Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Berlin, wieder

goodness me. where has a year gone? oh well. 

3 years of summer trips to Berlin.
1. wandering the streets 2. Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas 3. at the top of the Berlin Siegessäule 4. graveyard cat 5. Museum für Naturkunde 
6. topographie des terrors

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

A Little Berlin Guide : In progress...

**Not quite finished but just realised you leave tomorrow, Leah!

We got back from Berlin a couple of weeks ago, still with rolls of film to develop and plenty of ideas for new projects back home. I love Berlin: it's greenery, style, bikes, art and history. A few of my friends will be visiting shortly and I thought I would share a few of our favourite places. Sandra Juto has done a great guide on Berlin here, accompanied by beautiful photos. Read it, it's prettier than this one!

Sarah, Becca and Leah, a little guide for you. 
(And anyone else who may happen to be reading).

A few things: Wear comfortable shoes! Berlin is huge! Blister plasters saved my mangled feet, so take some just in case. If you have a smartphone, download an offline map to find your way around. We used the Ulmon Berlin Travel Guide (free!) This saved us a lot of time and meant we could abandon our rubbish paper map, although it does use up your battery quickly. Carry your charger and plug it in during coffee stops. Check the opening days and times of places before you go - a lot of things are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Also, make sure you have enough cash, as most places do not accept payments by card. 


Tucked inside the Jüdische Mädchenschule on Auguststraße, Mogg & Melzer provided my first food-induced weeping session in the form of a goats cheese and beetroot salad. Literal tears. of. joy. Dan had a salt beef sandwich with half a cow in it. We went back a few days later for a smoked salmon and cream cheese / eggs breakfast. Good music, good food, pretty place. Go here and then visit the me Collectors Room gallery - an ace art gallery and wunderkammer, on the same street. 

Having visited Matreshka (also in Friedrichshain.. elderflower vodka!) last year, I wanted to try more russian food. I had the Wareniki (€10,70): stuffed feta cheese dumplings with tomato, rocket & walnuts in a creamy sauce. One of my most favourite meals... EVER. More tears of joy. Dan had the Fish "Putin Style" (€11,70). The website lists this as wild salmon, however his was a trout fillet encrusted with almonds and rosemary, grilled veg with seasoned rice and caviar. This was also really, really good. The servings are pretty big, the interior is beautiful and the cocktails are reasonably priced. I felt like a happy dumpling myself at the end of it. If we could only eat at one place in Berlin, this would be it.
// Gabriel-Max-Str. 1

We made a little mistake here - assuming the portion sizes would be small as the prices were so low. We ended up with about seven plates of food on our table! Tasty, affordable Korean food: tofu, noodles, dumplings, tuna seaweed rolls. The kimchi. Ohhh, the kimchi.
// Alte Schönhauser Str. 6

This place is fun if you go on a busy night, get drunk and play Rock n Roll bingo (à la my 2012 trip). However this time when we visited my chips were cold and the staff are just a bit too rude. Check on the website to see what's on that evening and make a reservation.
// Schönhauser Allee 6-7

This was so much fun! First of all, find Heiden Peters, hire a glass (I think it was 1€) and drink the beautiful sweet nectar that is their selbstgebrautes (home brew). The red ale was especially good. We also tried super tasty smoked fish from Glut & Späne, veggie pies from hellogoodpie, beetroot tartlets from err.. well, I'm not sure actually, everything goes a bit fuzzy after that. That beer is strong! A great place to people watch, have a ridiculous photo taken in the Photo Automat and eat yourself into a coma. Also look out for a stall called Pan (maybe Pan. Handwerk), selling beautiful, super-sharp handmade knives. Nearly took my thumb off with mine this morning. More photos / recommendations here and here.
// Markthalle Neun, 5 - 10pm


The Barn / The Barn Roastery
From the reviews I'd read online, I was expecting to hate this place: No laptops. No dogs. No sugar. No soya milk. No prams (ooft, that one seems harsh. Read more here). Rude staff. But actually... Our coffees were incredible, particularly at The Roastery. The staff take their time over each cup, making sure it is perfect, and were rather friendly too.  Plus the interior is beautiful. Shurrup complaining. 
// Auguststraße 58 / Roastery: Schönhauser Allee 8

Companion Coffee
Down a little alleyway, nestled inside the Voo shop. Beautiful coffee, friendly staff. 
// Oranienstr. 24

Also try Five Elephant - apparently their cheesecake (which you can get at Street Food Thursday) is the best in Berlin. Am Ende der Welt was nice with friendly staff (and Sam Smith's beer), although it is a little tricky to find unless you know where it is.


Beautiful interior, cheap and tasty cocktails. Ohh I want to go back!
// Lettestr. 6

Dan's favourite bar - I've never seen him get so excited over a G&T before (rose petals!) Another beautiful interior, nice atmosphere and carefully crafted cocktails.
// Mariannenstrasse 26a


There are more than 30 million objects in this museum. My favourite was the wet collection. 
// Invalidenstr. 43
There are around 750 wet and dry specimens on show in the Medical museum: wax models of oozing eye diseases, infected organs, malformed skeletons, cut out sections of tattooed skin, mermaid babies... Really interesting, but not for the squeamish. Dan learnt an important lesson from the collection of humongous gallstones - "drink lots of fucking water".
// Charitéplatz 1

Dream book & magazine shop. I wanted to spend all of my money here. 
// Auguststr. 28 & Potsdamer Str. 98

Ace shop selling screen printed artist books, zines, prints, posters.
Torstr. 110

Meret Oppenheim & Anish Kapoor at Martin-Gropius-Bau

Hilma af Klint at Hamburger Bahnhof
Featuring 200 paintings from a pioneer of abstraction, alongside her notebooks and sketches.
It's hard to believe some of these were painted over 100 years ago!

Bearpit Karaoke & Flohmarkt am Mauerpark
This flea market is huge! It also gets ridiculously busy. We were too fuzzy-headed to trawl through all the stalls, so got ourselves vegan burgers and beers and sat in the amphitheatre with a few beers, waiting for Bearpit Karaoke to start at 3pm.  So much fun!
// Sundays. Bernauer Straße 63-64

Also make sure you do some of the touristy stuff, such as the Holocaust Memorial, Gay Holocaust MemorialTopography of Terror, Berlin Wall memorial. Grab a beer and walk down the East Side Gallery, visit Prinzessinnengarten, ride bikes through Tiergarten etc.

Have fun!
I am jealous.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The past few days.

The pattern on my new beautiful backgammon box, £3.49 from a charity shop.

Kathryn Edwards, on the wall at The Bowery Gallery, Headingley.

Leeds Kirkgate Market - the best place to buy bric-a-brac, fish and vegetables at affordable prices in Leeds. 
Such a beautiful building. 

Windowsill collection in printmaker Pam Grimmond's studio, who creates beautiful lino prints inspired by nature. 
We visited a couple of artist studios as part of North Yorkshire Open Studios 2013.

Also at The Bowery - Hannah Lamb's In Search of Green. 
"...the gossamer thin pieces are suspended in space, almost ghostly, an ethereal presence, delicate as memory."

This church made me feel like I was in some beautiful Nordic town. One can wish.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Where have you been?

Recently, times have been looking like this: reading books in bed, with my beautiful Alfred.

Also today, we visited the Medical Museum.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Amsterdam: Part Two

1. fossils 2. autumn views 3. window display 4. little car 5. antique anatomical model 6. wall chart in the amazing Het Grote Avontuur

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Amsterdam: Part One

1. window display 2. bikes, bikes, everywhere 3. walking to the AMC 4. amazing wallpaper at the Frozen Fountain 5. street patterns

Four beautiful days of crisp mornings and map reading, armed with a Museumkaart and a pair of sturdy walking shoes, getting lost and not caring in one of my favourite cities. We never stopped moving, not wanting to waste a second of our time. With each visit to Amsterdam I fall in love with it all over again: the cats, the art, the wonky canal houses, the stylish Dutch folk multitasking  (kidsdogsumbrellaphone) carelessly on bikes in situations where I would most likely just end up in a heap on the floor.

Our list of adventures includes visiting the Rijksmuseum, Anne Frankhuis, Stedelijk Museum, the Hermitage Amsterdam (where the Van Gogh collection currently resides during renovation of the museum), RembrandthuisFOAM gallery (currently hosting the incredible Diane Arbus exhibition I saw earlier this summer in Berlin and that you NEED to see) and playing with beautiful feline friends at De Poezenboot; not forgetting trawling shops/antique/design centres including Droog Design, Frozen FountainBoekie Woekie (a lovely little shop selling artist books) and Het Grote Avontuur. My highlight of the trip was taking the train to the stunning Vrolik medical collection, where I spent hours staring at rows of skeletons, jars of organs, molar pregnancies and other such oddities whilst marvelling over how wonderful and intricate and vivid our bodies are. Plus there are the amazing meals we ate (Burgermeester do an incredible veggie burger with goats cheese and tomato chutney, oh! and some kind of hazelnut chocolate heaven from Pucinni Bomboni) and tasty Dutch beers.. It almost broke my heart to leave. 

However, as sad as I was to go, I am back in my little house with my fat cat, looking forward to our quilt class and making a dent in my huge pile of library books. I guess things aren't so bad after all here in wet England. More pictures tomorrow, for now, sleep!

Friday, 26 October 2012

pink leaves

Autumn is well upon us. My morning walk is littered with pink leaves and burning red trees that appear to be engulfed in flames. The air is crisp and I am in need of a good pair of winter boots. I love this time of year, when there is a gentle mist and it is not yet too miserable to begin hibernation. Life has been busy as of late and tomorrow morning sees the Hope House Prints collective march across the Pennines towards the Manchester Print Fair at 2022NQ. Drop by between 12pm - 5pm for a spot of live screen printing, some lovely work and a nice hot brew.