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Author: Mary Scherpe

Escape: Discovering Sweden’s picturesque Skåne

To be perfectly blunt, I did not expect a whole lot from going to South Sweden. My initial assumption was that it was probably a lot like the places around the German Ostsee with some nice parts, and yeah sure, it can be beautiful, but unfortunately too often its beauty is ruined by city planning. Oh my, was I wrong. It is nothing like it. First of all, it’s a lot greener, the villages and cities are a lot prettier, and the beaches wilder. I came back a reformed Sweden-fan. And you know what the best thing is: getting there is super easy. You only need to get to Rostock, take the comfy ferry for 6 hours, and there you are!
I did it like many tourists do: get a camper van to explore the countryside of Skåne, Sweden’s southern province, from south to east coast, to the remote lakes of the north and the stunning cliffs of the west. Here’s my summary with all the nicest spots to check.

Disclaimer: I was invited by VisitSkåne, travel itinerary and thus all spots were chosen by myself.

Escape: Gut Üselitz on Rügen

After breakfast in the lovely Forsthaus Strelitz, I continued my late-summer-roadtrip north heading towards Rügen, the giant island with the stunning cliffs, to stay in a renovated, or rather, entirely rebuild estate dating back to the 1500s! Located in the South of the island, Gut Üselitz resides in the midst of a natural park with lakes, apple and plum trees, and hundreds of birds. It’s so remote, so quiet, so pretty, it’s actually perfect for a time-out. And Rügen is a great destination anyhow, especially if you know the pretty places off the beaten tracks.

Escape: Forsthaus Strelitz in Late Summer

As many of my readers know, I love me an Ausflug. Especially when combined with a delicious menu served on a picturesque farm. There are not a ton of options for that around Berlin, unfortunately, but we do have one exquisite destination: a family-run restaurant and farm business in Mecklenburg, close to Neustrelitz. It’s everything city people imagine the countryside should be: remote (but easy to reach), pastoral (and small enough to still be scenic), and rustic (while actually pretty stylish). My first visit to Forsthaus Strelitz happened almost two years ago in the height of winter with snow and frosty temperatures. The garden had loads of brussel sprouts and kale, and all the animals, including the lovely donkeys, sported their plushiest winter fur. This time, I came at the end of summer and stayed in their newly renovated cottage just next to where the sheep and goats rest.

Feminism in Berlin: Female Owned Food Businesses Map

Some of you know of my favourite side-hustle, the Feminist Food Club, a network of trans and cis women in gastronomy that Ruth Bartlett and I founded two and a half years ago. One of my earliest ideas for it was to create a map of all the trans and cis female owned food businesses in the city. Because one of the major arguments about why there just aren’t as many famous trans or cis female chefs is that there just aren’t that many. Which is entirely untrue but hard to proof wrong without hard data. So I sat down and with the help of the group researched from high to low and west to east, and compiled all of the businesses with opening hours I could find in a handy google map. Over 160 places are on it right now, which seems a lot but is still far from the truth. So please, if you are trans or cis female and own a food business which isn’t on the map yet, send me an email at info@feministfoodclub.com with all the necessary info so I can fix that.

At Bite Club: Four Tips for Great Food Photography

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I have been taking about one million photos of food in my life-time, or so it feels, and have come to a couple of important conclusions: I personally don’t like to make a fuzz about the act of photographing when I’m actually out  eating, especially when I’m with friends, so I will rarely bring in the big guns but prefer small, handy cameras. However, I appreciate food presented in fine imagery, so I need to find a balance between these two poles. Many times, I will use my iPhone, currently the XR, to shoot the snack in front of me, because it’s the quickest, least obtrusive way and provides really good material for my blog or social media. Especially when I’m at markets or busy events, like last week’s Bite Club. This street food market is certainly the most buzzy: located just by the Spree it comes with a mix of fun vendors, a big bar and loud music. Not a space where you want to set up a photoshoot for your one dish.
Also factoring in: I actually like to eat my food fresh and hot, so I can’t and don’t want to take too long.