Situated on the edge of Peckham Rye Park and right in the middle of Peckham Rye Common, this cafe is a fantastic place for a bite to eat, an ice cream or a sit down in the shade. Gone are the days of stale, curled up sandwiches and lukewarm coffee, now there are pitta, ciabatta, all-day breakfast butties, Rye burgers and tasty wraps. The ice cream comes from Jude's in Hampshire and I tried a divine blackcurrant crush sorbet. Very refreshing.
Strakers Road, Peckham Rye Common, London, SE15 3UA
+44(0)208 693 9431
Open Mon-Thur 09.00-17.30, Fri-Sun 09.00-18.00
Flat Iron Square is almost too tiny to be marked on any map, however it can be spotted if you study the pages of your A to Z, or take a ride in a helicopter over Southwark!
This tiny square (well, triangle really) has been renovated recently and there's a little cafe hut in the middle offering all sorts of tasty nibbles, and several other great eateries in the shade of the Shard.
The Island Cafe
1 Flat Iron Square, (off Union Street) London SE1 0AB
+44(0)20 7407 2224
Nearest underground: Borough
Google map: bit.ly/n5Atqw
In the middle of one of Prague’s beautiful nineteenth century parks, Hlavickovy Sady, there is a gorgeous café situated in a Victorianesque pavilion. Previously a bowling alley and games room for the beautiful Grebovka Villa next door, Grebovka Pavilion offers a relaxed atmosphere and its ancient trees provide welcome shade in the summer.
Grebovka Pavilion is a great place to sit and relax following a gentle walk around the sloping park, which is also home to a vineyard, a Neo Renaissance palace and a grotto. It has inside and outside seating and offers coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages, and snacks including massive waffles and delectable ice-cream.
A wonderful place to spend a summer afternoon.
Pavilon Grébovka, Havlíčkovy sady 2218,
120 00, Praha 2
+420 725 000 334
Open 10 .00 to 20.00 every day.
Nearest metro - Namesti Miru. Nearest tram - 4 or 22 to Krymska
Google map: bit.ly/nYP1dH
Greensmiths is an amazing food emporium, café, cheese heaven and bakery.
The aroma from the cheesemonger’s section reminded me of old fashioned speciality shops last smelt in my early childhood. So evocative. I was offered a tasting nugget of Coolea cheese made by a Dutch couple who moved to Cork, Ireland, it is a bit like a hard, tangy Gouda, and very moreish!
Fresh meat is delivered from the Ginger pig farm in North Yorkshire, while bread, pastries and cakes come from the superb Old Post Office organic bakery in Clapham’s Landor Road.
The Waterloo wine merchant provides the bevies, and the Solstice fruit and veg department looks like something out of Harrods food hall, with every aubergine polished to within an inch of its life and every grape gleaming in the sunlight.
The café is located upstairs and outside on the pavement. My friend enjoyed the all-day veggie breakfast and I wolfed down a roast beef and horseradish ciabatta sandwich, refreshed with specialist coffees and other brews from Caffe Antica.
27 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7RG
+44(0)207 921 2970
Google map: bit.ly/lv6Hte
Open Mon-Fri 08.00—20.00, Sat 08.00—18.00, Sun closed
Overground train or Northern Line underground to Waterloo, Bakerloo Line underground to Lambeth North, bus 12, 53, 148, 159, 453, N109, 171
Sweet Mothers is a larger cafe about 20m from Deluxe. It's got (retro/quirk) style, good food, good ambience and does do dinner - and, unlike much of the Courtenay Place area, does it well and affordably.
Deluxe is a small cafe at the far end of Courtenay Place, underneath the 1930s Embassy Theatre. It has good food that also suits most ethical and/or digestive needs and is cheap for the quality. Not really workable for dinner, but otherwise can suit through the day.
10 Kent Terrace, Wellington 6011
+64 (0)4 801 5455
Google map: bit.ly/jbbR6E
Nikau is at the back and side of the City Art Gallery, Civic Square. It's light, spacious, has good and pretty affordable food. You could (and lots of tourists do) do a lot worse.
New Zealand has the freshest sea food on the planet. Most Kiwis love nothing more than catching their own supper, but if they've not been "lucky" or want more variety they head to the Fish Market. Just a short walk from the Viaduct Harbour (soon to be on a tram line) the Fish Market stocks a wide variety of live, fresh and frozen sea food. For you tourists though there are several cafes and bistros that serve fresh seafood at reasonable prices. If you are visiting in the summer and are lucky you might be able to go to the annual Seafood Festival, which takes over the whole area for a weekend.
Garden Tuscany is a cafe in Moonee Ponds situated down a quiet laneway and it's beautifully designed. Lance's coffees and hot chocolates are some of the best in the area! Highly recommended to those visiting Melbourne.
This is a great place to have breakfast, lunch or dinner (vegetarian meals are included, a rarity in Prague). There is a large non-smoking room upstairs, which is very nice, as cafés and pubs in Prague tend to get very smoky and uncomfortable.
This place serves top quality coffee, including Viennese coffee, Algerian coffee, Mafioso (cappuccino with Amaretto), and various types of hot chocolate, with coffee, with ice cream, with rum and whipped cream, with egg liqueur and whipped cream, you get the idea.
I ordered a double espresso and a warm apple strudel with vanilla and chocolate sauce and whipped cream – the pastry was light, flaky and not too buttery; the minced apples had just the right blend of cinnamon, sugar, and nuts, and the whipped cream, oh, the whipped cream! Light and airy, it melted in my mouth as soon as it reached my tongue. This dessert wasn’t sweet or heavy, and the mix of vanilla and chocolate sauce was perfect.
Café Louvre is open from 8am every day; and offers morning newspapers.
Free wi-fi is also available.
Located steps from Wenceslas Square, this place has some of the most beautiful and tastiest desserts that I’ve tried in Prague.
Established in 1904, it quickly became a legendary sweet shop and continued into the communist era; but the building collapsed in 2006, and it took almost three years to renovate and restore it.
Although the extensive menu was not available in English, we were fortunate enough to sit within perfect viewing distance of where the the pastry chef created her magic.
I ordered a latte and an exquisite masterpiece that several people were ordering, the Wenceslas Crown: made of dark chocolate and filled with a trio of gelato: bittersweet chocolate with a lovely smooth texture and so dark it looks like tar, cappuccino so rich it can stand on its own, and vanilla bean, all topped with whipped cream made right before my eyes, a few berries, and a light drizzle of caramel sauce.
Our barista, an award-winning latte art master in Europe, made me the most original latte I have ever seen.
Located minutes from Old Town Square, I found this gem after a morning of wandering the Jewish Quarter. Tired and needing a quick energy fix, the coffee here was a perfect pick-me-up. Bakeshop Praha soon became my every day stop for a cup of consistently good coffee and the opportunity to rest in a non-smoking zone, something that is very difficult to find in Prague.
Everything in the shop is baked daily, including their famous sourdough bread, with varieties such as walnut, potato dill, rosemary olive oil, and black olive.
Their display cases showcase loaf cakes, savory pies, canapés, quiches, sandwiches and even wedding cakes.
The hot chocolate at Choco Café is seriously the best I’ve ever had. It is pure alchemy: 100 grams of decadent, delicious chocolate so thick you can eat it with a spoon.
This is a nice quiet place to get away from the hordes of tourists in the Old Town. The cosy café has tables and couches set in a relaxed atmosphere. You are encouraged to sit, relax and pass the time away. The long list of hot chocolate varieties include: spiced ginger, sea salt, chili, rum or fresh fruits. My favourite is the hot chocolate with chili. I love how the bittersweetness of the chocolate blends nicely with the hot chili kick - very nice. Try it!
Tourists may be queuing up in front of Ladurée for its famous macarons but Parisians often shlep to the bucolic and authentic Daumesnil quartier to get the best Mille-Feuille in Paris, at Vandermeersch’s. A Mille-Feuille (literally, thousand leaves) is a landmark of French patisserie. Its « leaves » must be light and crispy and its cream delicately perfumed with vanilla and a touch of rum.
278 Avenue Daumnesil, Paris 12th
+33 (0)1 43 47 21 66
Google map: bit.ly/kxdncA
If, like me, you’re one of those people that loves to check out gourmet grocers when you visit a city, then you must go to Pusateri’s. This place is like a candy store for foodies: the freshest fruits and produce available, including my favourite heirloom tomatoes in the summer and chanterelles in the fall; a meat and deli counter that rivals anything I’ve seen anywhere, their Kobe beef is flown in daily from Japan; a bakery section that contains windows upon windows of decadent, glorious pastries, macarons, tarts, pies, cookies, anything and everything your heart desires; cheeses of every kind, fresh bread, imported delicacies and a variety of prepared foods. There is a small cafe area, where you can sit and watch the world go by - if you’re lucky enough to find a spot. No matter what time of day, this place is always packed.
As well as larger museums and galleries, Prague is chock-a-block with smaller and more intimate spaces. The Leica Gallery Prague is one such gallery, run by a not-for-profit organization with the aim of providing high quality photography exhibitions and workshops, seminars and lectures.
The small but airy gallery space is well accompanied by a book shop and small café serving very good coffee as well as other soft drinks and wine.
Its very full exhibition schedule and central location means this is a great place to see the work of some Czech and international photographers and enjoy a drink and browse some art books.
Entry is usually 50 CZK.
Sophocles is one of the best bakeries in south London and knocks all other Camberwell cakey places into a cocked hat. Where else can you try a kolokotes: a Cornish pasty-shaped sweet pastry case hiding an unusual and surprisingly tasty mix of pumpkin, raisins, cous cous and spices? It sounds strange but one of these is worth a journey on the number 12 bus alone. This Greek-owned bakery and patisserie tempts me inside daily, with its irresistible, fresh bloomers, whose fluffy white (or brown) bread, with a crisp sesame and aniseed dusting, cries out to be slathered in butter. There is a vast range of sweet pastries, creamy cakes, fruit tarts and almond pies dripping with honey. I only recently spotted the savoury section at the back, hidden behind the small café area, where elderly Greek gentlemen sip sticky coffee. However, I’ll be back soon to try a feta and spinach pastry, a crimson slice of pizza or a made to order sandwich. Tasty.
24 Camberwell Church Street, London SE5 8QU
+44(0)20 7252 6316
Bus 12, 171, 345, 36, 436 to Camberwell Green
Google map: bit.ly/lF8fAn
Bio Zahrada (meaning Bio or Eco Garden) is a shop and café with an emphasis on fresh and organic food, moments from Namesti Miru.
Enjoy brilliant fresh coffee in the non-smoking café (with small outside terrace) behind the shop. Different fresh soups and main meals are available daily (if you weren’t hungry when you arrived, the wonderful smells emanating from the kitchen will probably entice you) and a good range of cakes.
The shop sells a good range of organic produce including locally produced vegetables and organic meat.
Two minutes from the Old Town square but tucked away on a side street this place has everything - a restaurant, a wine bar, a café and a food shop.
On winter evenings it’s a lovely place to go with friends for wine of varying prices but consistently good quality. Many are available by the glass. During the summer, sit in the peaceful courtyard at the back of the restaurant for al fresco dining.
The evening menu is very good but the real bonus is the daily lunch menu - choose between two and three courses, with or without wine, and you will have change from 200CZK.
Expect European cuisine with a twist of Czech including duck, rabbit and dumplings.
Upon entering you might think you’ve arrived in a Bavarian hunting lodge – complete with yellowing walls, dim lighting, and a collection of antlers. Actually you’re in the former meeting point for Belgium’s surrealist scene. And yet despite the visits of Magritte, Alechinsky, Scutenaire and Breton, despite the 406 framed portraits and photos, the place does not have the kind of surrealist drawings, poems or doodling that you might have been expecting and certainly hoped for. That is because everything of value was sold, save a few exceptions; and what we have combines donations and founder and art dealer Geert van Bruaene's mix-match collection of objects, including a group of Virgin Marys. Luckily the café was rescued and spared the museum treatment: it is once again the venue for literary salons, poetry readings and much beer drinking. And what is on the walls is certainly worth perusing.
Try and sit at Magritte’s table: solid, wooden and smooth from years of elbow rubbing; although it too is like a school pupil’s desk with no strange etchings to be found. Sneak in here one afternoon to enjoy a strong beer – a spontaneously fermenting lambic, gueuze or kriek would seem an appropriate choice, accompanied by the special house pralines – and before long voices recede into the distance and you find yourself contemplating the mysterious phrases on the walls….. Hmm, perhaps this place is surreal after all!
“Nul ne m’est étranger comme moi-même.”
La Fleur is open every day from 11:00 until Midnight (until 19:00 on Sundays). It’s closed on Mondays, unless there’s some literary event going on.
Rue des Alexiens 55, 1000 Bruxelles
+32(0)2 511 16 59
Google map: bit.ly/kPvion
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