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Inside Portugal’s tinned-fish industry
Tinned sardines are an icon of Portugal. We visit a family-run shop and one of the country’s last artisanal canneries to discover why sardines are cherished by the Portuguese, how the industry started back with Napoleon and what is driving the revival of canned fish. Discover more from the country with Portugal: The Monocle Handbook.
Outpost News: Britain’s smallest radio station
Located in the northwestern corner of the Scottish Highlands, Gairloch is a coastal village of about 700 people that is known for its mountains, sea loch and rugged landscape. Monocle paid a visit to Two Lochs, reportedly Britain’s smallest commercial radio station, which is nestled on Gairloch’s shores, run by a handful of volunteers and has built a loyal fanbase of global listeners.
Inside the world’s largest costume company
Peris Costumes is the world’s largest company dedicated to selling and renting costumes for film, stocking more than 10 million garments. Monocle took a peek behind the scenes of its Madrid-based HQ to meet its artisans and see how the industry is booming, thanks to the rise of streaming platforms.
Desenrascanço: Portuguese problem-solving
Lisbon-based architect and artist Joana Astolfi takes us on a journey into the Portuguese word “desenrascanço”, meaning to find an improvised solution to a problem. She explains what it says about Portuguese culture and how it’s embodied through an unusual structure in Comporta. Read more stories from the country with Portugal: The Monocle Handbook.
Swimming in the Seine
As Paris embarks on a project to clean up the Seine ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games, we look at the process of readying the city’s river for its water-seeking dwellers, explore how it could affect the city and meet the guerilla urban swimmers who welcome the move.
Escape to la campagne: Côte d’Azur
Nestled in the hills above Nice, Casa Sallusti is a permaculture farm and hotel that was created to show how you can still enjoy the good things in life while taking care of the planet. We visit its founder, Isabella Sallusti, and meet the young folk who are working at the farm, having decided to swap the city for slow-paced living.
How to enjoy life
Join us for a whirlwind tour around the cobbled streets, cocktail bars and jazz lounges of Paris to explore how to enjoy the small things in life and find out why hedonism (in moderation) matters.
Meet the photographers: John Balsom
The Jogos da Lusofonia are an Olympics-style sporting event for people from the world’s Portuguese-speaking nations. We dispatched John Balsom – a photographer known for his powerful portraits – to the 2009 games in Lisbon. In our latest film, Balsom shares his memories of the assignment and how he captured such a fast-paced sports story on vintage film cameras. Discover more with The Monocle Book of Photography, which is available to buy today.
Meet the photographers: Alexandre Guirkinger
Mont Blanc is one the world’s most famous mountains – and its deadliest. We asked French photographer Alexandre Guirkinger to create a portrait of this mountain and the people who dwell in its powerful shadow. In our latest film, Guirkinger speaks about the process behind the assignment and how he captured the peak’s enthralling, luring mix of beauty and danger. Discover more with The Monocle Book of Photography, which is available to buy today.
Escape to la campagne: Normandy
Pierre-Edouard Robine traded city life to rediscover his farming roots in 2016. Since then, he has built a sparkling wine business and forages for Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris, alongside tending to his small herd of cattle. We travelled to his farm in La Courbe, Normandy, to lend a hand with tending the land and hear about the benefits of rural living.
Meet the photographers: Rena Effendi
In our latest film series, we meet and celebrate some of the people behind our iconic photography reportage. In our first episode Istanbul-based photographer Rena Effendi talks about her process, why she shoots on film and her assignment to Libya in 2021. She had never been to Tripoli before but was soon won over and captured a mesmerising mix of full-blown glamour, oddness and a perhaps unexpected order and calmness. Discover more with The Monocle Book of Photography, which is available to buy today.
Sisu: The art of Finnish fortitude
Finland is a swimmer’s paradise and residents take to the water year-round. In colder months the practice often involves carving a hole into ice – a demonstration of “sisu”, the unique Finnish concept of fortitude in the face of adversity. Monocle joins journalist Katja Pantzar on an icy dip, to explore the mindset that dates back more than 500 years. Discover more stories and ideas from the region with ‘The Monocle Book of the Nordics’, available now from The Monocle Shop.
Ísbíltúr: Iceland’s ice-cream road trips
We hit the road with journalist Egill Bjarnason, finding the best spots to grab a cone on a journey into the Icelandic custom of ‘ísbíltúr’. It’s one of many Nordic lifestyle concepts that can teach us a thing or two about how to achieve a better quality of life. Discover more stories and ideas from the region with ‘The Monocle Book of the Nordics’, available now from The Monocle Shop.
Why Greeks live longer
Nestled in the heart of the Aegean, the island of Ikaria used to be a secluded spot with a humble and unhurried way of life. Today, a third of the island's population lives to be more than 90 years old. We venture to the local kafeneios, wild beaches and abundant allotments to meet the bronzed seniors.
The 2021 Monocle Art Survey
From gallerists to artists, collectors to auctioneers, we check in with industry players to find why – digital innovations or not – seeing art in real life matters, how the past year has shaken up the market and what exhibitions you should add to a calendar that’s filling up nicely.
Studio Babelsberg: reel deal
Despite the ubiquity of digital effects in cinema, Berlin’s Studio Babelsberg has preserved the craft of prop making. Its lifelike items continue to appear in some of the biggest movies today. We inspect the studio’s stunning hand-built sets and its museum-like archives.
Media on the move
We visit two bold companies finding canny ways to pivot their product for changing audiences. Transhelvetica, a Swiss magazine, and Spiritland, a London-based hospitality and audio venture, are each shaping the media landscape for the better.