Monocle Café, London

April 10th, 2013 by retail design blog

It’s been a long wait for the eager fanbase, but the end is near. Around the corner from Monocle’s Midori house headquarters in Marylebone, the magazine’s highly anticipated Monocle Café will open its doors on Mon – Apr 15. Housed in an 18th-century building with an ornately decorated façade, the space has compact dimensions, measuring only 89 sqm. [958 sq.ft.] spread over two floors. The interior has been crafted by Yoshitsugu Takagi and the magazine’s in-house design team. Similar to the first establishment that launched in Tokyo in 2011, the aesthetics here are clean and welcoming. Design highlights include the ground floor’s custom-made red oak counter, bold pendant lights from Manufactum, a set of rather elegant wooden bar stools and tables by Australian brand One/Third and magazine racks displaying current and back issues of monocle, plus a select range of other interesting reads. Interestingly, the basement section can be hired by Monocle subscribers for almost any purpose and hence features a more flexible but nevertheless equally stylish setting.

Tables have been sourced from the local century furniture store and matched with vintage Ercol chairs while lazy comfort is offered by an eye-catching sofa and a set of Osaka-based manufacturer Truck, and there’s even a homey fireplace. An Epson projector and screen are readily available should audiovisual back-up be required. And in warmer months, you’ll also able to hang out on the outside terrace. Warmer season the Monocle Café is first and foremost a place where to socialize or unwind solo over a cup of freshly roasted Allpress Coffee, but there’s plenty of other delectable stuff listed on the menu. Matching the discerning palate of the magazine’s readers, it features a concise but varied mix of tasty dishes such as Bircher muesli, a hearty Monocle toasty and a Midori salad made from seasonal ingredients, and Allnavailable to eat in and takeaway. Sweet tooths can indulge in macarons, green-tea roll-cake and strawberry gateau from Lanka, a local deli run by renowned Japanese chef Masayuki Hara.

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