The Queen came to Berlin. I’m British so pass me the Pimms!

Me being thoughtful during a Live TV broadcast in Germany, and looking as if I'm about to sing! ©Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Me being thoughtful during a Live TV broadcast in Germany, and looking as if I’m about to sing!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

So last week was just such an exciting week. I mean, Her Majesty (The Queen) and His Royal Highness were here,

Right here.

In Berlin.

My new home.

And yours truly was part and parcel of the very honourable situation.

The Queen! ©PRESS ASSOCIATION / Danny Lawson.
The Queen!
©PRESS ASSOCIATION / Danny Lawson.

Swoon!

The British Berliner was called upon to do her duty and talk publicly about the monarchy. Not only that, but I was also called upon to present Britishness.

That’s right!

The British Berliner was pretty much everywhere last week.

The week that Queen Elizabeth II spent four (4) days in Germany and most of that time, in Berlin!

Exciting times!
Exciting times!

Yes, Berlin.

Because we’re cool.

We’re trendy.

We’re the very place to be.

We’re British.

And we’re Berlin!

At the Berlin Music Video Awards with Roc Roc It - 2015 © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
At the Berlin Music Video Awards with Roc Roc It – 2015
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

I’ve said it a million times and I won’t hesitate to say it again, living in Berlin is just one of the most amazing decisions that I ever made.

Being an expat here and having this blog is just the icing on the cake!

So, back to The Queen.

As I told you last week, there was a flurry of activities in which I became fully involved on social media using my various Facebook pages and my darling Twitter, basically giving a day-to-day embrace of all that was expected to happen during the Queen’s visit.

The Queen & Prince Philip arriving at Tegel Airport, Berlin. ©impresspicture Buddy Bartelsen
The Queen & Prince Philip arriving at Tegel Airport, Berlin.
©impresspicture Buddy Bartelsen

It was crazy but it felt enormously good!

So how did it go?

As I told you previously, all the media attention literally happened just a few weeks ago!

At Travel Massive - 2015.
At Travel Massive – 2015.

First of all, I was contacted by a rbb – Berlin-Brandenburg TV Producer who found me via my blog and a small film interview that they saw me do with the Berlin bloggers branch of Travel Massive. They liked what they saw and wanted to meet me.

Within a week!

A week!

Celebrating diversity at the British Embassy.
Celebrating diversity at the British Embassy.

Then the editor of the rbb Inforadio station called me the next day and wanted to meet me too. She found me via the British Embassy in Berlin and when we met, we did an interview right there and then!

The filming of a documentary about a few expats who were not only British, but happened to live in Berlin, began on a Tuesday.

Popcorn and stuff watching basketball in Berlin!
Popcorn and stuff watching basketball in Berlin!

I usually go to the Boy Scouts of America Troop 46 meeting on a Tuesday as “The Tall Young Gentleman” is a Boy Scout and since there isn’t a British troop in Berlin, we happily join the American one.

Remember how I told you that filming started right away and I had to make a Facebook appeal for an assistant and a photographer.

Thankfully, my friends were up to the challenge and a Berlin girlfriend that I had known for years offered to be my PA and my official photographer was another friend – Pascale Scerbo Sarro – that I had first made contact with at the Berlin Video Music Awards in 2014!

OMG! Don't I just look like a city babe! ©Pascale Scerbo Sarro
OMG! Don’t I just look like a city babe!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Well, before you knew it, I was strolling down the street and the cameras were strolling with me.

I wanted to watch a cultural production at the English Theatre Berlin, and they came along and watched it with me!

Here I am at The English Theatre in Berlin with Daniel Brunet and Stephan Paul Taylor (the extremely tall guy! ©Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Here I am at The English Theatre in Berlin with Daniel Brunet and Stephan Paul Taylor (the extremely tall guy!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

I love being at the English Theatre as I am a great supporter of the Arts and write a lot about different activities. The Producing Artistic Director – Daniel Brunet – is a New Yorker and a great guy. The rbb team were as good as their word and asked permission to film on the premises and while a solo piece by the brilliant Minna Partanen was taking place. The suggestion was mine but I think he was quite happily shocked!

And so was everyone else.

It’s not everyday that you go to the theatre and a girl (me) has a camera and a huge fluffy microphone thing hanging around.

Me talking to the fluffy mike! ©Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Me talking to the fluffy mike!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

It was a little strange and sometimes the microphone appeared in different angles from below or above, and at one point I actually banged against it as I didn’t know it was there!

The rbb TV crew were great though and tried to “disappear” as much as possible, so that everyone could be a little more natural!

Me fully confident within the confines of The English Theatre, and a million microphones! ©Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Me fully confident within the confines of The English Theatre, and a million microphones!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

I soon got used to it LOL!

The following week, we continued filming the second (2nd) day of documentary shooting at the only Scottish pub in Berlin. It’s called Das Gift and Rachel – one of the owners was really warm and welcoming.

Wonderful British cheese, Scottish oatcake & English cider © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Wonderful British cheese, Scottish oatcake & English cider
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

We were filmed eating Scottish stuff such as haggis and black pudding, and we chatted away about England and Scotland as of course, as readers of this blog, you know that the two (2) countries aren’t the same thing!

Don’t you?

Don’t.

You?!

Anyhoo!

Me just walking down the road. Thrown into the spotlight LOL! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Me just walking down the road. Thrown into the spotlight LOL!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

This time, I wasn’t as nervous as I was in the first filming and in fact, they started shooting as soon as they saw me walking around the corner. That had me a little dazed as I still had a piece of paper with the address in my hand, my scarf and my golden Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin bag on!

The TV people must have really liked me as I received an invitation to take part in the rbb Berlin-Brandenburg evening TV show!

Now I became really nervous.

As this show wouldn’t just be seen by people who liked and admired the monarchy.

Oh no sir.

Random interesting German people!
Random interesting German people!

This show would be seen by millions of people.

Normal people. Ordinary people.

I would be speaking in German.

And it.

Would.

Be.

Live.

Oh jolly!!!!!

I desperately need cake!
I desperately need cake!

I spoke to a load of people about this and they all advised me to:

Speak slowly.

Not look at the camera.

Breath.

Relax.

Enjoy the moment.

And that is exactly what I did.

Here’s a summary of the stuff that I was in and how it went:

Ricky Gervais (The Office), Rowan Atkinson (Blackadder), John Cleese (Fawlty Towers) & Stephen Fry (as Stephen Fry)!
Ricky Gervais (The Office), Rowan Atkinson (Blackadder), John Cleese (Fawlty Towers) & Stephen Fry (as Stephen Fry)!

I was on a TV documentary called: Die rbb Reporter Berlin – very british Doku (YouTube) or Die rbb Reporter: Berlin – very british. It was a 30 minute programme about established British people in Berlin. I was featured as a British expat blogger doing lifestyle expat social things about town, and generally being my lovely self walking down the suburb of Kreuzberg. Even though I actually live in Prenzlauerberg! 

I love Kreuzberg so much.

Who doesn’t?

There was a lot of filming of my boots.

And my pop socks!

In the documentary, five (5) of us were shown:

Me with a member of the Black Kilts! ©Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Me with a member of the Black Kilts!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro
  1. Myself as The British Berliner of course
  2. A Scottish bagpipe and drumming group called The Black Kilts Berlin Pipes & Drums
  3. Sophie Raphaeline – the transgender owner of an English Language Second Hand Bookshop called Another Country
  4. Members of the Berlin Branch of The Royal British Legion
  5. Gabriela Pape the owner of der Königlichen Gartenakademie

Four (4) British people or organisations, and one (1) German one.

The documentary was reaaaaally good as I was featured about 4 to 5 times in the programme.

Yeeeeees!

Me gorging on Scottish black pudding at Das Gift, Berlin. ©Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Me gorging on Scottish black pudding at Das Gift, Berlin.
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Most of it is in German but you can sometimes hear the English bits and if you click on the YouTuBe link, or on the side widget, you can get the complete documentary on-line!

The next thing that I was on, was the radio interview on Inforadio. It was a radio broadcast about three (3) different types of British expats living in Berlin, of which I am one and also, the only woman! It was another rbb production called Briten in Berlin or Brits in Berlin. It was a seven (7) minute broadcast. I was featured as a British expat blogger with great emphasis on my baby.

In this case,

My blog people.

My blog!

We love my blog!

In the broadcast, three (3) of us were interviewed:

  1. Paul Robinson who’s lived in Berlin for forty (40) years!
  2. Myself as the British expat blogger aka The British Berliner of course
  3. Paul Gurner – the owner along with his twin brother (Daniel) who founded the Saint George’s English Bookshop in the suburb of Prenzlauerberg (my suburb!)

Most of it is in German but it’s quite funny and the complete script is on the website so you could always translate it. If you click on the link, or on the side widget, you can get the complete recording on-line!

 Myself and Andrea Vannahme having High Tea. © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Myself and Andrea Vannahme having High Tea.
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

And lastly, I was also on the rbb evening show of The Queen’s visit. It was aired at 20:15 so everyone.

EVERYONE!

Could see it.

Andrea Vannahme & I - A lovely lady. © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Andrea Vannahme & I – A lovely lady.
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

I was asked to be the side-kick of the German moderator – Andrea Vannahme.

I googled her.

She’s a big fish in these parts, so I was absolutely honoured to be asked!

I was asked to be at the “studio” for 19:00 but I was there at about 18:30.

I won’t lie, I was pretty nervous.

The Black Kilts and my British-German family! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
The Black Kilts and my British-German family!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

I was so nervous that I had my photographer – Pascale Scerbo Sarro, my husband – Behind The Couch Studio – and my son – The Tall Young Gentleman with me too. I certainly wasn’t going to take up this opportunity without them being able to see me in action, as a lot of the social media blogging stuff I do, is on my own.

As the professional that I am.

Anyway, Andrea Vannahme had a lovely chat with me as soon as we arrived, and showed me where I would be standing.

We would start together.

Standing behind a glass table, and there was a tiny sticky piece so that I would know exactly where to stand.

Me with Andrea Vannahme. From the table to the sofa! ©Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Me with Andrea Vannahme. From the table to the sofa!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

We would then proceed to the sofa where a stand of High Tea nibbles, two teapots and china cups of tea were set for us to use.

I was afraid of my lipstick showing and kept turning my teacup around.

Anyone for tea and scones?
Anyone for tea and scones?

As for the nibbles?

I was too nervous and excited to breathe, never mind chew.

LOL!

After our brief introduction, my family were seated on a table with a fantastic view of everything that was going on, and I was whisked to make-up.

Remember how I told you that I would bring my own foundation and lipstick. Just in case.

Well, for the first time ever.

I didn’t need to.

Look at that colouring. © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Look at that colouring.
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

The professional for-TV-make-up-artist was brilliant. She had the right tones, knew how to mix colours for my skin, and wasn’t afraid to experiment.

It wasn’t her first (1st) time either!

A real pro.

I'm sorry, but I look amazing! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
I’m sorry, but I look amazing!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

I couldn’t believe how I looked as this would be the first (1st) time that I’ve ever had real professional make up for an event.

Except for my wedding.

Of course!

I wore a black and white summer puff-like dress and a black and white polka-dotted fascinator in the shape of a tiny hat, and a pair of Union Jack pop socks!

I looked amaaaaaazing. Even if I say so myself.

LOL!

Drinking a very important cup of tea! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Drinking a very important cup of tea!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Mind you, the lipstick was my own, as hers was rather too dull…!

I had to wait for a while and I went to the bathroom at least four (4) times and then at 20:15 on the dot. The show started.

Remember, it was live.

A LIVE programme broadcasting from the Tea House at the English Garden or the TeeHaus im Englischen Garten.

A tea house that had great significance.

The Queen planting the seed of friendship in Germany. 1965 © Ullstein Bild
The Queen planting the seed of friendship in Germany. 1965
© Ullstein Bild

A tea house that was not only a cafe but actually a huge thatched cottage in Berlin’s largest park (Tiergarten) surrounded by the very essence of what an English garden should look like, and was a gift from Britain to the city of Berlin after WWII.

In fact, Queen Elizabeth even planted an oak tree here on her very first visit to West Berlin in 1965!

And I was brought on the show as the resident British expert about the monarchy, a blogger and a royalist, among a show of other British personalities.

Absolutely no pressure then!

"The Queen" and I. © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
“The Queen” and I.
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

The exclusive evening programme was called: Die Queen in Berlin. It was a 45 minute LIVE special broadcast also produced by the rbb or Berlin-Brandenburg TV Station in which we talked a little about British life in Berlin, and mainly about Queen Elizabeth II.

It’s all in German but there are many original clips of The Queen over the years and clips about her visit in Berlin. If you click on the link, or on the side widget, you can get the complete programme on-line!

It was a great opportunity and I had the greatest of times.

Berlin - very British - rbb
Berlin – very British – rbb

You know you’ve made it when Berlin locals recognise you on the street and smile. They’re Germans and much like British people, no hugging!

The recognition that affected me the most was when a local Berlin woman had the hugest grin on her face when I sat opposite her on the train. she couldn’t contain herself and was just smiling and smiling!

Thanks so much everyone. Now where's the Pimms! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Thanks so much everyone. Now where’s the Pimms!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Thank you so much rbb for putting your faith in me and letting me be a part of the great event of Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Berlin, in 2015.

I have so much to share with you.

Stay tuned!

Next week, I’ll be writing about Berlin.

Toot! Toot!

Myself with the Scottish bagpipe and drumming group - The Black Kilts Berlin Pipes & Drums at the English TeaHouse in Berlin. © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Myself with the Scottish bagpipe and drumming group – The Black Kilts Berlin Pipes & Drums at the English TeaHouse in Berlin.
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Many thanks to the rbb TV and radio crew, Svenja Weber, Ute Sturmhoebel, Sylvia Tiegs, Ralf Ayen, Andrea Vannahme, Pascale Scerbo Sarro, The English Theatre Berlin, Das Gift, The Music Producer, The Tall Young Gentleman, The Berlinerin and other Berliners. You know who you are!

Update: The actual programme is no longer available online but for future media purposes, I have a copy on DVD!

 Queen-Elizabeth-and-Prince-Philip-Patek-Philippe

If you’re a blogger or just interested in travel then the Berlin Chapter of Travel Massive is meeting on Tuesday 30.06.15. Come & join us.

Strictly Stand Up English Comedy Night will be taking place at the Quatsch Comedy Club on 01.07.15.

Etwas Magazine Fashion Event: Catwalk Under the Stars II on 10.07.15.

Berlin Fashion Week will be taking place from 06.07.15 – 10.07.15 and I have been accredited for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin (MBFWB) too! It’s going to be so much fun.

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

If you’re not in Berlin, you’re totally missing out.

July is going to be quite marvellous!

Watch this space!

Grab yourself a glass of Pimms! @ TheKitchen
Grab yourself a glass of Pimms!
@ TheKitchen

Would you go on live TV? How about the radio? What would you do if someone recognised you on the street because of your work or talent?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

Please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

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By Jove. I’m doing a film documentary about being a British expat in Berlin. Isn’t it marvellous?

Berlin - very British.

Isn’t it marvellous?

In just a few days Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, will be on our shores.

By “our,” I mean the German shores.

We are all.

Very.

Excited.

Cool Britannia!
Cool Britannia!

By excited, I mean strolling briskly, blushing and flapping slightly. No jumping around, collapsing and screaming.

We are British after all.

And we aim to keep a coolness about us on the outside while in a sense of panic and dismal anxiety on the inside!

What is it to be British?

God Save the Queen in Cool Britannia!
God Save the Queen in Cool Britannia!

Last year, I wrote a piece about How to Be British. And you were all extremely interested.

Most of the world seem to be fascinated by all things British and Germany is no exception. I mean, the Royal Family today stems from the Prussian Bavarian Saxony root of Queen Victoria from the House of Hannover (after whom I am named as another Young Victoria..) and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (in Bavaria, Germany) and of course, who isn’t curious and fascinated by the Brits who are here.

Of which I am one.

On the cricket field at one of my best friend's wedding on the Isle of Wight.
On the cricket field at one of my best friend’s wedding on the Isle of Wight.

Need I remind you that I am The British Berliner?

Need I tell you that being British and also living in the city of Berlin makes a rather interesting combination?

And it all makes perfect sense.

Free & Fair Justice in the British legal system.

Being British is the epitome of a nation of history, tradition and fairness.

Being British is to have centuries behind what makes Britain today.

A British cream tea!

Being British is to welcome and linger on what is old such as cream teas, strawberries in the summer, and cricket as well as what is new, such as an Indian curry, the Notting Hill Carnival and BritPop!

Being British is to understand the issue of what is fair, true and right and what it is to be “a true gentleman,” to keep your word and be “a real lady.”

The Rugby League.
The Rugby League.

Being British is surely not about winning the race and becoming first, but about taking part, and shaking the hand of your opponent in “good combat.”

Being British is about getting the first round in of a pint of beer, drinking champagne on a sunny day in the park and drinking Pimms on a cricket pitch during a wedding, on the Isle of Wight.

Royal Ascot.
Royal Ascot.

It’s about going to an Art Gallery and learning some history, dressing up for the English National Theatre even though you’re not actually at the theatre, going to the Proms, watching Shakespeare in the Park, being at an artistic play adaptation of Nick Hornby´s NippleJesus at the English Theatre in Berlin or watching Shakespeare at a beach bar auditorium whilst tango dancing by the river!

Being British is having your husband – The Music Producer– publicly say that he loves you in front of all your friends, whilst sprawling across a blanket at the Live Open Air State Opera performance in Berlin, and then going to a roof-top bar and ordering a martini, to celebrate it!

"The Tall Young Gentleman" with the Pearly King in London.
“The Tall Young Gentleman” with the Pearly King in London.

Yes, being British means being the people from England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the surrounding islands of the United Kingdom, fifteen (15) other realms from the Commonwealth which include Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, fourteen (14) British Overseas Territories including Gibraltar, Bermuda and the Falkland Islands, seven (7) Australian external territories, two (2) New Zealand dependent territories, two (2) New Zealand associated states, and previously Hong Kong that was ceremoniously but reluctantly handed back to China in 1997!

Being British means being me!

Looking lovely in the summer at a festival!
Looking lovely in the summer at a festival!

As such, being British and having this blog which states quite clearly who I am, has made me everyone’s darling at the moment.

I’m pretty trendy right now!

Our British Flag © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Being British in Germany is so in!

This week, I’m going to be on German television.

And why?

Because I put myself out there, I worked really hard networking and meeting people, writing quality content, doing what I said that I would, writing about the things that I enjoy and being myself.

Me on the beach at Lloret de Mar, Spain.
Me on the beach at Lloret de Mar, Spain.

I didn’t do anything different.

I work as a corporate inter-cultural life coach, educational English language trainer and teacher in Berlin as well as working as an International Social Media Lifestyle, Expat & Travel Blogger!

In Prague reading something and looking all serious, but not completely serious!
In Prague reading something and looking all serious, but not completely serious!

I’m not an actor or model.

I’m not a multi-millionaire.

I didn’t win the lottery.

Bloggers here. Bloggers there. Bloggers everywhere!
Bloggers here. Bloggers there. Bloggers everywhere!

I didn’t quit my job.

I didn’t change my lifestyle.

I didn’t sell my stuff!

and then We Were Three.
and then We Were Three.

I don’t believe that you have to choose between having it all and having nothing at all. I just do exactly what it says on the tin:

The British Berliner is a lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, travels around the world, Europe, and being British in Berlin.

The Music Producer and I in Milan, Italy.
The Music Producer and I in Milan, Italy.

It focuses on a British girl from Manchester living in Berlin with her German husband and her half British – half German son, her promotion of British-German life, culture, history, literature, theatre, style, the English Language, travels around the world, what she does in normal every day life and where she goes.

Quite frankly, I do my very best to live a life of both style and travel!

Aside from this merry blog some of the German media gurus also found me via the British Embassy.

Thank you so much Harriet!

Queen Elizabeth & The Duke of Edinburgh - UK /GB

There’s a week of programmes about The Queen’s visit to Germany. Here’s where you can find me in the coming week.

  • Berlin – very british (the rbb reporter) – The rbb stands for the Berlin-Brandenburg TV Station and is a big deal around here. I’m going to be in a documentary about established British people in Berlin in which I am featured as a British expat blogger doing lifestyle things about town, and generally being my social charming self! It will come out on 23.06.15 from 20:15 – 20:45 and on 24.06.15 from 15:30 – 16:00.
  • The Reportage about British Berliners: Broadcasting Brits in Berlin or Die Reportage über die British Berliners: Briten in Berlin – is a radio interview on Inforadio about three (3) different types of British people living in the city, of which I am one and also, the only woman! It will go out on 23.06.15 at 09:45.

Queen Elizabeth II - UK /GB

  • Die Queen in Berlin – This special broadcast is also produced by the rbb or Berlin-Brandenburg TV Station. I’m going to be on the evening show of The Queen’s visit and will be the side-kick of the German moderator – Andrea Vannahme. I will be on the panel of British experts and we will be talking about British life in Berlin. It’s a LIVE programme broadcasting from the Tea House at the English Garden or the TeeHaus im Englischen Garten on 24.06.15 from 20:15 – 21:00.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Autumn/Winter 2015 in Berlin am 19.01.2015

I’m even going to get proper make up done by a professional for-TV-make-up-artist-and-everything, but I’ll be bringing my own foundation and lipstick.

Just in case LOL!

It’s all pretty serious as this particular cafe has great significance.

My garden. Notice the bunting in the background!
My garden. Notice the bunting in the background!

It’s not only a cafe but actually a huge thatched cottage in Berlin’s largest park (Tiergarten) surrounded by the very essence of what an English garden should look like, and was a gift from Britain to the city of Berlin after WWII.

In fact, Queen Elizabeth even planted an oak tree here on her very first visit to West Berlin in 1965!

Will history repeat itself?

Only time will tell.

Great Britain - You're Invited!

If you are interested, there are other programmes about British people in Berlin. It’s in German but you get the gist and will be pretty entertaining!

We’ve known for quite some time that The Queen would be visiting but if you’re in Berlin and would like the chance to see her, then here’s the programme:

Photo@ NASA Paul E. Alers
Photo@ NASA Paul E. Alers

The Queen enjoys seeing as many people as possible wherever she travels around the world.  With that in mind, here is a guide to where members of the public can get the best view of the Queen during the State Visit.

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, will make a State Visit to the Federal Republic of Germany from 23rd to 26th June. Her Majesty and His Royal Highness are visiting at the invitation of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany – Herr Joachim Gauck.

What follows is the outline detail for the visit:

Queen Elizabeth II as she presented the new Colours to the Royal Regiment of Scotland by symbolically touching each Colour, during a ceremony at Holyrood Park in Scotland.

Tuesday 23 June

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will arrive at Berlin Tegel airport in the early evening and will be received by an honourary guard and a 21 gun salute.

Wednesday 24th June

The Queen will be at Schloss Bellevue on Wednesday June 24, at 10 to meet and greet British students from Nelson Mandela School.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will be ceremoniously welcomed with military honours at Bellevue Palace, the official residence of President Gauck.

They will then take a riverboat trip along the Spree starting around 11.15am.  This will start adjacent to Bellevue Palace, and their boat will then travel east, past the Chancellery, Hauptbahnhof, and towards the Reichstag.  The northern banks of the Spree will be accessible to the public on the entire stretch.  The southern banks of the Spree will be accessible around the House of World Cultures cafe terrace, the upper level of Spreebogenpark (opposite Hauptbahnhof), and between the Reichstag and Marschallbrücke.

The Queen will meet Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Chancellery where The Queen will then lay a wreath at Germany’s Central Memorial for the victims of war and dictatorship.

"The Tall Young Gentleman" being very pleased with himself!
“The Tall Young Gentleman” being very pleased with himself! Technology and lectures. Umm Yeah!

In the afternoon, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will attend the 50th anniversary of the Queen’s Lecture at Berlin’s University of Technology to be delivered by Neil MacGregor. That evening The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will return to Bellevue Palace for a State Banquet hosted by President Gauck.

It is possible to see Queen Elizabeth on the banks of the River Spree, between Bellevue and at the Reichstag.

I thought I would put Shaun the Sheep in for light relief - He's British too!
I thought I would put Shaun the Sheep in for light relief – He’s British too!

Thursday 25th June

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will travel with President Gauck and Ms. Schadt to Frankfurt. The Queen and President Gauck, and the Duke of Edinburgh and Ms Schadt, will arrive outside the Paulskirche around 11.45am and listen to a short choral performance.  At around 12.30pm, they will walk from the Paulskirche to the Römer, and then at around 2.30pm they will appear on the balcony of the Römer, before walking through the square.  Large areas of Paulsplatz and Römerberg will be accessible to the public.

They will visit St Paul’s Church where they will meet representatives of the local community and hear about the significance of the building as the birthplace of parliamentary democracy in Germany. The Minister-President of Hesse will then host a lunch in honour of The Queen at the Römer, which has been Frankfurt’s City Hall for more than six centuries.

After leaving the Römer, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will greet members of the public in the central square. On returning to Berlin that evening, they will attend a Garden Party hosted by the British Ambassador.

It is possible to see Queen Elizabeth at Paulsplatz and Römerberg.

The "queen" in Shanghai.
The “queen” in Shanghai.

Friday 26th June

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will leave the Adlon at around 9.45am and have a brief walkabout in Pariser Platz. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will greet members of the public at Pariser Platz and view the Brandenburg Gate with the Mayor of Berlin. Pariser Platz will be open to the public but access will be controlled through points both at the Brandenburg Gate end and the Unter den Linden end.  There is a limit on how many people can enter the square, and once it is full the police will close the entry points.  So if you want to secure yourself a space, please arrive early!

They will then fly from Berlin to Celle Military Airport in Lower Saxony, and will visit the Bergen-Belsen memorial site. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will lay a wreath at the inscription wall.

They will then return to Celle Military Airport for a farewell with the local community, before departing for the UK.

It is possible to see Queen Elizabeth at Pariser Platz.

© Pascale Scerbo Sarro
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

It’s going to be a long but delightful week ahead.

Let me know what you think.

I’m awfully thrilled to see where the next level will be.

Schoolchildren wave Union flags as the Queen leaves a service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral to celebrate its 300th anniversary.

The Queen will be visiting Berlin from 23.06.15 – 26.06.15 and I will be doing a documentary, a radio interview and also as an expert panel of Brits, on a Live TV show!

Berlin’s Mardi Gras (the 36th) – CSD – Christopher Street Day Gay Pride festivity, will be on 27.06.15.

Strictly Stand Up English Comedy Night will be taking place at the Quatsch Comedy Club on 01.07.15.

Berlin Fashion Week will be taking place from 06.07.15 – 10.07.15 and I have been accredited for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin (MBFWB) too! It’s going to so much fun.

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

If you’re not in Berlin, I can’t image where you would be.

June is going to be quite jolly & The Queen’s coming!

Watch this space!

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in their younger days - GB / UK.
Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh in their younger days and their corgis! – GB / UK.

Have you ever been on TV or radio? Have you ever seen or come close to any members of the Royal Family? Do you like Britain?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

Please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

Helsinki is the capital of Art Design so how was it that I went to Finland, and ended up with sushi!

A house in Helsinki, Finland. Not in Berlin!
A house in Helsinki, Finland.
Not in Berlin!

It’s fabulous living in the beautiful trendy city of Berlin!

Last week, I told you all about the fact that I had a production meeting with the rbb TV station. The rbb TV station is a big deal around here as not only is it a Berlin station, but it’s a regional one cutting across Berlin AND Brandenburg too! I was pretty cool about the invitation but all my friends were pretty excited.

And let me tell you, German production companies act pretty fast. I mean, the whole thing only started three (3) weeks ago.

Three (3) weeks ago!

I even had to turn an interview down as it was a live recording reporting The Queen coming into Berlin but it would have been in the morning, and it clashed with my teaching appointments! Yes, I know, but I’ve got to keep a clear head as teaching is my bread and butter LOL!

Anyway, I’m everyone’s darling at the moment and being asked to do loads of stuff at the moment, so I’m taking it all in my stride and trying to stay calm and collected.

I'm a very happy British lifestyle, expat, travel blogger. Right here in the beautiful city of Berlin - © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
I’m a very happy British lifestyle, expat, travel blogger. Right here in the beautiful city of Berlin –
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

I completed the second day of shooting and this time around we went to the only Scottish pub in Berlin. It’s called Das Gift and one of the owners – Rachel is really lovely. We were filmed eating Scottish stuff such as haggis and black pudding, and generally chatting away. This time, I wasn’t as nervous as I was in the first filming and in fact, they started shooting as soon as they saw me walking round the corner! That put me in a bit of a fluster but perhaps they liked my stuff as I’ve also been invited to take part in the evening show. It’s called the rbb ‪#‎Abendschau‬ and it’s Live with a real well-known German moderator and everything!  I’m going to be on a panel of British experts. OMG!

There’s a week of programmes about The Queen in Berlin. The programmes that I’m going to be on are:

Filming at the Scottish pub - Das Gift - © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Filming at the Scottish pub – Das Gift – © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
  • Die rbb Reporter: Berlin – very british – The documentary is going to be about “established” Brits in Berlin and the part about me will be as a British expat blogger about town. It will come out on 23.06.15 from 20:15 – 20:45 and on 24.06.15 from 15:30 – 16:00.
  • Die Queen in Berlin – This special broadcast will go out as the evening show of The Queen’s visit. I will be on the panel of British experts at the English Tea Garden (Tiergarten) on 24.06.15 from 20:15 – 21:00 and it will be LIVE. Gulp!
  • Die Reportage über die British Berliners: Sendung Briten in Berlin – is a radio interview on Inforadio about three (3) different types of British people living in the city, of which I am one and also, the only woman! It will go out on 23.06.15 at 09:45.
Wonderful British cheese, Scottish oatcake & English cider © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Wonderful British cheese, Scottish oatcake & English cider
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

The fantastic photos above are by Pascale Scerbo Sarro and you can also find him on his website. Thanks so much Pascale!

I’m extremely excited to see where the next level will be.

For now though, let’s go back to Helsinki. In Finland.

Helsinki Monument, Finland. @VisitFinland
Helsinki Monument, Finland.
@VisitFinland

Last week, I gave you some tips as to how to navigate the city as a smart guide to Helsinki. Let’s now focus on the art design concept and the food.

I have to tell you that as far as art goes, Helsinki is pretty fancy, pretty trendy, pretty hipster, pretty artsy, pretty contemporary, and pretty dynamic. All in one go! In that wise, part of getting a feel of the city would also lie on where we wanted to stay.

I like to stay where all the action is, so we decided to stay at a hotel right slap and bang in the centre of Helsinki.

In the stylish Design District.

Design District Helsinki, Finland.
Design District Helsinki, Finland.

Yeah baby!

We wanted to be in an area full of design and antique shops, coupled with museums and galleries.

The Design District in Helsinki offers an ideal place to get to know Finnish design and to buy top-class Finnish design products in an area full of design and antique shops, fashion stores, museums, art galleries, restaurants, showrooms, design agencies, interesting names, classic items, and trendsetters.

To get a good feel of this we decided to stay for two (2) nights at the very artistically designed GLO Hotel Art.

The GLO Hotel Art Library.
The GLO Hotel Art Library.

Whenever we go on a family holiday, I like to mix things up a little in order to experience a wide variety of accommodation possibilities, to meet the locals, and to stretch our budget in a more comfortable way.

In that wise, I decided to make a booking at the exclusive, charming lifestyle GLO Hotel Art built around a century-old Art Nouveau castle.

The Art Glo 100 year old castle Hotel!
The Art Glo 100 year old castle Hotel!

So cool!

Our art design hotel was a unique lifestyle hotel located in the heart of the Helsinki Design District and had 171 rooms. When we arrived, they very nicely allowed us to check-in early.

Our Glo Comfort Twin Room in Helsinki, Finland.
Our Glo Comfort Twin Room in Helsinki, Finland.

Our room was a smart, sleek GLO Comfort Twin room but after the warmth and soft luxury furnishings of Hotel St. Petersbourg in Estonia, “The Tall Young Gentleman” was slightly disappointed by the minimalist chic.

Have I created a pre-teenaged monster or a boy who just knows what he likes?

As I’ve said many times before, as far as I’m concerned, the most important point for me when travelling is that location and attractiveness is key to a wonderful experience. Our comfort room had a large flat-screen TV, a reclining sofa with a side-top and a pouffe, as well as a desk and chair. There was also tea and coffee supplies, a kettle, free WiFi, a full buffet breakfast, and more fluffy slippers!

Hurrah!

The fluffly Lynx - please take me home!
The fluffly Lynx – please take me home!

The bathroom had dark glass walls and doors with a rainforest shower in the bathroom which was pretty neat! But again, “The Tall Young Gentleman” was upset because the bathroom door wouldn’t shut properly. The hotel was great and offered to change the room, but we were already settled in and just wanted to relax at the time. We were offered a complimentary drink on the house and I also mentioned that a fluffy Lynx had been left on the bed for Premium customers and could they take it away, as the retail price was €24 and my son was becoming extremely attached to it. They said he could keep it.

Phew!

At the Old Market Hall or Vanha Kauppahalli in Helsinki, Finland.
At the Old Market Hall or Vanha Kauppahalli in Helsinki, Finland.

The hotel was extremely large but very quiet. We met quite a lot of British and American couples and groups of Spanish teenaged school groups. It’s also very safe and secure as in order to get into the residential part of the property, you have to use an electronic card to open the doors throughout. It also had an Art Nouveau atmosphere as all over the hotel, you could see art decorations everywhere and snug red sofas!

Pretty neat!

All this for €123.00 per night in the Comfort Twin Room which for two (2) people would be €61.50 each and let me tell you, Helsinki isn’t your cheap destination. Hostels were sporting €100 per night for a double room.

Hostels!

I don’t think so daaaarling!

So make sure you take your time and look around. I find that in steep price destinations, it pays to add up all the benefits such as breakfast, WiFi, transport, safety and location, and if it all fits together then just go for it and don’t worry too much about the initial cost LOL!

Helsinki river view. Finland.
Helsinki river view.
Finland.

And now onto a topic close to my brilliant heart. I give you:

FINNISH FOOD

Helsinki Hakaniemi Market @Elina Sirparanta @VisitFinland
Helsinki Hakaniemi Market
@Elina Sirparanta
@VisitFinland

Helsinki’s food culture is one of the most interesting in the Nordic countries, thanks to its unique location between East and West. It’s fun, innovative, easy-going, social, seasonal, fresh, local, natural, traditional yet modern, it’s exciting and continuously evolving.

Finnish food culture is also a unique and vibrant experience that reflects Finnish nature, society, history, identity and culture based on the use of its ingredient source from the land and the sea.

FINLAND FUN FACTS!

Isn't this monster full of fun?!
Isn’t this monster full of fun?!

Did you know that:

  • The first beers ever were introduced in Finland. In 1000BC!
  • 12 kg of coffee per year is consumed making Finland the number one (1) country for coffee consumption in the world!
  • Salmiakki – the salty liquorice – was first introduced in 1938 and became a popular sensation. I thought that I hadn’t had it before but actually I have. In Germany! It’s sour and explodes in your mouth. If you can stand it LOL!
  • The best way to discover local food culture and a traditional way of shopping and eating, is through the local market halls and street food.
  • Helsinki has a Restaurant Day where anyone in Helsinki can open a restaurant for a day. At home. At work. In the street. In the garden, courtyard, park or beach. Anywhere at all! It’s held four (4) times a year, every three (3) months. What a great idea. Shepherd’s pie anyone?!

 A BREAKFAST FIT FOR A NORDIC KING!

Wild, fresh strawberries fit for a Nordic king!
Wild, fresh strawberries fit for a Nordic king!

Finnish people are hearty eaters and that was reflected in the very generous buffet breakfast that we had at the GLO Hotel Art, which consisted of a combination of both Scandinavian and international delights.

Above, you can see a plate of freshly sliced salmon, a grillimakkara or sausage, slices of ham, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickled onions, lettuce, slices of baguette and a pat of butter.

Näkkileipä - a cracker version of rye bread and Finnish Crisp Crackers.
Näkkileipä – a cracker version of rye bread and Finnish Crisp Crackers.

We had the Näkkileipä above – a cracker version of rye bread and Finnish Crisp Crackers for breakfast. My half-Finnish-half-German girlfriend was pretty impressed, and delighted that we were served the real stuff!

It was dry and reminded me of my childhood LOL, but I liked it!

Ruisleipä – rye bread – made from sour dough in Helsinki, Finland.
Ruisleipä – rye bread – made from sour dough in Helsinki, Finland.
 We really had the opportunity to experience and taste a wide variety of Finnish bread such as Ruisleipä  which is a rye bread made from sour dough, and is very much a staple of a Finnish diet. I’m not a fan of very dark “rough” bread but taken in small doses, and smothered with melting butter and cheese or topped with a variety of sea-food, makes it quite palatable!
A bowl of mouthwatering porridge in Helsinki, Finland.
A bowl of mouthwatering porridge in Helsinki, Finland.

OMG! I have to tell you my most favourite breakfast dish in Finland was this deep-dish bowl of mouth-watering freshly made porridge. I couldn’t believe that I would find such a tasty item, so I overwhelmed it with brown sugar and fresh milk!

And I even had two helpings!

MAIN MEALS IN FINLAND

Delicious seafood & lobster!
Delicious seafood & lobster!

Typical Finnish food is such fare as:

  • Crayfish or “kraftskiva” otherwise known as fresh water lobster seen above!
  • Karjalanpiirakka or Karelian pies made with rye flour and filled with potatoes, rice or carrots.
  • Kalakukko – a type of Finnish pie filled with muikku, a small herring-like fish.
  • Korvapuusti or cinnamon buns.
  • Meatballs with reindeer meat.
  • “Töölööläinen” or veal toast with truffle potatoes.
  • Roasted fried cheese.
  • New potatoes with herring, fresh lake fish or fish roe and a sprinkling of dill.
  • Salmon soup with rye bread.
  • Toast Skagen also known as a shrimp sandwich.
Toast Skagen also known as a shrimp sandwich!
Toast Skagen also known as a shrimp sandwich!
  • Salmon with smoked eel and asparagus salad.
  • Finnish meatballs with cream sauce and mashed potatoes.
  • Finnish cheese with cranberry jam and home-made crisp bread.
  • Reikäleipa or “bread with a hole.”
  • Lingonberry or a Finnish tart berry used for jams and juices.
  • Cloudberry – an exquisite sharp tarty flavour and used for jams, juices, fruit pies and liqueurs.
Sushi in Helsinki was all we could afford!
Sushi in Helsinki was all we could afford!

Sadly, we could only afford a variety of titbits at the food market this time around, and sushi!

Why sushi you might ask?

Well, because I love fish and it was the cheapest option.

I know.

Right!

Remember how I told you that we found a Japanese restaurant not far from where we were staying called Sushi-Ravintola Yamato. The evening buffet was just €13.70 each including non-alcoholic drinks and rather bizarrely, the cheapest way to nosh!

Salivate on this!

Sushi in helsinki, Finland.
Sushi in helsinki, Finland.

Just look at this delicious mould of rice and seaweed accompanied by a lettuce and prawn and cocktail sauce.

Hang onto your seat! There's more sushi!
Hang onto your seat. There’s more sushi!

Yum! Yum! Yum! Prawns, egg and seaweed. Nosh! Nosh!

Sushi in Helsinki, Finland.
Sushi in Helsinki, Finland.

My goodness! If sushi isn’t a dish of delicious goodness, I don’t know what is! I’m licking my fingers as we speak!

Japanese soup in Helsinki, Finland.
Japanese soup in Helsinki, Finland.

You all know what I think about soup. This one was pretty spicy but did the job!

A slice of swiss roll in Helsinki, Finland.
A slice of swiss roll in Helsinki, Finland.

This isn’t sushi but a slice of the yummy swiss roll that I had, filled with raspberry and vanilla swirls!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Yes, the prices can be ridiculously high but the museums are all reasonably priced or free of charge. You’ll need to do some research so as to get value for your money, but it’s not too difficult.

MY VERDICT:

Finland is an extremely modern country and is unique in its nature, water, traditions, the amount of light change, and its weather and temperature. As far as the language goes, citizens from every Nordic country pretty much speak extremely good English, Swedish, Russian and being European, other languages too!

I found Helsinki to be windy, modern, friendly, expensive, slighty quirky and clean!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Absolutely! And with more people LOL!

Hel Yeah!

Iso-Syöte_hytter - @VisitFinland
Iso-Syöte_hytter –
@VisitFinland

For more information about a charming lifestyle hotel, please contact: GLO Hotel Art.

For more information about Finland’s capital city, please contact Visit Helsinki.

This article isn’t sponsored and even though I got a little discount on the hotel, all opinions and the scrummy sushi that I quaffed, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

Stay tuned!

Next week, I’ll be writing about Britain and being The British Berliner. Oh marvellous!

The Northern Lights - @Miikka Niemi Flatlight Films
The Northern Lights –
@Miikka Niemi Flatlight Films

The Queen will be visiting Berlin from 23.06.15 – 26.06.15 and I will be doing a documentary, a radio interview and also as an expert panel of Brits, on a Live TV show!

The 23rd Lesbian and Gay City Festival is taking place between 20.06.15 – 21.06.15.

Fête de la Musique an open-air street music performance day, will take place all around Berlin, on 21.06.14.

Berlin’s Mardi Gras (the 36th) – CSD – Christopher Street Day Gay Pride festivity, will be on 27.06.15.

Strictly Stand Up English Comedy Night will be taking place at the Quatsch Comedy Club on 01.07.15.

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

If you’re not in Berlin, you’re missing the fun.

June is amazing & The Queen’s coming!

Watch this space!

The back of me - © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
The back of me –
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Have you ever been to Helskini? What do you think of Art Design? Sushi or Reindeer Meatballs?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

Please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!