Berlin feels unlike any other European city I have visited before. It has a complete charm of its own. The city itself is fun, youthful and not refined whatsoever. It is the perfect balance of both grandeur and grit, creative and industrial. I stayed in Prenzlauer Berg, a cool neighbourhood with a huge selection of restaurants, shops and bars. Prenzlauer Berg feels residential and family orientated in comparison to other neighbourhoods, but with a new mix of artists and students taking up residence, it still remains lively with an air of bohemia. For me, Berlin comes alive of an evening. Offering some of the wildest parties and the best nightlife, it is definitely a city that never sleeps. With the food scene, you are spoilt for choice. The restaurants in Berlin have given me some of the best dishes I have ever tasted. I am already desperate to go back, there really is nowhere as exciting right now as Berlin.
CAFES & RESTAURANTS
Gabriel-Max-Straße 4, 10245 Berlin
I mean, where do I start with Silo? Exposed brickwork and natural wooden interior make it the perfect brunch spot, cosy and relaxed. The baked pancakes were just insanely good. I can only describe the texture as a culmination of a sweet pancake and a Yorkshire pudding. The batter is mixed with delicious summer berry compote and baked in the oven using a skillet. When ready, it is doused with maple syrup and a dollop of vanilla mascarpone and a little mint thrown on top! Sounds pretty easy to try at home and pretty damn good too! I am experimenting with my own version of the baked pancake and my recipe will follow soon - so watch this space!
Bergstraße 68, 10115 Berlin
Berlin is packed full of delicious brunch spots, I really struggled when choosing my favourites to feature. Distrikt Coffee however was an easy pick! Strolling in on a Sunday morning, the cafe was full of people socialising. Distrikt creates the perfect environment where everybody wants to start their day. Anyone who knows me (or frequently reads my travel guides) knows that I have a serious sweet tooth and that pancakes are always my pick from the menu. Distrikts did not disappoint! Topped with bananas, summer berries and vanilla cream with a pinch of granola - they were special.
THE STORE AT SOHO HOUSE
Torstraße 1, 10119 Berlin
The Store is located within Soho House and functions as a clothing store, library, cafe and workspace. The space aims to bring creatives together over a mutual love of art, design, furniture and food. The Store is such a unique, innovative space and I could not wait to visit. Who wouldn't love browsing and shopping whilst eating breakfast! I opted for the porridge, served with an apricot compote, hazelnuts and topped with honey - so far, the best porridge bowl ever!
Adalbertstraße 70, 10999 Berlin
For me, as a non coffee drinker you may question why I went to a coffee shop that doesn't serve food or even tea. The answer is simple - the hot chocolate. At Bonanza every drink is intricately made, seeing the staff creating a new blend whilst visiting we got to witness the level of care and attention to detail goes in to everything they do and serve. Silky and rich, topped with orange zest, it was pure heaven. The second reason for my love affair with Bonanza is the interior. I love the exposed concrete, the exposed plaster. I love the rough and eclectic furniture, half painted and no frills necessary - just like Berlin. A stones throw away from our apartment, I ensured half an hour of every morning was spent at Bonanza, savouring every sip!
Linienstraße 160, 10115 Berlin
I have to say that Lokal is the best restaurant I have ever been to. It really is the embodiment of everything I feel a great restaurant should be. So popular is this place that it was really difficult to get a table and I would advise advanced booking. When we arrived, not only had the waiter accommodated our last minute booking, but had gone out of his way to create a private space for us in the restaurant and made us feel very special. We were talked through the entire menu and offered recommendations on wine pairings and ingredients. The servers were beyond enthusiastic, playful and most importantly down to earth, They made the evening so enjoyable and it made me realise how rare it is to receive such genuinely warm customer service in a restaurant. The atmosphere was perfect, low lighting and candles made it feel relaxed, unpretentious and romantic - definitely a top spot for date night. The food was faultless. It was fresh and refined with the most beautiful array of flavours and is changed montlhy. Each course was the perfect example of seasonal European cooking.
OTHER CAFES & RESTAURANTS
Rochstraße 3, 10178 Berlin
Wood Wood is one of my favourite stores, after first visiting in Copenhagen I fell in love with the urban, sports luxe pieces. Wood Wood perfectly mixes high end fashion with streetwear, taking reference from youth culture, art and music. If like me, you usually head straight to the menswear department for your clothing, then Wood Wood will offer you maximum selection as most of the items don't feel gender specific. There is also the cutest French Bulldog who usually resides in store with the owner!
Oranienstraße 24, 10999 Berlin
Voo is home to some of my favourite designers and brands, from Acne Studios to Jil Sander, A.P.C and Nike. Voo really has it all. A large industrial space used to support emerging designers and push forward new brands, Voo Store continues to set itself apart as a concept store by ensuring a range weighted in innovative fashion, literature, magazines and art products. Intent on the notion that our possessions must offer longevity as opposed to the short-lived trends of todays fashion world. Be sure to check out their in house cafe too - Companion Coffee.
Potsdamer Straße 87, Berlin 10785
My favourite brand is Acne so naturally it should feature on my list of must-see stores. I make sure it is my first destination when shopping in a new city. The stores in Europe are so beautifully designed and conceptual that the retail experience feels like stepping in to a contemporary art gallery, the garments displayed as art. The Berlin store definitely feels special. If you haven't shopped at Acne before, be sure to try their basics. I have the plain t-shirts in lilac, black, white & grey as the quality is irreplacable. The leather biker jackets are also timeless and cut in the most flattering styles.
THE GOOD STORE