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Category: Escape

Escape: Usedom

Sponsored in parts by Strandhotel Ahlbeck

Spending time by a big body of water is the ideal restoration for me – a lake is fine, but the sea is even better. The closest option to Berlin is the Baltic Sea and its many islands and peninsulas. Over the holidays I got the chance to visit one of the prettiest, Usedom, with its many classic Bäderarchitektur mansions. I stayed in Ahlbeck over the holidays, invited by the recently opened Strandhotel, which has one very important feat when it comes to staying by the sea: it’s in the front-row to the beach. Just a sidewalk and the dune is separating you from the breaking waves.

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.

Escape: Where to Eat in Paris

Ooooh, Paris! I have not spend enough time in Paris, a day here, a day there, mostly just as a stop-over when going some other place, really. This time, we were staying for almost 4 days, we were going to eat all the things at all the right places so we had all our eating opportunities planned, from breakfast to lunch to dinner, we even had a day where we had breakfast, two lunches, one of them a menu, and a dinner with five courses planned for later in the evening. We were doing this thing right, we were prepared, we were ready.

Escape: Where to Eat in Toronto

Lucky me, I was invited to join the annual Terroir symposium in Toronto, Canada, to speak on behalf of my side-hustle, the Feminist Food Club. I joined Soleil Ho, a gifted food writer (and the current restaurant critic for the San Francisco Chronicle), chef and activist who I have admired from afar for a very, very long time, Petra Mutch, a passionate food entrepreneur and activist, and moderator Marie-Claude Lortie, a Montreal based food journalist and restaurant critic, to talk about how to achieve gender balance in the industry. I arrived a couple days earlier to take in the city, meet some people and get accustomed (thank you, cannabis dispensaries). During these days, I mostly just walked the city, watched a show at Second City, read books and fought jet lag by buying loads of ice cream. I haven’t had enough time to explore all worthy parts of Toronto, especially not the less central parts where I have heard is where the best food is to be had (I read about an awesome Egyptian brunch at Maha’s in the east; and a white rabbit candy soft serve in Markham!) So this list is referring to central, mostly downtown Toronto only and is by no way including everything you should eat when there, but it’s a good start.