A LITTLE FLIGHT READING
The Monocle Travel Guide Series ($27.95)
Tyler Brule, that well-known gent about the world with a name like an industrial dessert, is at the Monocle helm, ably assisted by in-the-know editors and correspondents in seven international bureaus. As you’d expect, inclusions in this little black book series of city primers are a la minute, chic and insider-ish. “You won’t find Madame Tussaud’s in here,” promise the editors. It’s all about retail (from markets to concept stores), dining, seeing and being seen, where to stay in style (The Grazing Goat hostelry in Marylebone sounds fun) and how to dine well (Koya in Soho, a “udon utopia”, looks just the ticket, as does the “Indian fantasia” of Khan’s in Notting Hill). The section on “things we’d buy” is useful — these are top “take home” souvenirs and we’re not talking Buckingham Palace snow domes but stylish prints from the London Transport Museum, plus best-of-British design items such as fine tea blends and artisan biscuits, Floris colognes and cashmere scarves. The inevitable cocktail haunts? Book us in, please, for a bloody mary with chorizo-infused vodka and smoked garlic tequila at Beagle (by Hoxton station) and a classic martini (shaken, not stirred) at Dukes in Mayfair, the one-time favourite haunt of James Bond creator Ian Fleming. The tightly written 146-page volume is a snug fit for handbag or flashy backpack and a similarly savvy volume on New York has just been released, with Tokyo and Hong Kong the next design-driven cities in the pipeline.