This gorgeous cafe came with an unexpected surprise: my hot chocolate was a cup full of smooth melted chocolate! They also do lovely pastries and have chocolates, postcards etc on sale as gifts.
110 00 Prague-Old Town, Czech Republic
+420 222 222 519
Google map: bit.ly/ijngon
We had a lovely time in this small photography gallery. The exhibition was brilliant and the cafe to the front was a great place for an early evening glass of wine.
Having paid homage to City Lights Bookshop and the Beat Museum, a stroll in the North Beach area must include a visit to Caffe Trieste. This café boasts the vestiges of the Beat generation, giving the traveller the opportunity to sip a wonderful espresso and taste some of the best pies and pastries of San Francisco, surrounded by the pictures of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg among others. Being here is a true literary experience. The picturesquely coloured marble tables and the wooden chairs are still those that one can spot in the old pictures of the place in which poets are shown sitting and chatting amiably. But the most amazing experience is that, not only one can taste real Italian flavours here, but still today be surrounded by those very poets that one can recognize in the black and white pictures on the walls. Lawrence Ferlinghetti has been a habitué for years and Jack Hirschman, the amazing 'red poet', can be found sitting, reading the local newspaper and enjoying a double espresso almost every day.
Just a stone's throw from Bath Abbey, this long standing independent cafe knocks the socks off the big chains. Really great coffee and large portions. Known for its all-day breakfasts but also great eggs benedict and the best croque monsieur this side of Paris.
Classic central European cafe dating back to 1887 but with very much a contemporary vibe. Ideally placed near the Grand Central Market but off the tourist trap that is Vaci Utca. Lunch is a particularly good deal - £4.50 for soup and a main course plus a litre of fine Hungarian beer. There's nowhere better for kicking back as the lights go down and people watching through the vast plate glass windows. Five star
The most welcoming, comfortable book shop on our round the world trip. Wooden floors, exposed rafters and beams; sofas to sink into; integral cafe actively encourages reading while eating wonderful organic and local food; personal hand written comments entice you to explore new authors; attractive wooden stairs with books piled alluringly on steps; small selection of book related presents to take home. I could live there!
Beautifully looking classic style cafe, which serves suitably fine food all day. Wonderful large chandeliers, tall ceiling and marble bar made it feel like a real throwback. We were treated to the solemn sounds of gypsy music and couldn't resist a naughty cigarette - each of the three times we visited in three days. Great to pop into for breakfast, or gorgeous when lit up in the evening.
A book exchange in a tiny alley by the Royal Palace. Enjoy perusing the shelves filled with books that have travelled as much as those looking for a new read. After selling your used and buying your new, retire to the bean bags in the upstairs snug cinema where you can lounge with the Laotian teen staff while supping on chai and chips. A welcome retreat from the weeks of rice based meals.
Ban Xieng Mouane Old Town, opposite the eastern wing of the Royal Palace.
Google map: bit.ly/aVM3Lh
Cafe Jospehine is a very restful bar-cum-restaurant next to the water and only 15 mins by metro from the city centre. It is full of books and has one room that is decked out like a library. Very ornate and luxurious, yet less expensive than most bars in the city centre, good bar staff who serve coffee the traditional Dutch way with a glass of water with ice and a shot of rum with cream. My local in Rotterdam and former favourite student haunt
Oostplein, metro Oostplein.
Google map: bit.ly/aNGSCl
After a bracking walk along Lake Zurich in winter this is one of the best places to find a warm drink or even a glass of champagne and while away some time. Set in the heart of the old town this Cafe-Conditorei serves an excellent selection teas and coffees, the hot chocolate with cream on top is particularly good. Set on three different levels, each with a distinct feel, with the cafe at the front with an amazing selection of sweet treats on offer and a smart bar at the rear. My favorite place to find a seat is the luxuriously appointed middle level. Gold-gilted chairs with soft velvety cusions, low-beamed ceiling and plush carpet all add to the cosy atmosphere. If you are lucky someone will be playing the piano to help you while away your time.
I am sitting here after driving up from Paris - it has been a while since I was here last and Francoise now has her son Bram making fresh pastries and creme brûlée as well as serving fresh melted hot chocolate to die for.
I was fortunate to get a seat as the cafe was full when I arrived.
The cafe has been given a complete makeover since I was last here and the stained glass windows in the upstairs room are perfectly matched by the decor and the quality of the food (waffles!) and excellent drinks.
A perfect end to the start of the evening to come!
Magnificent autumnal woodland walks with something for all the family. Alderley Edge woodland is steeped in history, real and imagined. There are remnants of copper mining activity going back to the Bronze age, a Wizard's Well and a hidden Wizard's cave which may have been the inspiration of Alan Garder’s 'The Weirdstone of Brisingamen' which has its 50th anniversary this year. The wood certainly has an air of enchantment and the sandstone escarpment offers great views of the Cheshire plain and beyond. Go before end of October and walk to Hare Hill Gardens (NT) and finish the day at Wizard tearooms (weekends) for a warming drink and a cake.
Padley Gorge to Grindleford Café and back is surely the most deliciously unhealthy gastronomic adventure in Britain.
Starting at Padley Gorge (free parking on the road), a walk down to Burbage Brook looking out across beautiful moorland to Carl Wark in the distance, across the rickety bridge and then through ancient oak forest all the way to Grindleford station, where you can stop at the café famous for its chip butties and rude notices. Back the same way or up through Longshaw Estate, you can keep small children going with the promise of ice cream from the competing vans back at the start. Masses of leaves to kick, funghi to “look but not touch” and strange shaped branches to sit or swing on.
The area of Lancashire around the West Pennine Moors contains a number of great walks which are not as well-known as they deserve to be: Sunnyhurst Woods in Darwen is one of these. The Woods are situated in a narrow valley at either side of Sunnyhurst Brook, as it tumbles down from Earnsdale Reservoir at the edge of the moors. A network of paths and bridges follows the stream as it flows for about one mile and 250 feet downhill from the moors to the main road. The main, central path is the simplest route, but there are higher routes which cling to the valley sides that are probably more interesting and offer plenty of scope for circular routes.
In addition to the magnificent autumn colours at this time of year there is a visitor centre/gallery and a licensed cafe which are open all year (though not every day of the week). Refreshment can also be had at the Sunnyhurst pub, which is close to one of the wood’s higher entrances.
The House of Avalon is a vintage clothing store full of quirky little surprises in York. After picking through a stunning array of vintage gear - from gorgeous tea dresses to sparkling handbags and headgear - you can enjoy a cup of tea and a cupcake or large slice of victoria sponge in the Avalon's cafe. While you browse or eat, enjoy the classic films which are projected onto a screen in the cafe. To add to Avalon's many charms, you can also get your hair styled into a retro do by a talented stylist before you leave. The shop is a project of the Avalon Group aimed at providing work opportunities to people with different abilities. A delightful shop with a social conscience. You will leave smiling.
Tucked away at the end of the kitsch McCoy's Arcade is the even more kitsch 'The Real McCoy'. With its baby pink colour scheme and 50s cafe (exact in every detail) to entice you in, the shop is what the term 'Aladdin's Cave' was invented for. Gorgeous replica clothes, real vintage gems of coats, waistcoats, pyschedelic 60s dresses and evening wear on the ground floor, and on the second you'll find leather jackets, jeans, fancy dress, even famous band t-shirts. Teenagers love it for prom wear. I love it for the hot chocolate in the cafe after a spending spree!
Gade, who runs the place, is so welcoming. The rooms are large and right in the heart of the old city, on Rachamakka Road. You really feel as if you become part of Gade's family. Service a bit slow for the cafe, but if you're not in a hurry, it's worth stopping to try her homemade smoothies, and don't forget to ask why she calls her place "Elliebum".
Snax Café is a real find. In an increasingly gentrified Leith, it’s brilliant to find such an unpretentious cafe serving simple, fresh and well-prepared food at attractive prices. My (all-day) veggie breakfast - fried egg, hash browns, tattie scone, beans, fried tomato and a buttered roll, all for £2.70 – was delicious. For lunch recently, I had a tasty granary roll generously over-stuffed with lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber, sun-dried tomatoes, jalapeno peppers and grated cheddar. Everything was crisp and fresh, and it cost £1.70, which included a free can of soda or bottle of water. You can sit in (there are around 24 seats) or take your food away, and they’re open really early. The food is fresh and not greasy, and everyone working there is bright and friendly.
8 Portland Place, Edinburgh, EH6 6LA
Tel: 01315 542000
Three other branches in Edinburgh and Leith.
Google map: tinyurl.com/387c9wj
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