sidewalk café


One of my very favorite things in life is to sit at a sidewalk café in Paris, sipping coffee and watching the world go by. There’s just nothing like it.

Nespresso and a good book

There may not be those iconic tables or cute Parisian waiters, but the coffee’s just as good, if not better.

French bee glassware
Napoleonic Bee espresso cups

I’m still very happy with my Nespresso machine. Perfect espresso every time. They’ve just added a few new varieties, including “Arpeggio” decaf, which is awesome.

I’m dropping a not-so-subtle hint here, can you guess?

coffee and Amsterdam
scarf | jacket (similar) | tee | bracelet | jeans (similar) | shoes

Napoleonic Bee espresso cup

How do you take a mini-vacation at home? Do you have any travel or vacations planned for this year?

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  1. I really enjoy your website! It appears that you are planning to go to Amsterdam. I’ll be there in April to see the tulips. And I will be wearing the pewter shoes that you recommended.

  2. What a charming moment to reflect on how to relax. One reason of traveling at all is to steal these moments back to soothe and inspire you in your everyday life. I was lucky enough to spend time in SW France one summer in a small town, visiting a family friend. That changed my life, not so much as the places I saw, etc… but the pace of life and different way of looking at things that gave me a chance to recalibrate my daily life here. And, by the way, you are as cute as a bug on that porch with your little cup and book. !!!

  3. Thank you for your lovely presence on the net. Your blog is uplifting for we “femmes d’un certain age.”

  4. Right now I’m planning a weekend in San Fransisco. I heard the airfare is good right now. Are you planning a trip to Amsterdam? How fabulous!!!

  5. You are planning a holiday in The Netherlands! My hometown The Hague is also worth visiting! The Mauritshuis is a very beautiful museum. Enjoy your stay!

  6. My “me” time is usually in the early mornings…when the house is quite…I will light candles…make French roast coffee and enjoy solitude…and that can happen just about anywhere. Thanks for the reminder.

  7. I just adored my visit to Amsterdam. Are you visiting this year? Try to visit Greetje “No Fear of Fashion” and if you catch Sylvia when she is there (she lives most of the year in Singapore but visits often) “40+Style”. They are the most fun to hang out with and can show you all the great places and things to see and do over there. I LOVED my trip over there last year.


  8. You are such a class act! I truly am inspired by your blog and enjoy seeing what you are doing, wearing, thinking, etc. I was to travel to Amsterdam this week, but it didn’t happen.

  9. I love my Nespresso machine, too. It is the only decent decaf short of grinding my own beans, and since the grinder is always filled with caf beans. Nespresso makes the only decent “pod” coffee I’ve tried. I bought it so I could have a tiny cup off and on throughout the day. Love it!

  10. Oh how fun, are you off to Amsterdam soon? You always take the best trips. Can’t wait to see your pictures. If you get a chance swing by and let me know what you think about fur. I’m getting some interesting answers on the topic and I’d love to have your take! XO, Jill

  11. I took one last evening! My husband just completed a Room of My Own, so I opened a lovely bottle of wine, lit a candle, turned down the lights, played a meditation on my iPod – and closed the door. 2-1/2 hours after work; felt like a vacation when I re-surfaced. Slept marvelously last night, too.

  12. Oh, thank you; what perfect timing! My mate and I just started planning a trip to France this Spring; my first time; he lived there for a year and a half. Outdoor cafe people-watching is definitely on my “to-do” list. So, while we’re still at home, I take my coffee on our back patio and listen to the sounds of the morning; children on their way to school, dogs barking and birds chirping. Like you said, it’s a perfect morning “mental health break.”

  13. I love rituals, especially those around morning coffee. We have a roof deck on our building and in the warm weather I brew my coffee and head up there to enjoy the beginning of the day. It is too cold here now to do that so instead I made a new workspace next to a very large window and I pull up the blinds and look at the day. I also love to go to the many fabulous coffee shops and cafe’s in different neighborhoods and people watch, it is a favorite activity. I see you are reading about Amsterdam…are you headed there? My grandfather was both there.

    Accidental Icon

  14. I was in Amserdam last June. It’s such a beautiful city. This year I;m off to the ice hotel can you believe?! I don’t drink coffee, I always feel cheated when I go for a coffee with friends and end up having a cup of tea! Love your blue scarf on you!
    Lorna Mai

  15. We’re also heading to Amsterdam this year (in October)! It will be our first trip there, with a week in Paris afterwards. Looking forward to hearing about everyone’s trips:)

  16. This will sound very strange…but my “mini-vacation” and really my “zen” time is when I swim! Outdoors from May to end Sept., and indoors the other months. I only recently started swimming and just love the alone time, the quiet, the listening to my own breathing in the water and not to mention the body toning. In summer I swim every day and in winter only manage it twice a week but even my husband notices how much more relaxed and just happy I seem afterward!

  17. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Amsterdam, not exactly as a tourist (research institute). It is a small city, you can certainly walk all the city centre. There is very good public transport; many trams. “Watching out for bicycles” means being able to tell the difference between the bicycle lanes (usually reddish pavement), the sidewalks and the streets. It is an extremely walkable as well as cyclable city. The Dutch are VERY tall, even older people.

    I’ve never been to the Red Light district, nor have I been to a coffeehouse (marijuana café). There are excellent museums and a very good quality of life. Good public markets as well. The Rijksmuseum, undergoing restoration in the background of Museumpark, is now fully restored and beautiful. And as for cafés, most museums have very pleasant ones. One I especially like is at the Amsterdam (Historical) Museum; it is in a courtyard.

    The Netherlands is a compact, densely-populated country and The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht and charming small cities such as Haarlem and Delft are short railway rides away. As well as Haarlem, there is a Breukelen….

    It is too cold here now to enjoy an espresso on my wrought-iron railinged Montréal balcony, but there are lots of good cafés nearby here in la Petite-Italie.

  18. Such a cute espresso cup! And your porch mini-vacation sounds lovely. I was able to sit on our porch last week and read for awhile before it got too cold. No travel books for me right now, but I’m sure you’ll love Amsterdam (I’d also recommend Utrecht and Bruges).

  19. ValS, I also love those “bee” glasses and cups. Beautiful Bruges is in (Belgian) Flanders, not the Netherlands. It isn’t very far away at all, but a bit more of a rail trip than the towns and cities I mentioned. Just mentioning this because as Pseu certainly knows, it is important not to cram in too many destinations if one is travelling for a limited time.