Best Wine Garden

The Map Room

Nestled in Benton Park on the corner of Withnell and Lemp avenues, the Map Room might be the ghost of Charles Dickens' favorite coffee house, a nineteenth-century-style salon that's almost too perfectly appointed with antique sofas, vintage glass and, of course, maps. But the museum fussiness disappears on the back patio, a wide space covered with soft gravel and bounded by a wood fence and a long brick wall. The umbrellas over a half-dozen tables are hardly necessary, as an ancient, broad-leafed tree shades the entire garden. Sharing a bottle of Madeira and a basket of fruit and cheese beneath this tree is rapturous, as is splitting a tall carafe of limoncello-spiked iced tea or cranberry-orange sangria while musing on secret cafés in Portugal. The Map Room's wine garden is terra incognita you need to discover.

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