Sonny was our first stop after dropping our bags at the hotel upon arriving in Copenhagen. Turns out they had only been open for a few days, but you never would have known it. The front of the space is more of the coffee shop with a few seats and a place for take-away coffee. The rear of the shop is a cozy restaurant serving up delicious and beautiful meals all day and into the evening on Thursday & Friday. We didn’t have the chance to enjoy a meal at Sonny, but seeing their instagram makes me think we missed out!
The entire restaurant makes you want to stay all day. Candles lit day and night. According to The Little Book of Hygge, the Danes each burn 13 pounds of candle wax a year. After spending a week in Copenhagen and seeing candles burning everywhere, it’s not at all hard to imagine that statistic to be true. I could not love a practice more.
If you are visiting Copenhagen, add Sonny to your list! You won’t be disappointed. What I loved most about our Copenhagen experience was the way people create spaces based on the hygge factor. Everywhere we went it was impossible not to notice. Wood burning fireplaces, candles and beautiful lighting illuminated from windows as we walked the streets at dusk. I mentioned The Little Book of Hygge – Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking in this post. I just noticed on the back of the book under International Bestseller it says, “Get consciously cozy.” Yes, that’s the best way to describe it!
Flower shops are plentiful in neighborhoods all over Copenhagen. Since it’s almost spring, the shops fill their sidewalks with beautiful fresh cut flowers and spring plants. It makes it impossible not to stop and take a look. Danes really have it figured out, they light candles all day into the night and apparently have spring plants and flowers filling their homes. Pretty much a dream come true.
Blomsterskuret is in the Frederiksberg neighborhood of Copenhagen. We came upon it as we walked to coffee at Granola. And Granola is the sister restaurant of the well known (at least on Pinterest) Hotel Central & Cafe. The hotel is tiny– it has just one room. Of course I loved this flower shop not only for their gorgeous display of plants in rustic containers, branches and fresh cut spring blooms, but also because it’s painted black. Everything looks good against black siding–especially pansies.
At another shop in the same area, this lovely display even looks amazing with the contrast of graffiti.
This shop was close to our hotel and every time I walked by I took a photo. On about the third day, Madeline said, “You do know you’ve seen that before, right?”
Can you see why I love this place? I mean candles all day and flowers on the street–everywhere.
Just walking back from the Metro and look at all those pale pink tulips! Spring officially starts next week, but it looks as though it’s in full swing here in Copenhagen! It’s easy to see why the Danes are the happiest people in the world. They surround themselves with fresh flowers, plants and make their nests cozy and a place that brings happiness and comfort. We all need that at the end of a long day and week.
Yesterday we came upon the prettiest little coffee shop on Delancey Street. We were not expecting it. It was just one of those serendipitous moments to walk one way, rather than another and on the side of Sel Rrose. Had French music been playing we would have thought we were in Paris. They have a beautiful instagram account where their customers have provided them with photos.
Every detail in this little shop has been carefully planned from the white La Marzocco espresso machine to the industrial corrugated walls that divide the space. The walls are illuminated with a line of lights to give it a perfect glow even in the afternoon. Then there’s the gray leather bench with mid century lines paired with more traditional bistro tables. Each table holds a glass of dried lavender. I ordered a cappuccino and asked for a proper cup. Not because I wanted to be high maintenance, but how beautiful are these gray cups and saucers in this space? If you are anywhere near One Delancey Street, you must stop and see this lovely shop. Madeline and I have started a new instagram account called Coffee Shops of New York. We hope you’ll check it out and follow our New York City coffee shop adventures. You can find it right here!
Devoción Coffee in Brooklyn might just be the prettiest coffee house I’ve ever been to…anywhere. The light shines through the atrium windows in the ceiling above the large open warehouse space to provide a lovely setting and to provide the light needed for the “Green Wall” which takes up the entire end wall of the shop. As soon as you enter the building you see steel and glass windows that look onto the roasting area of this huge shop and immediately you know this place is the real deal. The only other Devoción is the original location in Bogotá, Columbia.
Part of the charm is the attention to every detail including their cups and saucers in sunny yellow. I found these that reminded me of the ones at Devoción. You can purchase their coffee on their website.
The center area which holds two large leather Chesterfield sofas, benches, tables and chairs and the open floor space in this huge warehouse help make this an oasis in the city. While we munched on turkey sandwiches and enjoyed our coffee we noticed people working, talking, reading and even taking a nap. Devoción in Williamsburg is a place you’ll enjoy on a day when it’s beautiful or on a day when the rain is falling and you feel warm and safe inside. The market umbrellas help make this space feel like you are some place tropical. If you are anywhere near Devoción or even if you’re not….make it your destination. The space, the coffee, the food is simply amazing.
Devoción is located at 69 Grand Street at Wythe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Sweatshop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn has pretty much everything I love in shop. Painted brick, dark gray walls and concrete floors, wood tables and stools and even a neon sign in white. Sweatshop is known as Creative Space + Espresso Bar.
I love the gray cups and saucers and the enamelware tumblers in black and gray. Every detail in this shop is sort of perfect. I might need to order a few of those for summer entertaining on the patio. I found them here.
A delicious scone, a beautiful latte in a lovely coffee house and time spent with my daughter, Madeline = a perfect day! Sweatshop is located at 232 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Next stop Devocion!
My daughter and I are big fans of Bluestone Coffee, known for their recognizable blue to-go cups that you see on the streets whenever you are within several blocks of one of their outposts. However it was only recently that we discovered their cafe on New York’s Upper East Side. It’s located across Fifth Avenue at the entrance to the reservoir at Central Park and also adjacent to the newly opened Cooper Hewitt Museum at 91st Street and Fifth Avenue. It is the most beautiful place I can think of to enjoy a cup of coffee. The cafe is within the Church of the Heavenly Rest. Seriously, it’s almost a religious experience just to sit and enjoy your coffee within the walls of this lovely cafe. It was freezing the day we went, but they have lots of outdoor seating for warmer days. You will almost want to enjoy one cup within the cafe to take in all the loveliness of the space and then maybe a cup or two outdoors where you can watch the cars and people go by on Fifth Avenue.
They have a large communal table in the middle and alcoves with cozy booths on one side and a bar with stools on the other side. And as you can see above, lots of outlets to charge up. Service was friendly if not impeccable.
I love cafes that have menus with things like toast. Who doesn’t love a nutty bread with a smear of butter, ricotta and little honey? We actually split an order with our chai and cappuccino. Next time you want to escape the city for an amazing cup of coffee and bite to eat, try Bluestone Lane’s upper East Side Cafe.
Last week I had the opportunity to tour Steele Canvas Basket in Chelsea, MA with Director of Marketing, Frank Geffken. Everyone knows (whether you realize it or not) about this company. You’ve seen the large trucks in hotels, on college campuses, the post office….they are everywhere all over the country supplying every industry. The recognizable old school STEELE logo is still hand stenciled on almost every item. The company has been in business since 1921 and has been supplying industries with durable products like the industrial trucks and baskets and in recent years they have been meeting the demands of homeowners who want these items for laundry rooms, mud rooms, play rooms and the garage.
Whether the items are being used on construction sites or in someone’s laundry room…Steele’s products are built to last. They have been made the same way (by hand in their factory in Chelsea, MA) for almost a century. They try to source the materials in the United States. For example, the wood slats for the construction of the large trucks come from upstate New York.
The last several years this family-run business has been collaborating with companies like J.Crew, Crate & Barrel, west elm and Anthropologie to bring their products to the public for the same reason commercial industries have been using them for years. Quality and durability.
When time allows, the team tries to produce a new bag a month. They meet and discuss what they would want in a bag and come up with new products that their customers will appreciate.
I loved actually seeing how these products are made from start to finish. How the fabric is cut (with very little waste) and constructed into the products that will stand the test of time. “A guarantee is better than a warranty any day of the week.” There is so much detail and quality control that goes into each item before it goes out the door that it’s no wonder they have been in business since 1921.
In May the company brought back the iconic Steele Sling Chair also known as the butterfly chair. It was first introduced in the 1960s and just recently brought back into production. Of course they use high quality materials like powder-coated hand bent and welded steel frames and industrial grade duck fabric slings that are available in several colors. Buying a chair or any one of their products feels good to know that you have an item that will stand the test of time in both design and durability.
Thank you Frank for taking time to show me around the company and letting me see first hand how companies used to make things and how it’s still being done at Steele Canvas Basket, 201 Williams Street, Chelsea, MA.
When my daughter said she wanted to see the Mad Men exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image, I said “heck yes!” She has Fridays off from her internship in NYC so every Friday we plan a field trip so to speak. This Friday was Queens. Turns out we’ve spent very little time in the borough of Queens. Sure we spend lots of time at JFK and LaGuardia airports, but even baseball….we’re Yankees fans. So you won’t find us at CitiField. Yesterday we spent the afternoon museum hopping all in about a three mile radius.
The first museum was the Museum of the Moving Image for the Mad Men exhibit. It was a hot day so we started with a sparkling water in the cafe.
Don’t let this image fool you. There were plenty of people in the museum, but at this moment we had the cafe all to ourselves. All white with a view of the minimalist garden.
Can’t you just smell the stale smoke while viewing this image?! Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men exhibit is open through September 6, 2015.
Next, we went to MoMa PS1. We are regular visitors at MoMA in Manhattan, but we had never been to MoMA PS1 that occupies the space of a 100-year old Romanesque Revival school building. The building was still very much like a school with all the school lighting, doors and windows that seemed to be original to the building. Again…no museum tour is complete without a stop at the cafe where Madeline posed as if she were a school girl during morning attendance.
Our last museum of the day was The Noguchi Museum. I have been wanting to visit this museum for years. My familiarity with the artist was through his design of the popular Noguchi Table produced by Herman Miller. I am so intrigued by the artist and his painstaking methods of working on pieces of granite to create these large sculptures. The building itself is incredible. Indoor/outdoor space with atrium like gardens and white painted brick walls and salvaged wood floors throughout the galleries. Walls of windows creating gorgeous light flooding through the space. The garden was closed for restoration, but don’t miss the Socrates Sculpture Park just a few blocks away like we did!
always rarely open to modeling.
But we did manage to find a great spot for lunch at Gastroteca and an adorable shop called Lockwood on the way back to the car. We had a great afternoon. All in we spent about 6 hours and 2 of those were driving. So three museums, a little lunch, a tiny bit of shopping and six hours with Madeline….I’d say that’s a perfect day. Well to me anyway!
Remember when I said Buvette was my favorite restaurant? Well it is still is my favorite, but so is Via Carota just a block away on the opposite side of Grove Street. Seriously, if we lived in the West Village, I would spend my morning at Buvette and have lunch or dinner at Via Carota. You feel like you are in Italy at Via Carota. My favorite dish is the Wild Boar Ragu. We’ve tried several items on the menu and always order at least one daily special. Everything has been simply amazing. Next, we must to try the couples other restaurant, I Sodi on Christopher Street. Our experiences at both Buvette and Via Carota have been all about the food and then not at all. The food, yes….amazing. The Castelvetrano olives are delicious. I don’t even like olives and now I can’t stop thinking about them. There are so many small, but wonderful details. From the moment you walk in you feel truly cared for. The service is impeccable. The warmth of the space is comforting in the same way that a bowl of warm pasta or a piece of bread drizzled with olive oil warms your soul. Exposed brick walls, original or reclaimed wood floors, chairs from either a school or a church that holds the menus in the back of the chair and silver trays to serve pretty drinks from the bar. A long communal table that on the day we went held a giant bowl of beans and later replaced with candles in vintage china saucers ready for the dinner crowd.
Above photo by Kelsey Borovinsky.
I do love a restaurant that still gives out boxes of matches. The little cards arrive with your bill and I’ll keep them as a memento.