Category Archives: Location

Top International Cafés

More great spots to stop and have a cup of coffee on your travels.

Cafe Book Bean

coffee-house-largeI have shared with you the noteworthy coffee shops at the top of my list in the U.S.: Top U.S. Coffee Houses and now I will share those I found all over the world. Although there are far more than I could possible include, I hope justice is done.

Here are my Top picks for Noteworthy Cafés internationally:

Cielito Querido Café (Mexico City, Mexico)

A unique place rich with the warmth and flavor of Latin history.
Full of color and aroma to tempt the senses.  

Coffee Collective(Copenhagen, Denmark)

The Coffee Collective is a micro roastery that drives to provide their customers with an exceptional coffee experience and to give better living conditions to coffee farmers.

Rosetta Roastery(Cape Town, South Africa)

Another South African jewel passionate about coffees that are unique and full of character, as much so as the people that are drawn to drink them.

Kaffeine(London, England)

Contemporary cafe…

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The World’s Top Bookstores II

Another list of interesting book stores to visit

Cafe Book Bean

More of the Tour de librairie! This list has been a joy to make, exploring the beautiful world of books and the many cultures that embrace their wonder.

Here is part II of the Worlds top Bookstores:

Rizzoli Bookstore (New York, NY)
Rizzoli-Untapped-Cities-AFineLyne-640x360 - Edited
Rizzoli is famed for its art books and foreign fashion magazines. After being forced out of there location by developers, Rizzoli has brought the character of its old space to the new one.
Lavishing the 1896 Beaux-Arts building with tables and chandeliers from the old store, and commissioning a sky-scape mural to run along the 18-foot ceilings.
imageThe new building also has stunning new windows.
Vogue man-about-town André Leon Talley has fashioned them with Vivienne Westwood, Gucci and Manolo Blahnik clothes and shoes, surrounded by Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons art books.

Libreria Acqua Alta (Venice , Italy)

Luigi Frizzo, the eccentric manager speaks English and includes numerous English books…

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Weird and Wonderful Bookshops


I came across the article “Weird and wonderful bookshops worldwide – in pictures” earlier today. I thought their list was quite interesting. Certainly there are a few in that list of 15 that I hope to one day visit.

I’ve been to the Munro’s Books location pictured in Victoria, Canada and it was a good bookstore. I would most like to visit Liberia Palazzo Roberti, Barter Books, The Bookshop and Leakey’s.

USA, Louisiana, New Orleans – The National World War II Museum


My wife and I love visiting museums. When we were in New Orleans in April 2015 we had the opportunity to visit The National World War II Museum. The museum occupies several
within walking distance of the French Quarter at 945 Magazine Street.

The idea of the museum was conceived by historian Stephen E. Ambrose. Many will recognize that name as he authored many books about World War II, including Band of Brothers. That book was turned into a popular TV series on HBO. The museum became reality in June 6, 2000 when the Grand Opening of the then “D-Day Museum” was held. The museum was designated by the US Congress to be the “National World War II
Museum” in 2003. Today the museum is home to over 100,000 artifacts, and has hosted more than 3 million visitors. The museum is widely supported with over 130,000 members.

exhibits-pavilion-gallery   homefront-gallery-sm

This museum tells the story of the American experience during World War II. The museum has many aircraft and vehicles on exhibit, as well as a few shows and many artifacts. Separate areas of the museum address the war in Europe and the war in the Pacific. I have always enjoyed reading about World War II. My father served in the US Army during the war and was stationed in London and Paris.

The museum is open seven days a week, 9AM – 5PM (Closed only for Mardi Gras Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). At the time I write this post, general admission is $24, with both the “Beyond All Boundaries” and “Final Mission”
shows an additional $5 each.

My wife and I spent around 6 hours touring the exhibits, and still feel like we rushed through. We are both looking ahead to visiting New Orleans again and spending more time with the museum. If you are in New Orleans, are interested in history (particulary World War II) and have a few hours available, this is a fantastic place to visit!

All images “Courtesy of The National WWII Museum.”

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The Most Brewtiful Cafes II

More places to add to my growing list of where I would like to one day visit.

Cafe Book Bean

lookbookThere were already so many stunning cafes in Part: I and yet
you will find in Part II that this world has many more incredibly
beautiful and interesting cafes.

Here is part II of The Most Brewtiful Cafes:

Bar Topolski (London)

Topolski gallery-bar-café-venue is a unique London space set in the railway arches near Waterloo Station, in the former studio of artist and illustrator Feliks Topolski RA (1907 – 1989).

Knoll Ridge Cafe (Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand)

Knoll Ridge Cafe is the highest cafe in New Zealand and has incredible views over the upper slopes. Serving a wide array of meals, including a fresh salad bar, hot dishes from around the world, café style snacks and espresso coffees.

Cafe Central (Vienna, Austria)

The café was opened in 1876, and in the late 19th century it became a key meeting place of the Viennese intellectual scene. Until 1938 the café was called…

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The Most Brewtiful Cafes I

Looks like some really nice cafes to visit. I have certainly add them all to my ‘wish list’ of places to visit.

Cafe Book Bean

lookbookPart I of my little guide to some beautiful and unique cafes/coffee houses from all around the world:

The Grounds (Alexandria, Australia)

Located in a former industrial precinct from the 1920s, The Grounds of Alexandria is a landmark coffee roastery, café and sustainable organic garden known for its abundance of fresh produce and hands-on experiences.

Caffè Greco (Rome, Italy)

This café has a rich history; it has been around since 1760 and was a known meeting place of artists, poets, and writers of all countries. Byron, Shelley, Goethe, Keats, Thackeray, Thorwaldsen, Mark Twain, Canova, Gounod, Bizet, Berlioz, Gogol, Wagner, King Ludwig of Bavaria and many other world celebrities having been regular patron of the Caffè Greco.

Mirrors Cafe (Gifu, Japan)

Covered in beautifully polished mirrored surfaces this building reflects the landscape surroundings. A row of cherry trees is planted at an embankment at its basin. The best time to visit is during the cherry…

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USA, Texas, Round Rock – Lamppost Coffee


Lamppost Coffee is a local, neighborhood coffee shop. Located a 1205 Round Rock Ave Ste 129 (Lake Creek Dr), Round Rock, TX  across the street from Round Rock High School, Lamppost Coffee has been open since December of 2014. I had been in a few months ago to
pick up a to-go cup of coffee. This morning, since I was out of my supply of coffee beans to grind, I decided to give Lamppost a try.

In addition to coffee drinks, they serve breakfast items which was perfect for my 0700 visit. Conveniently it opens at 6AM weekdays and 7AM weekends. It stays open till 9PM except for Friday and Saturday when it is open until 10PM.

This morning I tried one of their bacon, cheese and onion omelettes and while it was simple, it was good. So was their untained (i.e. black) medium roast coffee. The atmosphere was casual with several tables for dining and sofas for more relaxed chatting with friends. The price was reasonable at about $14 including breakfast, coffee and tip. An added benefit was the ability to use Apple Pay through my Apple Watch.

I am glad that I stopped in and plan to go back occasionally. I would recommend it for coffee or a quick, simple breakfast if you are on the west side of Round Rock.

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Book Towns: Part II

More book towns to add to my list.

Cafe Book Bean

images (2)
Here is the second part to an already awesome list of Book Towns. I hope you enjoy these ones as much as
Book Towns: Part I

Here are 6 more stunning little Book Towns:

St_Martins_NBSt. Martins, New Brunswick
A beautiful Canadian village 40 km east of Saint John, it is situated on the Bay of Fundy. The village was founded by a Loyalists in 1783, and was originally known as Quaco. St. Martins has a population of approx. 304 (2006.) In 2007, the St. Martins Book town Initiative was formed.
Soon after that the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly officially proclaimed St. Martins as New Brunswick’s official Book town. There are now nearly a dozen booksellers located in the village.

1072030036_f6e2d988c3Wigtown, Scotland
Wigtown was officially designated as Scotland’s National Book Town in 1998 and is now home to over 20 book-related businesses.

A book lovers haven; it has over a

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Book Towns: Part I

Very interesting. I had not heard of “book towns” before. This post gives me a few more entries to add to my list of places to visit.

Cafe Book Bean

A Book Town is a trend that began in the 1960’s and refers to a town or village with a large number of used book or antiquarian book stores.
Along with their unique and plentiful bookstores they also host wonderful literary festivals

These book festivals attract book lovers and bibliophiles from all over the world. A number of towns are also members of the International Organisation of Book Towns.

Check out these first 6 awesome, yet quaint little book towns:

240-Montolieu-village-du-livre-Aude_focus_eventsMontolieu, France
Sometimes referred to as the “Village of Books.” Montolieu was the town that first introduced me to the concept of “Book Towns.” With a population of roughly only 747 people Montolieu contains fifteen bookshops, mostly specializing in second-hand and
16540322265_089531e1a8_zantiquarian books.
Every year the town offers many workshops such as: Used and antiquarian bookshops, Working craftspeople of books and art, The Arts and Crafts of the Book Museum, Bibliophilia…

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USA, Texas, Waller – Buc-ee’s


We all have stopped a the gas station/convenience store as we drive America’s interstate highways. Buc-ee’s takes that concept to an entirely new level! (You might want to check out this article published in July of 2018 –  We visited a convenience-store chain with a Texas cult following, and we were amazed by what we found)

For instance, the Buc-ee’s in New Braunfels, Texas is a little bigger than the run of the mill gas stop with 120 gas pumps. The 68,000 square foot store has over 80 toilets! And every time I have stopped at a Buc-ee’s the restrooms are always very clean.

Buc-ee’s do not allow 18 wheelers. The stores carry a large selection of fresh jerky, and there are a variety of fresh sandwiches and packaged food items. Made to order sandwiches and tacos can be ordered from their large deli. Of course, coffee, fountain drinks and a large cooler with bottled and canned beverages are also available.


Beyond the food items, the stores carry a wide variety of Texas-themed products. They also have items for travelers and sportsmen. One of our favorite purchases is “Beaver Nuggets”. These are caramel and butter-glazed corn puffs.


While I have stopped at the New Braunfels location, the first large Buc-ee’s I visited was in Waller. I had never seen a convenience store so large. I have also visited the Temple location which is not quite so large but has nearly everything.

All the Buc-ee’s locations are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are not everywhere yet but the chain is spreading. Certainly, every road trip I take now means at least one stop at a Buc-ee’s. If we are traveling with kids, they almost always want to get their picture taken with the large Buc-ee statue out front.

If you are traveling the highways of Texas and see a Buc-ee’s I suggest taking the time to stop. You always need gas and facilities and food. In my opinion, there is no better location for that than Buc-ee’s.

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