überlin

Gassi gehen in Grunewald

by Zoë Noble

If you go down to the woods today… you’ll see wild Bullies scurrying through the undergrowth! We took Olive and her bessie, Frenchie-pug mix Oskar, back to Grunewald for an epic dog walk (auf Deutsch: Gassi gehen). The weather may not have been as good as the last time we were at Grunewaldsee, but our silly dogs and their idiot owners had a ton of fun. Release the batpigs!

Grunewald Trees Sky

Grunewald Map Hannah Graves

Olive in Grunewald

Grunewald Trees Sky

Grunewald Walk Dogs

Rusted Metal

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Grunewald Lake Olive at Water Edge

Grunewald Lake Olive at Water Edge

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House of Small Wonder

by James Glazebrook

House of Small Wonder brunch

Berlin might be light years ahead of other hipster hot spots in terms of its Thursday – Tuesday “weekend” party scene and “life artists” per capita, but in other areas it’s still playing catch-up: coffee, craft beer, and brunch. Sure, places like California Breakfast Slam serve boozy brunches of American proportions with a side of Berliner indifference, but in any major US city, joints like this are two-to-a-block and run 100% more efficiently.

So we were happy to learn that a unique Williamsburg breakfast concept has been imported from Brooklyn to Berlin. House of Small Wonder is described as “urban greenhouse meets American dishes with a Japanese twist”, and is worth a visit for its ramshackle Tokyo rooftop garden vibe alone. The menu runs from standard brunch fare like the organic egg scramble to Eastern-infused offerings like Okinawan Taco Rice – Tex-Mex with a twist – and Tsukune Don – chicken meatball with nori, scallion, sesame and soft egg over rice. We chased our delicious mains with some insanely good french toast croissants, the thought of which still make us salivate.

If there’s a drawback about House of Small Wonder, it’s the location: in the otherwise unremarkable area around Friedrichstrasse. We’d recommend combining this with a shopping trip to Weekday, or saving it for when the parents are in town and, for no good reason, staying near Unter den Linden. It’s sure to become more of a destination once the owners open up their huge NY-style Japanese restaurant downstairs, but until then, you’ll probably find yourself reserving House of Small Wonder for special, and especially tasty, occasions.

House of Small Wonder staircase

House of Small Wonder Japanese Tex Mex

House of Small Wonder bird wrapping paper

House of Small Wonder French Toast croissants

House of Small Wonder bird cage

Fantastic photos from Berlin’s biggest Christmas market

by Zoë Noble

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Tis the season! While all the other bloggers are seeking out the quaintest, most traditionally festive Weihnachtsmarkts in Berlin, we thought we’d go to arguably the worst and take the best photos of it! Wintertraum, which stretches from Alexanderplatz to Jannowitzbrücke, bills itself as Berlin’s biggest Christmas market, but really it’s a funfair – complete with candy floss vendors, vomit-inducing rides to test the stomachs of adventurous candy floss eaters, and what seems like a billion flashing lights. So what better place to test out the steampunk-y Petzval lens I had on load from Lomography?

The Petzval comes in stunning gold, and apparently “is a stunning reinvention of the legendary Petzval Lens, which was first conceived of in Vienna, Austria, in 1840.” It works with both analogue and digital cameras, and allows you to take photos with a narrow depth of field, producing a trippy bokeh effect in the background. I really enjoyed using it to capture the insanity of the Wintertraum Christmas market, including the creepy clowns, retro rides like “BREAK DANCE”, the possibly-BER-inspired “Chaos Airport” … and James’ beard! A photo opportunity if ever there was one. 😉

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Der Adlershofer Fundus: Prop House

by Zoë Noble

There are some places in Berlin that you can’t quite believe really exist. The Museum of Things is certainly one of them, Spreepark another, and now… Der Adlershofer Fundus. This prop house is completely unassuming from the outside, the exterior giving away nothing of the size and scale of what lies within. Walk down a few flights of stairs and the first thing you’re greeted with is the cutest little dog called Fundus… awwww. Once Fundus gives you the OK, you head into a warren of corridors. Filled to the brim with objects, clothes, set pieces and weird oddities from almost every decade, the sheer scale of the collection is jaw-dropping.

We wandered for hours, soaking it all up – around every corner a new era or object or mannequin to be terrified of. It just kept going, so I kept snapping. If you’re in the film industry or you need to build sets, then this place needs to be on your radar. I will most certainly be coming here when I need props for my next photo shoot, that’s for sure!

Der Adlershofer Fundus Telephones Der Adlershofer Fundus Terrier Dog Der Adlershofer Fundus Soldier Der Adlershofer Fundus Bottles Der Adlershofer Fundus Stuffed Grizzly Bear Der Adlershofer Fundus Clocks on Wall Der Adlershofer Fundus Retro Cameras Der Adlershofer Fundus Typewriters Der Adlershofer Fundus Milk Pales Der Adlershofer Fundus Wall Hangings Der Adlershofer Fundus Knomes Der Adlershofer Fundus Doll Der Adlershofer Fundus Lights Der Adlershofer Fundus Retro Televisions Zoë in Mirror Der Adlershofer Fundus Bags Der Adlershofer Fundus Stuffed Crocodile Der Adlershofer Fundus Medical Area Der Adlershofer Fundus Doctor Mannequin Der Adlershofer Fundus Prams Der Adlershofer Fundus Books Der Adlershofer Fundus Antlers Der Adlershofer Fundus Chairs Der Adlershofer Fundus Pottery Der Adlershofer Fundus Vintage Clothes Der Adlershofer Fundus Wigs Der Adlershofer Fundus Vintage Clothing Der Adlershofer Fundus Disco Ball Der Adlershofer Fundus Vintage Clothing Der Adlershofer Fundus Batman

 

Mogg & Melzer

by James Glazebrook

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Already something of a Berlin institution, Mogg & Melzer has become a staple of the city’s food scene since opening its doors just two years ago. The small but perfectly formed restaurant, inside the former Jewish girl’s school on Mitte’s Auguststraße, serves up probably the best New York-style deli food to be found in a city which still considers a slice of cheese on Brötchen as a decent sandwich. We’ve chewed our way through most of M&M’s excellent menu over the years, but we always find ourselves alighting on the salt beef (on the rare occasions that it’s not sold out), pastrami on rye, or the Reuben. Served with a side of coleslaw and a crispy pickle, each sandwich comes in small or large – no prizes for guessing which we opt for! – and is literally dripping with meaty goodness. Just like in NYC, arrive early to get a seat and your pick of delicious food, and spend your time savouring every last mouthful of Mogg & Melzer.

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Neue Heimat’s Bar and Food Night

by James Glazebrook

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Summer’s well and truly over, but that doesn’t mean that Berlin’s burgeoning street food scene has to suffer. Sure, open air events like Markthalle Neun’s Stadt Land Food are going into hibernation, but Bite Club has moved indoors, and more and more pop-up food events are, er, popping up, seeking shelter in bars, clubs and other venues all over the city.

One recent discovery is Neue Heimat‘s bar and food night, which can be found in a converted railway shed in the RAW Complex in Friedrichshain (also the location of the fantastic Urban Spree). As well as the ever-present Mogg & Melzer, eatable treats were provided by the Happy Belly oyster bar, Schneeweiß‘s pop-up restaurant and more! We tucked into a succulent surf n’ turf burger from Fisch Art and a chorizo and bean-filled delight from Maria Maria Arepas, while lubrication came in the form of Red Snappers (gin-laced Bloody Maries), Old Fashioneds and Negronis.

If you’re a fan of jazz, you’ll be happy to note that all this deliciousness coincides with the Jazzy Fridays weekly live sessions – and those who like their music with more bleeps and bloops will probably feel the main room DJ (thanks for the Caribou!). With entertainment going on until 4am or later, and more awesome food and drink than you could safely consume, Neue Heimat’s set to live up to its name in the cold months to come. Make this your new home this winter.

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Around Rügen: Exploring the Island

by James Glazebrook

James and Olive in Jasmund National Park

It feels like a lifetime ago that we got back from our trip to Rügen. The highlight of our island experience may have been the Nazi ruins of Prora, but every day was like a little adventure. Olive may have been happy rolling around in the grass around our holiday home, but somehow we managed to tear ourselves away and explore Rügen to the fullest.

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If there’s one thing we learned on Rügen, it’s that Germans really believe that getting there is half the fun. All of the island’s landmarks are situated a good few kilometres from the nearest car park, just so visitors can fit in a decent hike while they’re sightseeing. Jagdschloss Granitz, a pretty pink confection of a hunting castle, is fine – but the walk up, through unspoiled fields and forests, is sublime.

Cat resting in the sun Couple sitting waiting for the train Jagdschloss sign Jagdschloss forest Jagdschloss

Sassnitz
We came to the port town of Sassnitz for the Fischbrötchen – the same reason we didn’t stay long! As North Sea natives, we thought we liked fish – until we sunk our teeth into Rügen’s local delicacy. Turns out we need our seafood to have at least been kissed by a grill before it enters our mouths, but don’t let that put you off.  Get yourself to the wind-battered harbour of Sassnitz for taste of something super-fresh.

Sassnitz pier Fischbrötchen Sassnitz harbour

Sellin
The next stop on our tour of Rügen’s seaside towns took us to Sellin, worth checking out for the longest pier on the island and the old-fashioned Strandkörbe (“beach baskets”), available to rent for pooped-out visitors. When we were there, a couple were taking wedding photos running through the south beach surf. Cute!

Sellin pier

Jasmund National Park
This nature reserve on the Jasmund peninsula is Deutschland’s answer to Dover, home of the largest chalk cliffs in Germany. A peaceful hike through a beech forest brings you to Königsstühl (the King’s Chair), and a vertigo-testing climb 160m down rickety wooden stairs finds you on a rugged, undisturbed beach, with epic views out across the open sea. Unmissable.

Jasmund National Park forest

Jasmund National Park cliffs

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Jasmund National Park

Boat in the ocean

Olive and James looking out at the ocean