Andrassy ut 39, Budapest
Formerly the Paris Department Store and also known as the Lotz Hall, this is one of our favourite places to pitch up for coffee and cakes and an easy stroll from either apartment. The building itself is a classic example of Art Nouveau and currently houses the Alexandra book store (which of course also sells wine). The coffee shop on the first floor is an over-the-top piece of theatre, dark wooden furniture, coloured glass diamond-leaded windows and painted fresco ceilings (by Károly Lotz, whose work can also be seen in the rooms of the Parliament building).
It’s a great place to sit, drink coffee, eat cake and dream of the past. This isn’t a cafe with particularly memorable service or particularly wonderful cakes and coffee, though they aren’t bad either. It’s just a fantastic, grandiose coffee spot that nods to times gone by. The fact that it is in a bookshop helps – it seems to have a certain quiet studious seriousness. It is easy to imagine discussing your choice of books over a cup or two.