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.
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.
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.
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.
It was my very first time in Shanghai, China and it couldn’t have been better: we did a ton of walks through the districts, marvelled at the many pink and white magnolia flowers that had just bloomed, and planned our days around where we would eat for lunch and dinner. We ate so much and we ate so well! Mostly at places serving various Chinese cuisines, so we could enjoy the many very seasonal vegetables and dishes only available in the weeks of early spring. We’ve also visited the Jing’An temple, the Yayoi Kusama exhibition, the Arts & Crafts museum (where I should’ve bought that glass statuette of my Chinese zodiac sign), wandered through gardens and roamed many, many, many malls. Mainly to walk off the last meal and create space for the next…