Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Scene – Bite Club, the street food market.

In Berlin, Bite Club could be fetish club for biters, but it’s not. It’s a fabulous street food market. The first rule of Bite Club, don’t talk with your mouth full. The second rule of Bite Club, is eat food and drink booze. The third rule of Bite Club, you can dance if you want to.  Essentially, its a food party with lashings of booze, live music & DJs.

Bite Club have been curating their fabulous food market overlooking the Spree at Arena in Kreuzberg. Now, they’re in Mitte every Saturday during summer bringing Buns Mobile, Jolesh, Mogg&Melzer, Pic Nic 34, Bun Bao, Heisser Hobel, Maria Maria Arepas and Orlando, along for the ride.

They’ve found the perfect location for it at one of our favourite places, Platoon Kunsthalle. It’s running every Saturday afternoon and evening, throughout the summer.

Find Bite Club on Facebook

twitter.com/biteclubberlin

Platoon Kunsthalle, Schönhauser Allee 9, Mitte.

 

Henrik’s world … Red carpet or the green carpet? You choose.

Foto 1

When the sun shines and the temperatures hit 30 plus degrees, Berlin erupts in partying euphoria. May and June are big party months here in Berlin, so it came as no surprise to be invited to three events in one night, including the opening of the Fox Bar at Hotel Q!, a new bar and contemporary exhibition space. Moet & Chandon Champagne were sponsoring, so naturally we RSVP’d.  But that night, there were two other not to be missed events. It was summer, it was sexy, it was Berlin, it was 33 degrees! Bring on the night.

First stop was the opening of the UMAMI on Knaackstrasse 16 in Kollowitzkietz in leafy Prinzelauerberg. 200 sexy people filled the beautifully designed restaurant that has high design concept – from the Asian lounge vibe, quaint little outdoor bird cages, all the way through to the cleverly written and designed menus. Not a detail is missed and this restaurant has successful chain in the making, written all over it.

Umami is actually the only recently recognised (by western scientists, at least) as the “fifth taste”, after salt, sweet, sour and bitter. The food at UMAMI is Indo-Chine, focusing on fresh healthy quality ingredients. We were particularly impressed with the mango salad, the Asian mini burgers and the Surf and Turf. Don’t miss the Saigon Mule, for a drink with more than a kick. 

Then it was off to Tiergarten for a night picnic. Henrik had been invited as the VIP guest to the birthday of Markus Müller-Tenckhoff, one of Berlin’s foremost guides (yes, there are other great guides in Berlin!). Stopping along the way, we picked up two bottles of champagne. Then we walked into the darkness of the park, lured by the sounds of distinct crackle of a record player playing 1920’s jazz. It was summer party paradise – lanterns, picnic blankets, a spread of food and fabulous people enjoying the long summer night. The green carpet of Mother Nature (and lots of Moet) held us spellbound until sun rise. Ah, why can’t more VIP events be held on ‘green carpet’ in summer time?

Another fun night was hitting up the opening of The House of Weekend, who have had a refit and now have the most fabulous outdoor rooftop terrace up in the clouds, with one of the best views over the city. It’s all sophisticated and glamorous with a picture postcard view. There’s great food, courtesy of Hartmann BBQ, cool drinks and the sweet, sweet sounds of Berlin’s best DJ’s on a hot summer’s night.

We recognised many famous faces from the Berlin scene, as the paparazzi flashed away. This is the crowd that used to rave hard to electro beats eight years ago at Weekend. Now they’ve been transformed into a mature audience in glitterati outfits, high heels, suits and bow ties. It’s great to be back in this reborn and pimped up venue, once again!

We’re so high, it feels like heaven!

On tour – Urban Living

When Bundesverband der Deutschen Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken, okay that’s a mouthful, let’s say BVR were having their conference, they asked Berlinagenten for a Damenprogramme’, whereby spouses could entertained during daytime while their other half was at conference. In total there were 200 spouses, and 20 were lucky to sign up for the most exclusive of all tours ‘The Urban Living Tour’, where you visit the homes of three Berlin personalities.

Henrik got the idea looking up at the windows and wondering – who lives behind those curtains? How do the live? How do they decorate their apartments? How do they make their living?

“I wanted to offer my guests the answer of these questions,’ he says. “I know so many cool people and fun personalities in Berlin that I pulled together a concept to open their front doors to visit. I find locals who have stories to tell, odd things to show/share in a fun/cool/design/arty apartment. Most of people are artists or freelancers in the creative fields.

It´s like a reality TV show’ where you step into a room, an apartment and the manuscript is written live on spot. There are many fun surprises will occur depending on your curiosity and eagerness to ask questions. You will be able to sneak around in somebody´s home and have look in each room, or, even discover their sex toys if you are (un)lucky!”.

 

On Tour – Graffiti Workshops

Bain_8Here in Berlin, we embrace graffiti as an art-form. Berlin is literally tattooed with graffiti and street art. Berlinagenten also uses street art, as a team bonding exercise. In April, we helped twenty people from Canon, Germany and 30 from Bain & Company from Switzerland discover their inner Banksy.

Berlinagenten runs this workshop with professionals from deep within the street art scene. While learning to use a spray can and tag is a highlight in itself, the location is mind blowing.  We are the only official company, offering professional graffiti workshops at the abandoned spy station built in the Cold War, atop the hill of Teufelsberg. The location is not only of historical importance it also offer a magnificent views over Berlin! Our guests get the feeling, that they are spraying painting on ghosts of the past.

So, what do companies get out of them in terms of team building? In many cases, a company want to step out of the traditional way of group bonding. This experience is very exclusive, unique and creative. It gives each individual the chance to try something they would never do by themselves.

Also Berlinagenten focuses on ‘building brands through unique experiences’. Companies love the idea of involving their products, logotype or values within a graffiti workshop. For example, the team spraying the company’s logotype or product.

We also offer snacks, drinks, music and can even bring in break dancers, fire performers or Dj-sets. This fun and inspiring workshop leaves our guests with impressions and emotions, which last  long after the paint has dried. 

To find out more, check out this video.

The scene: Berlin’s hottest beach bars.

Holzmarkt

From the legends that were Kater Holtzig and famed Bar 25 comes Holzmarkt, in the same spot that was the old Bar 25. The massive HolzMarket has a big vision to realise – a luxury hotel, cheap accommodation, cultural centre plus a start up incubator. Right now, it’s a super cool club with great sounds, food and drinks. The future is wide open. Watch this space.

Sage Restaurant 

In absolute prime position on the Spree, Sage Restaurant opens its sandy terrace up for chilling, dancing, relaxing, eating and drinking. Fab and glam.

Strandbar

This was the first Berlin beach bar. Watch the tourist boats float by, whilst chill out music floats on the steamy hot air creating a chilled out atmosphere. Nighttime, the outdoor dance floor rocks to DJ’s or couples showing off their ballroom and salsa dancing skills.

Kiki Blofeld

Back in the day, Bar 25′s across the river neighbour was Kiki Blofeld. Now, they’ve opened up further up the Spree in Oberschoeneweide in the Köpenick district. Situated in one of the old Reinbeck industrial halls, the beach bar is right on the waterfront. It makes for the perfect summer spot, for drinks, dancing and there’s even a volleyball court for the active. Look out for Canadian rock singer Bryan Adams, who is converting the old industrial hall next door into an exhibition space and studio.

Badeschiff

Berliners really know how to rock a pool. Literally translated Badeschiff means the Bath Ship, which is essentially what is it. Made from a recycled hull of a river cargo ship, the swimming pool floats on the river Spree. Don’t expect to be doing laps as the pool gets packed during the height of summer and sizzles with overt sexiness and trendy good-looking people. Connected by wooden boardwalks, there’s a sandy beach area perfect for sunbathing and an open-air bar open that until midnight, where you can hear the best of Berlin’s music scene.

Berlinagenten’s Tenth Anniversary Party

Berlinagenten celebrates its 10-year-anniversary in June! 10 years of hard work, long days, late nights, boozing, flirting, mingling, travelling, networking, crazy clients, celebs, VIP guests, and companies, etc. We wouldn’t change a second of it for the world! To celebrate, Berlinagenten will be throwing the mother of all parties in September. Henrik has been scheming and coming up with a party that will blow your mind, and your brain cells. So be prepared to cancel your holiday, get your sister to change her wedding date, because you don’t want to miss this one. Here’s Henrik to give us a recap on the last ten years. A decade already! How much of it do you remember?

Hahaha, what kind of question is that? :) Sometimes, I remember everything perfectly  and sometimes, it is really blur if the clients want me to eat, drink, party and dance with them for days.

 What the sparked the idea for Berlinagenten?

I moved to Berlin 2001 and realised that Berlin does not have the usual infrastructure of a  major city centre and visible neighbourhoods to visit. In Berlin, everything totally random and spread out, with East and West as the main cities and on each side,  you will find many “centres” with totally different styles and lifestyles.

During the daytime, it seems like the historical central Mitte or Kudamm in West that are the centres, but at night, they are dead. In most capitals around Europe, you go into the centre and can get lost in the buzz with people, restaurants, cafes, clubs, shops, etc but in Berlin its the opposite – you need to leave the centre and find your way to the buzz in the hoods, surrounding the major down town areas.

It’s very confusing for tourists/first time visitors and they could find Berlin boring if they don’t know where to look. As a result, I felt that somebody had to be “Mother Theresa” and show all lost visitors the right way to go in order to see the real city.

I started with the “Urban Insider” in mind and developed different lifestyle tours in order to discover Berlin’s hidden gem from a edgier angle. The gastro-rallye was the first product I developed and now is the most popular!

Who was on the first tour?

A judge and a bear

Naturally, can your recall your wildest nightlife tour?

Which story do you want to hear? The night when I caught a cab and the driver was so stoned, he crashed the cab into the fence of Berghain and jumped the queue with me, or when my crazy clients ordered a huge magnum bottle of champagne for just 8000 euro, which included a man dressed as Darth Vader and 8 dancing Go-Go-Girls, or when I was on standby for a night out with Katy Perry at Soho House? I say no more…

What is the most scandalous thing that ever happened?

Without doubt a visit to the notorious fetish club KitKat with American Pie-starlet Tara Reid, who was freaked out by all the naked skin she faced and suddenly left Berlin, the next morning. She turned out to be too weak for Berlin’s infamous nightlife and the scandal brought me into the spotlight of media! I loved it!

You are known for throwing outrageous parties. What can we expect for the 10th anniversary party? 

Oh, better you plan your holiday or sign up for Betty Ford the week after the party! It’s going to be massive.

Insider – Niko Thomas, Model Booker

Meet Niko Thomas, head-booker for McFIT Models. Here he talks fitness, models and staying out late.

niko

Berlin is known for its partying, rather than its gyms, how important is working out and keeping fit to Berliners?

As a real Berliner, I can tell you that I’m seeing a change in Berlin’s approach to sports and fitness. There seems to be more of shift towards keeping fit now and this is a change from the years before when more of a focus was on going out and getting wasted every night. I will accept that this may just be my age, but nevertheless, I’ve noticed it.

What is your favourite Saturday night out? 

My perfect Saturday night would start with meeting up with my close friends and heading somewhere for dinner, such as Beef Bar, Soho House or Grill Royal (I can thoroughly recommend all three). After a good meal, it’s normally on to drinks at Bar Saint Jean or somewhere similar and we see where the night takes us.

So you’re head booker at McFIT MODELS. What does your job entail?

Essentially my work involves liaising with both models and the clients that want to book them, using my skills and expertise to help form an agreement from both sides. I also need to assist in the negotiations for the budget and rights involved in each campaign. Naturally this budget needs to be reasonable and I have to ensure every cost is justified. I have to communicate with other departments to think of ways that the company can become stronger, better and more innovative. It’s a very hands-on role that means I have to be personable at all times. I need to be approachable to everyone in the booking team to ensure the company gets the best out of our department and the resources at our disposal.

Tell us about McFIT MODELS concept? The concept is pretty simple. The only criteria for modelling with us is that you are a member of McFIT, look after your body and look healthy.

Do you practise what you preach? How many times a week at the gym or sports, are you? 

Personally, I really enjoy going to the gym and working out. You’ll usually find me there 3-4 times a week. I really do feel that you need to lead by example but not only that, I want to reap the physical and mental benefits of exercise. In moderation, there can only really be benefits to keeping fit.

What is your biggest campaign that you’ve booked?

I don’t really want to give preference to a certain campaign by calling it bigger than the others. Every campaign counts and we feel proud with each and every campaign we run. Of course, one day we would love to have world famous clients such as Gucci or Nike, but we have already ran campaigns for some of the biggest companies, Reebok for example. We also assisted in the latest AXE campaign, which was very exciting to be part of. On the whole though, the impetus is on finding the right models for the right client. That is our main aim.

Where would we find you on a Sunday morning at 9am? At a fitness class or at Berghain? Be honest!

To be honest, at 9am on a Sunday I am definitely going to be in my bed. I am much more of a night owl than an early bird.

Have you got a tip for something extremely fit and healthy to do in Berlin? For example, indoor climbing wall or a cycle ride around your favourite park etc?

Well, I just bought a new bike a few months ago and I’m really enjoying using that to explore more of the city. I normally start in Prenzlauer Berg – where I live, in the north of the city – and head south East through Treptow. Berlin is a city with lots of open public spaces, lots of lakes and parks and in the Summer the greenery really takes over. This is the perfect scenery for a bike ride in my opinion. The snow in winter may make for some pretty photos but if you’re planning a trip to Berlin, nothing beats summer time.

Global Destination: Budapest

Budapest and Berlin, both begin with a B. However, they have a strikingly lot more in common than that. Berlin was the capital of the Prussian Kingdom back in the day, whilst Budapest was one of the capitals of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Both were beautiful before the war broke out. During World War 2, Hitler turned Budapest to one of his Nazi power hubs of Eastern Europe. After the war, like half of Berlin, Budapest fell under the Soviet rule. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the new generation set to catching up on what they have missed during the Cold War and creating their cities in their own image.

Whilst Berlin was 70% destroyed in the war, Budapest retained more if its original buildings. However over the last ten years, almost everything is renovated or being renovated in Berlin. Meanwhile in Budapest, many houses and facades look like settings from a World War 2 movie. No wonder many Hollywood producers choose to make their movies in Budapest nowadays, as they don’t have build up a fake studio setting.

It’s like Berlin two decades back, it gives the energetic underground scene the opportunity to use abandoned buildings for bars, clubs or galleries. Over the last ten years, the trend for Ruin Pubs & Clubs has emerged. It’s essentially finding a building in Pest, renting the cellar and ground floor, then moving in, setting up a bar, inviting bands to play and artists to show and offering cheap booze and food.

Ruin pubs you shouldn’t miss

In Szimpla kert (Simple Garden) is the mother of all ruin bars, situated in a labyrinth of a tenement house. It’s full of quirky rooms. Take a beer in a cannibalized old Trabant car, or beneath a gutted grand piano sticking out of the wall. Cheap drinks, yummy burgers and great atmosphere,

Instant is a combination of two tenement houses have been gutted to create one huge building, with former flats and rooms holding their retro qualities. Don’t miss the Upside down room, where there is a whole room of furniture hanging from the ceiling. Trippy!

Fogas ház is more a cultural space, than a pure ruin pub. Which is a good thing as it offers a sophisticated mix of both. Check out their programmes, which feature a gallery, film screenings theatre group, concerts and parties. The pizza is a bit special here, check it out.

The best ruin clubs:

Doboz  is a huge space with room for 1000 people, over two pumping dance-floors.  It’s pretty classy so make sure you dress up a bit.

Urimuri is perhaps the most Berlin like of the ruin clubs, due to the quality electronic music.

At Otkertyou’ll find international DJ’s in this urban oasis of music, food, culture and live bands.

The best nightlife

The best nightlife is to be find in 7th district -  the ‘Soho’ district, or the theatre district along and around the street Nagymező utca and in the courtyard complex Gozsdu Courtyard (which is kind of Hackesche Höfe complex, full of bars and restaurants)

Restaurants

Budapest offers an emerging restaurant scene that is avant-garde. Yet at the same time you can get a traditional heavy meals, such as Goulash.

Mak is informal and cool. Its based on the French concept of ‘bistrot gastronomique’. The menu originates from the rich culinary traditions of Hungary, as well as the tastes and textures of Asian cuisine.

Klasszetterem is another great traditional restaurant, where you sit surrounded by bottle of booze that you can buy. Check out their delicious chicken liver dumplings.

Menzaetterem is a super cool retro designed restaurant. The name refers to canteens of the Socialist era. The food is up-to-date take on the classics such as Hungarian Goulash or Beef Soup.

Don’t miss the bath of a life time! 

With all this eating, drinking and partying, you must make time for a soak in one of Budapest’s famed thermal baths. Szechenyibath is the biggest and most popular,  with many thermal pools indoors and three outdoors. Even in winter time, they are heated to 38 degrees. There’s nothing like being outside in minus degree temperatures and vanishing a cloud of steam.

Where to stay

We totally love the boutique hotel Brody House, founded in 2009, as a hub for creativity and innovation. Right in the middle of Pest, it has a relaxed Soho House vibe. Like Soho, is also a  members’ club with a stylish bar, and a hub of local creativity with a calendar crammed full of art events and book readings.