Letter from the Editor: Cafe Time

Mar 19, 2015

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As spring rains began falling this week, I must admit I wish such moments would last far longer than they ever do. There is something so soothing, so invigorating and so comforting about rain, temperate rains, rains that signal a new season’s arrival, and of course the sounds and sight of rain whether we are inside or out is part of the package that has me so enamored.

To pull on my wellies, to slip on my trench, these are my beloved spring clothing favorites. Why? To be honest, I probably can’t put my finger on it entirely, but it has to do with life, an opportunity for growth and the reminder that yesterday can be washed away whether we want it to be or not and to live in the moment, soak it up, revel in it and drink in the beautiful scent that it brings.

The talk of spring rain brings me to Paris as it is the season I am so eager to experience in the City of Light and as of yet have not have the privilege. And one of my favorite pastimes whether I’m in Paris or not, especially after a very busy day or week is to slip away to a favorite cafe, commandeer a table for one that offers an ideal vantage point and sip and dream.  Ideally, my dogs would be with me, and I lose all track of time. If the sun is shining, to feel it on my back as the day either begins or ends is surreally magnificent.

But what if we can’t escape to a favorite cafe? What can we do? Why not create a petite reading and dining space in our own home? Here’s how:

  • Save up and purchase a few bistro chairs from TK Collections, (the iconic brand that supplies most of the Parisian cafes with their furniture)
  • Select a beautiful table cloth (love these beautiful cotton options)
  • Make a hot cup of something warm for morning or pour yourself a glass of rose for the afternoon evening
  • Add delightful reading material (perhaps this, this or this?).
  • And voilà!

I don’t know about you, but cultivating our own “Parisian respite” in our everyday lives would be a lovely treat to look forward to, no matter where or how we partake and enjoy. So here is to the next time such a moment is offered, may we revel in, delight in and savor it, no?

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12 thoughts on “Letter from the Editor: Cafe Time

  1. Like ever I love your writing you just give me little gems for my day I will just go and brew me a expresso cup, take my Midori journal sip and write will be perfect to begin my day. Sorry I hope you can understand me I m French and English is not my mother language. A happy reader from the French alps.

  2. My home is made up of odds and ends that I find and that appeal to me. I had “inherited” a large concrete birdbath, the base a triptych of large seahorses, the top of which was broken. I thought it was a nice size for a table base, and not long afterwards, we found a round, rose colored slab of marble by a dumpster. We brought it home and that became the tabletop for the birdbath base. We added two vintage metal lawn chairs (also procured from a dumpster. We have no shame.) Now we have a lovely wabi-sabi cafe in our bird room. (It originally was a formal diningroom in the middle of the house — something we did not need. As it has the most natural light, we keep our parrots in that area, along with numerous house plants. With the addition of the cafe table, it makes for an “outdoor cafe” that we can use even in the midst of winter. I can’t tell you how cheerful that can be!)

  3. Love this idea!

    Spending some time just relaxing and reading at a cafe in Europe (and especially paris) is a wonderful experience…but it can be ruined sometimes a bit by all the Parisians that sit and smoke!

    Shannon, I’m with you on paris in the spring one day. My work schedule doesn’t permit me to take vacations in may or June right now, but eventually I will find a year that Paris in springtime works:)

  4. Shannon, I love this. I also like rain. What you wrote made me think of April Rain Song by Langston Hughes. You always say to cultivate your own life and the picture of the tea set on that gorgeous little balcony speaks to that. That view is spectacular too.

  5. So much inspiration for my balcony!! I have one more month before it’s balcony weather and it want it to look so chic. It’s the best place for me to drink coffee, read, eat lunch while listening to music… etc. Great post!

  6. As I look out my kitchen window, it is snowing again. How I would love to be sitting at a sidewalk cafe just people watching.

  7. It may be the first day of spring, but it snowed again last night…and it’s perfect! Although I hunger for the sound of rain, the sight of new snow, clean white coverings for a rather dirty world at this time of the year! You can’t change it, so embrace it! I’ll dream of the cafe and people watching, of my snow covered patio in the warm summer sun, of good books, like yours, and a perfect drink in hand. Thanks for your inspirational words. They create a better world full of appreciation and wonder!

  8. I have sat at Au Petit fer a Cheval! in the Marais! Wonderful illustration. The bathroom was another story! My favorite joyis to sit at a cafe.
    thank you for your wonderful posts. My favorite are Thursday and A bit of this and that for books about France.

  9. I love the way that you encourage us to dream. I love the attitude you have that allows you to make every experience special and to use your word luxurious. I love finding cafe in a neighborhood I do not live in where I can people watch, write and daydream. It’s not Paris but there are days it gets very close.

    Accidental Icon

  10. When I look back on my European travel adventures it is often the quiet moments of reflection at a cafe where I have fondest memories. They are the places of respite, contemplation and self discovery. It’s so important to foster opportunities for those moments – both at home and away. Thanks for this lovely post!

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