My Budget Vogue desk is often a table at a great cafe — those “living rooms” around New Hampshire are always way more fun when coffee is served in cups not my own, when someone else brews a stellar cup of java, when the creamer is magically refilled. I bask in a good cafe, love a strong cup of coffee, a fresh whoopie pie, a chance to look up and see a friend walk through the door. Cafes are glorious.

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And the beauty of a five-dollar latte is the chance to get out of my four walls, to see the world, to enjoy looking around and thinking, “Yay, I don’t have to wash those dishes.” Certainly the price can be steep, and it’s not something I do every day, but when I do, I cherish the moment.

In my Seacoast corner of the state, one of my favorite locales in which to work, to chat, to relax is Adelle’s in Dover. There are two tables located in the front windows — both in the sun, both optimal places to work or laugh with friends. The tables are elevated and when my friend Cheryl and I meet up, we feign we are on a talk show — inviting customers into our studio. We laugh and watch people walk by. The view is stellar; so much to see, so much more interesting than screens. And Adelle’s always has The New York Times as well as the local news. It’s cozy, eclectic and the both the coffee and ambiance are magical.

Potter’s House Cafe in Rochester is relatively new. Open only a few months, it’s become one of my favorite places, the owners exude congeniality in all forms: music, ambiance, conversation. I walk in and automatically feel welcomed and at home. Their cakes are stellar, their bagels and cinnamon rolls beyond fabulous. But above all, they exude a warmth that makes a cafe feel like that home away from home, a place to sit, to pause, to relax. Potter’s House Cafe is a calm in the storm that can often be life, a reprieve from busyness, a retreat of caffeine and sugar. Bliss.

Finally, Flight Cafe in Dover is a lovely venue in which to work, to visit and drink brilliant java. And it’s also a place that has invited a plethora of presidential candidates. It’s lovely to sip a strong cup of coffee, sit in one of Flight’s overstuffed chairs and listen to one of the myriad of candidates tell his or her story. Perched on a comfy chair to listen to a potential leader of the free world is not a bad place to be. Flight also has bagels that can compete with the best of New York’s delis. Glorious.

As I continue my Budget Vogue journey, I bask in the cafes I treat as my office, living room and television studio. And I invite you to share your favorite cafe, your favorite locale of whoopie pies or presidential candidates. Perhaps our paths will cross.


Susan Dromey Heeter lives and teaches on the Seacoast. Contact her at