What makes this place feel like home?

bakery 1

“Wait for me in front of the shop,” says the Significant Other before pulling out into the busy street, the smirk on his face a telltale sign that says he knows I won’t comply.

Looking around, I take in the beautiful French windows that seem to be a staple of every facade in the colorful street.

A strange neighborhood.
Strange, as in, I’ve never been here before.

The excitement of exploring every nook and cranny overwhelms me.
My senses are alert.

I can hear people doing their chores.
I can see women walking their dogs.
I can taste fall in the air–a mixture of chestnuts and hickory.
I can touch the crackling leaves that fall from the trees.
And I can smell the aroma that wafts from the little bakery called Kismet.

I feel someone grab me by the elbow. “I thought I told you to wait by the shop.”
“When do I ever do anything you ask?” I reply.
Looking up at the bakery sign, I wordlessly utter my desire to go in and have coffee.

As I sit and sip my wonderful latte, I think of the little bakery where my mom and I spent so much time this summer.

Rey’s Cafe.
A charming space filled with rattan furniture, bright light, and a wonderful array of pastries.

I close my eyes and instantly see it.

Colorful beads hang in the windows, clacking and changing color every time someone opens the door. Wine and liquor bottles fill the shelves. Jars of spices and marmalade sit side by side in an orderly fashion.

This is a place where people gather to have long conversations.
Where people sit and read a newspaper, a cup of coffee their only companion.
Where women share recipes and discuss the latest hat trend.
And where my mother and I sit for hours talking about anything and everything.

Coffee after coffee, time passes, yet we refuse to be clock watchers.
Instead, we sit huddled together, giggling as we recount funny events we’ve seen.

I smile as I remember how my mother and I labeled Rey’s Cafe “our spot.”
Our spot, which also housed “our table” and “our chairs.”

The Significant Other walks toward the cash register to pay for our coffee. Yet I’m reluctant to go. Sitting in this bakery has filled me with nostalgia of time spent in Rey’s Cafe.

I think that perhaps it was the beauty of having coffee together that made us feel this way.
Or perhaps it was that Rey’s Cafe, with all its magic, felt like home.

Do you have a favorite place that feels like home?

bakery 5

bakery 2

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36 thoughts on “What makes this place feel like home?

    1. Brynne!!! It wouldn’t be half as wonderful as it is if there weren’t any baked goods! hee hee! Did I forget to mention that my dear mum and I gorged on little delicacies like the one in the top photo every time we went to Rey’s? Hugs to you, dear one! :)

  1. What a cozy, inviting place! I can’t say I have any other place except home where I feel completely at ease, except when my husband and I go to the mountains and stay in a luxury cabin. Just being together, enjoying the view, sipping coffee or wine, depending on the time of the day :), brings such joy and peace to both of us.
    Blessings, Bella! Have missed your blogs!

    1. Martha, you sweetheart, thank you for your kind words! It’s taking me longer to get back into the groove than I thought. Oh, that cabin sounds divine! It’s easy to see why you love it so! I’ve always wanted a log cabin! hee hee! :)

  2. Howdy do, lil Bella! I love these cafe pics. I’d pull up a stripy chair and unplug the clock for sure. I do have “my place.” It’s called Cloud City Coffee and it’s just the right mixture of bakery perfection mixed with the funky. I’ll take pictures. There’s even a disco ball. ha! It’s where I go to write.

    (Between you and me… Anna is now struggling to swallow and is spoon fed. Not much time left. I’m okay, just sad.)

    1. Lori, I’m heartbroken about Anna! I have to drop by the blog!! I’ll be praying for her and you and all her friends and family. Oh dear, so sad, my friend. So very sad. I’m sending a big, big hug your way! And I hope that someday you and I can catch a cup of coffee at Cloud City Coffee. Give me funky any day of the way and if there’s a disco ball involved, even better! Hang in there, chica! :)

  3. Ah Sweet Bella. It sounds like you and your mom had lots of time for bonding this summer at Rey’s. What a charming place to do it. By the way, such a wonderful “chestnut and hickory” smell you conjure up. We won’t get that here till late Nov. xxxx

    1. Jann, we have such a great time! I miss la mia mamma so much! The smells in my neck of the woods (By the way, I asked the Significant Other to pronounce your name in his native tongue, which he did, and it sounds fabulous!!) are just fantastic! The leaves are already half gone and it’s a kaleidoscope of yellow, orange, and red. Just beautiful! :)

  4. It’s cozy and beautiful. No wonder it feels like home. I love the colors. I can’t think of one place in my area that comes close to a place like this. All the mom and pop places here are gown and we are left with fast food and Starbucks.

    1. What a lovely post, complete with autumn leaves! I guess what felt most like “home” to me in this post was the relationship between you and your mother. I had a moment like that this summer when I made my parents dinner for their 63rd anniversary. Mom had been sick and barely made it through a surgical complication, so she wasn’t able to go out to dinner. It was a sweet evening.

    2. Saavy, you’re so right–you can’t find the beauty of these little cafes in many places. How lovely of you to appreciate it! Thank you! :)

  5. There is a restaurant in a nearby town with mismatched tables and chairs, murals on the wall, a young man sounding like Bob Dylan, strumming his guitar on Saturday nights, and the absolute best Cajun food ever in the middle of Arkansas with a Chef who had been trained in… Switzerland. Oh my yum, yum with a perfect atmosphere and chocolate cobbler, to boot. A lovely, lovely place!

    1. Nan, let’s go there you and me! Oh, what fun we would have! And let’s invite Kim too! I think between the three of us, we’d rock the town! hahaha! I’ll be writing you this week. Check your email, please! :)

  6. Well, there’s this nice place called Coffee Dream — plenty of them throughout Belgrade, but one is next to a lovely bookstore full of books difficult to find in other stores. While it’s not exactly like home, it’s nice and friendly, with good coffee and free Wi-Fi. And have I mentioned a bookstore next to it? :)

    1. Ivana, you had me at Coffee Dream! Oh my goodness, what a sweet name! I love it! And really, the bookstore next door makes it sound even more wonderful! :)

  7. How delicious, Bella. :-)

    My Ya-Ya Deb’s space feels like home. It’s warm and welcoming, engaging and eclectic, passion-filled and peaceful. It’s one of those places that begs me to take off my shoes as soon as I enter, and curl my toes on the sun-warmed floor; to sip a steaming mug of tea and talk about nothing in particular; to sing of amazing grace, and giving ourselves to love.

    Peace. xoxo

    1. Ellen, your Ya-Ya Deb’s space sounds like a slice of heaven! Oh to be able to join you in such a delectable spot! You lucky, lucky lady! Hugs! :)

  8. What a lovely, restful, yummy post this is, Bella! A BIG part of me wished I could’ve joined you and your mom, chatting about anything and everything and sipping your coffees in such an interesting spot. Thanks for showing how it’s done!

    1. Debbie, if I recall correctly, you are coming to Europe in the near future. And when you do, I’ll be waiting for you in Spain! You can join my mother and me at Rey’s cafe where we’ll have the flakiest croissants and the best coffee in all of Spain! :)

  9. I think I could feel at home there! If you and your mom were present! What a lovely, friendly sort of place! I think anywhere quiet, sunny, warm and where there is a liberal supply of food makes me feel at home! Thank you for the little peek!

    1. Diane, it’s been too long since I’ve visited your place! I will drop by this week, I promise! We would love to have you with us, my friend! The more the merrier! ha! And did I mention they have the greatest pastries? :)

  10. ***This is a place where people gather to have long conversations.***

    Oh, how I’d love to sit and talk for hours w/ you, my sweet Bella. I have a feeling we’d have much to talk about….Don’t you?

    Love the charming photo. Especailly the first one w/ the single flower and cut cake!

    Love you. Love Rox. Xxxx So many kisses flowing.

    1. Kim, I told Nan that we three would make a wonderful trio! Can you imagine the laughter, the passionate conversation, and the gorging of baked goods? hee hee! Oh my, what I would give for one evening with the likes of you, kiddo! Someday. I’m not giving up! Hugs and kisses to you from Roxy and me! :)

  11. Easy to understand why this place would be nostalgic Bella. The smells, the warmth, the charm…

    We used to have such a place in our city. The ambiance was instantaneous – was I in Paris, London, Greenwich Village? Soft mystical music played, the lights were low, the walls were adobe-colored stucco, covered by works of art. Pottery and wood carvings lined the mantel of the fireplace, and scattered at small, hand-painted round tables or on easy chairs and welcoming sofas gathered the most eclectic, congenial, multi-talented group of people I have ever encountered.

    It was magic, it was unbelievable, and I soon discovered it was Max – Max with the welcoming hug and smile, the whirring coffee machine, the art of making you feel special, welcome, at home. Here in a small southern city in the angst of economic depression, racial mistrust and fear, wracked by senseless murders that have shaken all of us to the core, drugs, gang influence, have and have-nots – we have come together week after week – the hopeful, the believers, like moths to the flame of Max and the Luna Bean.

    1. Debbie, I have missed you so, my friend! I literally shrieked when I saw your lovely comment! Oh my goodness, the beauty of your writing! Methinks this would make a lovely, lovely post! (Notice all the exclamation marks in this comment!) Amidst all this chaos and uncertainty, it would be wonderful to read a blog post about Max! Please! Think about it, won’t you? :)

  12. That place sure looks beautiful! I wish I lived nearby so I could try their coffee. But I live oceans away… Maybe I’ll just daydream that I’m there. Hmmm…

    So many places make me nostalgic, Bella. I’m blessed to have a lot of bonding times with good friends in many different places. Now we rarely see one another, and some I don’t get to see anymore because they are based abroad or in another city, but sometimes we still talk about those memories on Facebook.

    It’s amazing how coffee can bring people together, isn’t it, Bella? *Hugs and kisses* God bless! ♡ :-)

    1. Irene, your lovely words make me smile! It’s true–coffee does have a way of bringing people together! ha! You know, I started drinking coffee at a very early age. Being Spanish has something to do with that, I think. But from the beginning, I learned that drinking coffee was more than just drinking coffee. It was socializing, dipping bread into my java and chatting away, or simply talking with nana about my dreams and aspirations. Sigh. Hugs to you, lovely lady! :)

  13. Oh! I love how cozy and inviting it looks! And the decor is so bright and pretty! I have to say, St. Louis definitely feels like home to me. It’s weird! Everything feels so familiar and comfortable.

    1. Laura, the decor is a mixture of, well, a little bit of this and a little bit of that! ha! But it’s such a lovely place! I’m glad you’re settling in and feeling like you’re home already, lady! Good for you! :)

    1. Monica, I’m making a note of your comment and holding you to that the next time you visit Spain! I think you would love the ambiance. It would definitely call your muse out to play, amiga! :)

    1. Lady, how lovely to see your words again! How have you been? My sister loves Starbucks. Me? Not so much but I have to admit their lemon cake is to die for! ha! :)

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