Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!

Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty! © Visit Denmark
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!
© Visit Denmark

I love being a British European!

And luckily for you, I’m not daunted or scared by the terrors of mad men!

As such, last week  began…

Drum rolls please….

VICTORIA’S SUMMER EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CAMPAIGN!

Victoria’s Summer European Challenge has begun! Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!
Victoria’s Summer European Challenge has begun!
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!

Every weekend, through the summer holidays, I’m going to be visiting a European city.

Every weekend!

For six (6) weeks.

Last week, the first place that I went to was Copenhagen in Denmark!

Doesn't Denmark look as if you could eat it! ©NordicFoodFestival.
Doesn’t Denmark look as if you could eat it!
©NordicFoodFestival.

The sun was shining, the people were lovely, and even though I missed my coach-bus connection and spent double the amount of money that I hadn’t budgeted, I very much enjoyed visiting Copenhagen!

It has to be said that even though this blog is about culture, history, and travels around the world, I also enjoy writing about food. Here are food posts that I wrote in the past:

BELGIUM:

Belgian mussels flowing in lemon and wine!
Belgian mussels flowing in lemon and wine!

THE CZECH REPUBLIC:

Trdelník in the Czech Republic but also known as Kürtőskalács in Hungary!
Trdelník in the Czech Republic but also known as Kürtőskalács in Hungary!

ENGLAND:

Oysters and stout on a wooden table outside a pub, England UK - ©VisitBritain Daniel Bosworth
Oysters and stout on a wooden table outside a pub, England UK –
©VisitBritain Daniel Bosworth

ESTONIA:

Salted and marinated herring on creamy cheese at the Hermitage Restaurant.
Salted and marinated herring in Tallinn.

FRANCE:

Have you ever seen such a fantastic crème brûlée? So creamy, so delicious, so....!
Have you ever seen such a fantastic crème brûlée? So creamy, so delicious, so….!

FINLAND:

Hang onto your seat! Sushi in Helsinki, Finland.
Hang onto your seat!
Sushi in Helsinki, Finland.

GERMANY:

Berlin's most famous iconic meal - currywurst, chips & mayo!
Berlin’s most famous iconic meal – currywurst, chips & mayo!

 

HUNGARY:

Now this looks a lot like brain, but I'm thinking they're probably Hungarian sausages in a stew! Or are they?!!
Now this looks a lot like brain, but I’m thinking they’re probably Hungarian sausages in a stew!
Or are they?!!

LATVIA:

Pelmeni served with sour in Latvia.
Pelmeni served with sour in Latvia.

The magic drink of Latvia is basalm and I drank it!

LITHUANIA:

Lithuanian soup.
Lithuanian soup.

POLAND:

My fantastic pierogi with a smattering of bacon pieces, sprinkled with parsley.
My fantastic pierogi with a smattering of bacon pieces, sprinkled with parsley.

PORTUGAL:

Scrummy Pastel de Nata or Pastel de Belem, otherwise known as Portuguese Custard Tarts!
Scrummy Pastel de Nata or Pastel de Belem, otherwise known as Portuguese Custard Tarts!

SCOTLAND:

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

SPAIN:

Spanish tapas galore!
Spanish tapas galore!

THAILAND:

Sticky rice wrapped in banana leaf - Bangkok, Thailand.
Sticky rice wrapped in banana leaf – Bangkok, Thailand.

Nom! Nom! Nom!

So without further ado, let’s talk about Danish food otherwise known as Nordic food!

Here we go!

WHAT IS DANISH FOOD, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS NORDIC FOOD!?

 

Nordic food is defined as food developed in the Nordic countries and Scandinavia. Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!
Nordic food is defined as food developed in the Nordic countries and Scandinavia.
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!

I’m from England and I live in Germany. Both countries are in Northern Europe.

Northern Europe consists of Iceland, Ireland, the Isle of Man, the United Kingdom, the Faroe Islands, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Belarus, North-West Russia, and Greenland.

Nordic food is defined as food developed in the Nordic countries and Scandinavia.

Nordic countries are countries in the geographical and cultural region of Northern Europe and the North Atlantic.
Nordic countries are countries in the geographical and cultural region of Northern Europe and the North Atlantic.

Nordic countries are countries in the geographical and cultural region of Northern Europe and the North Atlantic, otherwise known as Norden or “The North!” These countries would be Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, including their associated territories – Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and the Åland Islands.

Scandinavia is defined as a historical and cultural region in Northern Europe characterized by ethno-cultural North Germanic heritage.  Such countries would be Denmark, Norway and Sweden!

In fact, I found that even though I couldn’t understand the Danish language, I could understand it when I read it, as it’s somewhat similar to German, as is the Dutch language. In Holland!

Nordic countries are similar in their way of life, history, language and social structure as well as weather!

New Nordic Cuisine! Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!
New Nordic Cuisine!
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!

In 2004, these countries have come together to promote what is known as New Nordic Cuisine.

New Nordic Cuisine is food that promotes local, natural and seasonal produce, using local ingredients, in combination with traditional food, prepared in new ways and preservation techniques such as drying, fermenting, smoking, salting, pickling and preserving meat, vegetables, fruits and fish, that have for centuries enabled people to survive the long, dark winters of the Nordic region!

The person who put Nordic food on the international map was René Redzepi – the founder and brain behind NOMA – the world’s best restaurant located in an 18th century waterfront building in Christianshavn, on the other side of the harbor!

Myself at NOMA - the number 1 best restaurant in the world!
Myself at NOMA – the number 1 best restaurant in the world!

It is No. 1 on the list of “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” unseating the El Bulli restaurant in Spain, causing a media frenzy, and initiating more than 100,000 reservation requests within just a few days!

I first got to know about NOMA whilst watching a food documentary – Noma – My Perfect Storm – as a press hack at this years’ Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale!

René Redzepi - the man who turned Danish food upside down!
René Redzepi – the man who turned Danish food upside down!

René is that man who turned Danish food upside down, and invented and popularized the idea of Nordic cuisine, taking what was originally just a pastry, bread and cod nation, into the path of international gastronomy and cuisine!

Getting a table at Noma is near impossible, but the best way to get a shot is to call and see if there are cancellations for lunch, as the same menu is served all day long.

Sadly, we only had an extremely limited amount of time in Copenhagen, and couldn’t afford to wait, but if you’ve got a few more days, go ahead and try your luck!

WHAT DO DANISH PEOPLE EAT?

Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty! © Visit Denmark
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!
© Visit Denmark

My! Danish food has changed!

When thinking of Danish food, one doesn’t think of a Northern Europe hearty warm meal filled with the coziness of mashed potatoes, cabbage, and a pie! washed down with a keg of frothy beer.

Oh dear me no!

Denmark used to be a barren remote wasteland & a place of isolation.
Denmark used to be a barren remote wasteland & a place of isolation.

One thinks of a barren remote wasteland. A place of isolation. A territory where nothing grows, except for such delights as seafood, bread and salted cod, accompanied by stolen wine drunk in skulls, and some sort of home-made vodka!

However, Danish food has been upgraded and revitalized.

Here we go!

TOP 9 REASONS WHY DANISH FOOD ISN’T JUST SMORREBROD, SEASONAL BERRIES & HERBS!

Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!

The Nordic Food Movement has introduced a rediscovery of ingredients, creative adaptation of raw materials, new approaches to traditional techniques, and a way to integrate food and natural flavour into todays’ healthy organic gourmet hipster lifestyle!

Here are nine (9) reasons why:

SEAFOOD such as:

Seafood such as cap-horn mussels!
Seafood such as cap-horn mussels!
  • raw razor clams with parsley jelly, buttermilk snow and horseradish
  • lobster
  • turbot roe and vinegar dust
  • mussels with buttermilk and green strawberries
  • lumpsucker roe
  • Danish Fjord Shrimp
  • cod
  • pike
  • herring

MEAT such as:

Meat such as venison!
Meat such as venison!
  • hand-sliced beef tartar served with crushed juniper and a tarragon emulsion
  • grouse breast with blueberry sauce
  • a venison sandwich with bacon, chestnut creme fraiche, and lingonberry jam
  • fried bacon with ramsons and grilled cucumber
  • curls of raw, bright-red semi-frozen veal
  • fried chicken liver with beetroot tartar
  • tartare of musk ox
  • roast leg of lamb
  • rabbit

SAVOURY DISHES such as:

Savoury dishes such as puffin eggs!
Savoury dishes such as puffin eggs!
  • puffin eggs
  • blodpølse or black pudding
  • finker or Danish haggis!
  • creamy pearl barley with St. George’s mushrooms, pickled onions and grated cheese
  • Lindström patties with pickled beets, capers, horseradish and chives, served with pan‑fried potatoes and mangetout
  • Potato and leek soup with lumpfish roe and sour cream
  • hokkaido soup with parsley oil and honey roasted pumpkin seeds
  • nettle soup
  • rye beer chips with chive skyr

FRUIT such as:

Fruit such as rhubarb compote & berries!
Fruit such as rhubarb compote & berries!
  • pears poached in mulled wine accompanied by a gateau riche
  • toasted hardanger apples
  • hawthorne berries
  • rosehip
  • cloudberries
  • green strawberries
  • rhubarb compote
  • blueberries
  • lingonberries

VEGETABLES such as:

Vegetables such as vintage carrot and camomile!
Vegetables such as vintage carrot and camomile!
  • white asparagus with poached egg yolk and woodruff sauce
  • purple borecole salad with baked celeriac and apple corns
  • hot kale salad with dates and capers
  • potato soup with nettles
  • brussel sprout salad and onion relish
  • vintage carrot and camomile
  • birch-smoked marrow
  • beetroot tartar
  • wild sorrel

HERBS & SPICES such as:

Herbs and spices such as chamomile!
Herbs and spices such as chamomile!
  • ramson shoots and buds
  • salsify flowers
  • parsley jelly
  • horseradish
  • chamomile
  • pine needle
  • dried algae powder
  • oyster plant
  • cicely

BREAD & PASTRIES such as:

Bread & pastries such as smørrebrød!
Bread & pastries such as smørrebrød!
  • smørrebrød or open-faced sandwich!
  • wienerbrød or Danish pastry!
  • øllebrød or rye bread
  • rugbrød or sour bread
  • ymerdrys or junket crumble of grated rye bread and brown sugar
  • cardamom buns
  • pariserbøf or minced beef patty, fried egg, onion, capers and pickled beetroot on rye bread!
  • stjerneskud or fish fillet with shrimps, caviar and tomato slices on white bread!
  • rugbrød med leverpostej or rye bread with liverpâté!

DESSERT such as:

Dessert such as rødgrød med fløde or red groats!
Dessert such as rødgrød med fløde or red groats!
  • blueberry mousse with lemon foam
  • kladdkaka or Swedish chocolate cake
  • cookies layered with veal speck and dried currant garnished with single fresh pine buds!
  • savory Æbleskiver or aebleskiver pancake puffs dusted with vinegar powder and served with pickled cucumber marmalade
  • rødgrød med fløde or red groats
  • rhubarb merengue
  • Skyr panna cotta with berries and liquorice
  • Flødeboller or teacake
  • skumbananer or banana flavoured marshmallow covered in chocolate!

DRINKS such as:

Drinks such as Danish organic craft beer! ©Mette Johnsen
Drinks such as Danish organic craft beer!
©Mette Johnsen
  • buttermilk snow
  • hvidtøl or white beer
  • home-grown sea hawthorn beer
  • Carlsberg Danish beer
  • Tuborg Danish beer
  • Amager Bryghus brewing independent Danish craft beers and ales
  • wine
  • aquavit
  • whisky
Danish lakrids or Danish Liquorice!
Danish lakrids or Danish Liquorice!

And let’s not forget of course:

Danish lakrids or Danish Liquorice!

Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!

Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions about charming tasty Danish Nordic food on a smørrebrød, or any other brød, are my very own!

Throughout the summer month of August, all the museums in Berlin will be open each and every day! This will conclude with the bi-annual Die Lange Nacht der Museen otherwise known as the Long Night of Museums taking place on 27.8.16 from 6p.m. in the evening ’till 2a.m in the morning!

I’ll be attending an Exclusive Food Tour with Fork & Walk on Wednesday, August 10th organised by the Berlin Chapter of Travel Massive.

Mexico Week at KaDeWe will take place from 15.08.16 – 03.09.16, to introduce Mexico’s culinary diversity. Mexican food producers will present authentic foods, beverages and ingredients, many of them available in Germany, for the very first time!

I’ll be attending a media walkthrough on 18.08.16. Holaaaaa!

The Pop Kultur Festival is a new festival based in hipster Neukölln, over three (3) exciting days of new international and German bands, live concerts, performances, talks and reading, taking place from 31.08.16 – 02.09.16.

Berlin Art Week will take place from 13.09.16 – 18.09.16 so if you like contemporary art, this is the place for it!

Save the Date!

August is going to be mouth-watering!

I’ll be there. Will you?

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

If you’re not in Berlin in August, what are you waiting for?!

Watch this space!

Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!

Have you ever had a smørrebrød? Would you try Danish or Nordic food? Have your say!

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

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15 incredible reasons why you should visit Bath in 2016: Heigh Ho!

A close up of a statue outside the Roman Baths. ©VisitBritain Simon Winnall
A close up of a statue outside the Roman Baths.
©VisitBritain Simon Winnall

2016 is going to be an awesome year and with so many wonderful destinations, you simply can’t go wrong! However, there is one country that I didn’t mention.

My own!

Yep!

Ye olde England.

The land of Shakespeare, punk-rock and meadow-stricken poetry. Steam trains, historical ships and windy beaches. That country of quaint rose-budded cottages, fairground dodgems and draughty castles. The land of Hope. And Glory.

And History!

Roman History to be exact, and which can be found all the United Kingdom.

The steaming Roman Baths!
The steaming Roman Baths!

Even my own original home-town of Manchester began with a civilian settlement and was once known as Mancunium established sometime around 79 AD, so is it any wonder that I often find myself drawn to old cities rather than the new. Cities that by merely stepping on them, you know you are encroaching on the heads of many civilisations before us.

Cities such as Bath.

If you recall, at the end of 2015 I went to Bristol, and whilst there, I decided to avail myself of the opportunity to visit the city of Bath too. For Bath, I wasn’t comped but was given press passes for Visit Bath.

Thanks so much!

Now Bath isn’t a new destination to me, in fact, I’ve probably been there three (3) or four (4) times previously, but it was years ago.  And you know what they say about people and cities changing…!

Surprisingly, it  had hardly changed at all except for one or two rather marvellous things. Read on to find out what they were!

BATH

A night view of the Great Bath of The Roman Baths - a World Heritage site ©VisitBritain - David Angel
A night view of the Great Bath of The Roman Baths – a World Heritage site
©VisitBritain – David Angel

Bath is in England.

It’s a city in Somerset, in a county in the South West of the country, and has a population of about just 89,000 people.

Bath really became famous when it turned into a spa and was known as Aquae Sulis or the waters of Sulis by the Romans, who built sophisticated baths and a temple in the valley of the River Avon, sometime around AD60. Like Budapest, the hot springs and waters were already known to have magical properties way before the Romans ever came on the scene!

Don’t you want to know more?

WHY GO TO BATH?

The Pump Room in Bath.
The Pump Room in Bath.

Bath is simply, quite English. I’m going to give you ten (10) incredible reasons why!

  • It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site: The city of Bath is one of the only few places in the world that includes that of the whole city. Yep! The complete city of Bath is the Heritage Site itself! Isn’t that marvellous?
  • It’s an architectural feast: Bath has an impressive showcase of Georgian architecture, such as the very famous No.1 Royal Crescent, the Circus, the Pump Room and the Assembly Rooms,
  • Roman spas: Bath has the steaming remains of Britain’s most beautiful Roman spas and you can still drink the waters too and I did. It was warm but slightly salty!
Sham Castle.
Sham Castle.
  • History: When you think of the Georgian era in England, that era begins from the reigns of the first four Hanoverian kings of Great Britain who were all named George: George I, George II, George III (otherwise known as Mad King George!) and George IV. This most splendid era covers periods from 1714 to 1830 and is typically used in the contexts of social history, architecture, the introduction of the Gothic Revival style, and a golden age of building design. This era also brought about massive social change not only in Britain but also abroad, as this was the birth and beginning of the Industrial Revolution, British world domination in the colonies, and the new British Empire!
  • It’s small: Just imagine, genteel strolling down wide streets, bonnets, breeches….and other things! Bath is so small that you can practically walk everywhere, there’s a lot of pretty things to see and there’s really no need to use public transport at all!
  • It’s famous for films & television shoots: I’m sure there’s not one person among us who hasn’t fallen prey to the romantic gestures of the gorgeous Mr. Darcy or the heaving bosom of Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice. How about The Duchess or the very English tragi-comedy of Vanity Fair? All filmed or shot in Bath.
Jane Austen & I!
Jane Austen & I!
  • Bath’s most famous writer: You can’t even think about Bath without first mention of the most talented Jane Austen who found Bath not only lively and fashionable, but quite romantic and exciting! Think Sense & Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and of course, Pride & Prejudice. Jane Austen even has her own museum which is based in a house on her old street where she used to live! The museum is actually a Centre in which you get a tour, watch a film, wear the clothes and stay for tea!
  • Because the first (1st) ever postage stamp in the world, known as the Penny Black, and with the profile of young Queen Victoria, was sent from Nr 8, Broad Street, on 2nd May, 1840 in Bath!
The Bath Abbey.
The Bath Abbey.
  • Bath Abbey: The beautiful Abbey Church was founded in the 7th century and even though Bath is a city, it doesn’t have a Cathedral! In fact, if you ever get lost, just look for the steeple tower of the abbey!
  • Fashionable Bath: Bath became most fashionable and the place to be, in the 18th century and this was reflected in it’s shopping. It still is, as Bath is the official residence of the famous Sex in the City shoe-maker and designer – Manolo Blahnik!
  • Bath has a river: You know how much I love rivers having been born in Manchester previously lived in Prague as an expat, and now living in Berlin. Bath has the River Avon and the Avon Canal running right through which you can walk, cycle or canoe through.
The famous Sally Lunn Bun!
The famous Sally Lunn Bun!
  • The Sally Lunn Bath Bun: Bath is famous for a popular local speciality known as the Sally Lunn Bun. It’s one of the things that you must try when in Bath. The Sally Lunn can only be found in Bath’s oldest historic eating house from the 17th century! The Sally Lunn Bun is a light and airy semi-sweet bread-like bun and is sort of a cross between a scone and a traditional bun which is only baked and sold, in Bath.
  • Culture: There are so many museums in Bath that you’ll leave far cleverer than when you arrived! There’s the Museum of Bath Architecture. the Museum of Bath at Work, The Herschel Museum of Astronomy, The Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House & Museum, The Postal Museum, The Old Theatre Royal & Masonic Museum, The Motor Museum and the American Museum in Britain. There’s even a Fashion Museum which I enjoyed very much!
©VisitBritain Joanna Henderson
©VisitBritain
Joanna Henderson
  • It’s genteel: Bath is polite. It’s clean. It’s respectable. It’s refined and cultivated. It’s England.
  • Because Bath: Where else can you find a city with a name like a bathtub!

TAKE ME THERE?

20 years of Easy Jet flying!

If you recall, even though I was a guest of Visit Bristol, I paid my own way for Bath.

If you’re an international tourist, you can either fly directly into Bristol Airport or fly into London and take the train from London Paddington into Bristol Temple Meads which takes just 90 minutes. Bath is just 15 minutes away by train.

Just like Bristol, there’s an Airport Air Decker Bus which goes to and from Bath to Bristol Airport and takes about 1 hour, has a frequency of every thirty (30) minutes, and costs £20.00 for an Adult Return ticket!

If you’re already in England and looking for a cheaper way to get into Bath, the bus-coach is the way to go with the National Express or Megabus. It’s not the quickest way being almost 3 hours, but it runs straight from London Victoria Coach Station, London Heathrow and London Gatwick and if you book waaaay ahead, tickets can be as little as £1.00!

IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

Hundreds of people watch a re-enactment of a fighting scene, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire
Out of my way by Jove!

It can be!

Bath is a popular destination not only for international tourists but British ones too.

WHAT IS BATH LIKE?

Pulteney Bridge in Bath!
Pulteney Bridge in Bath!

Bath is very nice.

With just 89,000 people, it’s also quite small.

I was there for only two (2) days but I found plenty to do.

Bath is appealing and easy to get around. It’s full of history that is out there and alive, is of pleasant charm, and packed with a fabulous mix of independent shops and top high-street names.

I DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH VERY WELL.

Don't worry!
Don’t worry!

Not. A. Problem.

Everywhere you go are people with huge smiles ready to help you.

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

Ha! Ha! It’s England. We’re cultured and civilised!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Pulteney House B&B in Bath, England.
My B&B in Pulteney House!

Bath isn’t London but it isn’t known for being your cheap destination either!

Being that I was on my own dime, I found “acceptable” accommodation more difficult to find within my budget, as when travelling solo I’m a lot more flexible and prefer to spend less, rather than more lol! Happily, I found something that fitted my requirements.

As a lifestyle travel blogger, it’s necessary to try a variety of outlets but as you know, I prefer the more quaint boutique, the art design or classy establishment, but from time-to-time, I go back to basics and give my custom to the more traditional place who have never even heard of a blogger, and since it was my “rest-I-have-no-appointments-and-I-don’t-have-to-be-anywhere-or-do-anything” days, I paid full price for it lol!

I decided to stay at a B&B called Pulteney House.

Myself outside Pulteney House!
Myself outside Pulteney House!

I chose Pulteney House not only because the price was right but ‘cos it was a large 1852 Grade 2 listed Victorian house and a family business located in a leafy residential area, and just a 10 minute brisk walk from the Bath Abbey.

I loved the walk as you have to pass the river and the cricket club is just 5 minutes away. Pulteney House is very convenient, safe and clean.

I booked the Single Room (sigh!) with a private bathroom and although my room wasn’t en-suite, my private bathroom was across the hallway opposite my room, and was exclusively for my sole private use. Phew!

British bedrooms are small and this one was no exception, but fitted my needs and had a large flat screen TV which I tried to use, but fell asleep watching, wardrobe, sink-in-room, desk and table, tea and coffee-maker, dressing gown and fast free WiFi.

Lovely porridge & honey.
Lovely porridge & honey.

The dining room was a little 1970’s with the grandfather clock and the red-patterned carpet, but the daily breakfast of fruit, cereal, croissant, toast, varieties of teas, mustard, brown sauces, and traditional English breakfast, plus bowls of porridge was quite lovely and really, to be highly recommended!

The owners were friendly and helpful. It’s not the Ritz Carlton by any means, but if you’re looking for the “real deal” then the Pulteney House B&B is one to try.

For a Small Single Room with Private Bathroom, I paid £60.00 a night. Double en-suites are between £80 to £120 a night. With a full English breakfast.

For Bath. Quite the bargain!

I’M LOOKING FOR SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT. ANY IDEAS?

An English breakfast in Bristol.

Sure!

Book with the boutique Bed and Breakfast (B&B) – Brooks Guest House. I had already stayed with them in Bristol and I was awfully pleased however, it was necessary to try a variety of outlets so the traditional B&B it had to be!

Yes indeed!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

You can walk everywhere in Bath!
You can walk everywhere in Bath!

Honestly, Bath is so small that there’s really no need to use public transport at all which I found out on the first day! I arrived in the evening and being that it was winter, it was also very dark, so I took a taxi. The taxi driver charged me £7.00 for effectively taking me one (1) minute around the corner! Both the bus and train stations are about 10 minutes away so I could have walked!

Oh, and he took the long way too!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Grab yourself some English fish n'chips!
Grab yourself some English fish n’chips!

Take a stroll and run along the field of Nr. 1 Royal Crescent.

Don’t even think of missing the Roman Baths.

Have a sip of the waters.

If you’ve got some time, get yourself some traditional fish n’chips with mushy peas, gravy and a good old meat pie!

Switch off the heating in your room as it can get rather stuffy and open the window. If you can. Just don’t forget to close it…..!

Oh yeah, there’s some sort of bizarre comedy walk in Bath. I was too tired to venture into “town” again but if you’re up for it, I hear that they’re quite hilarious!

MY VERDICT:

I’m a great fan of Bath.

It’s got art, culture, a sense of humour, great history and a vibrant cosmopolitan vibe.

Highly recommended.

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Absolutely!

Bath is impressive. I hope to visit again very soon.

Go Visit Bath!

Take a bath in Bath! ©VisitBritain Jon Spaull
Take a bath in Bath!
©VisitBritain Jon Spaull

This article is not sponsored and even though I was given press passes for Visit Bath, all opinions and the wonderful Sally Lunn Bun I devoured, are my very own!

If you have any questions about Bath, the UK, Germany or anywhere in Europe, don’t be shy, I’m an expert! Go ahead and ask me!

I have so much to share with you so next week you can read what I did at Fashion Week Berlin!

It’s January. Yippee!

Berlin Fashion Week is coming up and will take place between January 19th and January 23rd, 2016. Save the Date!

The Conference on the Future of Fashion will take place at #FASHIONTECH BERLIN on January 20th. Tickets are free!

The British Shorts Short Film Festival will take place between January 21st and January 25th. It’s going to be really cool. I went last year & enjoyed it very much plus, there’s a festival workshop & a 48 hour film project absolutely free of charge, but you have to hurry!

If you’re not in Berlin in January, where the hell are you.

January is going to be exciting!

Watch this space!

15 incredible reasons why you should visit Bath in 2016. Heigh Ho!

Have you ever been to the city of Bath? Have you ever been to a Spa?

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

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6 Quirky Museums that you really shouldn’t miss! – #bestofBerlin

Yummy delights for you and you and YOU!
Yummy delights for you and you and YOU!

And where to close the year and begin the new, than in a fascinating world city such as London, Paris, New York. Hong Kong, Sydney and of course, our very own Berlin.

New Year’s Eve on the long strip of Tiergarten is the largest party in Europe, bringing in more than a million visitors from around the world each year, compared to roughly 250,000 people in central London, and 340,000 at the Eiffel Tower in Paris!

Silvester am Brandenburger Tor or New Year's Eve at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. © SpreePIX Media
Silvester am Brandenburger Tor or New Year’s Eve at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
© SpreePIX Media

Yep! Berlin – the place to be!

Last week, I put up an excellent give-away prize of 2 Berlin WelcomeCard packages to be validated by December 31st, 2015, at the latest.

It seems that most of you have either already been to Berlin or are coming sometime next year!

In that wise, I’m rolling it over, so the FIRST person to subscribe to my blog – The British Berliner – AND tell me why you would like to win the tickets on my post here, BEFORE December 31st, wins!

Hurry! There are only four (4) days to the end of this year as I’d be sorry to have to use it myself lol!

Here’s the info:

Berlin WelcomeCard

The Berlin Welcome Card package will include transport tickets for 48 hours including the city of Potsdam, 200 discounts, inside tips, information on top attractions, a city map, a mini guide-book written in English, German, Italian and Spanish, a €5.00 discount for the TV Tower restaurant or bar and a free voucher for a glass of glühwein (mulled wine) at the Christmas Market on Alexanderplatz valid until January 3rd, 2016!

Perfect for the New Year celebration in Berlin!

Only comments attached to this post will be considered.

You have until midnight on December 30th and the announcement will be made on the blog on January 4th. The winners will meet me personally and receive the tickets at the front of Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) on December 31st at 12 noon!

Good Luck!

You can see all the places that I went to previously by following me via #bestofBerlin on Twitter & Facebook.

At the end of last week’s post, I told you that there are a few museums and galleries that I would like to recommend and that Berlin has so many great places that I would do them injustice if I didn’t write about them properly, so I’m writing this piece about my new favourite museums since it’s winter.

Winter!?

The Christmas market in Osnabrück ©Osnabrück Marketing und Tourismus.
The Christmas market in Osnabrück
©Osnabrück Marketing und Tourismus.

You’re having a laugh, as we haven’t seen a single snowflake since November!

Even though I’ve written about museums before, this post wasn’t easy to write, as there are just so many things to do and places to go,  so without much ado, watch and learn about a few more!

SIX (6) QUIRKY GALLERIES & MUSEUMS

Berlinische Galerie, Berlin. © Photo: Berlinische Galerie
Berlinische Galerie, Berlin.
© Photo: Berlinische Galerie

Did you that Berlin has more museums than rainy days since we have more than 180 museums and only 106.3 rainy days on average per year?

Did you know that Berlin is one of the few cities to have three (3) UNESCO World Heritage sites and that most of them are in fact, royal palaces and garden turned into museums?

Did you know that the East-Side Gallery also known as The Berlin Wall, is the longest open-air gallery in the world and is 1,316 metres long? Not only that, but it was painted in 1990 by 118 artists from 21 countries and has 106 individual works of art!

Did you know that in addition to its world-renowned museum collections, Berlin is also home to some rather unusual museums such as the Gas Lamp Museum (I wrote about this last week), the Medical History Museum, the Sugar Museum, the “Museum der unerhörten Dinge” or the Museum of Extraordinary Things, the Buchstabenmuseum  or the Museum of Letters, the Computerspielemuseum or Museum of Computer Games (really, really good!) and the Hemp Museum?!!!!

Wow!

Is it any wonder that this post is tribute to just some of Berlin’s finest museums and art galleries? Let’s do it!

THE STORY OF BERLIN

The Story of Berlin, Germany.

I hadn’t been here for years but let me tell you, if you’re new in town, this is a museum you simply must visit. THE STORY OF BERLIN is what it says on the tin and is a multi-media museum with loads of rooms to run through, plenty of things to touch and if, like me, you like history, dozens of things to learn.

You get to experience and view 800 years of Berlin’s history through the centuries, the people in the Middle Ages, the wealth, the wars and in a sense, the history of Germany through sound effects, touch screens, models, drawers, pulleys and levers that you can push and pull, and of course, films and recordings.

Military & Enlightenment at The Story of Berlin!
Military & Enlightenment at The Story of Berlin!

There is no doubt that you’ll get to see 17th – 19th century Berlin, the world wars, Berlin and National Socialism also known as Nazism, the Berlin Wall, East and West Germany and of course, liberal tolerant Berlin today.

There is also a fully functioning nuclear bomb shelter from the Cold War and you get an extra guided tour included in the price of your ticket as well as a free chips / fries, if you buy a portion of curry wurst from one of the most famous sausage stalls in Berlin – Curry 36 which you can use in either Kreuzberg or Charlottenburg.

My favourite bit was the Steel, Light, Machine Rhythm bit, the Birth of a Metropolis and Berlin in the Golden 20’s and the era of art and film. Go see for yourself here.

Price: Adults €12.00. Children between 6-16 – €5.00. Students €9.00

Highly recommended for all the family.

THE GERMAN SPY MUSEUM BERLIN

Spy Museum - Berlin © Therese Sivertsson
Spy Museum – Berlin
© Therese Sivertsson

This museum is brand new and was only opened on September 19th, 2015!

It’s not difficult to find as it’s at Potsdamer Platz right opposite The Mall of Berlin and I wrote about this region last week!

The Spy Museum has now been re-named as the German Spy Museum Berlin, otherwise known as the Deutsches Spionagemuseum!

The museum is a unique interactive, multi-media museum that is all about the history of espionage and secret services all around the world. Yes, it reveals the secrets of spying from as far back as from ancient Egyptian history which is still being used today, the spying activities behind the Iron Curtain of the Cold War, and also how to take part in infra-ray laser activity, quizzes and other interactive games which include smell, sound, sight, touch and full body participation!

The German Spy Museum Berlin - Deutsches Spionagemuseum! ©Deutsches Spionagemuseum
The German Spy Museum Berlin – Deutsches Spionagemuseum!
©Deutsches Spionagemuseum

If you’ve always wanted to be James Bond, now’s your chance!

I went there a few weeks ago, as part of an after-hours Travel Massive bloggers event and I was so impressed that I’m going to take “The Tall Young Gentleman” there too!

The German Spy Museum Berlin - Deutsches Spionagemuseum! ©Deutsches Spionagemuseum
The German Spy Museum Berlin – Deutsches Spionagemuseum!
©Deutsches Spionagemuseum

My favourite bit was the infra-ray game and the bizarre and sneaky methods of agents and secret services. Go see for yourself here.

Price: Adults €12.00. Children under 6: €0.00. Other children & students €8.00. Families (2 adults and their children) €35.00.

Highly recommended for teenaged boys and all the family!

THE CURRYWURST MUSEUM

Berlin's most famous iconic meal - currywurst, chips & mayo!
Berlin’s most famous iconic meal – currywurst, chips & mayo!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you can’t dare to even visit Berlin without at least attempting it’s most famous snack and dish – drum roll pleeeeeeease!

The Currywurst!

That delicious beef or pork sausage grilled and chopped up, then smothered with a spicy ketchup and curry powder, eaten with a pile of chips and a slice of bread or a bun!

The Deutsches Currywurst Museum Berlin is an interactive museum dedicated to the love and history of Berlin’s most famous German curried sausage!

"The Tall Young Gentleman" playing at the Currywurst Museum in Berlin!
“The Tall Young Gentleman” playing at the Currywurst Museum in Berlin!

You can wander through all the rooms and experience the installations which you can explore through visual, text and audio form. You can learn how currywurst is made, smell it, sit on it, touch it, watch a film about it, attempt to sell it, and play around with the french fries and chips. You can even have chocolate and curry sausage ice-cream!

My favourite bit was “selling” sausages at the stall, the interactive games and the history of currywurst itself. Go see for yourself here.

Price: Adults €11.00. Children between 6-13 – €7.00. Students €8.50. Under 6 free of charge. Families (2 adults and children under 13) €29.00. On MuseumMonday all visitors get a 20 % discount unless your ticket is already discounted!

Highly recommended for all the family.

THE JEWISH MUSEUM

An upper-middle class German-Jewish family at the Jewish Museum Berlin.
An upper-middle class German-Jewish family at the Jewish Museum Berlin.

This museum is not exactly quirky but it is one of my favourite museums, and in a sense, interesting and fun to visit!

The Jewish Museum Berlin is one of Europe’s leading museums and is not only a learning tool but a vibrant interactive center of reflection and understanding of Jewish history and culture, as well as migration and diversity in Germany of three (3) major world religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The exhibition starts by going to the basement where there are enormous empty spaces that cut through the entire museum filled with either silence, or 10,000 open-mouthed faces coarsely cut from heavy, circular iron grids covering the floor – in memory of all innocent victims of war and violence.

Speyer, Worms & Maint - Symbols of flourishing Jewish life in the Middle Ages - Jewish Museum Berlin - The World of Askaenaz (950-1500) Jüdisches Museum Berlin ©Thomas Bruns
Speyer, Worms & Maint – Symbols of flourishing Jewish life in the Middle Ages – Jewish Museum Berlin – The World of Askaenaz (950-1500) Jüdisches Museum Berlin
©Thomas Bruns

You then move from floor to floor where there are many exhibitions that you can read, touch, sit on, feel, and see, that show fourteen (14) historical periods of time, right from the Middle Ages to the present day. Each period displays a vivid portrait of Jewish life in Germany via art, everyday objects, photos, letters, films, music and interactive displays that  exhibit the history of Jewish culture, and show how tightly Jewish life and German history are interwoven, and connected.

My favourite bit was, because I’m a history nerd, the Jewish Medieval Quarter from 1500 – 1800, Jewish bourgeois lifestyle and the German – Jewish exhibitions from 1800-1914. There is also a permanent exhibition depicting Two Millennia of German Jewish History and a special exhibition of Adolph Menzel – a German artist known for drawings, etchings, and paintings of the 19th century. Of course, you can’t go to a museum in Germany, without learning about the horrors of National Socialism and the story of many families such as those of Anna Frank, Nazism and Hitler, that put an end to the shared history of German-Jewish people in Germany. Go see for yourself here.

Price: Adults €8.00. Children – €3.00. Students €3.00. Under 6 free of charge. Families (2 adults and up to 4 children) €14.00! Reduced admission with a ticket for the Berlinische Galerie on the day of purchase and the two following days.

Highly recommended for everyone.

THE BERLINISCHE GALERIE

The Berlinische Galerie - Museum of modern art, photography and architecture, Berlin!
The Berlinische Galerie – Museum of modern art, photography and architecture, Berlin!

Contrary to what you might think, the Berlinische Galerie is not actually a gallery but a museum of modern art, photography and architecture! It’s in Kreuzberg and is only a few paces away from The Jewish Museum which is why there’s a reduction on tickets if you go to both of them.

I don’t mind if I do lol!

I always say that given a choice I tend to favour older master pieces and works of art, but funnily enough I seem to be quite into Modern Art too!

Anyhoo. I find art of landscapes and street scenes quite soothing. Perhaps it’s because of the watercolours and oils rather than black and white photos.

Then again, I like photographs too, so perhaps not!

The exhibitions are displayed on two floors with media, video and a quirky film about architecture and the environment.

Max Beckmann and Berlin exhibition at the Berlinische Galerie, Berlin.
Max Beckmann and Berlin exhibition at the Berlinische Galerie, Berlin.

There was also a portrait photography  exhibition of documentary pictures taken on the street and in the studio as well as a presentation from a collection of paintings ranging from the late 19th century, to expressionist art, East European avant-garde and post-war modern architecture and impressionist history.

Berlin has always been a hub of creativity, attracting young international artists, now more than ever before, as well as creatives in music, film and art, and the Berlinische Galerie didn’t disappoint with its’ collections of paintings, prints, sculpture, photography and architecture.

Max Beckmann and a self portrait in Florence (1907).
Max Beckmann and a self-portrait in Florence (1907).

However, the cat’s whiskers was the Max Beckmann and Berlin exhibition (until 15.02.16) which documents and displays works of art on the lively, diverse art scene in Berlin from the 1910’s, 1920’s and early 1930’s.

I thoroughly enjoyed the working class milieu as well as the then avant-garde street art! Go see for yourself here.

Price: Adults €10.00. Children under 18 free of charge. Students €7.00. Every first Monday of the month €6.00. Reduced admission with a ticket for the Jewish Museum within three days.

Highly recommended for artists and lovers of Berlin art history and architecture.

THE MÄRKISCHES MUSEUM

Outside the Märkisches Museum - Lord Roland of Brandenburg.
Outside the Märkisches Museum – Lord Roland of Brandenburg.

This museum turned out to be quite a surprise. In order to get there you have to go to an underground station called Märkisches Museum U-Bahn. Follow the signs outside for a little while and they will lead you to an actual museum called the Märkisches Museum.

I know!

I used to think that the museum was named after the station. But it isn’t, it’s the other way around and in fact, it used to be the museum of Berlin. It’s a little bit hidden, but well worth it.

The Märkisches Museum was founded in 1874 and is the HQ for the City of Berlin museum foundation, which also operates four other museums namely: the Nikolaikirche (which I wrote about last week,) the Ephraim-Palais (which I’m going to visit in 2016), the Knoblauchhaus (which I visited in 2014) and the Museumsdorf Düppel!

I’m a freak. I spent a couple of hours there and I still left it unfinished halfway through!

The Märkisches Museum in Berlin © Faruk Hosseini
The Märkisches Museum in Berlin
© Faruk Hosseini

The Märkisches Museum is a lovely old red brick building and a walk through the museum is a walk through the history of Berlin starting from the Stone Ages. It’s an interactive museum where you can hear, feel, make, touch and make. There’s a special attraction of automatophones, and vintage mechanical musical instruments, so take your time.

There’s also a lot of stuff from the Middle Ages, swords, staffs, shields and armoury as well as loads of bears!

Yes, bears!

A brown grizzly bear is the symbol of the city of Berlin, and has been, since 1280.

And up until a few weeks ago, there was a real brown bear living in the park right outside the museum and bears have been living there as live city mascots since 1939!

In fact, there used to be two (2) bears – Schnute and her daughter – Maxi!

Schnute - the last real-life Berlin bear mascot! ©AFP/Getty
Schnute – the last real-life Berlin bear mascot!
©AFP/Getty

A real live bear!

That’s a bit odd but it’s Berlin, we’re all slightly “off” around here and unsurprisingly, nobody was bothered about having a brown grizzly living behind the museum, in a small park, in the middle of the city!

And you’d still be able to see it but sadly and perhaps, rightly, the last real-life Berlin bear – Schnute (34 years old) recently passed away!

Gosh!

A stained glass window at the Märkisches Museum Berlin ©Pudelek (Marcin Szala).
A stained glass window at the Märkisches Museum Berlin
©Pudelek (Marcin Szala).

Anyway, you start in the basement and work your way upwards and outwards with the various Quarters, the trading parts, hunting and royalty, as well as the medieval walls, ruins of a monastery, churches and baroque palaces.

My favourite bits were the collections left behind and donated by the Hans & Luise Richter Family and the haute-bourgeoise household materials from the Beer-Meyerbeer-Richter German-Jewish family. I also loved the history (and I still do!) and royal paintings and pporcelain ceramics from Frederick II otherwise known as Frederick the Great and the King of Prussia in the 1700’s for his military victories, his reorganization of the Prussian army, his patronage of the Arts and the Enlightenment in Prussia, and “winning” the Seven Year War!

I also rather like the photographs and paintings of the various districts of Berlin 200 years and the way they look today! Go see for yourself here.

Price: Adults €5.00. Children under 18 free of charge. Students €3.00.  Free admission for all on the first Wednesday of every month.

Highly recommended for everyone.

Don’t forget, the FIRST person to subscribe to my blog – The British Berliner – AND tell me why you would like to win the tickets on my post here, BEFORE December 31st, wins!

Have a fantastic end of year in 2015 and a brilliant bringing-in of the New Year, in 2016.

See you next year!
I wish for peace, harmony and international understanding that no-one is wrong, just different- A New Year message from The British Berliner!
I wish for peace, harmony and international understanding that no-one is wrong, just different – A New Year message from The British Berliner!

This post is not sponsored so I can’t wait to hear from you!

If you have any questions about Berlin, Germany or anywhere in Europe, don’t be shy, I’m an expert! Go ahead and ask me!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!Thanks a million!

6 Quirky Museums that you really shouldn't miss! - #bestofBerlin

Have you been to any of these quirky museums? Do you know any even wackier? Have you ever seen a real life bear?

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

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