You have to love the Danes for coming up with fika which is cake drank with coffee or tea in the late afternoon. Although the concept is not exclusive to them by any means it is a widely spread and as you walk around the city you will find that cafés start to fill up at around four o’clock with groups of friends, couples and even people on their own working on their laptop as they enjoy the afternoon.
The winters in these Scandinavian countries are long and hard with very few hours of sunlight and low temperatures so needless to say, they spend countless hours indoors therefore the feeling they perceive inside their homes or restaurants need to feel right. It needs to be a place where you don’t mind hibernating during the winter solstice. Danes put in great time and effort into their decoration and they have a word in their vocabulary which I love, “hygge” pronounced hoo-ga which means cozy. It means green plants and flowers on your window sill, drinking coffee wrapped up in a warm blanket on your sofa or sipping wine with friends in a candle lit living room among other things. Since I have come back I am always trying to have a hygge feeling at home.
We were in Copenhague during spring break but the temperature and the weather felt like winter to a gal used to spending her winters in Madrid so I was very eager to have fika every day. These are some of the places that we went to:
Depending on where you are in the world, Spring Break might feel like an eternity ago or you might be in full swing. So whether you are at work or at play it is always nice to discover a new place to take a break or spend a lazy morning or afternoon.
Sakona Coffee Roasters in San Sebastian is actually brand new, they have been open for only a couple of months and they are making delicious coffee. FYI, they also cater The Loaf croissants.
Situated right next to El Kursaal I found it to be a delightful place for coffee.
Most of us who live in a Mediterranean country and are used to rich creamy coffee have come to the conclusion that it is virtually impossible or at the very best a challenge to get a decent cup of coffee in the US. On our recent trip to New York we visited Joe Coffee, thanks to a friend who recommended it, and we were able to get a nice shot of caffeine every morning.
Since our hotel was a 10 minute walk from the Lexington location (1045 Lexington Avenue) that is the one we visited faithfully but there are several more in Manhattan. To accompany my morning cappuccino I opted for a cinnamon bun. I grew up with cinnamon buns and I always remembered that chewy softness of the ones from my childhood and I have never had another good bun until now. Apparently these oversized buns are delivered fresh every day and I have to say that to have one in the morning brought a smile to my face. I don’t think you can grasp from the pic the actual size of it but I would share one with my husband and we would be full from just half!
The place on Lexington is small with that hipster laid back vibe to it which makes in most enjoyable and the staff is young and friendly. Can’t ask for more to start off your day.
Thanks to a friend who is always on the search for dainty places, we discovered Salon des Fleurs. A quaint little café on Guzmán el Bueno Street. Besides coming in for coffee or tea with your girlfriends, you can also buy flowers and plants and on the upper balcony level there are many handcrafted goods for sale such as necklaces, decorative items, teas and so on. This is such a charming place that I am just going to let the pictures do the talking.
I just had to share with you, this adorable coffee shop we found inside the grounds of the Brejoeira Palace in Moncao, Portugal. This is a picture of the palace,
Once inside the grounds, hidden in the woods as if it were a hidden fairytale cottage, is Vintage coffee and tea. Complete with both inside and alfresco seating, decorated in the most vintage quaint style.
Outside, the tables are scattered near the woods or around the covered veranda
The capuchino was extra creamy and delicious.
This was definitely an unexpected find in our trip!
Over the last few years there has been a surge of new delightful cafés where one can enjoy an afternoon English tea or coffee and cake. A classic for me in Madrid is Living in London, located on 4 Santa Engracia Street near Alonso Martínez Square. Decorated in a very quaint English manner with a small shop at the entrance where you can get English products such as tea, cookies or a slice of cake to go.
Living in London serves English tea complete with a tiered tray with scones and finger sandwiches but there are also cakes. My all time favorite is the London cake which is actually carrot cake complete with warm custard served on the side.
On the down side I have to say that the tables are a bit small and too close together so it isn’t a place where you can sprawl but it definitely is a nice place for an afternoon tea.