Tag Archives: Kreuzberg

The Scene – 10 New Hotspots in Berlin

Spring descends upon Germany’s capital of cool. Berlin’s hipsters, foodies, lovers, bar hoppers, clubbers and lunatics curiously stick their heads out of the holes they have been hiding in during the freezing winter. Time to discover what’s new and trendy in Berlin city! We’ve compiled a list with the best new hotspots, from bars and clubs to restaurants and breweries.

Cafés

Mario Kaiser Patisserie
When Mario Kaiser left Berlin to work in kitchens around the world 8 years ago, Berlin’s trendy food scene was still a long way coming. With Mario having refined his skills in Paris, London, Zurich and the USA, he now offers delicious pastries in his brand new Prenzlauer Berg patisserie. Berlin is finally ready for upscale confectioners and Mario is planning to expand his menu soon. Just like trendsetting Coda Dessert Bar in Neukölln, he’s planning to add alcoholic beverages to pair with the delicacies soon – a promising concept.

The Visit Roastery
A bar-raising new addition to Berlin’s flourishing specialty coffee scene. Located in a Kreuzberg backyard near Kottbusser Tor, the coffee bar creates a strong contrast to its somewhat shabby surroundings. The stylishly decorated space inside is both welcoming and inviting, its openness allowing you to relax at either a regular table or in the MacBook-loaded sitting corner. The place feels very clean  – and a little sterile. As soon as you take the first sip on your specialty coffee, that’s easily forgotten.

Restaurants

Mine Restaurant
Mine’s Owner Aram Mnatsakanov is often considered the Russian Jamie Oliver. His Italian restaurants in Moscow and St. Petersburg rank among the best in their category and he’s been a prominent host for TV shows like “Hell’s Kitchen Russia” and “Hell’s Kitchen Ukraine”. With his intriguing modern interpretation of classic Italian cuisine and a premium selection of ingredients from all over Europe, you’ll find Mine’s dishes to taste familiar and yet refreshingly different.

Izakaya at Sra Bua
Renowned fine-dining restaurant Sra Bua by Tim Raue located on Hotel Adlon’s ground floor is surprising gourmets with a new concept this year! While the main room is still dedicated to classic menu service, the Izakaya section pays hommage to Japan’s dining culture, essentially creating two restaurants under one roof. The concept is to sit back, enjoy drinks (sake anyone?) and socialise as light dishes are shared family style. The delicacies range from spring rolls with green applesauce to delicious beef tartar “japan style”.

Bars

Mampe’s neue Heimat
Strictly speaking, Mampe isn’t a bar. It’s Berlin oldest existing liquor brand, on its way back to world domination. Their new location “Mampe’s neue Heimat” is an all-in-one museum, exclusive liquor store and event location housing its own distillery. With distilling workshops, liquor tastings and a strict Berlin-only delivery policy, Mampe is setting sail to once again become Berlin’s most prestigious and exclusive liquor brand.

Wine Bar
Mine restaurant’s bar is located in the neighbouring building and one word sums up the space perfectly: small. In fact, it’s better known as Berlin’s smallest bar and invites guests to sip on tasty aperetifs before dinner or tol roll over for a nightcap after a long meal. Don’t forget to check out the space at the back as you’ll find some hidden corners ideal for mingling.

Clubs

Beate Uwe
A small and intimate club hidden right under the noses of most tourists. Despite its close proximity to Alexanderplatz it remains a refuge for a very leaned back crowd. It’s the perfect start into a wild night out, but it’s just as perfect if you’re looking for an electronic club night without stomping on people’s feet. Probably the only club in Berlin where you can dance barefoot.

Haubentaucher
When Haubentaucher opened its doors two summers ago, it immediately drew a huge mixed crowd of sun-hungry Berliners, hipsters and tourists. Within weeks, it became the “in” location of the summer 2015, and 2016 was no less busy! What most people don’t know – they boast a small but high quality club with great lineups and even better party. Check it out!

Breweries

BRLO
The slavic word “BRLO” is the origin of “Berlin”. While they have strong roots to our beloved capital, BRLO is a creative brewery also inspired by international influences. With their German IPA, Pale Ale, Weisse, Helles and Porter they offer a solid selection of high quality beers. Brewmaster Michael Lembke secrets range from ecological malt to brewing water energized with gemstones. Added value: a fabulous food concept with shared vegetarian dishes (meat comes as sides) and a huge terrace for sunny days. They stick to the motto “Save the planet, it’s the only one with beer“.

BrewDog
Us Germans, we love beer. We absolutely worship it. Hence we’re thrilled to welcome Scottish brewery BrewDog to Berlin, where they opened their first craft beer bar in Germany. With its typical Berlin industrial charm, brick walls, vintage lamps and pinball machines, it’s the perfect location for thirsty beer lovers.

The Scene – 5 Cool Hotels in 2017

Hotels love Berlin. With close to 30 million stays every year, there’s about 150.000 hotel beds to house guests from all over the world, coming to taste the bitter sweet nectar of our beloved capital. In a race for the title of best hotel in Berlin, owners come up with exciting new concepts as they go. We compiled a list of 5 new thrilling hotels to look out for in 2017.

Provocateur
The name’s resemblance with the popular lingerie designer is no coincidence. Newly opened Provocateur is Berlin’s first burlesque hotel. It’s a refuge for prosperous travellers who like to stay in a sexy atmosphere. When you hit the “Provocateur mode” button in your room, the light is dimmed and erotic pictures are projected on the walls. Unfortunately we weren’t asked to be models, but it’s still quite enjoyable. Another highlight is the 1912 elevator, transporting guests not only upwards but also into a different time and space.

Orania.Berlin
Located in the dodgy center of trendy Kreuzberg, Orania embodies the melting pot of influences of the district it resides in – but with glamour & fuzz. Timeless elegance meets oriental influences to create an oasis with 41 spacious rooms, complimented by classic concerts, poetry slams and electronic nights. The creative cuisine transforms the surrounding influences into a mouth-watering menu. The huge loft-style space on the top floor will be Orania’s true jewel. Wait and see.

Schloss Fleesensee
Berlin is a great place to be, but sometimes it’s nice to get some distance between you and the city. Schloss Fleesensee is just a 1 1/2 hour drive and has been named “Newcomer of the Year” by travel magazine Hideaways at Berlin international tourism fair. The investors just completed a restoration for no less than 10 million Euro, so expect all the luxury you can think of with all the facilities your heart and soul needs to relax.If you still need convincing, check out their lovely image video here:

Sir Savigny
Yet another star in West Berlin’s meteoric rise to glory, Sir Savigny is part of the Design Hotels collection and resides just a 10min walk from bustling Ku’Damm. The highlights are their Art Deco inspired interior, which blends in perfectly with modern influences, as well as their in-house burger bar “The Butcher”, which serves prime beef and spare ribs at reasonable prices. It’s the perfect getaway if you prefer a cozy design hotel over a pompous money burner like nearby Waldorf Astoria.

Max Brown Ku’damm
The ideal hotel for young creatives, globetrotters and night owls. Brown Hotel is an oasis for urban living, their rooms feeling like your own living room rather than an overstylized space ship. The perfect blend of discreet comfort and high quality furnishing is only topped by the social space on the ground floor. Its black marble floor and jungle wallpapers create the feeling of an urban jungle, rounded off by the amazing Benedict breakfast – a 24h breakfast restaurant.

Insiders: Berlin Legends – Lagerfeld von Xberg

Be aware, folks, this month’s interview definitely is the craziest one we’ve done yet. Nothing for the faint-hearted, either. This story’s protagonist has worked on more than 300 films and once planted a bomb in a Paris hotel room. It went off. This interview will take you on a ride – an exclusive behind the scenes ride into a real treasure cave of the Berlin art scene.

It all began at a busy intersection in Berlin Kreuzberg (Kreuzberg = Xberg). Freezing our butts off in the typical Berlin cold of the winter, we were waiting to be picked up by our very special interview partner of the month. All we knew was when and where to wait. No address, no names, strictly anonymous. He usually doesn’t invite guests into his atelier and he usually doesn’t give interviews, either, but somehow we managed to get a hold of him. Don’t ask how.

And then, there he was. Lagerfeld von Xberg. We walked over to his side of the street and were greeted by a broad smile. It wasn’t quite enough to distract from the colourful jeans (self painted), the distinctive hair cut or several scarves loosely tingling from his neck, all in different colours. The friendly wrinkles around his eyes seemed timeless, and though well beyond 60 years, the sparkle in his eyes still burned with energy and curiosity. Eagerly we followed him through the depths of several Kreuzberg backyards, slowly loosing orientation – night comes early in Berlin this time of the year and we found ourselves surrounded by a wall of grey slab buildings.

If what happened so far felt out of place, we were in for way more than that. We entered his flat. Immediately our brains started putting up a protest against the sudden visual impact the blur of colours had on us. The walls and floor plastered with collages of naked women, dressed women, graffitis, paintings, tags, posters, plaster figures. In the middle of the room ten partly molten barbies dangle down from the ceiling, body parts sticking in all directions. The upper body of a plaster figure next to us obviously required a caesarean section, the head of a barbie doll sticking out of its bloody belly. The life sized plaster bear at the opposing wall seems to be waiting. To start pissing in a bucket located right under his crotch. What was all this? It was time to start asking questions, but… where to begin?

Q: Hey Lagerfeld. Who are you and… what is it you’re doing here?

A: I’m a living being. I’m Lagerfeld von Xberg. You know, Lagerfeld of Paris loves Chanel, Lagerfeld of Xberg loves Chantal.

That much was obvious. His shirt depicted a woman with a mask on, pulling down her shirt that said “Chantal” in the direction of her bare vagina. Lovely.

Q: Right. And why do you call yourself “Lagerfeld”?

A: I once worked for Karl Lagerfeld and I think he really is a great, inspiring person. An idol of human nature. But me, I never chose to be Lagerfeld. Apparently I talk a lot like him. I mumble a little, so folks started calling me Lagerfeld. I also really liked Dennis Hopper. He had that aura of greatness and was a great guy to work with, very professional.

Q: I see. So how did all this begin? What are your roots?

A: When I was 7, a military doctor removed my tonsils by force. He tore them out, no anaesthesia. When I was 10, I was put in a nunnery with deaf and retarded children… the problem was, I was neither. I spent 10 years there, involuntarily. After I survived that, I became a window shop decorator for the KaDeWe

Henrik and me shot ourselves careful sight glances. That was some heavy stuff. But it didn’t explain how he ended up here, or how he had done 300 films, or destroyed a hotel room in Paris.

Q: So how did you end up in the film making business?

A: There once was this group of film makers sitting next to me in a restaurant. They talked about some issues they had with the special effects and pyrotechnics for their movie, so I offered help. Next thing I know, I’m working on the requisites for a movie by Fred van der Kooij. After the movie was released, Studio Babelsberg called me and asked if I wanted to do the special effects for a big cinema production they were making. But there was a requirement. They asked me: “Have you ever done cinematic movies before?”. So I replied “Hell yes I have”.

Q: But that was a lie, it was only your second movie!

A: Of course it was. I never actually said I was pyrotechnist either, they just thought so. Technically I was always very close to hearing the prison door slam shut behind me, but things never went wrong.

Q: Luckily! Like that one time, when you set off a bomb in a Paris hotel room. What was that all about?

A: I received a call, asking if I could detonate a hotel room in Paris. Hotel Marceau was planning to renovate their premises and they came up with the idea to allow several artists to reshape the interior of the rooms and create something unique before starting the renovations. Nah, I said, that’s a little over my head. I mean, come on. Then Gregor Hildebrandt came up to me – he was one of the artists given a room to express his vision – and had me convinced I was the only person for this job. So… I built a bomb. And took it to Paris.

Q: Jesus. Did you inform the authorities that you built a bomb for an art project?

A: Well… I meant to, really. But somehow that didn’t work out, so I smuggled the bomb to Paris on a train. The authorities in Paris never knew there was going to be an explosion, so I made my escape right after it went off. Just to make sure I wouldn’t be arrested.

Q: Good thinking. So… what are all those barbie dolls doing here? 

A: They were requisites for a movie we made. My daughters handed me their old dolls and I decapitated them, melted them and tore them apart. For the movie of course. Went okay, they don’t scream, don’t mind anyway and never once complained.

Q: So you didn’t do that because you think that Barbies are bitches or something, right?

A (laughs): No, my bitches are over in the kitchen. Cut them out of calendars. My cooking bitch, my dish washing bitch, my shoe cleaning bitch and my turn-me-on bitch. But the turn-me-on bitch is sitting in the corner as I don’t want her to turn me on all the time.

At first we thought it was all a little (read: very) astonishing, but listening to this old jolly soul tell his story, all the while with an amused twinkle in his eyes, you couldn’t help it but to like this guy.

Q: What does Berlin mean to you?

A: Life, I guess. But for me, Berlin – that’s Kreuzberg. You can be whoever you want here, no one is going to judge you. You can be a human here, no games, no pretending. I worked in the KaDeWe and was always glad to come back home, I was in trendy Mitte and was always glad to come back home, I visited my grandchildren in the Schwarzwald and was always glad to come back home. The people in the other districts, they’re destroying their city. They’re just not human anymore. Of course you can reside in other districts, but you can’t really live there.

Q: Do you have a few tips for going out in Berlin?

A: I’ve never been much of a clubber. Last party I went to was the Berlinagenten anniversary party, but that was an exception. Do you like coffee, though? Every day I have one at my favourite Italian restaurant, Il Casolare or the Bistro Bar Bateau Ivre, an artists’ coffee bar at Heinrich Heine Platz. They’re very good and all know me by name. The owner’s name is Lauren.

Q: Thanks for the tips. What are your hopes for the future?

A: In my heart I always felt I really was a woman, so I’m looking to have an operation soon, where I get my… well, they’re going to cut something off. I know I’m 64, but I’m starting a new life now. I’m also working on my own project now, a movie about my fate. It’s still top secret, but you’ll like it.

Thank you, Lagerfeld von Xberg, I’m sure we will. We’re glad to have you around. Stay as you are!