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 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

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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Back to Basics

The great and recently late poet Philip Levine bemoaned that poetry had become “institutionalized and neutralized” and that poets “should have turned and lived with animals”. I bemoan food in the same way. We have institutionalized our food sources and neutralized their health benefits with toxins and chemicals. And we no longer live with animals.

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Being unrepentant

Christmas is all about excess: too much food, too much wine, too much time with family members that we avoid for the rest of the year and all in all too much spent. You’d think that I’d welcome the New Year in with a month-long repentant and purgative fast. Instead I’m going in search of a good burger.

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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. 

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