The ambience in some coffee shops makes the experience so much more than a cup of coffee. There's the smell of baking bread and brewing coffee, the sound of chat and laughter, the luxury of comfortable seating while chatting with pals or even sitting alone, reading or writing.
My favourite is An Tearmann (pronounced 'On Charmin') Kilcullen, Co Kildare, where I spend half an hour most Saturday mornings -tough job but someone's got to do it - while waiting for my badminton playing thirteen year old.
You could say it's a bookshop and craftshop all rolled into one.
Another favourite is Cupcake Riverbank Arts Centre in Newbridge Co Kildare.
while soaking up the theatre atmosphere.
It's a pity more coffee shops don't open at night. Surely a more sociable and alcohol-free (and much cheaper) alternative to the pub?
Any favourite coffee shop recommendations?