“At long last, the weather is warming up, allowing for long walks, open windows, and (of course) the return of reading outside. But there’s yet another pleasure that you may not have tried — browsing for books outside! After the jump, you’ll find a selection of libraries and bookstores from all around the world that say “phooey” to the rain and operate in the open air, perfect for those bookworms who prefer gentle breezes to that typical bookstore musk. Nothing against the musk, but it just doesn’t get much more glorious than picking out a new book in front of a warm summer sunset. Click through to check out 20 wonderful outdoor book depositories, and add any of your missing favorites in the comments.”
“One of our favourite cafés in Cape Town, Superette is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Justin Rhodes and Cameron Munro. Having set up at the hugely popular Neighborhoods Market back in 2006, the foods and goods mantra remained – now slap bang in the middle of The Woodstock Exchange culture hub, it’s not hard to see why Superette is one of the city’s favourite hang-outs.
Vibrant and incredibly stylish, the space is like a ray of sunshine; old-fashioned subway tiles set the backdrop, untreated wood and powder-coated yolk-yellow metal chairs allow for the hanging plants and chosen products to shine through. Showcasing art and key pieces found in the many studios and workshops of Woodstock, Superette continues to pioneer local design. The large windows allow for great footfall, and the café acts as the face and welcome to the Exchange.”
“If you’ve been to Portugal, then you’ll know it as one of the most beautiful countries on earth. No question. However, if we may be so bold, you will probably be thinking of Lisbon, homage to citizenship architecture, or of taking a train north to Porto, where, yes, much good fun is to be had in the fortified wine department. You may be thinking of the beach, of the smell of pine forests, of how a land can be so bloody hot, the sea so bloody cold. Close readers will have noted last week’s sojourn to the intriguingly named Areias do Seixo Charm Hotel. Heck, you may even find a kind of concretised anti-pleasure in the low-rise splendours of the Algarve. But are you, in all this, this inadvertent rifling through index cards marked Surf, Sol and Cerveja, thinking of a place called Alentejo?
Maybe – if Portugal’s your specialised subject. Thing is, if you’ve been, then more than likely, you’ve been somewhere in Alentejo, if only on your way from somewhere to somewhere else. Save the Algarve, Alentejo is the bottom half of Portugal. Massive, rural, its architecture a literal 3D guide to the history of southern Europe, Alentejo is the forgotten province, its Roman and medieval heydays lost to Mediterranean holi-ghettos, to Lisbon, to the easy attractions of the north-west. More fool us. Under populated, rare pockets of extraordinarily long-lived Portuguese, wild beaches, marble quarries, gold-leafed churches, Moorish quarters, squares dominated by pillory posts, palaces, hilltop forts, cork trees galore, rolling hills, wine, reservoirs, cliffs, villages and some of the finest, most accommodating hotels you are ever likely to find, Alentejo’s one of those places that tourist boards are always cracking on about: real, old, different, culturally arresting, beautiful. It actually exists.”