Sunday 3 September 2023 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Sunday. 3/9/2023

Monocle Weekend
Edition: Sunday

Culture capital

If you’re wondering where to get the best coffee in Los Angeles or looking for a new magazine to savour, then you’re in the right place. We also witness thirsty work in the Aegean and take a trip to a hotel in Cannes where summer is always in season. But first, Tyler Brûlé with a song and a dance (and a few lessons) from the Monocle Quality of Life Conference.

The Faster Lane / Tyler Brûlé

Now you’re talking

Why oh why did I think it was a good idea to request a second play of Jubël’s single “Triple A” at 03.00 on Saturday morning in the night club of the Bayerischer Hof? Was it because my colleague Nic Monisse hadn’t fully developed a dance routine to go with the poppy tune by the Swedish duo? Could it be that my colleagues, Holly and Rebecca, were telepathically begging me to have it played one more time? Or was I just being a good host, ensuring that the dance floor remained packed for the Munich edition of Monocle’s Quality of Life Conference as late as possible?

I had to wait eight hours for the answer when I was greeted by the founder of the hand-care brand Plainly and he thanked me for “an amazing, hopping dance floor”. Serious bum-shaking isn’t the key reason for why 150 people from around the world came to our conference but it became quite clear during yesterday’s farewell breakfast that, for some, the non-stop dance session was as important as what was said on stage. The Monocle conference format is somewhat unique in the world of summits – short, punchy panels that are always moderated by a Monocle editor, plenty of questions from the audience and space for surprise and a bit of fun. And, perhaps most importantly, it runs to the second, ensuring that it never gets boring. The speakers who were on stage at Allianz’s HQ were certainly a big part of the draw but the Monocle audience is just as important as it provides the energy, sets expectations and never fails to get the best out of those under the spotlight.

I feel that it’s a bit early to give a full assessment of what unfolded. And worry not – there will be plenty of snippets on Monocle Radio and in the magazine over the coming weeks and months. Until then, a few highlights and thank yous.

Munich gives good service. From Schumann’s Bar am Hofgarten and the team at Allianz to Dahlmann caterers – wow! Talk about hospitality soft power. Danke!

Aurelia Rauch of Bergos bank reminded us of the power of good copywriters in advertising and why we need to be a bit more naughty on pages and billboards.

Thank you to everyone who turned up in Tracht. No discussion. Everyone looks hot in a dirndl or lederhosen.

Dallas mayor Eric Johnson was one of the stars of the day. Many in the Monocle camp want to see him run for president.

Many also felt that Lufthansa’s Carsten Spohr (pictured, below, on left) should be Germany’s next chancellor.

We found out that even that even the biggest players in cooling down our cities still require air conditioning.

The Maltese turned out to be sizeable delegation and they’re on a mission to play a bigger role in the Mediterranean.

We discovered that the era of the instant delivery (“I need toothpaste in 10 minutes”) is dead. Hurray.

Our next conference might be in an Asian capital but it could also be in northern Italy.

Monocle has created a patron programme that offers every printed edition that we produce across the year, a special dinner, a bespoke weekend holdall, dedicated newsletters and an invitation to a unique journey at sea. Discotheque guaranteed! Many thanks to all those who have become founders. Bravo Jason for being the first! If you would like to become a patron, my colleague Holly Anderson ( will be happy to welcome you.

Thank you again to all who attended and tuned in to Monocle Radio. You have helped shape an amazing community that cares about our cities, quality media and engaging in constructive, warm-hearted conversation. It’s important.

Bottoms up / Tinos wine

Down to a vine art

The island of Tinos’s dramatic landscape was chiselled by the unrelenting Meltemi winds but Monocle’s arrival by boat is blissfully calm (writes Aimee Hartley). Though the terroir is ancient, the idea of promoting and even exporting Tinian wine is relatively new, modest in scale and pioneered by passionate small-batch producers. The first of the island’s seven vintners to give its bounty and international reputation was T-oinos, which was started in 1999. “T-oinos helped to define the greatness and quality of wines here,” says Yiannis Karakasis, a Greek master of wine. “Santorini is the country’s big success story but Tinos is the next big thing,” he adds, though he notes that the landscape and small scale of production present issues. Standing with T-oinos winemaker Thanos Georgilas near the village of Falatados, at 460 metres above sea level, it is easy to see how the landscape dictates what is and isn’t possible in terms of production and volume. Making wine in this extreme environment requires a heroic commitment but the island is attracting devotees.

Tinos address book
Tinian wines are devilishly hard to find beyond the island. In truth, they’re best enjoyed here too. Here are our favourite spots.

To Thalassaki, Isternia Bay. A seafood spot in Isternia Bay. Opt for the spaghetti and clams with a bottle of light red from Domaine de Kalathas.

Itan Ena Mikro Karavi, Chora. Tucked away in a garden in the heart of Chora, Itan Ena Mikro Karavi champions local and impeccably sourced ingredients. Pair the squid with a bottle of X-Bourgo’s mavrotragano.

O Ntinos, Yiannakis Bay. Below the whitewashed village of Kardiani, this is a family-run joint. Try the artichokes in olive oil and mussels with a Volacus white.

Triantaraki, Triantaros. A colourful take in a traditional Greek kafenio, Triantaraki serves silky smooth taramasalata that is great with a glass of assyrtiko.

Marathia, Agios Fokas. An elegant beach club with rooms, its restaurant is also one of the most sought-after lunch spots in Tinos. The island delicacy of dry-aged tuna comes highly recommended.

To read the full version of this article, pick up a copy of Monocle’s Mediterraneo seasonal newspaper.

To buy / Sees, Helsinki

Second nature

When looking for a name for her line of natural cosmetics, essential oils and household cleaning products, Elisa Koivumaa went back to the Middle Ages for inspiration (writes Stephanie Pfiffner). She landed on the old Finnish word sees, meaning calm and serene. While living in Japan, Koivumaa became interested in natural oils and began to use only organic products for bathing her children and cleaning her home. After returning to her native Finland in 2019, she founded Sees.

Image: Tony Hay

One of the brand’s most popular products, part of its hotels range, is a handmade aroma stone, a ceramic diffuser onto which essential oils are dropped and eventually evaporate, cleansing the air and calming the mind. “The intention of the scented hotel products is to enrich the little moments that we take for ourselves throughout the day,” Koivumaa tells The Monocle Weekend Edition.

Image: Alamy

Sunday Roast / Maz Jobrani

Paws for thought

Maziyar Jobrani, better known as Maz Jobrani, is an Iranian-American comedian and actor. Over the years, he has appeared in numerous films and television shows, including his own Netflix stand-up comedy special, Immigrant. Here, he tells us about dried mangoes, his favourite café and walking his mini goldendoodle.

Where will we find you this weekend?
I’ll be playing soccer with some friends. We’re so old now that it’s more like a morning of limping with some soccer on the side. On my way home I’ll swing by Kings Road Café in West Hollywood to grab my favourite cup of coffee and some biscotti.

What is your ideal start to a Sunday, gentle or a jolt?
Gentle. I like to have a late start, followed by a walk to the Larchmont Village Farmers Market in Los Angeles with my dog, Yasu. I tend to grab berries, apples and some Arabic food, while Yasu nibbles on the crumbs that she finds on the ground.

Downward dog or walk the dog?
I walk my dog every day. She’s a mini goldendoodle so she has a lot of energy to burn.

What’s for breakfast?
If I eat at home, I like to have oatmeal with some berries. However, if I go into town, it’s Sam’s Bagels or a breakfast burrito from Go Get Em Tiger – my fight against cholesterol isn’t always successful.

A pantry essential?
Dried mangoes.

Lunch in or out?
If I buy the right ingredients from the market, then I like to eat at home. Sometimes I get bread from Clark Street Bakery to go with a bit of stracciatella and prosciutto. Again, the diet goes out the window.

Any Sunday culture must? A market? Museum?
I grab a red eye [a drip coffee with an espresso on top] at Peet’s Coffee and walk to the market.

What’s on the evening menu?
Whatever my wife makes. I have never been much of a cook but I love to eat. I always make sure to wash the dishes.

Who will join you?
My wife and kids. We spend a lot of time together, which leads to good conversation and, sometimes, a few arguments.

A glass of something you recommend?
My favourite is the cabernet sauvignon from Darioush.

Any Sunday evening routine?
I used to watch Succession with my wife. We’re looking for our next show now.

Your soundtrack of choice?
Stevie Wonder or George Michael but if I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll play some French rap. I can’t understand a word.

News or no news?
Too much news; sometimes I need a break.

Will you lay out your outfit for Monday?
Not really. As I’m a comedian, I don’t have an office to go to. I usually roll out of bed on a Monday and put on some sweats to take the dog for a walk and grab a coffee. It sounds an awful lot like my Sunday…

Recipe / Aya Nishimura

Apple and cinnamon spring rolls

When combined, the time-tested combination of apple and cinnamon create a sweet riff on the spring roll that makes for an excellent dessert. “Enjoy them while they’re hot,” says Aya Nishimura, our Japanese recipe writer. “They’re delicious served with vanilla ice cream.”

Makes 6 rolls

300g apple (one large apple would do) peeled, cored and cut into 1.5cm cubes
4½ tbsps light brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon powder
30g raisins
Large pinch of sea salt
100ml water
2 tsps potato starch
15g unsalted butter
Two large pinches of sea salt
Spring-roll pastry (not rice paper) – it is sold in most Asian grocery stores
Neutral oil such as vegetable oil for shallow frying


Put the chopped apple, sugar, cinnamon powder, raisins and salt in a large pan. Cook over a medium-low heat until the apple softens, stirring continuously for about 5 minutes.

In a jug, mix the potato starch and water until combined and then add the mixture to the pan. Stir and heat through until the mixture begins to thicken – this will only take about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat and add the butter, mixing until it is melted in. Let it cool.

Once the mixture has cooled, divide it into six roughly equal amounts. Place the first spring roll sheet on a work surface with the corner pointing towards you. It should look like a diamond. Spoon a portion of the mixture onto the middle of the pastry and then spread it out to create a cigar shape.

Fold the bottom corner of the pastry to the top corner of the pastry, covering the mixture, and then fold the sides in. Wet the top corner of the pastry with a drop of water and then roll to enclose. Don’t worry about being too neat. Set aside and repeat with the other five rolls.

Over a medium-low heat, pour oil into a frying pan until it is about 1cm deep. Cook the spring rolls until golden on all sides, which will take 3-4 minutes. Lift and drain on kitchen paper and leave to cool a little before serving.

Image: Theo Giacometti

Weekend plans? / Carlton Cannes, Cannes

Shore is nice

After two years of renovation by French interior designer Tristan Auer and architect Richard Lavelle, this grande dame of the Côte d’Azur was reborn in 2023 (writes Josh Fehnert). The belle époque façade and iconic domes at either end of the block-sized structure remain but two new wings have been added to the rear of the property, including residences, a manicured garden, sunbathing decks, cabanas and a pool. With 332 guestrooms (72 of which have a sea view) the hotel isn’t short of space and the abundance continues when it comes to eating options too: the one tea room, bar and three restaurants come together to keep the lobby buzzy.

The Riviera Restaurant, overseen by chef Laurent Bunel, is the pick of the bunch with its south-facing views onto La Croisette and the sea beyond. There’s also a chef’s table with 15 covers if you’re seeking some privacy. The season may be ending and the weather cooler but if it’s sunny there’s always time to visit the Carlton Beach Club, which serves lobster brioche rolls and has views of the surrounding Esterel mountains and the Îles de Lérins. Fair warning: the worst part of the trip may just be checking out.

Image: Tony Hay

The Stack / ‘To Have & To Hold’

In the bag

The UK’s University of Central Lancashire preserves unlikely aspects of social history in its aptly named Ephemeral Archive (writes Tala Ahmadi). It was this quirky collection that piqued the interest of Liverpool-based graphic designer Tim Sumner who, in 2022, launched the quarterly magazine To Have & To Hold. Issue two is out now and is dedicated to the humble museum gift bag. The 64 examples range from the 1900s to the modern day and the magazine begins with a foreword by researcher and author Matilda Pye.

“Edition two acts as a permanent record to celebrate these small, insignificant pieces of paper,” Sumner tells Monocle. The volume includes bold graphics and graciously gifted paper take-homes from the Tower of London, the Natural History Museum at Tring and Madame Tussauds among others. Issue three explores emetic decorations: sick bags through the ages.

Image: Alex Cretey Systermans

Parting shot / Working lunch

Back in business

Opportunity and discovery are everywhere. But sometimes we can lack a little imagination when it comes to making the most of it. That’s where Monocle’s September issue can step in with some humble proposals that are designed to give you momentum, ranging from small steps, such as getting your groom on and experiencing the camaraderie of being a team player, to life-changing explorations of foreign lands or finally taking the plunge with that long-dormant business idea. We hope that these diverse ideas might inspire you to be ambitious, be serious about having fun and get out there. First up in our series: now that August is over, should September be the month that you bring back the business lunch?

Whether you’re after a book deal or investors for your new fashion venture, nothing beats a good business lunch. Parisians famously get this ritual right: at lunchtime on a weekday, the restaurants around Opéra Garnier are buzzing. For a smart meal, try Drouant, an art-deco restaurant founded in 1880 on peaceful Place Gaillon. During warmer months its chic terrace, furnished with cane chairs and tables draped in white tablecloths, offers two must-haves for a fruitful business lunch: shade and privacy. Here, over a glass of white wine or a pale rosé, the conversation often drifts from the office to holiday plans. And there’s nothing wrong with that. A study published in the Harvard Business Review shows that negotiating while eating often leads to more mutually productive discussions. We’re inclined to agree. In fact, we’re already reserving a table for next week’s tête-à-tête.


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