Escape: Somewhere #1

Brandenburg Plauer See

In case you follow my instagram account, you might have noticed the dreamy pictures of Brandenburg landscapes covered in light snow and the remarks about a Chinese cooking class. The explanation is this: I was invited to the most wonderful weekend edition of Somewhere #1, out in the country, that combined food and leisure in the best way possible.

Ash Lee, Chinese chef, cooking class
Ash Lee during our Chinese cooking class
manson Gut Raixa, Plau am See
The courtyard and mansion of Gut Raixa

Somewhere is a project by Achille Farese and Anneke Hillmann, they created a beautiful weekend event in Plau am See, where you can enjoy delicious food by various cooks. I took part in the first edition showcasing chef Ash Lee’s Chinese cooking, the pretty Brandenburg nature and cosy afternoons by the fireplace.

The weekends happen at Gut Raixa, a cautiously renovated estate in the middle of fisher’s village Plau by Plauer lake, a huge, 2.5 sq mi big lake with very clear water, that must be great to swim in Summer and is very calming to look at in winter. Guests are housed in the wattle and daub masonries surrounding the main house in very pretty apartments centering around a fireplace.

Chinese pork liver by Ash Lee
Chinese pork liver, one of ten courses at Saturday night’s dinner
The forest surrounding Plau
Chinese cooking class with Ash Lee
Ash Lee and Fee preparing Wan Tan during the Chinese cooking class

I had no real idea what to expect, Achille invited me via e-mail and reading the broad menu and seeing the pretty pictures I just went for it, although normally I’m quite careful when it comes to invites from people I never met… My courage was well rewarded, although I didn’t know the other guests or the hosts, the event was beautiful in every way – relaxed yet not lazy, exciting yet not stressful. It started with a home-cooked dinner on Friday, continued with a Chinese cooking class with chef Ash Lee preparing Wan Tan soup and a super delicious noodle soup with different kinds of chili sauces, a walk through the woods around Plau, was highlighted by a ten-course dinner with Szechuan and Shanghai specialties prepared by Ash Lee and drinks made my Berlin bar Lugosi, and then finished with a breakfast and long walk along lake Plau on Sunday. When coming back to Berlin, not even the rainy weather and freezing temperatures could spoil my good mood.

Dinner Table
The beautiful table is set for the big dinner on Saturday night.
Chinese Cooking Class
Ash Lee preparing the noodle soup during the cooking class
Plauer See, Brandenburg
By the Plauer See.

There will be more weekend events like this during all winter – every weekend is hosted by a different chef and features a dinner and a cooking class. Next up is Avishai Cohen with a menu from Jerusalem in January, he’s followed by a Persian menu by Mani Bakhshpour in February. There will be six editions happening until May and I’d love to join all of them, honestly. You can find more information on Somewhere project’s website or Facebook profile. The cost of the whole weekend, including accommodation, food, non-alcoholic beverages and the cooking class are 220 Euro for two nights and 160 Euro for one. Groups from 3 to 4 people can get a special price. You can reserve your spot via mail: Also, this would make a more than gorgeous Christmas present.

And now, more pictures:

thousand-year egg
Thousand-year eggs, one of the many courses of the dinner.
Achille Farese
Achille trying the noodle soup during the cooking class.
Plauer See
The Plauer See
Spiced Soy Sauce
Ash Lee’s spiced up soy sauce
Wan Tans
Lovely little wan tans waiting to be cooked
Main house Gut Raixa
The main house of Gut Raixa
Chinese noodle soup
The base of the noodle soup to be filled with broth and noodles
Wan Tans in broth
Wan Tans in broth
Plauer See
The view onto Plauer See
Spicy Chinese sauces
Spicy sauces used in the cooking class
Gut Raixa
The guest apartments
Chinese noodle soup
Another and final view of the delicious noodle soup