91, WuQuan 1st St, West District
Hours: 10 am-7 pm
Credit cards not accepted.
No service charge.
Resembling someone's attractive home more than a cafe, Au Bonheur ("happiness" in French) is a quiet, inviting and artistically-decorated place a couple blocks from the Art Museum, near the intersection of WuQuan West Road, Section 1 and ZhongMei Street. Owner Lydia Holbrook is a diplomat's wife who met her American husband in the late 1970s when he was working at the U.S. Embassy in Taipei and followed him to various cities around the world. Now she has returned to her hometown to open a French-style cafe, inspired by her years in Paris, that focuses on offering a low-profile retreat for artistic types, with the ultimate goal of promoting art and culture in Taichung. --By Douglas Habecker, translated by Angel Pu
A. The cafe's first and second floors are fully furnished with an eclectic variety of sturdy-looking, dark-wood furniture that Lydia brought back from her three years in Paris. Combined with white-painted walls, chandeliers, quaint-looking knickknacks, paintings and other touches, this provides a very inviting, home-like atmosphere for customers to linger in.
B. A good, basic accompaniment to a relaxing time at Au Bonheur is an Americano coffee (NT$110) and one of the cafe's desserts, which vary from day to day. The selection of coffees, teas and desserts can also be enjoyed together via teatime set offers.
C. In a nice Continental-style touch, the cafe also daily sells bouquets of fresh-cut flowers, small potted plants and European-style gift items.