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Sunday, 18 December 2011 11:48 | Author: Ian Brodie

Xmas Swim

The Christmas Swim at Larvotto Beach, December 18, 2011

Article tags: xmas swim prince albert

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Monaco's photographer...


 

Claudia Albuquerque has been taking pictures of sports stars and royalty for many years and has recently left an atelier overlooking Port Hercule. Here she talks to Ian Brodie about her favourite photographs and her winning technique.

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Monaco Life Events...


CONFERENCE FOR PROFESSIONALS IN THE HIGH NET WORTH SECTOR
Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13, at the Salon Bellevue of the Cafe de Paris in Monte-Carlo, a two-day conference of professionals serving the HNW and UHNW sectors. Distinguished speakers from around the world will address the major issues of the moment. Organised by the publishers of monacolife.net in association with Boyarkin & Partners. More info: http://www.global-hnw.com

Wednesday, 17 December 2014 8:38

Letters to the Editor

Unfair review

We do not know when Louise Simpson last ate at the Automobile Club but her account certainly bears no resemblance to our own experiences. As members of many years’ standing, we lunch and dine there frequently and find the daily-changing menus and ingredients to be of the highest quality whilst, at the same time, tasty and healthy. There is even a “menu allegé” every day, to which cream and other less than healthy “70s” products are most definitely strangers! The salade d’haricots verts and chicken breast, followed by grilled salmon with leeks last Friday were outstanding examples of Chef Olivier Ribaute’s extremely attractive  and consistent cuisine which never fails to please and impress – please take a new look, Louise!
 
Vivienne H Taylor and Richard Hale, Monaco

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Criticism 'not valid'

Dear Editor

We were disappointed to read your "Monaco Foodie" remarks about our restaurant and the "tasteless freezer to microwave tat". We try to be open to valid criticism ....we certainly are not perfect....and we act on it.  In fact we give customers a card with a direct link to Trip Advisor to "grade" their meal and give us feedback.  But, we have to admit, it's soul- killing to see food "critics" who enjoy writing clever text for the sake of being "published".

Our cooks arrive at 7 a.m each  day and prepare freshly delivered vegetables, meats and ingredients to create about 500 meals during a non stop food service of 12 hours. (Yes, we are guilty of serving burgers but the meat is 100% organic. ). Has your Monaco Foodie actually ever been in a kitchen?  Probably not, but we would like to invite her to spend a day with the cooks that she has so thoughtlessly belittled. Heck, we'll even share our recipes with you, Louise.  You can roll the chicken filet in the flour, bread crumbs and egg wash to make our chicken fingers.  

We are very sorry that Miss Simpson dislikes the restaurant but we do thank the thousands of regular customers, especially the families, who often come daily and who have supported us for more than 20 years.  (The editor of this newsletter, MonacoToday, in fact, and his family are customers.). Sorry to take this personally but I know the people who work hard everyday to serve our customers and they deserve a more professional review.

Annette Anderson
Manager

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR CAN BE SENT TO monacotoday@gmail.com. Please include a telephone number.

Previous letters can be found at MORE

Monday, 15 December 2014 0:02
Author: Louise Simpson

Monaco Foodie...

Kitchen Nightmares

“Is that a corkscrew in your pocket or are you pleased to see me?” This was the first line of a scathing restaurant review that marked the death knell for a famous London restaurant client back in my PR days. For several years, I swore that restaurant critics belonged to one of the nine circles of Hell.  

It is perhaps ironic that, through my travel writing, I have ending up reviewing restaurants for everyone from the FT Weekend to Zagat. Tellingly, I have tended towards praising culinary excellence rather than decrying ineptitude. However, a decade in Monaco facing elevated prices for mediocre food served with a grimace has worn me down. The time has come to name and shame some of the principality’s icons in the hope that culinary standards will rise to match prices.

Microwave Mania
Stars‘N’Bars (6 quai Antoine 1er, tel: +377 97-97-95-95) underwent an expensive (yet strangely invisible) renovation recently. Yet this Monegasque legend obviously forgot to revamp the kitchen. Tex-Mex shouldn’t mean tasteless freezer-to-microwave tat. The kids’ menu alone would be enough to get Jamie Oliver in a sweat. When I complained, one endearingly honest waiter admitted that he wouldn’t dine at Stars’N’Bars either. I guess it’s best to stick to drinks at the bar.

Cream Club
The restaurants at Monaco’s prestigious sports clubs, Monte-Carlo Country Club (155 avenue Princess Grace, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, tel: +33 4 93 41 30 15) and the Automobile Club de Monaco (23 boulevard Albert 1er, tel: +377 93-15-26-00), have one thing in common: cuisine hailing from the 70s with copious dollops of cream infiltrating dishes from starter to dessert.  It’s time to update the menu to join the millennium.

Dinner Downer
Saliére (28 Quai Jean-Charles Rey, tel: +377 92-05-25-82) and Avenue 31 (31 avenue Princesse Grace, tel: +377 97-70-31-31) are the eminence grise of smart, reasonably-priced lunchtime dining in Monaco.  Yet these excellent sister restaurants fall down at dinner. For double the price of the lunchtime menus, diners are subjected to long waits between courses and mislaid orders. The root of the problem seems to be staff shortages for evening shifts as many waiters commute into Monaco from Nice and even Italy so lunchtime shifts are preferred.

Overpriced and oversexed
Cipriani Monte Carlo (1 avenue Princess Grace, tel: +377 93-25-42-50) is the place to be seen as long as you’re wearing a micro-miniskirt. Luckily the ageing millionaires paying the bill are too busy eyeing up the candy to notice the sub-standard food and supercilious service. To be fair, let’s not forget that Cipriani does have some well-established competition on the overpriced and oversexed front around the corner: Sass Café (11 avenue Princess Grace, tel: +377 93-25-52-00).

Smoked Sushi
Compared to the tantalizing Thai restaurant at the back, the Maya Bay (24 avenue Princesse Grace, tel: +377 97-70-74-67) Japanese restaurant feels like the unattractive twin. On a recent visit, I was treated to a new concept: smoked sushi. The restaurant carries on its smoking-allowed-in-the-garden policy through winter months despite a hermetically sealed plastic enclosure that ensures diners are wafted with smoke from neighbouring smokers. Those who dare to complain should expect a sneer.

Louise Simpson is a food and travel writer based in Monaco. Since studying French literature at Cambridge University, Louise has written for The FT, The Times, Condé Nast and The Independent in the UK and for Zagat and Google in the US. She also publishes travel books with Frommer’s: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Louise-Simpson/e/B0034OTN6Q/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1373370624&sr=8-2.


To read previous Monaco Foodies, please click on MORE

 

Friday, 12 December 2014 0:10

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FURNITURE: Moving apartments.  Must sell- Lovely furniture items, excellent shape, including Italian design couch, for quick sale, now only €1200; Danish design desk, asking now only €500; special French chest of drawers, asking now only €1450. High end loudspeakers, Avance Signature 8 Mk2, only €800. Will consider all reasonable offers as we must sell. For full information, including photos, and additional description, please contact stacy@living-excellence.com.

FOR SALE (Monaco plates): SAAB 9-3 Cabrio SE, year 06/2001, 110k km, grey metallic, gasoline ecopower engine 2.0l turbo 150hp (fiscal cat 10). The car is in a very good condition, low mileage, with spotless 2014 Controle Technique  SAAB 9-3 Cabrio SE, year 06/2001, 110k km, grey metallic, gasoline ecopower engine 2.0l turbo 150hp (fiscal cat 10) , manual transmission (5 gears), 4 full adult seats, dark grey leather interior, climatronic, electric roof, windows and mirrors, central lock, ABS, dual airbags, anti-fog lights, cruise control, aluminium wheels. New complete clutch (2013). Clean technical certificate. Bonus: + 4 winter tires on aluminium wheels. Asking Price: €8000

SERVICE: Computers, IT, Internet, BBC reception - Philip - 06 1542 3824

FOR RENT:  3 Bed / 3 Bathroom beautiful modern townhouse in the centre of St Jean Cap Ferrat's fishing village. Approx floor space 90m2 over 3 floors. Patio 16m2. On street parking. Air-con/heating throughout. Priced at €3000 PCM +33 6 01 43 55 89  

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LANGUAGE SERVICE: Improve Your Communication in English — Written and Spoken. English language training, coaching and consultancy tailored to your needs. Group or individual. Help with Documents, CVs, Cover Letters, Academic Theses, Writing and Editing. English mother tongue teacher. Berlitz trained, MBA, professional background. Flexible availability. tel:  0678635709   email:  englishplusmc@gmail.com

To see our terms and conditions, please click on MORE

Sunday, 11 August 2013 10:17
Author: Ian Brodie

Iceberg rescues Titanic*

MONACO MEDIA: The media world has been stunned this week by news that the founder of Amazon - the online shop - has bought the iconic Washington Post newspaper at what seems to be a knockdown price. The $250 million Jeff Bezos paid is just a little over one percent of his personal wealth of $23 billion, making a very small dent indeed in his bank account. Never mind that since its founding Amazon has lost money more than it has made, making Bezos a virtual billionaire in charge of a virtual empire. Perhaps he bought the Post because he yearned for something real.

To decry the sale of the Post is not just to indulge in unworldly sentimentality. Its disposal marks another milestone on the way to the cemetery for printed newspapers as we have known them for the centuries since the Times of London first appeared in 1785 as the Daily Universal Register, changing its name three years later. In the ever-evolving world of media, print is in its death throes.

If it's almost all over for ink except the burials, and the standouts are disappearing fast, should we be surprised? No. Disappointed, sorry? Yes. The great newspapers of the past, including the Post, the New York Times, the Times, the UK's Daily Telegraph, are empty imitations of their former selves thanks to cost-cutting. The greatest loss as these titles decline and disappear is the quality of the journalism that called them home..

APPROVED: THURSDAY DECEMBER 18 - The elected National Council yesterday passed the draft budget for 2015, 20 votes to four. Debate on the 1-billion euros budget has lasted a total of 30 hours over several evenings. The budget debate acts each year as a catch-all opportunity for members to raise issues of general interest. This year's debates have been relatively calm and cordial, helped by the fact that Monaco's economy is doing very well indeed, with GDP growth of 9.3 percent in 2013.

CANNABIS: TUESDAY DECEMBER 16 - The father of a 24 year-old Monegasque, an employee of the town hall, called the police after his son started behaving oddly, the Monaco Criminal Court was told. It emerged that the young man had been smoking 10 joints a day during August, and had developed a dependence on the drug. He was sentenced to one month in jail, suspended, and ordered to undergo treatment for his addiction.

BOTTLE A DAY: MONDAY DECEMBER 15 - A 25 year-old Monegasque has been sent to jail for one month after having been found guilty of a vicious assault outside a bar in neighbouring Cap d'Ail. The case was heard in Monaco because of his nationality. The defendant had offered to pay his victim, who recieved serious injuries, the sum of 5,000 euros in compensation, the court was told. He admitted drinking a bottle of whisky a day and to having a serious problem with alcohol.

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Monaco Events, Announcements

Monaco and OECD: The next Monaco Life Business Leaders Lunch will be on the topic ‘Monaco and the OECD tax treaty’ and the guest speaker will be Georgios Soulis, an international asset management advisor. The date is Wednesday December 17, the venue is the Pacific Restaurant on ave. des Spelugues, and the cost of the three-course meal with a welcome drink and wines is 95 euros. Please contact Ian Brodie at monacotoday@gmail.com to book a place.

ANDY WARHOL: The exhibition “Andy Warhol” continues at the Galerie Adriano Ribolzi (Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 - 12:00 and 15:00 until 18:00). See also display ad at www.monacolife.net

Global High Net Worth Conference: Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13, at the Salon Bellevue of the Cafe de Paris in Monte-Carlo, a two-day conference of professionals serving the HNW and UHNW sectors. Distinguished speakers from around the world will address the major issues of the moment. Organised by the publishers of monacolife.net. Visit www.globalhighnetworth.org for more details.

Listings in Events & Announcements are free for non-profit associations, charged for commercial events and entities. To place listing email monacotoday@gmail.com

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Monte-Carlo Diary

Fearing the worst

Living as one does 50 metres on the French side of the border, one never knows what’s going to happen next. When I returned late in the evening last week after several weeks of R&R in eastern Europe I noticed a sign stuck to the door of the Art Deco building in which I live. My heart stopped. Surely this must be a summons to call in at the local police station, in Menton, to assist enquiries into crimes against humanity, unspecified. Or at least a reminder about an unpaid parking ticket even though I don’t drive a car. It was getting dark and I was so tired by this time I decided to wait until the morning to read the details.

Instead, I switched on the television and was glued to the leather sofa by a three hour programme about motorcycle cops in Paris. I noticed that 85 percent of the bad-doers, as the French like to call them, had suntans of one degree or another. I can’t help but think that such a depiction of France’s minorities plays into the hands of people like Marine Le Pen, who says the country is swamped by immigrants. Surely the producers of the programme could have looked for and provided a certain ethnic balance, otherwise we might all turn to the far right.

I stumbled down to the front door at dawn’s crack, or soon afterwards. No-one in the building is French. But the lingua franca is the local tongue, of course. The sign on the door said. “Would residents please not open the door by putting their hands on the glass!”
Another narrow escape.

Jeff Daniels

The Jeff Daniels column is published in the interests of editorial diversity, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the publishers.

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Monte-Carlo Diary

Pushed to the Max

SATURDAY, JUNE 21: There will always be tensions when a large crowd of people are crammed into small spaces, especially when they take an instant dislike to each other or harbour long-term differences. I am not talking about the long-running opening ceremony of the splendid new Monaco Yacht Club attended by le tout Monaco - a splendid affair - but the lingering impact of the lengthy and tedious French rail strike.

Tasked with taking my youngest son to Nice for a Saturday rendez-vous with a schoolmate, I squeezed with him onto the 16:43 from Monaco - delayed for 18 minutes in Menton while the frazzled French border police sifted out the usual suspects, young Somalian males who, having crossed the inhospitable Sahara, are trying in considerable numbers to make their way to the economic paradise that is France. Or possibly the UK.

Most people were eminently sensible and moved down the train to occupy every available space to allow yet more frazzled and luggage-laden bemused first-and-last-time tourists onto the only TER regional express to visit Monaco for the previous three hours.
Someone sitting down said something to me. I assumed he was offering me a space to sit. I bent down to hear better. Translated from the French, what he said was: “Can you get your arse out of my face!”

To say I was astonished hardly covers it. A number of responses flashed through my hot head: “I am surprised you are bothered about my arse, since it resembles so closely your face,” was the most polite. I wanted physically to strangle him, and since I was standing up and he was sitting down I sure as hell had a good shot at it.

My nine year-old restrained me. “He’s an idiot Dad, don’t take any notice,” he said in a French that can only be described as impeccable. At the next available jolt in the tracks he managed to more or less fall onto the idiot’s mobile phone he was holding high in the air while playing what looked like patience, and make it look like an accident.

You can mess with me, but you can’t mess with Max.

Jeff Daniels

previous column at MORE