TALES FROM BERLIN

A few weekends ago, I went to Berlin. I’ve always said that I’m not that interested in going. “Berlin?….nah” was often my response – and I don’t know why. Because I flew back to London hating the fact that I was leaving and when I got back to work on Tuesday they asked me how it was and I simply replied “I hate that I’m back”. Which, on reflection, maybe wasn’t the best answer.

It’s the perfect blend of culture, history and pancakes; where you can have the most InstaBrunch (I coined that) ever and only be yards away from where, years away from this digital era – and yet eerily so near – the Nazis assembled and slaughtered hundreds of young Jewish families. They still have police guarding any Jewish building, who I decided I would ask why he was doing it. I know why, obviously, but I just wanted more of a first-hand explanation and maybe a bit more detail. All I got back was a cold, blank stare, a shrug and a sinking feeling that I was an idiot. The city was all at once fun and yet thought-provoking. Kind of an emotional rollercoaster.

Besides it’s dark past, Berlin has a very sunny present to offer a young person. We ate amazing food, went to what can only be described as a red wine buffet with free carbs (Weinerie incase you want to go), a Sunday party that masquerades as a flea market and strolled around, stumbling upon art galleries and cafes. It was the most serendipitous of trips, and everything we either purposefully went to or discovered was amazing. The trip was basically sponsored by Google. In fact, whilst I was there, I also coined Foogle, a search engine just for food. Don’t steal that idea because it’s here in writing that I coined it, not you. Or – if you’re willing to invest in this project, please do get in touch.

We stayed in the Cosmo hotel in Mitte, only a 13 minute walk from most tourist hotspots, which was actually a shame because I LOVED the U-Bahn  underground system. The hotel had a spa, which we planned to go in loads but only went once, which was followed by the cosiest nap I’ve had this year. I was lying in the hotel dressing gown, view out to the city, galpal by my side and felt true, genuine happiness and joy. Added to that, we bought an industrial sized bag of gummy bears and ate them with red wine and some salami. Of course.

I won’t tell you loads more detail because there’s actually too much to say and you probably had to be there, which you weren’t. We went to all the usual tourist places and the general theme of the weekend was consumption to complete excess and then walking it off with hours of arm-in-arm ambling. I was genuinely smiling and laughing the entire time.

I considered writing a mini-series but thought no-one would probably read that. And I could be too busy developing Foogle. But I will insert some exclusive pictures below, for you to peruse at your leisure. If you’re thinking of going, book now. I’m going back next year, I’m already looking at flights and purging in preparation- because I came back about a stone heavier.*

 

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This was a 600g Cote de boeuf. It was nothing less than a decadent meat orgy, followed by lots of red wine and an undoing of my trousers

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We came across this archaeological dig. We were gripped for about 40 minutes and I confessed that when I was younger I wanted to be an archaeologist, until I realised it involved digging up skulls.

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We got dragged into a refugee march for about two hours, trying to get to the Brandenburg Tor. In the end, we gave up and joined in and I learnt some useful German words that day, in case I ever need to shout about fascism in German again

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Most amazing brunch at House of Small Wonder. A cup of eggs, with something in it that I’m annoyed I didn’t ask about. They were the best eggs I’ve maybe ever had in my life, followed by…

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…French toast croissant. I’ll say no more.

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A section of the Berlin Wall. We asked ourselves a lot of “but how did it get here” questions, as it was apparently moved to this position, to be by the ‘Typograhy of Terrors’ museum. Can someone please tell me how? Is it a stupid question? Ugh, I don’t even know.

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After days of wondering what these were, I bought one. Essentially they’re an iced bun. In fact, the whole time there I only really saw pastry, burgers, sweets and crisps. Not a piece of kale in sight – it was actually quite a relief.

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The most Berlin photo I took. For those asking – it’s a stollen.

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Das ist Berlin

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Old Jewish graveyard that was turned into an assembly area by the SS

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A Jewish memorial

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Ambling around on cobbles

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This was a deli called Mogg & Melzer, inside an old Jewish school that has been turned into an arts space/area to consume large sandwiches. I tried to take a better photo, but I was told by the guy that owns it that I can’t because “everyone comes in here and wants to take a photo and put it online”. How the fuck did he think I found it in the first place?

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…and this was the Pastrami sandwich, with a side order of begrudged pickles.

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Das ist uber Berlin

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We stumbled upon an art gallery which was behind a strange curtain and was filled with blow-up dolls and had the weirdest vibe. Then we got shouted at because we hadn’t paid. We left.

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This was our first meal, after checking into the hotel – a place called Piri’s Chicken burgers in Kreuzberg. I fell extremely in love with the guy working there and on that basis alone already decided I might move to Berlin.

*Side story that I just remembered – when I got back from living in Paris, I  got asked by an ex-liaison at a party if the food was good. I replied “amazing, I’ve put on about five stone!” And he genuinely made an excuse about going to the loo and didn’t talk to me for the rest of the night. I still find this incredibly funny to this day. 

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