August 6, 2006

One of Summer’s Greatest Pleasures: Outdoor Dining and Drinking

The heat's finally broken, temperatures are tolerable, and outdoor dining once again emerges as one of the greatest pleasures of summer. Not only sitting on my patio having breakfast; but eating outside in a public space, enjoying the view.

Yesterday we were at Nantasket Beach in Hull with some European-American friends. While enjoying the day and our stroll, we were lamenting the lack of nice cafes along the water, as you see in so many coastal areas along the Adriadic. Somehow a snack stand isn't quite the same. And then we saw the new Ocean Club, where much to our pleasant surprise, they did allow us to stop in for some cold drinks and sit at a table with decent view outdoors (if not the best tables, reserved for meal service). That short break sipping a chilled soda at a table overlooking the ocean was such an enjoyable addition to the afternoon. It's great to see places like that cropping up locally at the beach.

Of course, Newbury Street in Boston is one of the best urban spots for outdoor eating and drinking. My husband and I managed to snag a table at the Piattini Wine Cafe after work for a very enjoyable dinner. Good food, outstanding streetscape, lots of people-watching -- those are the things that attract people to a city in good weather, along with cultural events (such as free Shakespeare in the park nearby) and, for some, shopping.

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