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  • Cafe recommendations

    Gday to all,
    My lovely bride to be and I will be travelling to Switzerland and Italy over christmas time for a belated honyemoon and skiing holiday. Yay, a white christmas  .
    Well be staying at Zermatt and St Moritz, but we havent decided where to go in Italy yet.
    I think I can safely say that I wont be able to step sideways in Italy without finding a good cafe, so I need some good cafe recommendations for Switzerland from all of you well travelled Snobs.
    I thought Id get in early and try and plan ahead a bit, and maybe influence the itinerary slightly  .
    Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Cafe recommendations

    Congratulations.

    Id still ask for recommendations in Italy.
    I was there 4 years ago but hadnt yet gotten into this coffee sbnob business so couldnt tell you if coffee was good or bad.

    As an auditor though I cant comprehend that most coffees in Italy are sublime.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Cafe recommendations

      Personally I would pay a visit to the illy cafe in Trieste, just out of curiosity. I would also visit the big coffee shops in Venice too. These places have an immense amount of coffee history and would be fascinating.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Cafe recommendations

        Be careful about sitting down for a coffee in Venice.
        Most places in Italy charge what is called coperto. This is a cover charge that is applied when you sit down in a cafe. It supposedly is the charge to cover the place setting. Napkin, cutlery etc.
        In most places it is minimal (and some proudly display signs with "No coperto"), but it does explain why many Italians drink their coffee standing at the counter.

        Venice however, can be a different ball game. Venice is to coperto as airports are to the price of food. There are places in St. Marks square that charge exorbitant amounts simply to sit down. Be sure to check before selecting. Some of them have a string quartet playing outside to tempt you in. They are lovely, but somewhat pricey.

        The prices we saw ranged from a couple of euro to 5 euro. This is per person. Some tourists told us they had paid 20 euro (perhaps a group of 4 rather than per person).

        Of course, some might say that it is all part of the experience and the price is irrelevant. To each their own.


        From a review on amazon.com for the book Chow Venice: Savoring the Food and Wine of La Serenissima, Second Edition ( Revised and Updated) (Paperback) from August 2005

        Heres an example; Caffe Florian is on St. Marks Square. They do not readily post its prices for all to see. We asked what the charges would be for a cappuccino. The waiter told us 14 euro for cappuccino each and 5 euro each for a seat. This is my first return to Venice since the euro came into existence. It is nice that the euro will bolster the economy of Italy and leave the lire behind, but nearly $35.00 for the pleasure of their serving us is quite absurd. Later we found that this coffee house/bar was included in the book. For the authors to include this establishment purely for the historical relevance or its "ambiance" does not impress us in the least nor does this inclusion do the book justice.

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        • #5
          Re: Cafe recommendations

          Originally posted by fatboy link=1176086890/0#3 date=1176091900
          Be careful about sitting down for a coffee in Venice.
          Yes, all over Italy, but definitely worse in areas which attract large numbers of tourists.
          As Fatboy says, for most Italians the bar is a quick, stand-at-the-counter experience.

          IMHO, coffee quality is generally very good-to-excellent and its cheap! On my last trip there 18 months ago, espressos were €0.65 and cappuccinos €1.00.

          Enjoy!

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          • #6
            Re: Cafe recommendations

            Just for the fun of it - stop at ANY service station and buy yourself a cup of coffee there. I tried and was never disappointed!

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            • #7
              Re: Cafe recommendations

              Originally posted by Dennis link=1176086890/0#5 date=1176096481
              Just for the fun of it - stop at ANY service station and buy yourself a cup of coffee there.  I tried and was never disappointed!
              I agree - if you can still afford it after paying for your petrol - ouch!  

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              • #8
                Re: Cafe recommendations

                My wife made the mistake of trying to sit down to drink her coffee at a service station in Italy and was hurriedly shooed away as shed only paid for a stand up one.  ;D
                A service station! And we call ourselves snobs.

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                • #9
                  Re: Cafe recommendations

                  Yes, Cafe Florian is expensive. But honestly, how many times do you ever go to Venice and have a coffee there!? We ate there once just for the pure pleasure of being in a very famous and very old cafe in Venice!

                  We also had a coffee at the Boboli Gardens in Florence, over looking the city. Fantastic views, great atmosphere and I think the coffee was okay too.

                  Well, just to prove it...





                  Yes, folks. You have just been shown a picture of me...


                  Consider yourselves priviledged! :P

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                  • #10
                    Re: Cafe recommendations

                    Originally posted by scoota gal link=1176086890/0#8 date=1176100746
                    We also had a coffee at the Boboli Gardens in Florence, over looking the city. Fantastic views, great atmosphere and I think the coffee was okay too.
                    Ah...Florence! Great name for a city!   Must get there one day....

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                    • #11
                      Re: Cafe recommendations

                      And be careful where you sit if you decide to sit down. Its usually dearer outside (cheaper inside at the back). If you want to people watch be willing to pay extra.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Cafe recommendations

                        I spent my last lire on Lasagne and Cappuccino in Venice and have never regretted it.

                        17 years ago, before I knew what coffee and I dare say coperto was, I seated myself at the very edge of the cafe (which may even have been Florian) on St Marks Square, there was a very cool jazz band playing, the trumpeter in White Tux and Wrap around RayBans.

                        You can apparently sit there all day or so I heard, so you are renting the space and you dont have to keep ordering from what I can gather.

                        As far as petrol is concerned, when I was in Italy or rather after I left I found out that tourists can pre purchase fuel vouchers or the like. It is much cheaper than the $1.80 a litre in 1990.

                        James

                        Recommendation: Your memories are everything - so do what you can when you can.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Cafe recommendations

                          Gday all,
                          just a quick one to say that weve finally arrived back down under after our lovely holiday in Switzerland, very exhausted and broke, but very happy.
                          We arrived at a very cold and rainy Heathrow on Christmas day, then after a few hours in the airport, on to Geneva.
                          We had a traditional Christmas dinner of cheese fondue, heaps of beer, followed by a chocolate fondue. Did I forget to mention that I put on a bit of beef whilst I was away, I dont know why .
                          After 4 days in and around Geneva, and looking around a few spots in France and Lake Geneva, it was on to Zermatt, which is a ski resort on the Italian border.

                          We spent nearly one month in Zermatt, with a few side trips and activities along the way. We went on the Glacier Express train (highly recommended trip) to St Moritz (heaps of merchant bankers there). We stayed in an igloo overnight and had a jacuzzi surrounded by snow, with the temp at -15. We ate heaps of fondue, lots of chocolate, and some more fondue. We did lots and lots of skiing to try and balance things out, but I think that the cheese may have reigned supreme.

                          For the Pulp Fiction fans, they do indeed have Royale with cheese on the Maccas menu there, I nearly p*ssed myself when I saw it. The metric system hasnt interfered with the taste of them ;D.

                          To bring this post at least near the topic of coffee, alas, some bad news. I couldnt find a single good cup of coffee while I was in Zermatt. All of the cafes used superautos, which looked like they hadnt bee set up properly. Heaps of 5 second/100ml pours, rapidly collapsing mountains of sea foam, and crappy tasting to boot. Needless to say, I didnt subject myself to too many cups of coffee when I was over there, tending to stick mainly with beer instead ;D.

                          Lastly, Ill leave you with a picture of the Matterhorn, which was taken from our balcony. Aahh, twas hard to wake up to that every day, pause, NOT. (with thanks to Borat for the use of that line).


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                          • #14
                            Re: Cafe recommendations

                            Hi All,

                            Im catching up with friends in Parramatta soon.

                            Does anyone know of any decent cafes there? :-?

                            Warren.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              nice experience

                              Went to BBB this arvo for the first time and had a very nice (but short) experience. A wonderful long mac, followed by some Tanzanian SO from the clover. This was on the house. Very friendly barista and staff. I (and from what I understand many other snobs) will return again and again. I was more than happy to hand over some gold for the coffee and was quite amazed by the ‘on the house’ clover effort. That would be a first for me. One very pleased customer here.

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