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!”.

 

The Scene meets Eins 44

Something is stirring in deepest, darkest Neukölln. Better known for its kebab houses than an innovative food scene, things are certain to change with the launch of the brand new restaurant Eins 44 Kantine.

Tucked away in an art deco courtyard, you would never know this place existed. Yet after Berlinagenten tested out the menu, it’s guaranteed Berliners will be heading west and hitting the backstreets of Neukölln in the hope of seeking it out. Restaurant manager Jonathan Kartenberg and head chef Sebastian Radtke, were formerly at another one of favourite restaurants, Mani. The cuisine grounds itself in French basics, yet the exciting young team have updated it and then infused it with international flavours to create something brand new.

For a new restaurant, we were impressed by the ambiance that makes this place feel like a familiar cozy neighbourhood eatery, but all the while being highly stylised. The two story building was originally a distillery, so there is a spacious modern, post industrial feel. Its original tiled walls, ceiling and impressive bar, acquired vintage lamps, wooden tables and chairs that date back 30 years combine together to create a very lived-in, cool atmosphere. Being Berlin, naturally smokers are accommodated in the form of smokers’ room, which features a massive wooden table on a turbine engine. 

We were certainly impressed by the food. To get our mouths watering, we started out with a gift from the kitchen, a dainty yet delicious mini Pork Belly Burger. First course, we decided on a delicious light crusted Golden Trout with granny smith apple and radish salad, along with a tender Beef Carpaccio with asparagus, grapefruit and a hint of coriander. For the main course, it was a speciality French pork done two ways, with a delightful cauliflower puree, and we also shared a perfectly grilled piece of prime entrecôte with potatoes and beans. Heaven arrived in the form of a 70% percent chocolate brownie cake with rosemary pineapple, mint and strawberry coulis for dessert.

Now for the very good news, despite the quality and the ambience, Eins 44 is very reasonably priced. A three course meal costs 33 euros, four courses is 42 euros and five courses just 51 euros. Or you can buy individual courses. It is complimented with a fine French and German wine list.

Eins 44 is definitely buzzing on our new Berlin restaurant radar! We honestly can’t wait to return.

Insiders: Dominic Hofer from Soho House Berlin

Cute photos Dominic! You look like you have a lot of fun. So, what is your role at Soho House? I’m a Director for International Sales & Relations. What does that involve? I basically bring the Houses and creative companies together to make them one! What is the most challenging aspect of the job? The business runs 24/7, it never sleeps. All of our Houses are very individual, so it is a great opportunity and challenge to find the right solution for our guests. What does Soho House offer that others don’t? We are a private members club, some of the clubs have a boutique hotel attached. All of our Houses have their own character. However, which ever club you’re at, you always feel like you’re coming home. Where can we find you at a midnight on a Saturday night? Simple! I’m ordering hazelnut Schnapps after a great dinner. Getting ready for trouble. GIMME MORE! I love to hunt for chickens in clubs – as you obviously can see from the photo above :) Where can we find you at midday on a Sunday? Mostly in my amazing apartment. I love to spend the Sunday home doing pretty normal things. After a very demanding week full of energy and glamour and fun, I love to clean and have a cup of tea in my hand. I always have music and fragrant candles on. If a celebrity guest asked you for a club recommendation where would you suggest? It always depends. I would suggest Chalet, as it is a very nice location especially in summer times. Winter is Watergate time. I love to see the frozen river spree and the club scene from one point. Is any client’s request ever impossible? We have a YES! YES! YES! philosophy. The word NO does not exist. What was the most glamorous thing you did last year? Spending time with my best friend in Budapest.  Britney Spears live in Vegas on NYE.  And celebrating Christmas, with my family, of course. What has been the highlight of your role so far? I’ve never had so many lucky moments with amazing smiles on guests’ faces. This makes me feel very blessed.

Red Carpet … Henrik’s world

Newsletter copy

In pursuit of the highest ideal of red carpet partying, our fearless leader Henrik will go to extreme lengths to make sure he knows the hip and happening of Berlin.

  • Berlin is always hot-to-trot but this was one, very naughty evening, even for us! First stop was Playboy night at The Pearl. There was no sign of Hugh Hefner is his dressing gown but there was copious amounts of flesh on display as Playboy Bunnies strode around, as well as burlesque performances. Next, we went to Insomnia, the infamous fetish and sex club at Templehof. Dominique, the owner of the club and Germany’s foremost dominatrix, had invited us to her birthday party! How could we possibly refuse a dominia without getting a severe spanking? We stripped down to the bare minimal and danced the night away, as people all around us were getting down and dirty. Yes, that means exactly what you think it means!

 

  • Berlinale always means parties, premiers and star spotting! Eventually, all the red carpets blur into one dazzling red rug, the size of Berlin! Soho House was the epicenter of everything, as usual. The Oscar nominated ‘American Hustle After Party’ took place in the Soho House basement with stars Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, and Topmodel Toni Garrn in attendance. Soho House also made the most of their fabulous new loft spaces for the party after the premier of Monuments Men, as A-listers George Clooney, John Goodman, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Matt Damon attended. Rumour has it that George Clooney was seen trying to get into the Olympic Fruits party but we can neither confirm or deny this.
  • Kreuzberg gets trendier and trendier, by the day. The once trashy area is now turning into the place to go five-star bar hopping. Offering some high camp glam is the PrinzipalBerlinagenten went to the opening party. Like the best bars in Berlin, there is no sign. However once you enter into the long, thin bar, it’s like stepping back into the roaring twenties.  There are two floors, upstairs is a fabulous bar, with a burlesque acts including a girl on a cloud swing high above the patrons heads as the uber cool bar staff, the girls in corsets, the boys in suits made old school cocktails. We loved the make-up table downstairs, so if you’re looking a little rough you canready to take on the night once again.
  • It was the opening that the entire city wanted to get invited to – 25 hours launching their fabulous new hotel – 25 hours Bikini Berlin! They didn’t disappoint with a two-day non-stop party with over 3000 invited guests coming to check out the new hotel. The whole building was made into a party space as the media, hotel and hospitality industry, local celebs and hardcore party people invaded every floor. Every available space was turned into a bar, dance-floor or food station, including an oyster bar, a falafel station, a dessert bar, as well as the 25 Hours signature Neni restaurant, turning out delicious food.There were DJ’s rocking dance floor in the sky sauna, drinks in the corridors and in the bedrooms, where we were encouraged to test out the beds! Most of the action took place in the Monkey Bar, which has in just weeks, cemented itself as the bar to be seen at in Berlin. With performers roaming around the hotel, fire jugglers and fire works, dancing until sunset, the 25 hours Bikini Berlin have set the bar pretty high for the party of the year. For more photos click here

     

     

Newsletter

Global destination: Yangon, Burma

If there’s one place that you simply must visit before its on everybody radar, it is Yangon (once known as Mynamar), the capital of Burma. Romantic, historic and now peaceful, Yangon is the top emerging Asian destination of the moment. Once upon a time it was known as the Pearl of South East Asia but after decades of turmoil, the country was closed to the West.  Now it’s reclaiming its crown. Still, the lack of tourists is palatable, you really feel as if you’re one of the first people to visit and discover the incredible number of colonial buildings and fairy tale Buddhist shrines, such as the Shwedagon Pagoda, whose golden spire dominates the skyline.

After seeing how mass cheap tourism affected their neighbouring counties, Yangon has very much targeted high-end travellers. We stayed in three five stars hotel to check out the range on offer. First off, we visited Governors Residence, part of the Orient Express group. Next, we moved to Hotel Strand, built by the Sarkie Brothers hotels in 1901, during the same period they were redefining luxury hotels with Raffles in Singapore and The Oriental in Penang. Finally, it was onto the first big five star hotel of Yangon Shangri La.

For all the beauty and luxury, what we will remember will be the abundant, high quality food. A sophisticated, highly original food culture exists incorporating British, Indian, Chinese, and Thai to make a fresh Burmese mix. Whether that’s buying from hawkers selling a fragrant noodle soup called Thoke for 50c at the food markets, or at the top end colonial era restaurants such as Monsoon Myanmar, or, the recently-opened luxurious Water Library in a colonial mansion. Other favourites include the hotspots for expats Union Restaurant or Le Planteur. Meanwhile, a perfect example of where Yangon is heading is the Bar Boon Dutch Deli and Expresso Bar, which expresses the cool trendy European deli á la NY style.

Top tip: Make a difference while you shop at the Helping Hands Loft Fashion & Accessories

This fair trade shop that opened in early 2012 and carries a variety of accessories, gifts and fashion whose proceeds directly benefit Myanmar artisans whose work supports local initiatives such as healthcare, housing and education. 85-87 Thinbyu Road

 

 

 

 

The Scene meets Hotel Am Steinplatz

Since the fall of the Wall, it has been the trendy districts Mitte and Prinzelauer Berg in the former East Berlin that have stolen the lime light from the more established, yet ultimately more glamorous West Berlin. Not any more, now the western half of the city is taking its rightful place as the place to stay when visiting Berlin, particularly in the luxury market.

We are totally in love with the Hotel Am Steinplatz  in the elegant residential area around Charlottenburg’s Savigny-Platz. This delightful art deco classic was designed by August Endell, who is also the originator of Berlin’s famous Hackesche Hoefe in 1907. The history of Hotel Am Steinplatz is incredible – famous names such as Vladimir Nabokov, Zarah Leander, Heinrich Böll, Günter Grass, as well as film stars like Brigitte Bardot and Romy Schneider have passed through this hotel.

Now Hotel Am Steinplatz has been given a total refurbishment and becomes the first German hotel in Marriott Hotel’s exclusive Autograph Collection. The hotel includes 84 stylish guestrooms and three suites on six floors. Other features are an exclusive spa on the top floors of the hotel, a fitness room overlooking Berlin.

Berlinagenten are delighted to include Restaurant Am Steinplatz on our Gastro-Rallye West tour. The restaurant pays homage to its past by creating classic Berlin dishes conceived by Michelin-starred chef, Stefan Hartmann, while offering a fresh, new interpretation of German cuisine. This philosophy is also reflected in Bar am Steinplatz, which offers classic cocktails, as well as its own unique recipes using spirits produced in Berlin.

Why fruit is the new rock’n’roll!

February sees Berlin host Berlinale, one of the world’s premier film festivals. However in the same week, it is also home to the world’s biggest fruit conference Fruit Logistica, with 58,000 additional guests visiting the city. Okay, not so glam but certainly a lot more fruity! For the second year running Berlinagenten worked with Olympic Fruit, a leading international fruit distributor out of the Netherlands, to organise a glamorous night that is now firmly in place on the international fruit industry’s calendar. After last year’s gala dinner, our client was inundated with requests from international fruiters to join.

First, Berlinagenten organized a site inspection to an innovative acquaponic urban farming project in West Berlin, where vegetables and fish are grown hydroponically in shipping containers. Then, it was onto a candlelit gala dinner at Soho House. The 60 guests from 11 different countries walked the same red carpet as George Clooney, who was staying at Soho House. Our guests got to experience a champagne reception, a candle lit dinner, as they networked and exchanged contact details between causes. Our clients are thrilled that their event has become ‘the’ gala dinner to get invited to at Fruit Logistica. The very next night, Berlinagenten got fruity all over again.This time, our clients JimboFresh from Spain were entertaining clients and guests. They were the first to try out our super new luxurious Gastro Rallye City West route. With so many companies in town, JimboFresh wanted to get noticed. Berlinagenten organized for the group to get VIP access to The Pearl Nightclub. This included walking straight to the front of the very busy queue and then being escorted to their very own VIP section. The final touch was when the music in the club stopped and our group had the spotlight trained upon them as a troupe of 12 performed a special ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ act before the group celebrated a successful trade fair. With so many of their industry colleagues just beyond the rope, they felt like the Hollywood stars of the fruit industry!

 

To find out more about Berlinagenten’s incentive and conference programme, click here.

On_Tour_WP_3_Jan2014

BERLINAGENTEN ON TOUR WITH EDELMAN PR, NEW YORK.

“In a world filled with war, the greatest weapon is love. Make love, not war with new AXE Peace.” This extraordinary Axe commercial has already had three and half million views on You Tube and Berlinagenten kicked the campaign off in Berlin!

Make love, not war – it’s an adage that Berlin lives by. It is also the tag line from Peace, a welcome addition to the world’s leading deodorant, Axe. So for the worldwide media launch of the brand, Unilever and the world’s biggest PR agency Edelman, naturally choose Berlin.

CEO Henrik explains: “The clients mission was to tell the story of ‘Peace, Make love not war’. After two world wars and a city divided, Berlin embodies that peaceful vibe but with a sexy side that embodies the brand”.

Henrik, who has a degree in marketing, knows all about brand building and tailored an exclusive program for Edelman and Unilever. Twenty of New York’s top editors and journalists, five Unilever executives and four Edelmann account managers came to Berlin for 48 unforgettable hours. Although some of the group did actually loose a few hours, somewhere along the way!

The programme highlights were the five star hospitality at Soho House; showcasing four of Berlin’s finest restaurants; a graffiti workshop where participants got to find their inner Banksy and graffiti a wall before being given high heeled stilettos to smash it down; models dressed in military outfits to show the guests around Berlin in jeeps; VIP treatment as they jumped queues at Blitz @ club Cookies and the uber trendy Pearl nightclub; a truly exclusive performance by Salon K, who totally seduced the hardened New Yorkers with a breath taking high-art, dance and musical performance. And did we mention the copious amounts of champagne? There was copious amounts of champagne!

 

The_Scene_WS_1_Januar2014

THE SCENE MEETS DEAN.

As the area around Rosenthalerstraße in Mitte – the former centre of East Berlin -becomes ever gentrified, now comes the truly metropolitan Dean, a new bar/club concept. In its last incarnation, the venue held the iconic yet trashy bar Delicious Donuts for 20 years. Not that you know where Dean resides like the hippest of Berlin is a very private unless you’re in the know.

There is no sign, shouting ‘Hey! Over here, it’s Dean! The only clues are the vintage prints featuring celebrities from the sixties in the window and a nameless black door. But once inside, it’s so glam and cuts the perfect balance between light and dark. The long narrow all black marble bar, black stone floor and dark gray velvet upholstered bunkettes and seats, and the dance floor are all bathed in honey golden light. The image of Berlin’s beautiful people partying is reflected in the ceiling above on a single shiny gold mirror.

The_Scene_WS_2_Januar2014The_Scene_WS_4_Januar2014

Dean is the brainchild of those purveyors of minimalist, simple, elegant style, The Amano Group, whose Amano hotel sits directly across the road whilst the hotel and restaurant “Mani” is around the corner on Torstraße. Amano bring a new sensibility that Berlin is currently embracing, namely, high-end glamour. That meansthat this isn’t a techno club baby! Berlin DJ San Gabriel is in charge of the booking of international bands and DJ and programmes a soul-funk-house infused mix. But what Dean is really about is the drinks. Award winning bar manager’s Tino Hiller and Philip Bischoff know how to mix to perfect cocktails. We’re always suckers for their Moscow Mules. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Dean!

To find Dean and the very best of Berlin’s nightlife, book a Berlinagenten Berlin by Night tour and we guarantee it will be a night you’ll never forget!

Photos: Stjepan Sedlar