After a wait of several minutes, the doors of a no-frills construction elevator open precisely at noon. We enter the metal-framed box that scales the outside rear of the Royal Opera House (Kungliga Operan) of Stockholm, transporting us from the street to our rooftop destination, The Electrolux Cube.
Having flown across the ocean countless times and having aged at least a few years since 1970, when I started doing so, I know that six or seven hours is about all I can take in an economy-class seat. So, when my wife and I started thinking about a far longer trip -- to Japan -- we knew we'd need to find a way to claw our way up to greater comfort.
There is something very London about the perfect Parisian restaurant, and it isn't just that the British capital is swarming with French expatriates. It seems to me that the ease and frequency with which Brits have always traveled to France creates well-informed demand -- and there are the restaurateurs to fill it.
London is full of places where you can sit down and have a little savory something at any time of day, but too many of them are outlets of national chains. These are certainly a step up from the international burger chains, but our most delicious and relaxing afternoon mouthfuls have been at all-day restaurants that belong to smaller London-only groups with but a few locations each.