It’s that time of the year again! The question: do you know a beautiful lake with crystal clear water, nice patches of grass and, like, no people?? is literally haunting me. The answer is, I don’t have one. And if I had one, people would probably murder me if I spilled the secret. Like when they said I destroyed Bernsteinsee three years ago. That pretty gravel pit turned lake was always well visited by people, but some claimed my post on this humble blog was the last nail in the coffin. Promised, this lake is not a new discovery, it’s no secret, which is why you’ll meet people there, even a lot of them when the weather is right, also because a tram is transporting you right to it. HOWEVER, it’s a gorgeous lake with refreshing water and nice sunny patches in a forest to lay down your towel and doze through the heat wave.
Most of the things I learnt about foraging as a kid are buried somewhere in my brain, I just forgot where… When I went on a guided foraging tour last week, many memories came back. Jonathan Hamnett, our guide of Grunewald Foraging, never went foraging as a kid, but discovered the joy this brings him later in life – maybe that’s the reason he’s now eager to share his knowledge and actually enjoys to bring us lazy city-people out into the fields and woods surrounding Berlin and taste the many pleasures nature offers. You should join him! I did…
I love the countryside around Berlin, down to the Spreewald and all the way up to the Ostsee. However, if you wanna stay the night, things get tricky: most hotels don’t match the beauty of the surrounding nature, to put it politely. If you agree, you might be feeling the same joy I did when I discovered this gem through a lovely email sent to me by a landscape architect who highly recommended the Kranichhotel close by Stralsund as an escape destination. I clicked the link and floored I was. Couple weeks later, I packed my dog, jumped in the car and headed north to find the most beautifully renovated mansion in the middle of nowhere.
Kaffee und Kuchen is an important German tradition, so over Easter, we took to the outskirts of Berlin to have what the internet called the best cake in Brandenburg. Kaffeehaus Morgenrot is located in Hohen Neuendorf, which is technically not Berlin anymore, but still reachable by S-Bahn. Housed in a beautiful Gründerzeit mansion, they’re bringing Viennese coffee culture to the north, not only with cake but also with the many versions of Austrian coffee, in seriously good quality.
Any longtime Berliner knows that winters are for two things: Netflix and fleeing the city. We all have our own escape routes, some heading to Thailand or Mauritius, others sticking a little closer and leaving for Lisbon or Crete. And then there is that special kind of person, the wintersports enthusiast. These men and women actually seek out the colder spots in Europe, pleased as punch to get up early, spend several sunny hours on the slopes, and then zip down for an ungodly combination of carbs, booze, and Volksmusik called après-ski. Wanting absolutely none of that, but seeing the appeal of some time spent amidst majestic snowy peaks, we took up an invitation from the Jungfrau region and headed to Switzerland to see if we could not ski.