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Bristol: Sarah Records & St Werburghs City Farm

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Another fun weekend visit to Bristol to see my sister, this time for the Sarah Records retrospective events of exhibition, Q&A, and film screening at the Arnolfini. After lunch at my sister’s, and on the way to the Arnolfini, my sister introduced us to a shipping container called Cupp Box in the centre where they sell bubble tea and matcha milk. Then the next morning, after breakfast in the my sister’s garden, a walk over to St Werburghs City Farm. We ate lunch in the cafe there. The food was good, as it usually is there.

I took these with the Olympus EP-1 that I’ve mentioned before, it is so light and handy, but I do miss having the better lenses of my ‘proper’ cameras :)
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AliceBristol: Sarah Records & St Werburghs City Farm

Berln days: Haus am Waldsee, Grunewald, Wannsee

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Haus am Waldsee

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This is my last Berlin post from this trip!

Simon had spotted a poster that he’d liked the look of and we’d blithely assumed we wouldn’t have a problem tracking down the information later – much Googling and searching of Berlin art websites came up blank, and we were out of luck until we finally managed to come across the poster again. This time we noted down the details and one sunny Bank Holiday ended up riding the S-Bahn out to Mexikoplatz, which is a near stop to the modern art venue and sculpture garden Haus Am Waldsee. Though not far on the S-Bahn, Haus Am Waldsee felt far away from the bustle of more central Berlin, a nice break from the city. It is an old house and has a garden that slopes down to water. We enjoyed the exhibition of the Finnish photo artist Ola Kolehmainen, all the spaces were painted to fit in with the works which was great to walk through. Within the garden are artworks including a Werner Aisslinger cube house on legs. There is also a cafe which did good coffee and green tea (they even gave me a timer so I could time the brewing of the tea), the food looked like it would be really excellent but we couldn’t manage anything for once.

After this we went over to the Grunewald area which isn’t far. We knew this area a little as my mother lived here for a while. It is full of enormous mansions of all kinds of styles, this is where most of the embassies are. Perfect for house ogling! We walked through the streets towards the Grunewald forest. We had a picnic by the water and watched the dogs in the dog play area – it seemed like every dog in Berlin had been brought there for the day – such a variety of dogs!

Then towards the end of the afternoon we hopped on over to Wannsee to have a beer in the sun by the lake, before heading home full of sun and fresh air.
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AliceBerln days: Haus am Waldsee, Grunewald, Wannsee
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Berlin days: Boxhagener Platz, Aunt Benny, Botanic Gardens

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On a Saturday morning we headed over to the Boxhagener Platz saturday food market for our breakfast. It was excellent, one of the best farmers markets we have been to in Berlin with lots of things to eat then and there as well as to take away to cool. The layout is pleasing as it all around the edge of Boxhagener Platz with the park in the middle, so you can methodically walk around it all or keep popping in and out and having a sit down with your purchases on the benches in the middle. We were again keen to try things we hadn’t before so we got quark balls (Quarkbällchen), these are for sale all over Berlin and from the name we’d thought these round balls must have the quark cheese in the middle – but no, actually these are like lighter more delicious donuts. We also tried a grilled sausage and some good coffee. This area was interesting for a wander around, with some little shops open. We ended up later at Aunt Benny and shared a brunch platter of cold meat and cheeses, this was really really good, as was their carrot cake. I would definitely like to do a return visit on our next Berlin visit.

We’d planned to go to look at more art but it was such a beautiful day that we instead went to the Botanic Gardens, a place we have been to many times. It is a big space with many beautiful plants and different areas – we found a peaceful place for a nap in the sun. Then eventually home to flat as it was still warm enough to sit on the balcony with a drink. Spring is a very nice time to visit Berlin.
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AliceBerlin days: Boxhagener Platz, Aunt Benny, Botanic Gardens

Berlin days: curry wurst, Hamburger Bahnhof, and Burgermeister

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We’d never had a curry wurst so we tasted one at Curry 36. We didn’t like it! The texture was very spongy. We had an oragnic one so perhaps not entirely authentic. Not one of our most healthy eating days (I swear we had fruit and veg when we were back at the flat!). After a walk we went to Hamburger Bahnhof, a modern art museum in an old train station, where we really enjoyed the Wall Works exhibit in the huge long series of galleries. The pieces were showing how artists approach the wall, the variety was great. For sustenance we went to the Sarah Wiener restaurant in the museum, the cakes were too good to pass up. Then after more walking and riding around on the U-Bahn we headed for Burgermeister for dinner. It had been strongly recommended to Simon so we were keen to give it a go during this trip. Burgermeister serves burgers out of an old toilet (!) under the U-Bahn tracks. You perch to eat on high metal tables or drinks crates, sheltered from the elements by the U-Bahn tracks above. We thought it was fun for a quick meal – the burgers were good (easier to eat and not as crazy as The Bird).
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AliceBerlin days: curry wurst, Hamburger Bahnhof, and Burgermeister

Berlin days: Ai Weiwei, Westberlin Cafe, and 3D IMAX

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This Ai Weiwei exhibition at Martin-Gropius-Bau just opened and there were big queues to get in, it’s one of those must-see blockbuster shows. We thought it was great, really interesting work. Due to the crowds it was a bit hard to navigate around, I even saw someone trip over one of the sculptures!

A good place for a cup of tea after this was Westberlin. Kind of surprising that such a nice place is just along from Checkpoint Charlie in such a tourist area. They sell magazines and books too, I bought a Berlin Inspires guide there.

We walked over to the Neue Nationalgalerie, I love this building, but we didn’t fancy what was on and we had tickets to the CineStar IMAX at the Sony Centre. We saw the new Spiderman in 3D IMAX in English. That cinema in the Sony Centre shows lots of films in English (without subtitles).
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AliceBerlin days: Ai Weiwei, Westberlin Cafe, and 3D IMAX

Berlin days: neon museum and street food thursday

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After a slow morning we got a snack from Alpenstueck for lunch, I had the apple strudel and Simon had a chocolate croissant and coffee. I enjoyed my strudel, not too sweet, nice pastry, and Simon was happy with his. We were in the area purely for our stomachs but on our way to the S-Bahn we came across this interesting area with information and art about the wall outside Nordbahnhof. We then headed over to the Buchstaben Museum. It is a museum of the old neon signs of Berlin. It reminded me of the neon boneyard in Las Vegas, though on a smaller scale. Great for type and sign fans. This was one of Simon’s picks, on trips he often finds places that I wouldn’t have thought to visit but that turn out to be great.

After this we went on a long walk over to the iconic Oberbaum Bridge, stopping for a drink in a place by the water. Then, sufficiently worn out and hungry, we went to Street Food Thursday at Markthalle Neun. Markthalle Neun is an indoor market area that on Thursday evenings hosts a wide variety of food vendors. After much circling and decision making we tried some hot sandwiches and some thai food. Both were really good and it is a fun atmosphere. We were there quite early and it didn’t feel too congested. Next time I am in Berlin on a Thursday I will be back here for sure, it’s a fun way to have dinner.
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AliceBerlin days: neon museum and street food thursday

Berlin days: picnic on a runway, art, and art supplies

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Taking advantage of a sunny day we went on a picnic to Tempelhof – the former airport that is now a park. It is an interesting public space as it is such a wide open area, not a tree in sight, and yet so many birds flying around singing. Many people were out using the vast former runways for their hobbies – on bikes, with kites and toy planes, on skateboards, and exercising. It has a good atmosphere, and a park is such a nice use of this space.

After our picnic and a snooze in the sun we took the U-Bahn over to Oranienstraße and walked from Görlitzer U-Bahn station up to Modulor art supplies, visiting the book shops and stopping for a coffee and green tea at Voo. Modulor is another great Berlin shop to browse, it has all the art supplies you could think of, almost in the league of a Japanese art supply store. We bought paper for a DIY project we have planned, and I bought some gold paper hares just because they were pretty. It is that sort of place where it is so easy to find things to buy. After Modulor we walked to the Berlinisches Galerie, a modern art gallery/museum housed in an attractive building. Our main reason for visiting on this occasion was the music piece in the entrance.
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AliceBerlin days: picnic on a runway, art, and art supplies

Berlin days: art, shops, and the best burger in Berlin?

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Starting the day with German bread is such a treat.

We visited the Museum für Fotografie because I was interested in the Brazilian Modernism 1940-1964 exhibition that is on at the moment. The main two floors are entirely the works of Helmut Newton and June Newton (Alice Springs) and then there is the temporary exhibition space at the top where the Brazilian exhibition is at the moment. The museum is tucked away, down the side of Zoologischer Garten Bahnhof.

Out on the main road, outside the C/O Berlin space that is being renovated, is a temporary exhibition of Close Up! Young Photojournalists at the 64th Berlinale which we went to take a look at. After this we went to KaDeWe for some apple cake, to StilWerk to windowshop designer furniture, and to Manufactum to browse the practical and well-made house and garden things. It is such an interesting place to browse, I was very close to buying this bike bell but as I love my current big bell I held off.

Our feet felt like they were going to fall off after so much walking so we sat on the U-Bahn and rode over to have a drink in Wohnzimmer. On the way we stopped in at LIV, a shop that just sells enamel things.

After this, as we were thinking about dinner, and as we were in the area, we went to see if there was any chance that The Bird could fit us in for dinner. We’d not been there before but I keep hearing that they do “the best burger in Berlin” so we were curious. The staff were really nice and fitted us in on the bar after a little wait. Sitting at the bar was actually great as you could look at all the stuff they have tacked up behind there.

I had their signature ‘Da Birdhouse’ burger and that thing is crazy – beef, bacon, onions, and gherkin, glued together with American cheese, and accompanied by a ridiculous amount of fries. If Guy Fieri ever does an international version of Triple D this would be right up his street. It tasted great in a super-sinful way but I don’t know how anyone could get through even half of this amount of food and the burger fell apart after a few bites making it difficult to eat. The bun was an English muffin, which could be controversial, but I liked it as it didn’t fall apart (unlike the rest of the burger). Best burger in Berlin? My verdict on this burger is that it was tasty and I’m happy I tried it but I’d not get it again, it is too far from the kind of things I usually like to eat! I can see how true burger people would love it though.
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AliceBerlin days: art, shops, and the best burger in Berlin?

Berlin days: Auguststraße, Mitte

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Auguststraße in Mitte is a nice road to wander up, window shopping all the galleries that fill this street, and actual shopping in the magazine shop Do You Read Me?!. The Barn is a cosy place to stop for a coffee and a chat, they do good green tea too. Beyond Auguststraße, on Mulackstraße, is the paper goods shop R.S.V.P. (I bought Papier d’Armenie Papier d’Année). Round the corner from Auguststraße on Gipsstraße is Cocolo Ramen, pictured above is the tonkotsu ramen. They do good gyoza too.
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AliceBerlin days: Auguststraße, Mitte