Why pavement cafes are among my favourite things on European holidays

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Posted by Sarah
Just two days until Berlin! I’m so excited… as well as all the great sights there are to see, I’m also really looking forward to just having a few days to relax, away from my everyday routine. One thing I really love to do on holidays (especially spring and summer holidays) is lounge around sipping coffee and reading in a pavement café. According to the BBC, it’s looking like highs of 20C over the weekend in Berlin, so I’m optimistic!

But while I’m eager to sample any outdoor cafes and eateries that Berlin may have to offer, I doubt I’ll change my opinion that Paris is home to the best pavement cafes in the world. That’s why I find it slightly worrying that the street cafes in one of my favourite Parisian neighbourhoods are under threat. I read an article in the Guardian yesterday about how residents on Rue Montorgueil are trying to limit the extent to which chairs and tables can be spread out across the road – and, to be fair, I can see why they might do that. It must be difficult to live in an area that’s completely overrun by outdoor cafes and restaurants – but if you’re a café-loving tourist like myself, it’s heaven 🙂

If the famed eateries of Rue Montorgueil are forced to shrink slightly, I’m almost certain there’ll be other streets in Paris that are willing to pick up the slack – and I’ll definitely be visiting them the next time I’m there! I am looking forward to seeing what Berlin has to offer in the shape of outdoor cafes though, especially after my other favourable experiences of street eateries in Germany – Fressgasse in Frankfurt, for instance, as well as Marienplatz in Munich.

Of course, if you’re not going to be able to get away this summer, but you’re still keen to savour some outdoor café time in the sun, there’s a few options at home. The famous Grassmarket in Edinburgh, for example, has just had its pedestrianised areas expanded. It’s a great place to spend some time in the summer when the weather’s good – my tips for outdoor eating in the area go to Mamma’s Pizza and Petit Paris (definitely one of the city’s best French restaurants). And in central London, there are a range of options in South Kensington and Chelsea. But if you’ve got any other suggestions, I’d really love to hear them!

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