Louise is Monaco's leading travel journalist. She has interviewed numerous celebrities for her Lunch with Monaco Life series, while she is best known for her acerbic restaurant reviews in  Monaco Life  which became a viral sensation.  Louise is a food & wine columnist for Monaco’s daily news site and periodical, Hello Monaco. As well as writing about the principality for publications across the globe, she is interviewed regularly about life in Monte Carlo (such as BBC Radio 4 and  CBS Broadcasting with Peter Greenberg).

Monaco’s answer to Giles Coren, Louise is at once erudite and down-to-earth. She has changed the face of the principality’s dining scene with such spellbinding style that readers and restaurateurs alike respect her."

Ian Brodie, Editor-in-Chief @ Monaco Life

Match Point for Eqvita

 “Eat your vegetables.” This mantra is on the lips of everyone from our parents to our governments, while even geniuses such as Einstein and Tolstoy were known to wax lyrical about the benefits of greens. For the past couple of million years, we have foraged all manner of edible plant parts from beetroots, asparagus stems and spinach leaves to globe artichoke bracts, broccoli flower buds and courgette
petals. In the absence of any botanical meaning, we have branded these plant parts as vegetables and endowed them with superhuman health benefits overflowing with vitamins, minerals and fibre.

If vegetables are the elixir of health, then by extension a vegan restaurant must be health nirvana. So I’m excited to be trying out Eqvita, the principality’s new vegan restaurant set up by tennis star Novak Djokovic and his wife Jelena. 

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The World's Favourite Drink

There’s nothing like a whiff of scandal to ensure popularity in perpetuity. Tea – that innocuous hot drink that reminds me of grandmothers, knitted cosies and scones – has had more than its fair share. Tea has sparked intrigue, attempted bans and even warfare. Tea has been described as dangerous liquid fire and better than sex. Nowadays more tea is drunk worldwide than any other beverage except water. 

In my search to find out more about the world’s favourite drink, I have found Sabine Minh Sen. This niçoise tea connoisseur knows more about Camellia-sinensis infusions than anyone else on the French Riviera. She has sold tea to Alain Ducasse, tea-trained Michelin-starred restaurant teams and served tea at an event organised by the Chinese government. Today she’s teaching me about tea during an hour-long tea ceremony. 

“Tea has vintages like wine. I tasted a tea from 1800 once,” says Minh Sen showing me her stash of decades-old tea.

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Lunch with Monaco Life

“This is a first for the principality,” says Grosoli.

We’re sitting in a light-infused boardroom in Barclays Monaco as Grosoli tells me about his recent promotion over lunch. It’s the first time that a Monaco-bred-and-based professional has risen through the ranks of a global company to such a high level.

“Usually it’s the opposite,” he continues. “Top roles are recruited from abroad.” 

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Lunch with Monaco Life

Louise Simpson sails the skies over lunch with easyJet founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, and gets the lowdown on his latest aviation project, fastjet

“Aviation and Africa are both risky places to do business,” says Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, “so fastjet is twice as risky.”

I’m spearing Burgundy snails into my mouth as one of the world’s best-known businessmen tells me about his latest venture over lunch at the Quai des Artistes restaurant. It’s the typical Monaco tale where friends of friends end up creating multi-million-euro businesses together. The friend of a friend in question is fellow Monaco resident David Lenigas. Their collaboration started in 2011 when Lenigas chaired Lonrho – a British-colonial conglomerate with a small, unsuccessful airline. Lenigas turned to Stelios for help.

“We need to change the aircraft, we need to change the name, we need to change the business model,” Stelios replied.

Their brainchild is Africa’s first low-cost airline. To date, the airline has six aircraft and is expanding slowly across the African continent. Stelios remains cautiously optimistic about its future. Although his name launched the brand, he isn’t running the show.

“I’m not on the board. I have only a 10% shareholding so it’s an interesting bet on what happens in Africa.” 

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