NC Triangle Bucket List

A chocolate morning at Mad Hatter’s

So hopefully y’all academically minded people are nearly done with your semesters and headed into the sweetness of summertime! But in the meantime, finals loom. Being married to someone in law school makes me feel like I deserve a degree of my own. I should receive a Juris Doctor of Making Sure There’s Food in the Fridge And Laundry is at Least Sort of Done and Sharing My Husband With the Other Woman Named Law School. Or something.

The good news is that we’re nearly there! Logan graduates in a few short days and we are PUMPED. It’s basically all I can think about. Three years of this. He’ll study for the bar all summer and then we get to be humans again!! Sweet freedom is close.

But since studying has been his main activity over the past three years, a low-bar date idea has always been to go camp out in a coffee shop together and work. When my job allowed me to partially work from home, this was great. Nowadays I’ll grab my laptop or a book to entertain myself with for a few hours while he does Law School Things.

For our most recent study date, we went to Mad Hatter Bakeshop & Cafe in Durham!

A chocolate morning at Durham's Mad Hatter Bakery!

The best part about Mad Hatter’s is they’re a little bit of everything: bakery, coffeeshop, restaurant. They’ve got a killer cookie spread, plus the breakfast offerings are definitely worth checking out!


The added advantage of great patio seating and generally enough tables inside means that while this place is often full, we’ve never had to search too hard to get a cozy table to ourselves.

This particular visit happened right near my birthday, so I decided to indulge with a mocha accompanied by a chocolate chip scone. [Can you tell I love chocolate? Subtlety has never been my strong suit.]

A chocolate morning at Durham's Mad Hatter Bakery!
Chocolate perfection.

Espresso drinks come with a little cookie for dunking, which is just about the cutest thing ever. This one tasted like animal crackers! And if you can’t tell, the scone was enormous. More than enough for a morning snack.

Logan took the more restrained route with regular coffee (free refills beat fancy espresso, law school life) and a chocolate croissant. All the dessert share a similar hugeness: these delicacies are not for the faint of heart. Just the way I like them!


I like some ambient noise when I’m getting things done, and Mad Hatter’s is perfect for that. My visits are typically on Saturday mornings, which means there’s more catching up than studying around me, but ambiance works for both. It’s also really close to Duke’s campus which ups the student atmosphere, but it’s definitely not an undergrad-only place: on the weekends plenty of families stop by for a cookie and coffee break!

Also, in case you were wondering: they do in fact offer more than just chocolate items. Behold: danishes everywhere.

A chocolate morning at Durham's Mad Hatter Bakery!

We camped out for a couple hours. I’m one of those people who never wants to be bored, so I brought two books, my journal, and about four laptop-based projects. Of course I really only worked on about two of those things all told, but never hurts to be prepared! Logan slogged away at his studies.

A chocolate morning at Durham's Mad Hatter Bakery!

After a couple hours, we gave up our table to head home. If you’ve got to study, doing it with chocolate and coffee feels like the best possible scenario!

A chocolate morning at Durham's Mad Hatter Bakery!

What’s your favorite study spot?

all images Teaspoon of Nose

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