So you travel around the world and see a whole heap of awesome places – but sometimes the highlights of your travel are places that touch something close to your heart. I fell in love with Monocle Magazine as a fresh, post-gap year 19 year old, at the same time as falling in love with Clipper Cafe. In fact, it was Clipper (and Paper Cup in Stanmore) creator Adriano Matteoni who lovingly stocked his cafe with Monocle Magazines, prompting me to start my own collection. While my love for Clipper has faded over the years, my love of Monocle still glows strong. I learn much from it, and it teaches me to appreciate beautiful things. It is a magazine of epic proportions – sometimes over an inch in thickness and covering everything from international affairs, business, culture and design. 5 years on, on my 24th birthday, I went to The Monocle Cafe and stepped into what I felt was a physical representation of the magazine. I was so happy to be there!
We started with coffees; lovingly made AllPress in rustic brown mugs (which are also for sale in the shop). Everything is neat, compact and minimalist. The coffee comes out on a little tray with everything you need on it as well! It kind of reminds me of Japanese serving styles.
I went for the Taco Rice, wanting something wholesome as it was technically our breakfast. Unfortunately I didn’t record any of the prices for our meal, and the website doesn’t have a menu, so apologies! From memory, all the prices were what you’d expect for a cafe in London. The Taco Rice was basically a deconstructed taco without the shell! Mince beef with some chilli oil, grated cheese and rice, and a fried egg, as well as a side salad! Everything tasted really fresh and healthy, and again, all my utensils came on a little tray!
You may have noticed the little Monocle monogram on everything – it seriously was on everything. Even the little moist towelettes are from Monocle! I took the liberty of gathering up all the little Monocle freebies (everything from coasters to matches) around the cafe – my Monocole paraphernalia can be seen here. Of course the magazine is also for sale in the store, for a mere £6! Very cheap compared to up to $20 which I have paid here in Australia for an express issue…There’s also a Monocle Cafe Tote Bag, which you can grab with a magazine combo for around £15.
S. went for the wholesome and healing Chicken Noodle Soup - it’s everything that you want when you’re feeling slightly ill. Clear soup, fresh noodles and chicken with minimal seasoning and garnish. It wasn’t a huge portion so maybe have it as a snack if you’re not feeling too hungry.
Monocle Cafe on my birthday – happy days! Wish I could’ve gone back another time to try some of their pastries and other interesting Japanese sweets they were selling. I feel like the cafe was like… Sweden and Japan combined, as well as being in London. Love a bit of cross-cultural flavour!
The Monocle Cafe
18 Chiltern Street
London W1U 7QA