his “Nocturne Op 9” but it’s seriously hard.

Are you preparing Monday’s outfit?
I like wearing some kind of daily uniform – usually a schoolgirl skirt and a shirt. I’ll wear that the whole week to paint in.

Recipe / Aya Nishimura

Cake ‘au citron’

For this lemony loaf you’ll need a tin measuring 20cm by 10cm and enough self-control not to tuck in either before the cake cools or after you’ve poured on the icing. Bon appétit.

Illustration: Xihanation

Makes one loaf of about 9 slices


For the cake
135g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
100g plain flour
5g baking powder
100g sour cream
50g unsalted butter, gently melted in a pan and left to cool
1 large organic, unwaxed lemon, zest finely grated
4 tsps fresh lemon juice

For the icing
90g icing sugar
4 tsps fresh lemon juice

For the decoration
10g lightly toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
Extra grated lemon peel


Preheat the oven to 180C (160C with fan) and line a loaf tin with baking paper.

Gently simmer some water in a medium saucepan to create a water bath. Mix the sugar and eggs in a large glass bowl and place over the pan of water. Beat with an electric whisk until the mixture becomes pale, thick and roughly triples in volume. When you lift the whisk, trails of mixture should stay for a couple of seconds.

Remove from the pan and sift in the flour and baking powder. Incorporate gently with a large spoon while trying to keep some air in the mix.

Gently fold in the sour cream, cooled melted butter, lemon peel and juice.

Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and place in the oven to bake for 50 minutes.

Halfway through the baking time, check the cake and turn the tin 180 degrees to help it cook evenly.

After 50 minutes, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Once completely cool, take the cake out of the tin. Mix together the icing ingredients and quickly spread all over the cake with a palette knife. Before the icing sets, sprinkle on the pistachios and extra grated lemon zest. Set the cake aside until the icing is set.

Slice and serve with a cup of tea or coffee.

Weekend plans? / Cagliari

Treasure island

Sardinia’s capital, a city of 154,000 that lies in a wide, sandy bay facing south toward the coast of Tunisia, is physically closer to Africa than the Italian mainland. This remoteness has long made Cagliari, in the centre of the western Mediterranean, both a trading post and a melting pot – and is part of its enigmatic allure to this day. “Cagliari has always hosted many different cultures,” says Nicola Marongiu, one of three friends behind Pipette, a bar in the Marina district. The trio has set up shop a block inland from the Piedmontese arcades of Via Roma that give arrivals from the docked ferries and occasional mega-cruise ship a kind of Turin-on-Sea impression of the city.

Nearby, music producer and graphic designer Simone Deiana is holding forth on his hometown. “There’s this perception that if you don’t live in Milan, you can’t do anything,” he says, noting how island life can be connected and fulfilling. “If you have laid the groundwork of your career, like to travel and are open to new ideas, then I don’t see any benefit in basing yourself in one of the big centres.” He pauses and looks out to sea while he finds the right words to sum up what he’s thinking. “Cagliari is perfect; for me, everything starts and ends here.”

Cagliari address book

Hotel Regina Margherita
Don’t let the brutalist, bunker-style exterior throw you – this is a smart hotel in an excellent location.

Antico Caffè
This meeting point at the foot of the Bastione di Saint Remy is a city institution. Open 07.00 to 02.00, for added convenience.

Bar Florio
Part of the Villanova neighbourhood’s revival. Frequented by a fun crowd and great for an ice-cold beer.
Via S Domenico, 90

Delicious contemporary dishes with Sardianian and global influences, plus a wine list that includes many bottles from the region and fine finds from smaller producers.

Ristorante Pani e Casu
Traditional Sardinian cuisine, freshly made without a fuss.
Via Santa Croce, 51

By-appointment showroom just outside town, stocking artisanal designs.

Mercato di San Benedetto
The capital’s peerless fish market.
Via Cocco Ortu, 50

Image: Tony Hay

Tech corner / Excitrus 100W charger

Taking power

Battery anxiety is a 21st-century malady (writes David Phelan). While many of us carry extra power banks to charge our phones, tablets or smartwatches, these tend to be of little use when it comes to bigger devices, such as laptops. Enter the Excitrus charger. Using the USB-C port, it can recharge a laptop by up to 60 per cent in an hour.

You can connect four devices at once, splitting the total 103W output across three cable sockets and a magnetic wireless charging pad. The fabric cover makes it look less gadgety. At 480g, it’s not light but that won’t weigh heavily on those in urgent need of power. Speaking of which, we’re hoping that you’ve found time to recharge too – have a super Sunday.


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