Tag Archives: berlin

The Scene meets The Pit

As the food scene in Berlin is losing their mind over vegan and vegetarian food, we just have a couple of questions. What happened to our innermost desires for tender, juicy, red meat? Where is the meat love? Will we all eat hamsters’ food in the future?

Just as the questions became unbearable, a pitmaster from Texas descended upon the vegan-troubled grounds of Berlin. His trademark: Wagyu brisket. In 18 hot and sweaty hours of hand smoking Adam Ramirez creates a BBQ with a tender delicious taste, largely unknown to the untaught European tongues. The exclusive Wagyu beef stems from the same cow that Kobe beef is made of and is only bred in the USA. Adam took the liberty of buying the whole stock of Wagyu beef available for European buyers in 2015 to turn it into Berlin’s beefiest dreams. Thank you, Adam!

In an unforgettable 7 course experience, we were shown the power of the Wagyu. Slowly building up the tension with vegetarian dishes and smaller meat dishes, the 6th course brought the grand final. Everyone took a deep breath as the heavy odor of smoked meat filled the air. Were were now being served the most spectacular beef experience in Berlin – and this is hardly exaggerated. The richness of taste the smoking process creates is unmatched, the meat is tender, delicious and unlike anything you’ve ever eaten before. Just minutes after Adam served the opulent meal, all the plates were scratched empty – luckily another brisket was conjured out of the kitchen and everyone got their second helping. Our special recommendations go out to the superb combination of the courses and the chosen beverages. The food was amazing, but the combination of both was when the real tongue candy came in!

Unfortunately the whole event was based on a pop up concept, so right now you can only order Adam’s delicacies for caterings. However, Adam wants to find a place of his own in the future. He tells us there’s an old gas station near Hermannplatz with a rustical charme, that has put a spell on him. We definitely hope he gets the place. We can’t wait to have another bite!

On Tour – Berlin’s Booming Beauty Scene

The beauty scene didn’t always have an easy life in Berlin. In a city where it’s common to just hop in your joggers to do your daily errands – or even go clubbing – opening a beauty store once was a dreary venture. But with Berlin rising high on international popularity scales, the city’s face is undergoing constant change. To be precise: Berlin now wears make up, a 100€ hair cut and has a secret loathing for barber shops.

When the Nordic branch of a world wide beauty company asked us to show them the hippest & upcoming spots in the beauty scene, we put our joggers aside and proudly presented Berlin’s latest feel-good oases in one of our popular cool-hunting tours.

We visited an exclusive range of Barber Shops like BeardyBoys and Wheadon, where especially men can get their beauty game on – anything from beauty products to hairdressing and shaving is on the menu. As befitting for the topic, we paid hommage to a whole range of beautifying institutions, such as The Store or Jacks Beauty Department. The trend definitely goes towards creating fancy All-In-One stores, where beauty customers get all their wishes fulfilled under the same roof.

But no Berlinagenten tour without a touch of glamour – between the stations we made a stop at the Platoon Art Hall, finding our way into a sercret bar, hidden in one of the containers. Our unexpecting customers had the Berlinagenten treatment coming towards them – everything is more fun after you’ve had a beer.

Finishing the tour, our guests already felt like Berlin beauty pros and got the chance to show off the day’s best pictures at a gala dinner at Soho House in the evening. The night ended as all nights should end – delicious cocktails, DJ Superzandy playing funky tunes and dancing until the feet hurt. Thanks for the amazing day!

The Scene meets Weyde

There is a new star rising on Berlin’s nightlife sky! It’s neither in Mitte, Friedrichshain nor in Kreuzberg – which is rather unusual. Instead the new dancing temple is located in the insider’s district Schöneweide, located east of Friedrichshain. Right now Schöneweide isn’t exactly considered a cool hood, but our Berlinagenten instinct tells us the area will become a trendy and sought after place to live in within the next years.

The Weyde takes up the role of a techno pioneer – bringing the music that has made Berlin’s heart beat since the 90s to the outer district. With the same architectural office as the world-famous Berghain, it’s bound to have a distinctive visual touch to it. Our visit to the construction site has assured us that the concept behind the club is just as promising as the architectural planning.

With a wide array of techno/electronic music on the weekend and even Indie or Rock bands taking up the premises on workdays, we can imagine the whole thing working out quite well. For their 2 main floors they have made sure the sound will be ear pleasing to whatever audience: the industry standard Funktion One sound system will be installed at the club, which is used by the biggest music festivals world wide.

Another promising attempt to breath some fresh air into the every day life of Berlin clubbers: there will be a water-cab bringing you right from the inner city to the club’s own pier. How cool is that?! Forget cabs and traffic jams, from now on we’ll drive to the club with style and glam…on a boat!

What’s really unique about the club is its dimension and multi-functional spaces which make it seem like three clubs in one. Apart from the three floors (four if you add the wardrobe floor) there is a promising outdoor area, that will most likely be home to the biggest party trend in Berlin for years: open airs. Also the roof of the multi-storey car park the club is in will be used for cultural events, such as vinyl flea markets and open-air cinemas.

There was a small pre-opening party on December 12th, but the real gems AKA the two main floors were still under construction. We’ve already received our VIP invitation to the grand opening in January. Looking forward!

The Scene meets Mint

Booming basslines, cheerful crowds and dulcet DJs – yep, we’re at one of the infamous Mint parties… but hold on, what’s a Mint Party?

Zoe Rasch and her colleague Ena Lind brought the party series to life in 2013. Mint’s uniqueness stems from the fact that only female DJs get to play at their legendary parties. How’s that special? Female are horribly underrepresented in the clubbing scene and you’ll only rarely see women spin records in Berlin’s famous clubs. That’s a problem Zoe has taken to heart, seeing that she herself has had a successful career as a DJ, making crowds both in Berlin and in the rest of Europe scream with delight to her housey technoid sound for more than 10 years!

In Berlin there’s a traditional approach to fix problems. Throw a party, make it worthwhile, and people will love you for it. We’re a city that fiercely adores its party culture, so it’s no wonder that Mint’s fresh approach to the gender problem in DJing resonates with the spirit of the times. When you send Berliner’s a message they can identify with, you’ve won them. What can we say, Mint has won us over and over again!

Zoe’s booking agencies for female artists called Birds and Bells (all genres) and Mint Booking (electronic music) are the logical results of that line of thought. But Mint is more than just an agency or a party series: with regular workshops for DJanes and producers they create a solid network for female artists, that helps them form their creativity and brings it right where it belongs – on the dancefloor. It may well be the most important platform for female artists in Berlin at the moment, and the best thing about them is they put their emphasis on creativity. On raw talent, sound, the whole creative package. Sex sells may still be true for many aspects of business life, but Mint doesn’t have to blind its audience with deep necklines. Instead, they rely on fat basslines – the real key to Berlin’s heart.

If you want to find out what all the buzz is about, join us at Mint’s next party. Here’s an overview of their upcoming events.

Also you can find out more about Zoe in this month’s insider interview here (link).

Insiders – Interview with Hanno Koffler

This month’s interview features our favourite German actor, Hanno Koffler. Hanno is known for his amazing performances in movies like Nacht vor Augen (2008), Freier Fall (2013) and his most recent coup Härte (2015). If you only know Hanno from his onscreen appearances, this is your chance to catch up!

Q: Hey Hanno. Congratulations, you just got nominated as Best Actor for the second year in a row! How are you feeling right now?

A: I’m feeling awesome right now. It’s great to have your work appreciated by the business and colleagues, especially since I’m really proud of the work I’ve done in “Härte”. Playing Andreas Marquardt wasn’t an easy role, it was a really special and intense work, so right now I’m just feeling thankful for all the appreciation shown for the movie.

Q: Did you always want to become an actor?

A: Nah, there were a bunch of things I considered doing when I was younger. I always liked the idea of being a craftsman, like a woodworker or maybe even a gardener. Then again I also thought I was going to be a Rockstar for quite some time… which hasn’t worked out so well.

Q: Hanno the Rockstar, wouldn’t that be something. What’s your favourite band?

A: Hmm… tough question. Back in the days it used to be Nirvana, but I really like the Beatles and I’m a big fan of Elvis Presley. Depending on the mood I’m also into Bob Dylan or even Schubert and Mozart… I think I need a pre-made list with answers for questions like this, it’s really difficult to settle for one.

Q: Becoming an actor is a very profound experience – things from deep inside your soul are washed to the surface, things you maybe never knew even existed. What was the most important thing you learned about yourself in the process of becoming an actor?

A: I guess one of the most profound lessons I learned was coming to realize how acting is not about perfection, but rather about accepting your own imperfections and to let them show on the outside. It’s about finding your own truth and building up your own personality. It’s about finding a quiet and true point within yourself from which you can develop into new directions and adapt to new roles. Then there’s body language, controlling your voice and finding the way to your emotionality. It’s also about learning to let everything go.

Q: Did you already find that point?

A: It’s a constant search, really, and I’m not sure if it can ever be wholly found – however the search definitely has made me aware of some of my hurts. Learning how to act is a never-ending process, because it’s a journey to your own personality, which always transforms, grows and changes.

Q: In “Freier Fall” you’re playing the married police officer Mark, who starts a love affair with a homosexual colleague – very much to his own surprise. The film manages to create an incredible atmosphere and intimacy. How do you prepare for a role like that?

A: First of all, by reading the film script. Then it gets trickier: You have to try to understand your character’s world and try to dive into the depths of his mind. Once I feel I have good understanding of my character, I’m giving it all my passion and emotionality to get engaged with the role and just see where things go from there. 

Q: So… did “Freier Fall”  reveal a formerly unknown passion for the male sex or was it just fantastically played?

A (laughs): It was just fantastically played. 

Q: What about Freier Fall 2? Is it just rumours?

A: I really like the idea, especially since it’s extremely rare for German arthouse movies to have a sequel. We had more than 6 millions views on the trailer just from the US, so the interest for Freier Fall has grown to an international level. We have this huge audience from all over the world and lots of questions that still need to be answered, so getting the funding for a sequel would be great. Max Riemelt and me are definitely up for it if we can take a liking to the script and to achieve that the producers and writers need to raise enough money for developing a great story and for making the whole thing happen. It’s still a long way to go, though and the project needs as much support as it can get – there’ll be a crowdfunding campaign soon, so get involved, everyone!

Q: What was the craziest thing you’ve been through while acting?

A: Well, there’s always the good old house ban. We were in this shabby hotel while filming Freier Fall and had a little get-together after we were halfway through with the shooting. We had a few drinks too many and partied until the early morning… until the hotel had enough and we have to pack our things and get going.

Q: In “Härte” you’re playing Andreas Marquardt – a man who’s been through a life of violence, abuse and hatred. What was it like to play that role?

A: It was extremely intense. Above all it was a very special honour to play Andreas – he’s a very authentic person who’s been through a hell hardly anyone of us can begin to understand. 

Q: What does Berlin mean to you?

A: Home. Family. Friends. At the same time it can also be stressful and create a longing for the countryside. It’s a bit of a love hate relationship.

Q: In what ways did you experience the change Berlin has underwent in the past 20 years?

A: At one point I was gone for almost a decade and realized that lots had changed when I came back. Just a few hundred meters from here my band used to jam in a little rehearsal space in some worn down backyard. Now the place boasts a 24 hours supermarket, a health care center and tourists everywhere!

Q: Which night clubs do you go to?

A: We usually party at someone’s flat and put on a quality DJ set to get us grooving through the night. Apart from that – Kater Holzig and Berghain are good choices to have a fun night out. 

Q: Can you recommend any restaurants for our readers?

A: My all time favourite is Jules Verne on Schlüterstraße, I’ve been going there for years – there’s no way I ever get tired of their Schnitzel. Not too far from here there’s the Antillo – run by real Italians, they cook some great food aswell.

Q: Favourite bar?

A: Don’t really have one. I was having a few drinks at Viktoriabar in Schöneberg the other day, that was pretty cool!

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!

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…

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.

Red Carpet – Henrik’s Glamorous October

October descended on the city with a sexy red cocktail dress on and generously supplied us with the one thing we can never get enough of: grand openings. Our inbox was bursting with invitations and many a tear was shed over deciding which event to dump and which to attend to, but eventually we managed to handpick the five finest.

The WYLD

Silver aliens hovering over our heads on flashing surfboards, dozens of drag queens jiggling along with a bunch of smoking egyptian goddesses and a fabulous looking Nofretete rocking the stage. To answer the question that immediately arises: no, we have not taken any acid. The brand new 10 million euro show in the Friedrichstadtpalast by fashion tsar Manfred Thierry Mugler literally blew our minds. We were introduced to a concept of energetic, modern and timelessness performance missing a comprehensible narrative. When it got too confusing we just counted the celebs who had lined up to be part of the premiere: Inka Bause, Thomas Hermanns, Wolfgang Joop, Inka Bause to name just a few.

Horns&Hooves

We were especially looking forward to this one. Our friend The Beautiful Jewels opened the doors of her new vaudeville bar/night club hybrid, destined to become an uninhibited get-together location for artists and all sorts of wondrous looking folks. A steady tickle of people shuffling down from Eberswalder Str. U-Bahn station got the place packed in no time and quickly befriended the excessive booze supply. Shortly after our arrival the lights were dimmed down low and Jewels warmly welcomed everyone to her fancy world of underearthly delights. Loud grunts of approval from the wildly mixed audience were the last things we heard before immersing into a night of magic, belly dancing and the constant thrill of escaping from a homosexual blue rabbit drinking vodka on the rocks. Read more here.

Daluma

Berlin has a new healthy food temple. 100% organic. 100% vegetarian. 100% overcrowded opening. The idea of an organic restaurant doesn’t seem new, but it really is. By juicing the ingredients later used for cooking are extracted at the best quality possible and can then be easily absorbed by the body. The juice isn’t heated and hardly comes into contact with air, hence it keeps a very high percentage of the healthy ingredients. Pure. Raw. Superfoods.

The opening itself felt very raw, too. Huge masses of hipsters forced the not-so-joyfully-looking waiters to climb through the windows (!) in order to serve food samples to the waiting guests outside, who never even stood a chance to get inside. Now we wouldn’t be Berlinagenten if we hadn’t somehow squeezed in to see what was really going on – a nicely decorated wall (feathers sticking out of it, making it seem alive), pumping electro beats, hungry visitors eagerly devouring whatever food they could get their hands on and thank god, champagne to assist our mood in disregarding the fact our feet were constantly being stamped on. The food itself? Delicious.

Rio Party by Design Hotels

Till Harter came up with the brilliant idea of creating a so called pop-up hotel in Rio de Janeiro during the hot sommer months that have been home to this year’s FIFA World Cup. He hosted a series of parties called Berlin de Janeiro over in Brazil and their vibrant atmosphere made them a great success –  now he’s back in Berlin to celebrate that triumph. The coming home party of their brazilian success story took place in the luxury boutique hotel Stue, nestled in the Tiergarten park near to the Zoo. Berlinagenten was invited and we followed the call to battle! Who would look the most stylish? There really was no way of telling. The guests looked just as chique as the hotel and blended in perfectly. If Henrik had worn a red jacket he would have blended in pretty well, too. Why red, you ask? After half a dozen well-mixed cocktails Henrik spent a surprisingly large amount of time crawling across the red carpet while making incomprehensible sounds. Go Berlinagenten!

Hotel Ultra

This will be the first hotel in history to never receive a single complaint from their guests. That’s because all their guests are furniture. Since we’re still in 2014, furniture isn’t very likely to complain. Yet. The owners of Hotel Ultra are however pushing open the doors to the future by re-inventing the concept of selling furniture – from a total of 36 rooms, customers are free to pick any piece of the interior furnishing and take it home right after they’ve finished their cake&coffee. Technically you can’t spend a night in the hotel (rumor has it that the chairs come alive at night and take up the most comfortable rooms), but Berlinagenten has never been a friend of restrictions! No, we didn’t sneak in, but we were invited to the opening party that went on well into the night. The dressed bell boy with his guest list made it feel like a real hotel opening and all the fashionably dressed folks around us added up to the impression. As with most parties that offer free booze many seemed to feel it was time for the old game: „I came, I saw, I conquered all the drinks I could before the supply ran out“. The poor bar staff never got a rest and still had to cope with many a soul who’d flash them angry glances if they didn’t have their glass of champagne in 5 seconds. After sobering out the next day the foremost impression we had the night before still remained in our heads: great concept, great venue. Good luck!

On Tour with Visit Berlin and Taiwanese media and tour operators

Visit Berlin does an amazing job of exporting Berlin as a premier tourism destination all around the world. Berlinagenten partners with Visit Berlin when it comes to showing both journalists and travel industry professionals, the very best that Berlin’s gourmet scene has to offer with our famous Gastro Rallye’s.

Visit Berlin, in association with the Taiwanese office of the DB Bahn were hosting 10 of Taiwan’s top media and tourist industry professionals. The group had been travelling around Germany for a week by train. Now it was a chance to see Berlin! Berlinagenten curated a programme that showcased Berlin’s amazing culinary scene at the city’s finest restaurants.

On board for the tour was Visit Berlin’s Joyce Olivia Bernitt, who organises the programmes for incoming tour operators and Claudia Sult from the Visit Berlin Press Office.

After being picked up by a luxury bus, we started our tour at Volt, where head Chef Matthias Gleiß interprets traditional Berlin dishes and German classics into a gourmet’s delight. Next, it was onto new French hotspot Restaurant Richard for our main course before we had dessert at the trendy Sage restaurant. By the end of the night, eight out of our ten guests had fully embraced the Berlin spirit and were last seen heading into Tresor Night Club, despite having an early morning flight home! Our mission was complete!

Photos: Lollie Barr & Steven Hsu