Daily Archives: 24 March 2015

Global Hotspot – Booming Barcelona

Since Rio de Janeiro has already given us a sweet taste of the life on the beach (and god it was tasty), we decided to give one of sunny Spain’s most legendary cities a shot. Barcelona. A city that seems to be consequently turning up in any “top city destinations” lists we can get a hold of. So, about time for Berlinagenten to check out what all the buzz was about!

It was easy enough to see when we got there. The city virtually pulses with life and creativity. It’s located right on the mediterranean seaside, features untold cultural treasures such as Gaudi’s Modernisme masterpieces (the most prominent one being La Sagrada Familia, the colorful city architecture and of course a world-class dining and nightlife scene. Star and Celeb-studded bars, easy going cerveserias in downtown (yes, that means beer) or all-night dancing in one of the many discotecas – a Barcelona trip comes with the guarantee of unforgettable nights.

Ever since the city was host to the Olympic Games in 1992 and the Universal Forum of Cultures in 2004, there seems to be not stopping its success story. Authorities have aimed to cause gentrification around high-quality architecture by building museums and promoting cultural sites and have thereby helped to greatly improve rundown districts like El Raval into a new home for trendy restaurants, bars and even the wealthy bourgeois. There’s probably no single city in Europe that has underwent such a radical change in the last decades. The urban renewal transformed Barcelona from a provincial port into a glamorous seaside metropolis that draws tourists from all over the globe. After the rediscovery of its beauty there’s been a steady supply of movies based in Barcelona, such as All About My Mother , Woody Allen’s Vicky Christina Barcelona and The Gunman.

But be advised: the huge amount of tourists also attracts some of Europe’s best pick-pockets! Put some drawing pins in your pockets to find the (now screaming) thieves. And don’t forget the evil laugh afterwards! Also, make sure you don’t forget about the pins when reaching for your wallet yourself. Turns out that happens pretty easily.

Now. Lean back, grab a cerveza and enjoy our tips for a perfect stay under the Iberian Sun!

The Best Hoods

Barcelona holds vast cultural gems. Barri Gotic is the city’s most ancient quarter and home to the historic old town of Barcelona. Expect to see the mesmerising heritage of centuries: monumental buildings, medieval housings, impressive squares and narrow cobbled streets will take you on a trip back to the 15th century. Pablo Picasso lived here for 10 years and his spirit is said to still roam the deserted streets at night. Hah! Nothing scares Berlinagenten! We didn’t feel the need to check it out at night however. No point taking chances.

Eixample or the “Extension” is famous for being home to Barca’s dazzling Art Nouveau masterpieces, Moderniste townhouses and a high-class residential and shopping area. Designed by Catalan engineer Credes in the 1850s, the square feels like a huge Moderniste open-air museum. It boasts a vigorous nightlife scene and a flourishing café culture. The square has become the place to be in Barca, featuring some of the finest upscale cuisines, art galleries and international design shops. This is where the wealthy kids in town slurp on their Cappucinos!

The most fashionable neighbourhood in Barcelona has to be bohemian La Ribera (with El Born as main drag). Gentrification has ensured the constant emergence of cafés, cool restaurants, small design boutiques next to some of the cities most iconic buildings from the Moderniste Palau de la Musica Catalana to the Museu Picasso, which attracts more than a million visitors annually. When your feet start hurting just lean back in one of the many waterfront cafés and enjoy a freshly made coffee before heading over to the beach for a long tanning session!

Gracia is one of the most popular districts of the city. It’s basically a little village of its own which has become a part of Barcelona when the city started to massively expand about a hundred years ago, hence it still bears a lot of its original historical charm and individuality. Garcia always was home the city’s working class and students, making it Barcelona’s unique hippie neighbourhood, known for the highest density of bars in the whole city. We had a great time in Garcia and probably bought more cans of beer form the street sellers than the average tourist does in a year!

When you’re looking for the most multicultural district in town, don’t miss out on El Raval. It has a bad reputation for being dirty and once having been home to Barca’s red light scene. However the district has been partly gentrified and now features a host of hotels, bars and small thrift shops with clothing you won’t find anywhere else in town. If you’re of the daring sort, put on your fanciest clothes and check out the Southern part of the district at night. Don’t forget your bazooka, though. Just in case.

Other districts include:

Montjuic is a hill overlooking the south side of the port. If you’re trying to get away from all energising excitement the city brings, Montjuic offers a very relaxed atmosphere and some must-see sights like the Magic Fountain, the lush Jardins de Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer or the MNAC, one of the cities most important museums. One of the most overlooked districts in Barcelona probably is Poblenou. It’s off the town’s hustle and bustle but still has beach access and an incredible sunny disposition away from the concrete jungle. Swing by here for some relaxed hours at some of the city’s best beaches. Another districts that’s sitting right on the beach is Barceloneta. While it’s relatively uncrowded in winter, summer is guaranteed to bring a steep rise of tourists on the beach and and evenly steep rise of street sellers. You might come for a little sun and ice cream and end up with a bunch of new shirts, bags and a parrot called Diego.

The Best Hotels

Mandarin Oriental (our top pick!)

The home of awesome. Sitting right in the middle of the Catalan capitol, Mandarin Oriental is just a stone’s throw from the classiest high-end boutiques and Barcelona’s most upscale streets. It features a Michelin-starred restaurant, a spectacular spa, a plunge pool on the roof terrace with a great view and a highly stylish interior design. Staying in this hotel will make you feel like a celeb in split second!

The Serras Barcelona

The Serras is a brand new 5 star luxury boutique hotel in 2015 near the marina. Historic Barca meets modern chic. The hotel is located right in the heart of a trendy neighbourhood on the seaside, their spacey balconies offering your front row seats to the spectacle going on below. Just like the Mandarin The Serras offers a fabulous culinary variety cooked by a Michelin-Star Chef and a breath taking rooftop terrace. If you like the fresh sea wind gently blowing in your face after waking up, this is the place.

Hotel Cotton House

The iconic building was once home to the headquarters of Cotton House Manufactures. Today it’s a high class boasting a very trendy concept and elegantly decorated rooms. The love for detail is what catches the eye from minute one. Naturally there’s a seasonal outdoor pool, an on-site restaurant, a gym and a massage room just waiting for you to swing by!

More Hotels

Mercer Barcelona

Hotel 1898

El Palauet

Denit Hotel

Where to eat?

Jaimie Beriestain (our top pick!)

Jaimie’s 500sqm store is a crossover between a concept store, an IKEA for the stylish&wealthy and a cozy little eatery. Sit down in the 80-seat café and have a snack as you decide which of the design objects to take home!

Bar 68

Bar 68 is located in a very energetic neighbourhood, where you’re not sure if you want to take a look into one of the bars or take a look into what the next hooker has got to offer. The menu however offers a mix of Latino, Mediterranean and Italian flavors. The food is great – but the famous cocktails are even better. We have no idea how we got home afterwards… good job, Bar 68!

Bar Brutal

If Picasso was still alive, this is the bar where he’d end up. Just a jump away from the Picasso Museum, you’ll find tasty tapas and antipasti on the menu, along with a choice selection of wines. Perfect way to start your evening.

More Bars

Tickets & 41º Experience

Bar Lobo

Boca Grande

4 Gats

Luxury Hotspots

El Nacional (our top pick!)

El Nacional boasts 3000sqm space and 770 seats dedicated to fresh food, drinks and the joys of the Spanish cuisine. Design tsar Lázaro Rosa-Violán reincarnated the former parking lot with an

airy, laid back cosmopolitan atmosphere. We tried the two main restaurants La Braseria and La Llotja, which come with a considerable price tag, unlike the somewhat cooler La Taperia and La Paradeta, which offer small-plate dining and snacks. The food was delicious – what really stays in your head is the marvellous interior design, though.

OneOcean Club

The OneOcean Club is located right at the marina front (who would have thought) and offers an elegant comfort without feeling too pompous. We were almost surprised by the interior modesty – until we had a look at the menu. It’s really not inexpensive, but forgivable if you consider the high quality of the ingredients and the delicious taste. It’s not coincidence this restaurant is a direct neighbour to Port Vell – the place where all the superyachts are anchored.

Disfrutar

An awesome venue for a tasty afternoon with friends. The place gets packed quickly and the noise level goes up to a point where you have to shout to get the casually dressed waiters to your table. However the food is incredibly good! Kitchen chefs Oriol Casto, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casanas learned their showmanship from culinary grandmaster Ferran Adrià and are guaranteed to pamper you for the night.

Where to sip cocktails

Boca Chica (our top pick!)

This marvellous place has been nominated for a place among the popular World’s 50 Best Bars and won 3 national spanish cocktail awards last year, such as best gin&tonic bartender, best cocktail-pairing chef and and best healthy mediterranean cocktail (called “Bloody Sun”). If that hasn’t convinced you yet, the stylish interior will!

Betty Ford

Betty Ford is the home of Raval’s hipsters. Locals and tourists alike have taken a special interest in the bar, especially since the drinks are even cheaper during happy hour from 9-11. Swing by the trendy venue and enjoy some Barcelona’s most powerful cocktails. Warning: the chance of addiction is high with this one.

Ocana

Ocana offers a whole selection of possibilities to spend your time: a top notch restaurant, a cozy café, a cocktail bar and a cool nightlife clubs that feels like a combination of Berlin cool and lenghty Ibiza party nights.

More Bars:

Eclipse Bar

Dry Martini & Speakeasy

Terrat

Marmalade

Tinta Roja

El Amario

The Papillon

Pipa Social Club

Getting drunk at daytime

La Xampanyeria – hysterical drinking hotspot among tourists and locals from lunch until late afternoon. A must: pink Cava.

The Party Experience

KER Club (our top pick!) The Sunday Party!

The crazy KER parties aren’t always commencing at the same spot, right now they’re occupying the Sunday slot at Danzatoria. They’re hosted by ROW 14, who are known for their former Ibiza-like parties. We’ve had a blast at KER and can honestly say, it was one of the best parties we’ve had in a while. And we party a lot!

La Terrrazza. The Summer Club

This club is only opened in summer, so expect to be surrounded by hot chicas wearing little to no clothing. La Terreza is trying to create a bit of a hype and considers itself as a more glamorous option of spending your clubbing night, which tends to show in your wallet at the end of the night. From local DJ to international big game DJs, there’s everything to be found!

Sala Apolo

Music on every day of the week! Dance along to pop-rock on Mondays, electro and indie at on Tuesdays, root music on Wednesdays and bassheavy Boombox on Thursdays. Weekends are stacked with world class acts and are even better than the weekday program. Swing by!

More Parties:

City Hall Barcelona

Mac Arena Mar Beachclub

Theatre Club Barcelona

Moog

 

Museums & Culture Highlights

Gaudí’s masterpieces, e.g. La Pedrera, Casa Batlló, Park Güell & Sagrada Familia

Gaudi’s famous buildings are shattered all over the city. His distinctive style can be recognized from afar and his legacy is among most popular architecture in the world. Probably his most

famous work, Sagrada Familia, has been under construction since 1882 and counts as one of the most extraordinary interpretations of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages! His superb craftmanship shows throughout his works: from the beautifully colourful Park Güell to the aesthetical masterpiece that is Casa Batlló, the uniqueness never ends.

Olympic stadium & Montjuïc hill

The Olympic Stadium was home to the Olympic Games in 1992, the games that would bring the turning point in the development of urban Barcelona. In front of the stadium there’s bronze footprints of spanish sport stars in the pavement, reminding of Hollywood’s Walk Of Fame. Though it’s mostly unused these days, it boasts an interesting architecture and comes with a trip back in time guarantee!

MACBA

While all the other museums are closed on Mondays, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona is closed on Tuesdays. In other words: the perfect place to go if you’re looking for some cultural activities on a Monday. Renowned for the impressive exterior design by Richard Meier as well as for the impressive collection of about 5000 artworks (not all of which can be displayed at the same time), the MACBA never gets boring.

Other Highlights:

Fundació Joan Miró

Barrio Gotic with the Gothic cathedral

Magic Fountain show at plaza Espanya

Mercat de La Boqueria

Walking along the beach from W Hotel (Barceloneta) to Parque del Forum (Diagonal Mar)

 

Best Day Trips

Hop on a cable car at Montserrat-Aeri station and drive up to the isolated monastery of Montserrat, which sits on top of mountain with the same name. Apart from a great view there’s also a choice selection of beautiful walks around the mountain, which are just waiting to be discovered and invite you to pleasurable walks in the green.

When you’re done refilling your energy, hop on a train to Sitges to find beautiful beaches, where you can finally tear off your clothes and enjoy some nudist beach tanning! In the evening head over to Catalunya’s No. 1 party town for an endless night of cervesas!

Once your headache has gotten better, Theatre-Museum Dali awaits your visit. The building was designed by Dali himself and his mortal remains are burried beneath the building. If you love surrealism as much as we do, this is the place for you!

Useful Links

Unbelievable facts about BCN

Individual tours

Cool roof top locations

The Scene meets Skykitchen

Lichtenberg’s dining scene usually isn’t known to be amongst the classiest, let alone to reach for new culinary heights. Michelin-Star chef Alexander Koppe and his team apparently didn’t care. Our visit to newly opened Skykitchen on the 12th floor of Berlin Andel’s Hotel did nothing short of blowing our tastebuds straight to heaven.

The place boasts a stylish, yet unpretentious interior design. Industrial chic meets Berlin cool. Add a magnificent panoramic view over the eastern part of the city and you’ll get a cosmopolitan touch that reminded us of the likes of New York and Los Angeles. International flair in the heart of Lichtenberg. Who would have thought?

In most fine dining restaurants you’ll find a crowd with their noses up in the air, their biggest concern is to decide if the driver should drive them home to Zehlendorf after dinner or if they swing by at China Club on the way. Skykitchen on the other hand attracts a very diverse, relaxed crowd. From families or just curious Berliners to gourmet chasing food-hipsters there’s everything to be found. They were a bunch of bankers or lawyers to our left (or maybe just car-dealers dressing up for the night) talking about the next big deal they’d make, while pink-haired Friederike and her husband Helmut to our right looked like they’d just crossed the street from one of the grey slab buildings to see how this new restaurant everybody talks about looks like from the inside. First time in a restaurant like this? Probably. Thought it would be this good? Never!

What makes Skykitchen so unique is the insane value for money you get. It’s common to adjust your prices accordingly when the kitchen receives a Michelin-Star, but their team decided to keep the prices stable. While you’ll pay up to 40€ per course (!) in many fine dining restaurants, Koppe’s inventive 3-course menu “From Berlin To The Sea” is to be had for reasonable 43€. Their french menu “Voyage Culinaire” starts at 52€ for 3 courses and goes up to 102€ for 8 courses. This catapults Skykitchen straight to number one on the value for money list. This is delicious high quality food as inexpensive as it gets!

After we were done receiving our little restaurant tour it was finally time for our favourite thing. Food.

As a little Amuse-Gueule we had the pleasure of devouring a roast potato creme with an almost fluid ox meat mash and a hint of sea buckthorn. The balance of the ingredients was nothing short of spectacular. Just when you thought your tongue had it all figured out, a touch of mustard would kick in and create a whole new taste altogether. Mindblowing!

With now high hopes for the actual courses, we leaned back and comfortably sipped away our choice selection of wines. With a total of 4 courses, we had it all covered: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and a tasty Riesling made sure we’d stay in the mood.

What followed was a constant exchange of plates and loud “ooohs” and “aaaahs”. It doesn’t matter if you settle for the Voyage Culinaire and the delicious Ohama Beef & Foie Gras with perigord truffle, mushrooms and celeriac, or for the From Berlin To The Sea menu, which offers reinter-preted Berlin dishes like rabbit from Beelitz with beetroot and marvellous sauces consisting of wild herbs and sour milk – you’ll find yourself eating your way from one culinary orgrasm to the next. Part of us hoped the steady supply of courses would never stop, but after lengthy 3 hours we had to take off before our trousers burst into shreds.

Here’s a list of the dishes we had:

Voyage Culinaire

Calamaretti And Rabbit

with brandade, baby lettuce, black garlic

Saint Pieere And Pancetta

with fava bean, raddichio, saffron

Étouffé Pigeon And Boudin Noir

with cauliflower, apricat, lemon verbena

Greater Ohama Beef And Foie Gras

with perigord truffle, mushrooms, celeriac

 

From Berlin To The Sea

Char From Grüneheide

with pickled cucumber, escabeche vegetables, pumpernickel

Rabbit From Beelitz

with beetroot, wild herbs, sour milk

Suckling Pig

with spreewälder sour cabbage, red pearl onion, grapes

Muesli “Berlin Style”

with cranberry, green apple, yoghurt

The Scene meets Chutnify

Berlin offers great possibilities when it comes to fulfilling your culinary wishes: there’s plenty of street food markets, vegetarian eateries, meaty burger shops, fine dining restaurants or sometimes just the same old Kebap from around the corner. Unique Indian restaurants, though? Hard to come by.

The good news is: that’s over. We found a winner. Recently opened Chutnify in hipsterhood Prenzlberg isn’t just tasty, it’s different. After 22 years in the designing business, owner Aparna Aurora saw a dream came true when she opened her cozy little neighbourhood eatery just a few months back. Her skill for design shows on the vivid inside – from the colourful historic warehouse elements in the main room, the self-built bar made of recycled wood to the wall painted in reminiscence of the holi colours, there’s just one eye catcher chasing the next.

There’s something even more appealing about Chutnify. The ingenius Dosas. We’ve just had the first Dosas of our life and haven’t been able to think of something else since. Dosas are traditional Indian crêpes usually filled with potato masala that come with a variety of chutneys (sauces, if you like). Aparna used to have Dosas as a special treat on weekends with her family in India, so finding the perfect recipe here wasn’t easy. It took months to figure out the most harmonic balance between the ingredients to create the perfect dough. Be assured: they found it.

The chefs at Chutnify added six self created Dosas to the list, featuring delicious fillings like cheese, onion and chilli or super tasty tandoori chicken with sweet pepper. We can really recommend the tandoori chicken option, it’s what got all this flattering started in the first place. Best thing about Dosas is you can have them for desert, too, so we ordered one filled with Nutella and banana slices and it tasted just as satisfying as it sounds (we’ll have to jog a few extra rounds tomorrow).

Great to have you around Aparna, we’ll be back for sure!

On Tour – Cruisin’ Berlin

Even the greatest hotels need reliable software to function properly. And even the greatest hotel software developers need a reliable guide when it comes to discovering a city that offers endless possibilities once you leave your hotel behind you!

We programmed our guests’ stay in Berlin to be one for the legends. We first took our more than 50 French, Italian, Dutch, German, Swiss, Czech, Greek, Turkish, Irish, English, Australian, Slove-nian, Spanish, Iranian, Egyptian and Russian guests on an unforgettable boat trip over Berlin’s wa-ter ways. You think you’ve seen Berlin? A whole new world of discoveries opens up once you’re cruising along the Spree with Berlinagenten as your guide. We introduced our guests to the se-crets of the modern parts of Berlin, but also the ugly, beautiful, romantic and historically meaningful places – all tell a different story.

Since we’re strictly against simply rehearsing some pre-learned text and just waiting for our visitors to fall asleep, it was time for a classy Berlinagenten move. Pretzels and champagne for everyone! Nothing beats rocking down the Spree with a glass of Moet in your hand and the city at your feet.

After fighting off the cold we headed over to legendary Soho House for a wild night, with perfor-mances by Carbaret star Sarah Bowden (we did an interview with her, read more here) and stag-gering magic tricks by Martin Lübcke, one of Germany’s top notch illusionists. Magic Martin had our head spinning between the courses – a flying table, one of the guests’ mobile somehow appeared in an empty glass bottle (HOW, just HOW?) and a card signed by a guest turned up in a frozen chunk of ice a few seconds later. The guests were as astonished as we were. First time with Martin, but certainly not our last. He already promised to perform at our next party after he gets back from his part-time job at Hogwarts.

The combination of a legendary boat trip, Sarah’s sexy performance and Martin’s illusions (and maybe a few glasses of wine) had our guests put Henrik on a pedestal, cheerfully celebrating him as some sort of new entertainment god. Go Berlinagenten!

Insiders – Sarah Bowden

Sarah Bowden is an Australia-born actress, dancer and singer. She’s a real globetrotter but lost her heart to our beloved Berlin 7 years ago and we’ve been happy to have her ever since. Here she talks Berlin, the future of the entertainment scene and why Schöneberg is the place for her.

Q: Hey Sarah. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.

A: I’ve been on the stage for the past 20 years performing in musicals and carbaret. You might ha-ve seen me on shows like Der Schuh das Manitu, Tanz der Vampire or We Will Rock You. Last summer I played in “Heller Wahnsinn” in the Varieté Wintergarten, now I’m hosting my own show there. I really like the Berlin carbaret scene!

Q: How did you end up performing anyway?

A: I had my first dancing lessons when I was 3 and it kind of just took off from there. My two brothers over in Australia also perform in musicals, but I don’t think it’s in our blood. My mother is a tax consultant and my dad is a construction worker…

Q: When and why did you come to Berlin?

A: I had this job here. We toured Germany and the first place I ended up in was Düsseldorf. It was horrible. I was about to pack my things and get back on the plane, but luckily we were scheduled to play in Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt soon. Those were a little better but still not really that inte-resting… it was only when I got to Berlin that I changed my mind. Berlin was different. I had the weird feeling of belonging here. I mean I was in London, Tokyo, Spain, Canada, New York but no place ever felt like home. Berlin did.

Q: Is there a special reason you’re living in Schöneberg?

A: After watching “Carbaret” with Liza Minnelli I just couldn’t help dreaming of moving to Schöne-berg one day. I’ve always related to the movie’s main character Sally Bowles, who lived in the area.. I’ve even been blessed enough to play Sally Bowles in a musical, so moving here and playing Sally really was a dream come true.

Q: How do you feel about performing in Berlin of all the places?

A: Everyone has this one dream. Some hope to jump out of a plane one day, others want to buy a Porsche, for me it was playing Sally in this city.

Q: How did the enterainment scene change over the last years?

A: It’s not only the entertainment scene, it’s the whole city that’s changed. The range of shows and possibilities the city offers has gotten much wider, so the people are for more open to new ideas. I feel the city itself is growing more commercial by the day. Just look at Ku’Damm today and 7 years back. You wouldn’t recognize it. The entertainment scene is trying to maintain the Berlin hype. The art of Berlin. They’re opening up to new concepts, for example when we did “Heller Wahnsinn” at Wintergarten. It was a mix of Burlesque, Carbaret and Musical.. they’re starting to melt into one performance.

Q: So you’re saying the future will bring some wild mix ups of different performance styles?

A: Exactly! Decades ago each discipline worked for itself. What we get to see now is a mix of Car-baret, live music, Aerial Arts, Hip Hop Dance, Musical,… there’s lots of differente influences. I can’t tell you where we’ll be in 10 years, but my guess is this trend will continue. That’s what makes it cool, the mixture.

Q: What are you up to in the next time?

A: I’ll probably be pretty busy with my new show Sally&Fred, which premieres on the 30th of March in Wintergarten. I’ll be performing alongside with Helmut Baumann. He’s a real god in the theatre scene and has brought countless international success stories to Berlin and adapted them for the German audience. He’s 76 and still rocking the stage!

Q: Where are you headed for a night out?

A: The Soho House has become the place to be I think. And in Schöneberg I’m still hanging out in the same bar that was my first very bar in Berlin: Victoria Bar on Potsdamer Straße. Some things never change, I guess…

The Scene Meets Urban Nation

Berlin has a reputation for being an open minded place where influences from all over the globe come together to create something brand new, something different. We love the fact that it can be witnessed on almost any corner of the city. Dirty Berlin meets national and international street art, frequently fabricating unique pieces of mural art that go viral on the web via facebook or instagram.

Artists drool at the thought of working in Berlin and they’re rightfully doing so. We’re the capitol of cool. If artists are the iron, we’re the magnet. Hence it’s just befitting for our urban image to have an emerging networking platform like Urban Nation in Schöneberg, who regularly host street&mural art expositions in an otherwise unused building on Bülowstraße near Berlin’s gay epicentre Nollendorfplatz. Urban Nation and their director Yasha Young don’t only support aspiring artists, they’re also flying in big names from the street art scene like US-based Shepard Fairey, who’s known for his iconic “hope” pictures of Barack Obama. The international artists don’t only lend their hands to help create unique expositions on the inside, they’re also re-painting the building’s facade every few months. It never gets boring in Berlin!

“It’s a love letter to Berlin and the forgotten parts that once were heavy with historic and creative spirit” Yasha points out. Their dedication is remarkable and the reaction of the people living nearby has been overwhelmingly positive. When we arrived we observed a bunch of grumpy looking construction workers who where busy loading the latest parts of the exhibition into their trucks to get them to a place where they’re safely stored – the last exhibition just ended. We tried to sneak in from the backdoor to take a few pictures of the graffitis inside, but apparently these guys had a bad day and threw us out despite our most disarming smiles.

Some of the most exceptional pieces are displayed day and night in show windows outside, so head over there now and check it out, you won’t be disappointed. We promise!

Red Carpet – Henrik’s World of Glamour

Thousands of visitors poured into the city when March brought the traditional start of the Berlin ITB (international tourism fair). With long exhausting days at the Expo and many new faces around, visitors are not the only thing pouring into the city. Countless trucks are on their noble quest to supply all the party hosts from the travel industry with the one thing that never runs out at good parties: Booze! No party without Berlinagenten, so here we went again.

Travel + Leisure Magazine „IT list“ Party // ITB Party

T+L magazine rocks. And we don’t just say that because they mentioned our well-loved Gourmet Tours in the 2014 print of their 50 Dream Trips. They’re also awesome party hosts who know how to throw exclusive parties with glamour and style! Each year the who-is-who of the international hospitality scene assembles at Das Stue and the chic guests get to enjoy the mouth-watering canapés and cocktails the boutiquee hotel has in store for this special occasion. We just can’t get enough!

Wyndham Excelsior // ITB Party

Sometimes it really shows Berlinagenten is something special. And not just to us. While 90% of the guests on this party had to put up with regular prosecco, we were downright chased by waiters with Moet Chandon bottles, begging us to have another glass of champagne. Always glad to help, boys! Thousands of cocktails made their way across the bars as well as special icecream lollypops that made our evening even sweeter. 0815industries did a great live graffiti show in the large backroom, which unfortunately fell off the wall a little later… that might or might not have been due to the insane amounts of cocktails given out. Definitely wasn’t us though… or was it?

Kempinski Bristol // ITB Party

Let the party begin! Kempinski invites their best travel partners, agencies, tour operators and sponsors to their annual ITB party. The hotel’s bar feels a little old-school among all the up&coming design hotels in Berlin and somehow reminded us of a very small ocean liner’s bar. The hosts made up for it with high quality food and and a high volume live band, though. We only left when the cleaning personell started mopping the floor around us. Where did the night go again…?

Humboldt-Carré

3 courses, 3 extra-ordinary locations. And even under the same roof! Now that’s something you don’t see every day. The first course was served in the historic-chic castle hall that is the Humboldt-Carré, the second course in the all new Gendarmerie where once white and beige walls have given way to strident colours and portraits of famous Berlin actors and actresses, and finally the third course in the underground Austernbank, a super cool old treasure vault turned into a restaurant. Chef Michael Weigt created a delicious menu based on typical Berlin dishes, reinterpreted and rounded up with an international flair. Only thing that was lagging behind was the dessert… wobbly jelly? We had to drink a few extra glasses of champagne to forget about that.

Skykitchen Opening Party

The new culinary gem in Lichtenberg. Actually, the only culinary gem in Lichtenberg! Their opening party on the 12th floor of Andel’s Hotel attracted countless curious Berliners and international guests. Chef Alexander Koppe was recently granted a highly coveted Michelin-Star, so naturally the supply of canapés coming from the kitchen were gone the second the hungry scavengers around us laid eyes on them. Thankfully no waiters were injured though. Let the scavengers have it, we’ll have the champagne instead! Read more about Skykitchen here.

ZenKichi // Secret Opening

Though it was more of a sneak preview than an opening, our visit to soon-to-come ZenKichi already blew our minds. Owners Motoko Watanabe and Shaul Margulies already run a ZenKichi in New York and they’re now setting sail to conquer Berlin’s japanese dining scene. Unlike most japanese restaurants they’ll not be selling sushi but instead offer a well-sounding à la carte selection and something that really makes ZenKichi stand out from the rest. They’re creating a whole new level of intimacy by shaping the interior so that instead of one large dining room, you’ll have 35 private séparées offering space for up to 6 guests per table. We can’t wait until the restaurant is completely set with cosy interior design and Japanese deco