Daily Archives: 19 February 2015

Global Hotspot – Rio de Janeiro

We’re lucky enough to get our share of enjoying top notch destinations around the globe, but we were completely awestruck when we visited Brazil’s crown jewel Cidade Maravilhosa (The marvellous city) last month. Never before have we seen such a breathtaking setting for a city – surrounded by beautifully shaped mountains, curving white sand beaches and ridiculously blue water, we soon had that delightful fluttery feeling in our stomachs that you only get on a very special occasion: when you’re genuinely falling in love. With Rio de Janeiro.

The overwhelmingly friendly habitants (called Cariocas) create a very unique and laid back atmosphere that lovingly embraces the whole city. It’s not only the obvious love for the easy life that makes this city so very special, it’s also the fact that Rio is pure sex. With a coast line of 73km the city practically lives on the beach and the art of perfecting your body and showing it off publicly has become one of the most popular sports (after football, of course). 

What this means is: smoking hot people. They’re on the beach, in dance halls and open air cafes. They’re all over the place. Women trying hard to cover their assets with as little clothing as possible and numerous shredded-looking men consequently strolling around with partly erected speedo-inhabitants. Maybe that fluttery feeling of ours was a redirection of the blood flow down south after all. Sex is in the air. We love it.

Now of course Rio isn’t without their share of problems (City of God, anyone?). More than 1000 favelas (slums) are spread across the city and have been poverty-stricken and have seen high crime rates for a long time. With international events like the 2014 World Cup and the Olympics in Rio in 2016, a new police force has made almost all the favelas safe to visit and has thereby created lively cultural hubs that peacefully co-exist with the ongoing sound of catchy samba tunes rather than the fire of gun shots. The favelas are not only where the kids dream of becoming Brazil’s next great football players and vigorously conquer the streets to work on their dream’s fulfilment, they’re also the source of a near infinite creativity that’s expressed year by year when the lively melodies of the favelas take the whole city by storm in carnival season. 

Rio has enchanted its visitors for centuries and is so much more than just an inhibited, opulent city with countless dainties, bars and eye-catching costumes. Rio is a way of life.

Berlinagenten has toured this beauty of a city and found the perfect hotels, restaurants, hip boroughs, bars, clubs, shopping malls, scenic highlights and even private tours for your next getaway vacation. 

The Districts…

Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa used to be home to the city’s wealthy upper class that left when the neighborhood started suffering from decay and neglect. Today Santa Teresa can be considered as Rio’s cool bohemian Montmatre – the city’s artistic heart. We hoped to take a challenging ride on the the old-fashioned street cars called bondes to get a very unique view over the city that way. Unfortunately they were down for maintenance, so we hopped on a taxi instead and drove up the serpentine alleys to discover a few marvellous old mansions along the way. Once you made it to the top you’re rewarded with magnificent view over downtown!

Lapa

When most hoods get quiet after midnight, Lapa becomes the new queen of nightlifte districts. The perfect starting point for discovering the hood is the old aqueduct Arcos da Lapa. Lapa is relatively small in size but very popular for its vivid nightlife – many of the district’s houses have been turned into late night bars and dance halls over the years, making it home to unforgettable samba nights. Arrrrrriba! (Make sure you don’t spill your drink while shouting).

Centro (downtown)

The city’s center is best known for its cultural highlights: Prestigious churches, historical squares, colonial buildings, modern skyscrapers, art deco architecture and museums roam the streets and wait to be discovered. Don’t miss out Teatro Municipal (a masterpiece), Arco Do Teles and the colonial streets around Rua Do Ouvidor, Real Gabinete Português De Leitura (a library a la Harry potter) and the Cathedral of Rio De Janeiro. All with guaranteed wow-factor!

Copacabana

The famous beach is home to swimmers, joggers, surfers and is a real hot spot (literally) for going out and having a few drinks. And watching certain parts of the body happily bounce to the constant rhythm of beach volleyballs flying from left to right. The Nossa Senhora de Copacabana is one of the two streets inland and boasts lots of shops and boutiques, so shop away! Approximately 80% of all hotels in Rio are squeezed into the 4 km long neighbourhood so expect mass tourism and less glamour. The golden days of this area are gone but with the new museum Copacobana gets a new landmark right next to the beach.

Ipanema

Ipanema is easy to love, it reminds you of some of the world’s best beach hoods: Miami South beach, Tel Aviv and Venice beach. The district’s buildings aren’t exactly the prettiest we’ve ever encountered, but you can feel the diversity of the area on every corner. The vivid borough is marked by the peaceful co-existence of stereotyped gays, boho-chic locals and sexy tourists. They meet at the beach every day for beach activities, pick-nicks and lots of caipirinha causing a daily party vibe when they all crawl over the beach promenade to the nearest bar in the hood after sunset. Especially on sundays, when the beachside street gets closed for traffic, Ipanema beach gets really crazy. Cyclists, inline skaters, sun seekers and muscle posers take over the place, showing off their best assets. Clothing has never been so tight and the caipi has never been so yummy!

Leblon 

A little more sophisticated than Ipanema, Leblon probably is the trendiest neighbourhoods right now. Accommodation here comes at a price and you won’t have trouble finding top notch bars and restaurants to fulfil your culinary needs. Local television and movie stars frequently visit the beach, infusing it with a touch of exclusivity. And Silicone. Don’t miss walking up to Mirante Do Leblon (direction favela Vidagal) to get the much envied facebook picture of Leblon and Ipanema beach.

Places To Be

Rua Dias Ferreira, Leblon. Bar and restaurant hopping among hipsters, telenovela stars, creatives and fashionistas. Check here for more.

Praça São Salvado, Flamengo. Somewhat off the beaten track, this place is a true treasure cave on any evening of the week. Especially on the weekends it’s the perfect location for drinking beer, watch locals hanging out on the square, socializing and chilling in a beautiful setting. We met many cool young people and think it’s a great place for traditional meals in one of the local pubs and restaurants around the square. This is the place.

Praça Santos Dumont, Gávea. Only on Sundays you will find a flea market here. Get here in the afternoon and hang out in front of any of the local restaurants and pubs, grab a beer at Bar do Alemão and soak up the local flair away from all the mainstream tourism. Surfers, skaters & bikers pop in for a beer, to pose their muscles and tanned bodies… a perfect start for a night out on an early Sunday!

Farme de Amoedo, Ipamena. Rio’s gay street where it gets busy as soon as the sun goes down. Perfect for watching people with an after beach beer in your hand. You have probably never seen so many half naked men mingling the streets just in zungas (speedos) but no wonder when the temperature hardly drops under 30 degrees by night in the summer. The main gathering inns where the action keeps going on until late hours are Galitos, Tô Nem Aí and Pop Eye butthere are lots of cosy eateries to be found in the side streets.

Where to stay?

Rio’s hotels have been in transition for a while now – unsightly towers along the beach have dominated the scene for years, offering poor service and even less luxury. These last years have seen an eagerly awaited upspring of trendy design & boutique hotels though, that initiated a whole new era of upscale hotel luxury in Rio. The rates of the beachfront lodgings are now amongst the most expensive in the world and they like to double or triple their rates during high season (New Year & Carnival), so you’re well advised to book months in advance.

Fasano Rio (our top pick)

The jewel in the crown of Rio’s hotel scene is the fabulous Fasano Rio, designed by Phillipe Stark. Not only the London bar and groundfloor restaurant boast uberstylish visitors. Its rooftop infinity pool is the hangout for visiting A-listers and attracts a model look-a-like crowd. Splash in the pool all day and make sure that you don’t miss the sunset from the rooftop, just stunning! Book a room with ocean view in order to get the full Ipanema experience. 

Belmond Copacabana Palace

Very exclusive. The hotel features a swimming pool, beach service, a tennis court, a fitness center and even two boutiques within the hotel. With the beach just meters away, you’re right in the epicentre of all the buzz.

Santa Teresa Hotel

This property is member of Relais Châteaux and is a hidden oasis up on the hills of the historic district Santa Teresa. The hotel boasts spectacular panoramic views of the Bay of Rio and the Centro, colonial atmosphere, “tropical chic” design and a lush garden with a pool. The restaurant reinterprets contemporary Brazilian cuisine and the Bar Dos Descasados is an exclusive meeting place by nights.

More Hotels:

Villa No. 174

Casa Mosquito

La Suite Rio

Mirante Do Arvrao

Rio Apartments

Where to eat?

The Cariocas love food. Their cuisine is heavily influenced by the Portuguese colonisers and Africans who immigrated to the city centuries ago. Expect intense flavours, spices and lots of meat.  Great thing is, you can take your time while eating. No waiter is even going to think of asking you to leave because their shifts are over, so have great, long talks, linger over your meals and don’t forget to sip on your cold beer in between. There’s no excuse to rush in Rio, because service is very slow! Note: table reservations are only accepted until 8pm, or you drop in with risk for long waiting list!

Restaurante Aprazível (our top pick)

Garota de Ipanema

Felice Caffè

Bazzar

Viasete

La Fiorentina

Bar Do Mineiro

Great Bars

Rio’s nightlife isn’t half as wild and cosmopolitan as it is in Sao Paulo. The focus is more on getting tipsy on the beach and enjoying caipis in a corner bar than advanced clubbing and sleepless nights out. However, there’s countless ways of getting your game on in Rio, starting from buying cooled beer out of the trunk of a car on the next corner, visiting one of the botequins (bars) where you’re welcomed by finger foods and even more cold beer or opting for a more sophisticated venue and hitting one of the trendy & expensive bars with live music in Leblon. You definitely can’t do wrong with these:

Fasano al Mare (our top pick)

Bar dos Descasados

Bar Astor

Barzin

Belmonte II

Bouncy Clubs

As Rio grows into an international destination a little more every year, their nightlife is continually reinventing itself and new neighbourhoods with bars and clubs popped up lately. Check out the area around Rua Sacadura Cabral in Saúde. Even though Sao Paulo is boasting the ultimate club scene on this planet (comparable with Berlin) the party lovers will find satisfaction in Rio as well if they dig in the program and ask around. Everything is on the menue these days but you won’t get away from the Samba rhythms in most venues. It’s summer in Rio right now, so the nightlife is as hot as it gets. Just the way we like it. Our top picks:

The Week (our top pick)

Rio Scenarium

00 Rio de Janeiro

Fosfobox

Espaco Acústica

Barzinho

Other Highlights include…

Carnival and New Year’s Eve

These are traditionally the nights where Rio goes completely CRAZY. With million of people celebrating on the streets, you’re guaranteed to never experience anything like it  anywhere else on the planet. But on New Year’s Eve pull on your favourite white beach outfit (white is the base outfit and means peace) and enjoy the mesmerizing fireworks from the Copacobana beach with 2 million people! Definitely on the list of “hundred things you have to do before you die”!

The Santa Marta Favela Tour

Follow the trails of dead pop legend Michael Jackson as you explore the Santa Marta Favela, the place where the King of Pop shot his video for “They Don’t Really Care About Us” in 1996!

The Joatinga Beach

A secluded bay with the most pristine beach off the beaten track below the superluxurious villas of Joá district – Rio´s answer of Beverly Hills. Well worth the visit if you want to get away from the crowdy beaches in the city!

Bar Urca & The Sugar Loaf

This place is settled right on the shore of the picturesque hood of Urca and it is considered to be the longest open air dining place of Rio. Grab a beer and some typical Brazilian delicatessen at the bar and prepare your lunch or pick-nick on the stone fence by the waterside just opposite the bar. Not only is the atmosphere and the food great, it also comes with a spectacular view of Botafogo, Flamengo & Centro. To round up the visit, take a ride on a cable car to the top of the famous Sugar Loaf Mountain and enjoy panoramic views over one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

Sunday brunch at Copacabana Palace

Overlooking the Copacabana’s legendary swimming pool, Pérgula Restaurant offers first class Brazilian and international cuisine in a refined yet relaxed atmosphere. The casual poolside ambience is perfect for Pérgula’s renowned Sunday Brunch from 1pm – 5pm.

Confeitaria Colombo

The Institution in Rio´s gastronomic scene since 1894. A traditional coffee shop reminding of a Viennese coffee house.

Private Tours

There’s lots to be discovered on your own in Rio, but if you really want to get to know Rio off the beaten path and find out it’s best kept secrets and spots, try one of these great private tours! We recommend:

Bernard’s Private Tours

6 hours will cost you 650R$ for two people (car included). Bernard led us past the Horto Waterfall, Vista Chinesa, Tijuca Foreest, The Santa Marta Favelas and showed us around in Urca.

MBransford Tours

For two people with an included car you’ll have to pay 1350R$ with Marco Bransford Tours. We took a dive into the districts of Downtown, Lapa, Santa Teresa and the Prazeras Favela. Both tours were absolutely great and provided us with insider knowledge you won’t find in any city guide, so don’t hesitate to take one of these amazing tours!

Red Carpet: Henrik Meets The Fashion Week

Berlin loves fashion! Fashion loves Berlin! Once a year the high pitched battlecry for new trends assembles countless labels in the heart of Europe to present their latest creations at the Berlin fashion week. This year was all about record breaking numbers, more visitors than ever, more than 3000 brands and about 200 glamorous events from celebrations to catwalks related to the happening took place all over the city. We’ve seen some great shows and jaw-dropping fashion, but let’s cut right to the most important point. The parties!

Tommy Hilfiger Opening

Tommy Hilfiger goes Berlin. His new anchor store in a cool, urban neighbourhood in Mitte sells anything from women’s, men’s and children’s wear to Hilfiger Denim and fragrances.

The grand opening came in the disguise of an exclusive in-store event with special guests like model Julia Restoin Roitfeld, the equally beautiful Eva Padberg, “Jungle”-Queen Melanie Müller, Olivia Jones, football player Christoph Metzelder and American singer&songwriter Chris Cab, who pampered our ears with his beautiful live perfomances over the evening. We mixed ourown fragrance at Frau Tonis Parfum before we left. Fancy.

The Kooples Party

The Kooples. Sounds strange, right? That’s because they’re French. The label recently opened their second store in Berlin, slowly but steady coming closer to their target of world domination. To make sure their latest collection would get the attention it deserved, they invaded England. Joking! Just the Chelsea Bar on every hipster’s favourite street, Torstraße. Catchy indie tunes performed by Baxter Dury and exquisite snacks by one of Neukölln’s finest, Café Roamers, definitely made the evening stand out from your usual night on Torstraße! Go Kooples!

USM Project50 

Nope, USM Project50 isn’t some undercover operation by the US forces. The swiss company (USM) invited artists, designers and students to attend their fashion week party, where apparently fashion isn’t limited to clothing anymore. USM is looking to reinvent the modular furniture business and tries to lure creative people from around the globe by ensuring the booze at their parties never runs out. An evil, yet successful strategy. We danced along to the live perfomance by Berlin-based band Schwarz Don’t Crack and might have had a few shots too many. But psshhh!!! 

Lavera Showfloor

The launch event of the Lavera Eco Fashion Show traditionally is one of our favourites. They pulled off a great show last year and managed to top it this year, so it was no wonder that it turned to be a true celebrity showcase. Models like Elisabetta Canalis, Bonnie Strange and Eveline Hall wore sustainably produced avantgarde couture and natural cosmetics, hence the motto “Celebrating Natural Beauty”. The showroom was stacked with VIPs – Lavera knows how to make an impression and the demand for seats at their shows is huge. We’ll be back next time!

Mercedes Benz Catwalk

We couldn’t believe our eyes when Boris Becker’s daughter Anna Ermakowa made an appearance as smooth as a supermodel at the fashion week and majestically presented some of Riani’s finest dresses. Just a few seats from us we could see her mother’s eyes sparkle with pride each time Anna went by. To top it all off, Riana’s chief designer Ulrich Schulte accompanied her for the final walk where they were greeted by thunderous applause by the enchanted crowd. Celebs like Cheyenne Savannah, Natascha Ochsenknecht, Olivia Jones, Marie Nasemann, Inka Bause, Bettina Cramer and former “Modern Talking” singer Thomas Anders took up the places around us and eagerly awaited Anna’s big performance. A wait well worth it.

Die Antwoord Nailed It

Die Antwoord have proven they know how to rock Berlin with glam and style. Even though Berlinagenten keep a busy schedule when it comes to partying, it has been a while since we’ve last seen anything that went straight through the roof like Die Antwoord. Either they have some of the most passionate fans in the world or somebody was handing out ecstasy pills at the doors (both seems likely enough). We danced through steaming hot 1 1/2 hours to a hypnotic mix of electro-trash, pop, indie and african drum grooves. Perfect start for an extended night of clubbing. If you haven’t heard of Die Antwoord yet, here’s your chance to catch up.



Insiders – Stephan Hentschel

Stephan Hentschel is one of the most celebrated chefs in Berlin right now. He’s best known for his role as kitchen chef in the vegetarian restaurant Cookies Cream (which scored a very decent 14 points in the Gault Millau) , not-so vegetarian Chipps at Gendarmenmarkt and newly opened Crackers on Friedrichstraße. He’s also co-owner of the Volta gastro-pub, famous for their delicious burgers. We immediately liked him.

Q: Hey Stephan. Us at Berlinagenten, we love meat. Nice and tender, tasty and juicy. How come you’re best known for cooking vegetarian dishes?

A: That actually wasn’t up to me. I’m not even a vegetarian. It’s the Cookie Cream’s concept to only serve tasty, vegetarian dishes and I’ve been up for the challenge for the past 7 years. In most restaurants you’ll get your standard rice or pasta dish when you’re inclined to avoid meat, but we’re trying to create vegetarian meals that are somewhat out of the ordinary. If you’re a meatlover, though, swing by at Chipps, Volta or our newly opened restaurant Crackers and you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Q: What’s new about the Crackers?

A: The Crackers is located right below the Cookies Cream, so obviously we went for a different concept there. While the Cookies Cream is about fine dining, the Crackers provides a cozy, leaned back living room atmosphere, where you can just hang out with friends, have some food and enjoy a few drinks while you’re at it. It’s basically just one really spacey room that you enter through the kitchen, a mix between bar, lounge and restaurant. There’s DJ nights on tuesday, thursday and friday nights in the same halls that were once home to the Cookies… it’s not as dead as you might think.

Q: Did you always dream of becoming a chef?

A: I didn’t even know I wanted to cook in the first place! I originally started working on a construction site, but reality hit me pretty soon. Getting up early, all the while in the cold outside and just a few poorly made sandwiches for the day weren’t really my thing. At all. After that I did a traineeship at a 5 star hotel’s kitchen and realized I wanted to become a chef rather than a construction worker.

Q: Berlin wasn’t really buzzing on the culinary radar of Europe’s cities for a pretty long time. Why do you think that changed over the last years?

A: When I came to Berlin after finishing my training in 2001, there was about a handful of decent restaurants in the city. I think that transformation was due to Berlin drawing young and creative people from all over the world, more than a few of them being chefs. They came here to enjoy life, live their dreams and of course, go partying. The working hours in hotels don’t really fit these ambitions, so many of them took up jobs in restaurants, which eventually led to an increased creative quality on the menues. On the other hand there’s that great supply of organic food we’re getting now, the groceries come straight from the farmers to our restaurants. That led to a big increase of the food’s quality.

Q: Even though you’re still pretty young (33), you’re celebrated as Berlin’s next master chef and the culinary world craves for you creations. How do you handle the hype?

A: To be honest, the hype doesn’t really mean that much to me. I’m just glad I get to cook at my own restaurants and they’re going well, what more could I ask for? Sometimes people ask me if I didn’t want to have a Michelin star, but honestly, I don’t. We’re almost always booked up and having a Michelin star would just mean less guests.

Q: Less guests? I should have thought more guests!

A: Our costumers are a cool, leaned back crowd that come here because they feel we’re still down to earth and carry some of that urban Berlin flair. I feel the same way and don’t care for a star and I think neither do our costumers. Of course, there’s a few Michelin star chefs who are doing a great job at marketing and manage to create their own brand, anyway. In the end, I think the Cookies Cream is one of the top notch restaurants in Berlin, star or not.

Q: Agreed! Is there a dish you can’t stand?

A: I’m really not into food that’s still moving when it’s served. Or blue mold cheese.

Q: Where do you find our inspiration?

A: I just have a look at the groceries, really. There’s about 12 different farmers that I regularly visit and we’re talking through what can be planted or harvested soon and then I just kind of go from there. But my personal favourite is the classic french cuisine. I’m a bit of a potato-boy.

Q: The Cookies Cream is located right above the former Club Cookie. Did you often encounter party zombies that would swing by after dancing a whole night through, seeking to refill their vitamin tanks?

A: Nah, they mostly swung by in the evening, before they became party zombies. Our light fares are a solid choice for a pre-party meal. Lots of vitamins and easy on the stomach, gets you through the night every time. The next morning people are more inclined to pay their tributes to the Chipps, where they can get hearty English meals to deal with the hang over.

Q: Let’s talk clubbing. Do you often pay hommage to the famous Berliner Technoschuppen (techno clubs)?

A: I used to be a real Berghain-kiddo. Even back then, when it was still called Ostgut. I’m a huge fan of electronic music and I’m really into techno and house parties. You’d often find me at Kater Holzig, about:blank or sometimes the Watergate. Then there’s that great underground techno party culture you’ll only find in Berlin… not always strictly legal, but guaranteed to blow your mind away.

Q: Which other restaurants can you recommend? Apart from yours, obviously. 

A: I like to hang out in the Prater Biergarten on sunny days and have some classic Schnitzel along with a cool beer. Hard to beat! Other than that, there’s the Cocolo Ramen on the Gipsstraße, definitely worth a visit.

Alright! Thanks for taking the time, Stephan, we’ll see you soon!

The Scene meets The Store

You can’t decide if you want to go shopping, be a couch potato, have some organic food, get your hairs&nails done, check out some art installations, buy some vinyls, read a book or even get some work done? There’s good news: you don’t have to. 

A concept store simply called The Store recently opened its doors in the Soho House Berlin and unites it all under one roof. The great thing about it is that it doesn’t matter if you’re a privileged member or simply want to swing by to grasp some of the unique Soho Flair – it’s open to anyone. Anything you can touch can be bought (except people, as it turned out to our dismay. The staff is HOT). Don’t expect large crowds fighting over the exquisite selection of clothes, though, instead think of a huge shoppable living room where people come together to work, connect and share their ideas over a cup of coffee and buying things becomes more of a side activity. 

Roaming the hall we realized there’s something special about this place: the exotic smells. In one corner it’s scented candles, in the next the pleasant smell of old wood, then it’s the scents coming from the kitchen and then there’s a point where they’re all mixing together and create a whole new arousing smell altogether. Buzzy.

The Store carries well known labels like The Row, Alexander Wang, Jil Sander, Proenza Schouler, Issey Miyake and Baja East and offers a very exclusive selection of clothes. Lots of the stuff will be hard to come by anywhere else in Berlin as creative director Alex Eagle handpicks the pieces to be sold in The Store.

You don’t have to worry about getting tired shopping or working either, The Store Kitchen offers exquisite coffee and freshly squeezed juice to get you right back in the game. There’s also smoothies, salads and soups to be had, all made with high quality organic ingredients. Tasty!

Summing it up: The Store is an amazing place and fits all the needs that both a creative professional and a part-time shopping queen could have. Don’t miss out on this.

On Tour – Blanca Beltz goes Berlin

Berlinagenten loves Blanca Beltz! B.B. is a young consultancy for brands and companies, specialising in interior design and contemporary ambients. Do have a look at their website and you’ll see these guys mean serious business: they shape retail shops for multinational brands and their projects so far look pretty awesome to say the least.

When we received word they were looking for an inspirational&educational tour with focus on the creative scene, we didn’t hesitate to hook them up with our popular Creative Scene Tour and dived right into the city’s flourishing start up and newcomers scene.

Blanca Beltz is an uprising star in the design scene, so we figured they’d benefit the most by getting a behind the scenes glimpse into a internationally successful Berlin-based company that’s already made it to the top: ic!Berlin. A company that sells high quality screwless glasses to the likes of Brad Pitt, Samuel L. Jackson and even the King of Marocco (prices range from 300€ – 2000€). But.. how did they manage to get that far? While enjoying the panoramic view over the city on the company’s rooftop, our spanish guests from Blanca Beltz learned all about guerilla marketing, how to approach celebs to help build their brand reputation and creating the right image for their company. Keys to success, mark my words.

To infuse our guests with even more of the infamous Berlin spirit, we paid our tributes to an experimental space called Platoon made out of ship containers (like pieces of Lego built on each other), always moving on to the next temporary location when the construction takes off. Our guests learned all about art-oriented communication, cultural development and edgy bellow-the-line strategies in order to reach an audience. Now we know that listening all day can get tiresome indeed, so we handed out some refreshing beers while listening to the presentations.

Screaming, dancing and singing mechanic monsters finished off our day in a bizarre underground amusement park – a great example of unconventional ways in which art can be created and displayed. Our guests expressed their great appreciation for the inspiring places we had taken them that day, but we couldn’t hold them off any longer: a group of cheerful designers went to conquer the city by night. Who knows where they ended up…

The Scene meets The Studio

He’s done it again. The Studio is the fourth restaurant opened in Berlin under the culinary reign of two Michelin-star chef Tim Raue. It’s located on the ground floor of The Factory, Berlin’s innovative silicon valley, which is home to cutting edge global tech companies such as Twitter, Mozilla or SoundCloud. 

The employees working in The Factory are lured down into the Studio by not only the delicious smell, but also the attractive special prices at lunch time. Mains can be had for 4€ – 10€, an unbeatable price if you consider both the exquisite taste and high quality of the food. The evening menu prices range from 50€ to 90€ and are well worth the money, you can have up to 10 courses! They’re sweet, they’re sour, they’re spicy – in short, they’re bound to activate even the last of your taste buds.

What’s enjoyable about the Studio apart from the food is its laid back atmosphere. Rather than aiming to attract a super chic crowd and designing the place accordingly, the restaurant is more of a cozy and stylish neighbourhood eatery. The former border house’s deco boasts a mix of awesome custom made vintage furniture, dark woodwork and warm colors to create contrast to the modern offices that many of the people working at The Factory spend most of their days in. Upon entering the venue you’re literally passing a chapter of recent Berlin history – one of the buildings walls actually is an original piece of the famous Berlin Wall.

Tim Raue and kitchen chef Sascha Friedrichs came up with a flexible food concept, granting them a maximum of creative freedom. Every few weeks they recreate the menu under a different motto, which means things never get boring around here and you’re often in for a culinary surprise when visiting the Studio. We had a 6 course menu and let’s just say this: mind = blown.

We were especially impressed with the delicious black pepper beef cheek with pearl onions and lettuce, so get there quickly and try it before the menu changes! After a few white wines we really opened up to the location and stayed way longer than we originally intended (and had more wines than orginally intended, too). The restaurant’s atmosphere is the perfect fit for the techies sharing the house, creating just the right ambience for uninhibited talks over lunch. We’re sure it will be home to many great ideas. We can’t wait to return!

On Tour: Wella Japan Meets The Creative Scene

Berlin is all about individuality. You’re free to be whoever you want to be and spending just a few minutes on the streets will assure you that you can look as absurd as it pleases you, too. Tainted Sunglasses, peacock feathers and ripped jeans with your suit jacket? No probs. Undies on your head? Happens all the time. Hence, no one so much as batted an eye when a whole bunch of super trendy looking stylists from WELLA’s Japan division led by Berlinagenten started roaming the streets of Berlin Mitte to hunt for the coolest trends in the city.

Berlinagenten took them on a specially designed Cool Hunting Tour to fulfil their inspirational needs and really help them to dig into Berlin’s creative atmosphere – after all they were here to broaden their horizons and catch some of the city’s unique flair to bring it back home.

After visiting some of Berlin’s mandatory landmarks, we’ve had the pleasure of hosting four simultaneous tours through different trendy boroughs, all well known for their cool&edgy restaurants, bars, design stores and hip boutiques. Every now and then we’ve made somewhat longer stops at the locations to give our vigorous youngsters the chance to ask in depth questions and have a look behind the scenes – we promised to really give them insight into the Berlin fashion and art scene and we didn’t let them down! Visits included fashion labels like Picapica (known for high quality plant-dyed organic-clothing), Tausche, Devaki (they make some of the finest hats), but also the Art Center Bethanien and Berlin’s newest design temple, the Bikini House.

After an eventful day our guests boasted all the pictures they had taken that day over a gourmet dinner at the Soho House, sharing all the colourful memories of a day that’s bound to stay on their minds for months to come. A few of our japanese guests just couldn’t get enough of the city (and Berlinagenten) and decided to join us for a wild night out – strictly off the books. If the others won’t forget Berlin anytime soon, they certainly never will. We ended up partying until the early morning at Berlin’s sexiest cult party – Chantal’s House of Shame and our guests (literally) screamed with delight, all night! We’re already looking forward to having you guys again.