The French cafe epitomises the French art of living.
Through its timeless glass doors float the aromas of strong coffee and black-tobacco, hot milk and fresh croissants.
The cafe, open early until late, is both focus and microcosm of society.
Friends talk; lovers linger; the white saucers pile up as the world goes by; a lone customer comes in to read the newspapers or for a petit verre at the bar.
The French cafe is a refuge, a place to meet, to sit inside or out, somewhere to see and be seen.
For anyone interested in French life and culture, here is a an intimate look at a great institution, from the grand establishments dating from the all rural bistro from the workers' local cafes to the legendary Parisian cafes where the poets, painters and philosophers gathered.
From Directoire decoration to Starck style, this book reveals the rich variety and extraordinary inventiveness of cafe design.
Marie-France Boyer is a freelance journalist, and represents in Paris the magazine "The World of Interiors".
Her last book wass "Cabin Fever: Sheds and Shelters, Huts and Hideaways" (1993), also published by Thames and Hudson. Eric Morin is a Paris-based photographer who contributes to many magazines on interior design including "The World of Interiors".