Thursday, 3 November 2016

Tuesday 1st November 2016

Today we were going to visit the Turkish Market in Neukölln but as it was quite a wet day we decided to take a tour of the many art galleries in the city.

Unfortunately it seems that most art galleries in Berlin do not open on a Tuesday and the majority of the ones that do were 'in-between' exhibitions!

We did manage to see some art however.

Including these paper and string pieces.

And some photos of shipping containers.

And a mechanical piece that shifted and creaked using a pulley system that seemed to operate using a mixture of electricity, plastic pipes and filled plastic bottles.

The evening's entertainment was a table booked at Clärchens Ballhaus, an old Ballroom with tables set out around the dancefloor.

The food was surprisingly good, if limited for non-meat eaters, but they did have a couple of fish dishes and some good salads.

And after dinner, a dance!
A great night out that is highly recommended.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Monday 31st October 2016

We decided on a trip to Potsdam today so we got up early and left the hotel at midday.

Normally we like to walk to places but as Potsdam is about 20 miles away we decided to take the train.

Lunch was a couple of egg salad baguettes bought from a sandwich stall at Alexanderplatz train station.
The quality of some of these station shops is surprisingly good, something we could learn from in Britain.

Potsdam has a film museum that we were quite interested in visiting but it was closed.
In fact, most of Potsdam appears to be closed on a Monday.

There is a Brandenburg Tor in Potsdam, not to be confused with the one in Berlin, which is twenty miles away and much bigger and more impressive but this one did have a fountain and it wasn't closed!

All this train travel made us thirsty so we went looking for somewhere that was open and served coffee.

Right next to the Brandenburg Tor were a couple of open places and one of them had some nice looking cakes on display so we ventured inside.

It turns out that we were in an ice-cream parlour that had items on the menu such as ice-cream lasagne and ice-cream spaghetti.

They also did cake and coffee so we ordered a black coffee, a cappuccino and two slices of cake; a Karamell Baiser Torte and a Nougat Torte.

At €16.10 it was not only the worst coffee we have had in Germany but also the most expensive.

The cake portions were huge but judging by the dryness of the Nougat Torte I think they were just tying to get rid of it.

One thing we did see in Potsdam that I have not seen before but is an excellent idea was Dog Stations.

Free poo bags to clear up after your pooch.
The only thing I have seen similar to this was in Leigh on Sea where someone had tied bags to a fence for people to use, but this was more of an official thing.

Not a lot else to say about Potsdam except don't go there on a grey Monday in October!

Pre-dinner cocktails were at the hotel again, mainly because it was raining.

Tonight's choice included a Long Island Iced Tea.
Previous experience of the hotel's cocktails made me think that this particular choice would be fairly lethal.
However it was quite a disappointment as it tasted just like a glass of coke.
Even at happy hour prices, €6 is a lot of money for a glass of coke!!

Happily the Zombie was more alcoholic, although not as strong as last nights, which is probably a good thing!

Last time we were in Berlin we had lunch at Dada Falafel.
We thought we would come for an evening meal on this visit.

Despite the name, Dada Falafel is not only a vegetarian restaurant.
We can't comment on the meat side however as neither of us eats animals, only vegetables, pulses, grains, beans etc and fish.

However, the vege plate is very good value for money.
€8 for all that is on the plate pictured above.

They only have one type of white wine on offer, at €18, but it's very drinkable and the owner(?) told us that it was the only white wine he would stock as it was the only white wine that was suitable for his food.

Sunday 30th October 2016

Sunday, day of rest.

That can only mean one thing in Belin, and that's the Flohmarkt am Mauerpark.

We went here in August when we visited Berlin and it was heaving with people enjoying the sunshine.
On one side of the park was a huge market and on the other was street artists performing, people chilling, drinking beer, having bbqs and generally having a good time.

This time, there is still a market but it is not as big as we remembered and it looks as if alot of the land has been taken over for development.

There wasn't so many street performers either but I suppose this is down to the time of the year and the weather.

Still worth a visit though.

As always in Berlin, if you walk there you will see plenty of street art.

Obviously, after all the walking and the crowds at the Flohmarkt the only course of action next was to have cocktails and today we decided to try out our hotel, The Leonardo Royal.

Happy hour from 1700hrs until 1900hrs so we made the most of it!

And the cocktails are very good.

Tonights choice for dinner was Thai.

Just around the corner at Käthe-Niederkirchner-Straße 14 we found Taleh Thai.

The wine was very reasonable (for a restaurant) at €16 and the meal, of three starters and two mains came in at €35 plus the wine.

The food was ok, but nothing special and we won't be going there for a second time.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Saturday 29th October 2016

Breakfast this morning was in the local supermarket!
Egg mayonaisse open sandwich and a coffee (x 2) for around €6.

Quite strange sitting in the front of a supermarket at a couple of tables eating breakfast but it seems to be fairly commonplace here.

The food wasn't bad either.

Today we visited a friend in the Neukölln district.
Google maps told us it was a 20 minute drive, so we walked.

The good thing about walking is that you see much more.
Who wants to just see the inside of a U-Bahn?

And it's only about an hours walk.

We had arranged to meet our friend at Klunkerkranich, a rooftop bar.
The bar, along with a few stalls, is situated on the top level of a multi-storey car park.

To get there you have to go through a shopping mall, into the car park, walk up the stairs (or take the lift) until you can go no higher and then walk up the ramp to the roof.

There is a €3 entry fee in the evenings but they just ask for donations during the day.

The views of Berlin are spectacular.

When you buy drinks you pay a deposit of €1 for each item, which makes the prices appear more expensive, especially if you buy a large wine and get two glasses as you pay a €3 deposit. 
But, of course,you get this back when you return the glasses.

But wrap up warm if you plan to sit outside in October as it gets very chilly!!

Dinner was at Al Andalos, a Lebanese restaurant on Sonnenallee 40.

Quite small but very popular and great value.

A huge plate for 2 (that three of us shared) of vegetarian delights; hummus, falafel, salad, rice, bread, for only €10.

After a plateful of food as good as that, there is just one thing to do: have a cocktail!

We ended up in Sadhu2, an Indian restaurant that was advertising Happy Hour cocktails.

Even though we told them that all we wanted was drinks, they still brought us some poppadoms and dips.
And when our drinks came, he asked us if we would like a starter.

The cocktails weren't the best, so we drank up and

Next stop was Bei Schlawinchen.

A quirky, popular bar with good prices, happy locals and great decor.

The only downside is that they allow smoking indoors.
I'm a smoker but I prefer a smoke free bar!

Last stop was Cafe am Kotte, a bar on a terrace overlooking Adalbertstrasse for a beer and a vodka.

A good ending to a great day.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Friday 28th October 2016

After last night's incredible meal at Restaurant a Mano we decided to take it easy this morning and had a late lunch at Madimas.

Rice paper rolls as a starter (to share) followed by a bowl of Pollack in breadcrumbs on a bed of salad and vegetables with rice and Madami sauce.

The mains, as it was between 1200hrs and 1500hrs were only €6.50 each.
I did think that as it was a lunchtime special that the portions would be smaller, but no!

From here went to see a Hieronymus Bosch exhibition, Visions Alive.

At €12.50 it is quite expensive, however, get a leaflet from one of the many tourist places that give out leaflets and you can save €3 per person.

Once you find a spare beanbag and settle down it is quite fascinating, in a weird way.

After a cocktail in the hotel we made our way to the Festival Theater der Dinge.

Nineteen Euros later and we were watching Duo à ľEncre (Duo mit Tusche, or Duo with Ink).

Basically this is a man drawing with chinese ink while another man plays the drums.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Thursday 27th October 2016

Day 4 of the Berlin adventure and our first stop today was at Hackescher Markt where we found an excellent liquorice stall.

All kinds of liquorice can be found, including "spunk"!

The prices were very reasonable, probably about a third of the price of similar stalls in London.
Most of the liquorice was eaten before we made it to our next stop; lunch.

Again, Tripadvisor came into play, and Flamingo was the place of choice.

The reviews said that it got busy at lunchtime and they weren't wrong with what looked like many locals enjoying lunch.

However we got our food and found a seat.

Two soups, one large potato and sauerkraut and one small Provencal, came to €9.70 however it was very good soup and came with a couple of bread rolls.

The coffee and cake was good too, chocolate tart and an almond creamy vanilla cake with two great tasting coffees coming in at €10.20.

So not the cheapest lunch, but very good.

Next stop was the Reichstag Building and in particular the dome.

Getting in involved going through security similar to an airport, but this is understandable as it is the German Parliament building.

The dome itself is spectacular and on a fine day you would have great views across Berlin.

Unfortunately it was misty when we visited but worth the experience anyway.

Just around the corner from the Reichstag Building is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

2711 concrete slabs of differing heights dedicated to the Jewish victims of the holocaust.

After a couple of cocktails in Hackescher Markt ( lethal Mai Tais at €5.50 each during happy hour) we headed for Restaurant a Mano.

Reviews on Tripadvisor claim that this restaurant is along a road that resembles a council estate. If it does then  it's a very posh council estate with an art gallery and expensive looking bicycle shop along it.

The food was, quite simply, amazing.

Gnocchi with goats cheese and salmon salad with Feta.

The salmon may look better but the gnocchi won hands down.

The grilled Sea Bream, de-headed, de-boned and filleted at the table, was a taste sensation.

Two bottles of Sauvignon Blanc and a couple of Limoncellos later and we were  a very happy couple!

Not cheap at €117 but delicious food.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Wednesday 26th October 2016

Nice healthy breakfast today, well I suppose it was more like brunch.

We came to Charlottenburg and stopped in the Pianocafe am Lietzensee.
I think it was the window display that caught our eye, loads of gorgeous looking cakes.
Yes folks, for brunch we had.....
coffee and cake.

Not just coffee, but coffee with ameretto!!

Next stop was the Olympic Stadium, home to Hertha BSC as well as the German National Team.

Something we weren't expecting was the quality of the coffee which was very good!

So, after only eating cake and drinking coffee all day, we thought we'd better have a proper meal to finish the day off.

We went to Madami 's, voted #2 on Tripadvisor for vegetarian friendly food.

Oh my word.

What a meal.

We had a Tom Com and a Madami Rice Tofu to start.
The Tom Com is prawns, fried in green rice, served with a dipping sauce.
The rice tofu is a rice paper wrap with tofu and rice and some veg. Enough to share and only €4.80.

Our main courses were Ca Hoi Nuong and Thap cam hai san.

Both Salmon dishes, one with prawns and the other without.
Both with the peanut coconut sauce.


All of this washed down with a bottle of Riesling and all for €59.20.

Great way to finish the day, we will be visiting here again before this trip is over so expect another review soon!