‘Just because I don’t drink coffee. ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!

‘Just because I don’t drink coffee. ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!

As you know, a few weeks ago, I went to Austria.

And of course, I didn’t just go to Austria, but I decided to visit Vienna!

Visiting Vienna is exciting!

Having a hotdog and beer, on a rainy day in Vienna, is more exciting than you think!

If you’re just joining, and obviously, you’re not, ‘cos you would be following my blog so that you can get weekly updates of what The British Berliner is up to, wouldn’t you?

Wouldn’t you!

However, let’s not quibble, just look to the side of the page and you’ll see a few ways which you can follow this wonderful blog. You can either click on You are following this blog or if you’re a WordPress nerd, just clink on the WordPress symbol followed by Following the British Berliner.

At the Vienna Opera Ball.
@ WienTourismus / Peter Rigaud/Couture Vivienne Westwood

Meanwhile, here’s what you missed:

Phew!

Make sure that you get travel insurance before you actually travel!

Now, to be frank, I hate being out of the loop, and I generally prefer to be in the centre of things, and that usually includes staying in the Old Town, or the trendier part of town!

And Vienna didn’t disappoint.

We stayed at a brilliant place called the 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier, which I found with the help of the Vienna Tourist Board.

We stayed at a brilliant place in Vienna – the 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier.
Photograph ©Frank Böster

Thanks so much everyone!

Book your hotel here!

Vienna is an imperial beauty. You’re welcome!

I’ve already written about the history of Vienna, but it really does bear to be repeated.

Vienna is an imperial beauty!

It’s the capital of Austria and the cultural. economic, and political centre of Austria.

With a population of just 1.8 million, Vienna is the second (2nd) largest German-speaking city in the world, after Berlin!

Vienna is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. In fact, Prague, Bratislava, and Budapest, are but a few cheap hours away!

TAKE ME THERE?

Myself looking glum at the airport. Leaving Vienna!
Photograph ©Frank Böster

As you know, I’m a great believer in train travel, but Vienna is rather far from Berlin, so we flew!

Our non-stop journey from Berlin Schoenefeld (SXF) to Vienna (VIE) took just 1 hour and 25 minutes via EasyJet, but of course, you can easily fly into Vienna International Airport, otherwise known as the Flughafen Wien, a destination flown by many major airlines, from many parts of the world!

If you’re flying from Europe, it usually takes between 1 to 2 hours, and is pretty much an easy ride!

IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

I didn’t find it crowded in Vienna. And neither did they!

It depends!

I didn’t find it to be necessarily so, as we went in March.

It’s been some time since I had last been to Vienna, so we booked a walking tour. But the tour guide didn’t show up!

We were all sort of hanging around, and (ahem), I’m quite bossy and so at one point, everyone thought that I was the tour guide.

If only!

Mind you, if we were in Berlin and that happened, I would happily take the tourists with me, and do the tour myself!

Me in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall & Street Art!

However, Vienna is a place that everyone would like to go to at least once, as it’s rather nice and serene!

Who wouldn’t want to visit?

‘Best to book early!

WHAT IS VIENNA LIKE?

Mozart & Vienna are adorable!

It’s adorable!

I’ve been there a few times over the years!

Having said that, the last time that I was in Vienna, “The Tall Young Gentleman” had just been born twelve (12) months prior!

My mother-in-law had decided to give me a weekend break, so I was in Vienna and literally, still breast-feeding!!!

A Viennese speciality of a glass of beer mixed with fanta orange, was not a very good idea!

I had tried a Viennese speciality of a glass of beer mixed with fanta orange. A sort of shandy.

It was a mistake.

We went to the Prater.

The Prater is one of Vienna’s most popular amusement park, and it’s star is the Giant Ferris Wheel!

The Prater is one of Vienna’s most popular leisure areas with a world-famous amusement park opened in 1766!

One of the highlights of the Prater is the Giant Ferris Wheel – a masterpiece of 19th century technology – and one of the largest wheels in the world!

Did we go on the Giant Ferris Wheel back in 2003?

Nope!

We went on the wheel called the Blumenrad, otherwise known as the Flower Wheel!
Photograph ©Frank Böster

We went on the wheel called the Blumenrad, otherwise known as the Flower Wheel!

The seats are shaped like huge teacups which were twirled around.

And around.

And around.

I turned a ghastly shade of green!

I turned a ghastly shade of green.

Let’s just say that it took a huge amount of effort for me to keep things together.

We got off the Blumenrad, and I vomited the wheat beer and fanta orange concoction.

Everywhere!

We went on the Blumenrad / Flower Wheel, but we really should have gone on the Giant Ferris Wheel instead!
Photograph ©Frank Böster

I’ve never had a mixed beer since!

I DON’T SPEAK AUSTRIAN GERMAN or GERMAN AT ALL.

Singing will do just as well!
©WienTourismus Lukas Beck: Vienna Boys’ Choir

Not. A. Problem.

Lots of people speak English. Or High German, otherwise known as Hochdeutsche!

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

Living in a hut, is not at all the done thing. In Vienna!

Ha! Ha! Not unless you want to!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you’re on a budget in Vienna. Let them eat cake!

I’ll be honest with you. Vienna isn’t known as a cheap destination.

Quite the opposite in fact!

I can’t give you any details but for the more budget conscious traveller, there are plenty of hostels and other moderately priced accommodation to be had. Book ahead to get good prices.

Book your hotel here!

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

I got into contact with a quirky boutique hotel group called 25 Hours Hotels!

Certainly!

You know how much I like boutique  or art design hotels.

Well, on doing some research, I got into contact with a quirky boutique hotel group called 25hours Hotels.

The 25hours Hotels is a young hotel concept which seeks contemporary answers to the requirements of an urban, cosmopolitan clientele, boasting an unconventional mix of contemporary services, coupled with dynamism, surprise and a touch of adventure!

The 25hours brand is currently focused on Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

We went to the 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier.

The 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier, is an art design circus-themed boutique hotel!

Just like the hotel in Amsterdam Zaandam, the 25hours Hotels’ quirkiness is plain to see.

Practically every single room had some sort of association with the circus!

And with one of the hotel motto’s being – We Are All Mad Here – is it any wonder that it was pretty much my type of place!

And surely, there wouldn’t be any looking at the ceiling in boredom, here!

We Are All Mad Here!
The 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier.
©Stephan Lemke for 25hours Hotels

As we were in Vienna to celebrate my husband – The Music Producers’ – birthday, we were upgraded to one of the xl rooms, with a colourful circus theme on the wall!

The room was huge!

It also had a flat screen TV, a free-standing closet place to hang up clothes with long shelves, an imac workstation writing table, a cool vintage sound system bluetooth speaker, an iPod docking station, some leather pouffles, a private terrace with a wooden garden table and chairs, and lots of plug outlets.

My husband was very pleased!

We were upgraded to one of the xl rooms, with a colourful circus theme on the wall!

There was a small fridge, and an extra toilet, so that I could do my make up in peace. Yay!

The bathroom was a sort of internal interior space with a huge sink, a really nice rainshower compartment that had a glass panel, which also had a curtain that could be drawn.

If you so wished!

I very much liked the orange and lemon infused sustainable organic bath gels, shampoo, conditioner and body moisturiser, which all had hilarious save-the-environment instructions on the bottles! And at the end of a long day were awfully welcoming, as well as plenty of fluffy towels, and free hi-speed WiFi!

I did miss my fluffy dressing gowns and fluffy slippers though!

‘Notice the save-the-environment inscription on the bottle at the 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier!
©Stephan Lemke for 25hours Hotels

The 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier also had a “mermaid’s cave” which consisted of a sauna, a spa centre, and fitness equipment, free of charge to guests.

You could also have access to a free mini car and bike rental, as well as free bottled water and towels, if you wanted to go jogging!

The view on the rooftop bar of the 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier, is pretty amazing!
©Stephan Lemke for 25hours Hotels

The lobby was very nice with comfy leather sofas, crisp daily newspapers and glossy magazines. There was also a hotel food truck in the garden.

Being that the hotel is actually located in the Museum Quartier part of the city, the view on the rooftop bar, was pretty amazing!

Breakfast in Vienna was quite marvellous!

For breakfast, we had marvellous cold cuts, bacon, sausages, eggs, and baked beans, a variety of sea-food, vegetables, sauces, and cream. As well as a wide stock of cereal, fruit, cake, pastries, pots of tea, coffee local champagne, and juices.

They also had a wonderful array of crunchy Germanic and French home-made bread, and a variety of jams and pickles! Yum!

It was very nice indeed!

The Music Producer helping himself to morning refreshment, at the 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier.

The 25hours Hotel at MuseumsQuartier (depending on the room), can be booked from €97.00 per night, which for two (2) people would be €48.50 a pop, and an absolute Vienna bargain!

The buffet breakfast is €21.00 per person. Children up to 6 years old are free of charge. Children from 7 to 11 years old get a 50% discount. Guests can also buy a Grab & Go breakfast from the lobby for €7.00 per person.

Book your hotel here!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Take the tram in Vienna!

Transport in Vienna is excellent.

The trams and horses are romantic, and the trains are easy to use, and very efficient.

You can also walk around quite easily, as Vienna is pretty small!

Once again, don’t forget to buy a public transport Vienna card. However, for ease of transport and discounts to attractions, museums, and restaurants, we used the Vienna City Card for 72 hours. Tickets can be bought everywhere that tourists go to, tourist information  points, and on-line!

However, just like in Berlin, and in many European cities, there are no barriers, and we all want to keep it that way, so please buy your ticket!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Apple strudel is a very important part of Viennese coffee culture!

Apple strudel is king!

MY VERDICT:

Vienna Tourist Board. Now. Forever.

I absolutely adore Vienna.

It’s classy.

It’s European.

It’s got art and culture and has a vibrant history.

And even though Vienna is considered to be expensive. It’s not as expensive as you think!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

‘Just because I don’t drink coffee. ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!

You bet!

Vienna is charming.

I really can’t wait to visit again.

Let’s do it!

JUST BECAUSE I DON’T DRINK COFFEE. ‘DOESN’T MEAN I CAN’T HAVE COFFEE CULTURE WITH HOT CHOCOLATE, IN VIENNA!

‘Just because I don’t drink coffee. ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!

This article is part – sponsored by the Vienna Tourist Board and I received a press discount from the 25 Hours Hotels but all opinions and the wonderful hot chocolate and delightful Austrian food I happily consumed, are my very own! Thanks so much!

It’s almost Easter!

In April & May, I’ll be visiting Croatia, Sweden & Finland!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in April, you won’t get any Easter eggs!

'Just because I don't drink coffee. 'Doesn't mean I can't have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!
‘Just because I don’t drink coffee. ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!

Watch this space!

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!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

‘Just because I don’t drink coffee. ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!

Are you a coffee drinker? Or are you like me, a person who can’t bear the sight of it! Spill the beans!

See you in Berlin.

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

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

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Food in Germany: 10 delicious best German meals to try out in Berlin – Because German food isn’t as rustic as you think!

Hello from Germany!
Hello from Germany!

Omigosh!

What a week!

Last week, I reiterated over the #InterestingTimes that 2016 has produced, not knowing that just a day later, we too would have a fatal terrorist action that occurred on our very own doorstep, of my beloved Berlin.

An angel at the Sony Centre Christmas, in Berlin! ©Birgit Kaulfuss
An angel at the Sony Centre Christmas, in Berlin!
©Birgit Kaulfuss

In one of the most culturally vibrant German activities – the Christmas Market!

The Christmas Market in Germany, isn’t just any old market.

The German Christmas Market is a way in which we can socialise with our American friends in Berlin!
The German Christmas Market is a way in which we can socialize with our American friends in Berlin!

Oh dear me no!

The German Christmas Market is a way in which people can socialize with their friends, hang out, and just have a fine old time.

The Christmas Markets isn’t Disneyland or some sort of recreational park, it’s a German tradition of browsing at skilled crafts, shopping, eating traditional German Christmas streetfood, and drinking to the heath of one and all, with hot mulled wine, otherwise known as Glühwein. And for those with a far stronger alcoholic tendency than my own, trying out the “Feuerzangenbowle.”

Trying out the Feuerzangenbowle. Again!
Trying out the Feuerzangenbowle. Again!

It can reduce a grown man to tears if care is not taken…!

And then the attack.

The Christmas Market around the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (the Gedächtniskirche) at Breitscheidplatz. In Berlin © Jens Kalaene - picture alliance dpa.
The Christmas Market around the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (the Gedächtniskirche) at Breitscheidplatz. In Berlin
© Jens Kalaene – picture alliance dpa.

We were all so shocked at the carnage and death at the very popular Christmas Market around the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (the Gedächtniskirche) at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin, where the attack took place in the photograph above.

It’s a Christmas Market with more than 100 beautifully decorated market stands and Christmas booths, 70 fairground rides, and lots of  German and Austrian delicacies, not far from the High Street, the zoo, and the aquarium.

We cried, and we talked about what to do next.

And let me tell you what the next step is.

Get up, brush down, wipe away the tears, keep calm, and Carry On with things!
Get up, brush down, wipe away the tears, keep calm, and Carry On with things!

The next step is to get up, brush down, wipe away the tears, keep calm, and Carry On with things!

We’re stoic, and have a stiff upper lip! 

Berlin is the safest West European city that you can ever hope to find.

Germany is open for business, and always will be.

But if you have any concerns about safety, feel free to contact me. I live here. I’m on the ground!

And so, my post this week after much reflection, and because I tossed and turned as to what to write this week, and I have a family…. this post is on:

FOOD IN GERMANY: 10 DELICIOUS BEST MEALS TO TRY OUT IN BERLIN – BECAUSE GERMAN FOOD ISN’T AS RUSTIC AS YOU THINK!

Here we go:

German stodge, such as Mutzen, otherwise known as a German fried doughnut!
German stodge, such as Mutzen, otherwise known as a German fried doughnut!

1.  When people think of German food, you can’t blame them when their impressions tend to lay on the stodgy side of things such as the Mutzen, otherwise known as a German fried doughnut, above!

Not very exciting!

And greasy!

However living in Germany has shown me that of course, German food does lie a little on the heavy side, since it was originally designed for working class peasants, but you know, the modern-day German isn’t a peasant!

Well, not all of them…

Savoury German food such as croquettes, green beans, brussel sprouts, rich venison and home-made gravy! Oh my!
Savoury German food such as croquettes, green beans, brussel sprouts, rich venison and home-made gravy! Oh my!

So you can get lovely food such as croquettes, green beans, brussel sprouts, rich venison and home-made gravy! Oh my!

2.  In fact most Germans are intelligent, tolerant, internationally minded, and open to different life experiences, and that is reflected in the food. In fact, in Berlin where I live, you’d be hard-pressed to find “real” German food!

A most delicious Bosso Spätzle! How to eat cheaply in Luxembourg!
A most delicious Bosso Spätzle!
How to eat cheaply in Luxembourg!

Austrian food. Yes.

Berlin food. Oh yes!

But German food. Eeeh! Umm!

Not quite.

“Typical” German food has a hard, long reputation of being rather stodgy and boring. Pretty much like British food actually! So let’s see what we can find, because our Christmas Eve dinner above, reminded me that food in Germany can be pretty awesome.

If you know where to look!

3.  For those of you who don’t know, the most popular meal in Berlin is not the sausage.

That very famous, most popular, Berlin speciality: The Döner Kebap!
That very famous, most popular, Berlin speciality: The Döner Kebap!

Nope! No sire!

It’s the Döner Kebap!

The kebab is made from small cuts of lamb or chicken meat which is grilled on a spit and then sliced. These slices are put into a Turkish-like loaf of bread with added raw white and red cabbage, slices of onions, tomatoes and cucumbers, and smothered with either garlic sauce, a sort of Turkish-mint sauce, spicy pepper-tomato sauce, or all of the above. The Döner Kebap can be found all over Germany and in pretty much every food corner in Berlin. Yum!

4.  ‘Remember when I said that German food is more than stodge.

Because vegetables...!
Because vegetables…!

It’s true you know, so let’s talk vegetables!

The thing that Germans all rave about is…

Wait for it…

Asparagus!!!
Asparagus!!!

Asparagus!

I know!!

White asparagus, otherwise known as Spargel!
White asparagus, otherwise known as Spargel!

Asparagus, especially white asparagus, otherwise known as Spargel, is a popular summer dish especially in season. It’s a pretty short one of just two (2) months, so we all run around, looking for the nearest farmers market so that you can get can the freshest produce possible.

Luckily for us, we have two (2) farmers markets in my neighbourhood, and one of them is less than one (1) minute away from my house!

5.  Breakfast in Germany is very different from breakfast in Britain.

In Germany, the breakfast tends to be “continental” in style.

And the best breakfast of all is a home-made one made by the very loving hands of a German grandmother!

A most delicious breakfast spread you can expect, in a typical German home!
A most delicious breakfast spread you can expect, in a typical German home!

We had a variety of cold cuts, slices of cheese, slices of ham, freshly cut paté or leberwurst, seasonal fruit, salmon, jam, butter, creams, and sauces, German condiments,  pickles, boiled eggs, a basket of crunchy bread, fruit juice, yoghurt, tea, coffee, and some seafood!

6.  Speaking of seafood.

Magnificent grilled fish over saute vegetables, covered in tomato and a cheese sauce, sprinkled with edible flowers! ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
Magnificent grilled fish over saute vegetables, covered in tomato and a cheese sauce, sprinkled with edible flowers!
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

Ha!

Where should I start!

This year, we spent some considerable time on both the German Baltic Sea and the German Northern Sea!

I say old boy! That’s quite a feat.

What!?!

My fish bun (Fischbrötchen) made with pickled or Bismarck herring served on kitchen foil in a bread bun (brötchen) with pickles, lettuce and huge slices of fresh raw onions!
My fish bun (Fischbrötchen) made with pickled or Bismarck herring served on kitchen foil in a bread bun (brötchen) with pickles, lettuce and huge slices of fresh raw onions!

There were lots and lots of possibilities to eat some sort of seafood. In fact, all sorts of seafood. I mean, OMG!

7.  Ah yes. Meatballs!

Are they burgers. Or meatballs!
Are they burgers. Or meatballs!

Some might even go as far as to call them burgers!

In Germany, they’re called different things. In Berlin, these German meatballs are huge pan-fried minced balls of beef, pork, or lamb and are known as Boulette.

In fact, so much so that when I first came to Germany, I didn’t know what they were, so I didn’t eat ’em! Imagine my shock when I discovered that they were actually meatballs!

I wasted two years not eating them!!

A Berlin lunch of Frikadellen, Fleischkühle, Fleischpflanzerl or Königsberger Klopse!
A Berlin lunch of Frikadellen, Fleischkühle, Fleischpflanzerl or Königsberger Klopse!

In other parts of Germany they are smaller and known as Frikadellen, Fleischkühle, Fleischpflanzerl or Königsberger Klopse!

They are not normally eaten with a tomato sauce but with bread! As you can see above, these meatballs were small, topped with apple mousse, accompanied by sliced brown bread sprinkled over with tomato, salmon, and mustard & cress, or sliced brown bread topped with cream cheese, sliced radishes, with more mustard & cress.

In fact they were quite delightful, so I scoffed the lot!

8.  Yummy in my tummy, heavenly, tasty dessert!

A frightfully enticing profiterole, choux à la crème, a cream puff or simply in Germany, a windbeutel!
A frightfully enticing profiterole, choux à la crème, a cream puff or simply in Germany, a windbeutel!

Scrummy desserts can be found all over Germany, as the cake shops are lovely.

Now I wish that I had taken a photograph of my cream puff before I actually pounced on it, but there it is!

The profiterole, choux à la crème, cream puff, otherwise known as a windbeutel in Germany, is a filled choux pastry ball with a typically sweet and moist filling of whipped cream, custard, or pastry cream. The puffs are sometimes garnished with chocolate sauce, caramel, or a dusting of powdered sugar, or simply left plain.

Mine had castor sugar, which I promptly licked off!

The most popular dessert in Berlin however, is the doughnut, otherwise known as a Berliner! And can be quite a classy affair if taken with champagne!
The most popular dessert in Berlin however, is the doughnut, otherwise known as a Berliner! And can be quite a classy affair if taken with champagne!

The most popular dessert in Berlin however, is the doughnut, otherwise known as a Pfannkuchen or a Berliner!

It’s usually filled with plum or strawberry jam, but doesn’t have a hole in it, or sprinkles…! In fact, during our wedding, our pre-lunch snack was the Berlin doughnut, otherwise known as a Berliner, with croissants, orange juice and glasses of champagne!

Cool or what!

9.  Since it’s that time of year, let’s throw in gingerbread and Stollen.

Let's throw in Gingerbread and Stollen for good measure!
Let’s throw in Gingerbread and Stollen for good measure!

I’ll tell you a secret, I don’t actually like German gingerbread, and I can’t eat the Stollen ‘cos of my allergies!

Are you shocked!

I love gingerbread men if I make it myself!
I love gingerbread men if I make it myself!

I do love gingerbread men though. The kind for children, and home-made, and that’s about it!

10.  Finally, I’m not going to leave this post without talking about street food.

A Swedish sausage made from venison, otherwise known as Hirsch!
A Swedish sausage made from venison, otherwise known as Hirsch!

The very highlight of a typical German day is the sausage.

The sausage above was served with thin slices of bread, and a venison light brown sauce. Quite yummy!

Alrighty!

All hail the almighty S!

Germany has loads of different sausages and each comes with its own unique taste.

White sausages. I've tried it every which way, but I still don't like it! ©TakeAway - Wikipedia
White sausages. I’ve tried it every which way, but I still don’t like it!
©TakeAway – Wikipedia

I find the white sausage with sweet mustard or Weißwürst quite disgusting personally, even though I’ve tried it every which way.

Ah well!

Delicious grilled pork sausages, otherwise known as bratwurst. Yum!
Delicious grilled pork sausages, otherwise known as bratwurst. Yum!

The grilled pork sausages with mustard, ketchup or both, otherwise known as Bratwurst can be decisively delicious.

My favourite German sausage however, is the currywurst. The currywurst is Berlin’s most famous sausage.

Currywurst and chips slathered with tomato ketchup, curry powder, and sometimes mayo!
Currywurst and chips slathered with tomato ketchup, curry powder, and sometimes mayo!

Currywurst!

Currywurst is beef or pork sausage grilled and chopped up, then smothered with a spicy ketchup and curry powder. It’s eaten with a pile of chips and a slice of bread or a bun. It’s such a famous icon that it even has its own Currywurst Museum where you can learn how currywurst is made, smell it, watch a film about it, attempt to sell it, and play around with the french fries and chips. You can sometimes even have chocolate and curry ice-cream!

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

Currywurst can usually only be found in Berlin everywhere you look. My two favourite places however, are the 1930’s East Berlin historical establishment called Konnopke’s Imbiß in my own area of Prenzlauerberg, and the 1980’s West Berlin trendy establishment Curry 36, in my old neighbourhood of Kreuzberg!

p.s. They speak English in both places so no worries if you don’t speak German!

That’s it from me.

See you next year!

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!

FOOD IN GERMANY: 10 DELICIOUS BEST MEALS TO TRY OUT IN BERLIN – BECAUSE GERMAN FOOD ISN’T AS RUSTIC AS YOU THINK!

Tasty German Bavarian pretzels!
Tasty German Bavarian pretzels!

This article is not sponsored, and the exciting food experience that I’ve always had, is my very own!

In January I’ll be making an announcement that will either having me jumping up and down like a Jack-in-the-Box, or crying over my hot cocoa! Find out in January!

The British Shorts Film Festival will take place from 12th – 18th January, 2017

Berlin Fashion Week will take place from 17th –  20th January, 2017.

At the beginning of  January, I’ll be going to Holland, and at the end of it, I’ll be skiing in my favourite place, Rokytnice nad Jizerou, in the Czech Republic!

January is December is going to be full of excitment!

Have a great festive season, and a stunning New Year!

Food in Germany: 10 delicious best German meals to try out in Berlin - Because German food isn't as rustic as you think!
Food in Germany: 10 delicious best German meals to try out in Berlin – Because German food isn’t as rustic as you think!

Do you like German food? Is a German meatball a burger, or just a huge meatball? Let me know!

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

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

A sticky bun isn’t a stollen: going to a German Christmas Market

Lucia Christmas Market in Berlin. © Jochen Loch
Lucia Christmas Market in Berlin.
© Jochen Loch

I love going to the Christmas Market in Germany. It’s so……well, German!

In Berlin, where I live, there are about sixty Christmas Markets in the capital city, of different varieties and types. Some of the markets are quite contemporary and modern and some are traditional and quaint.

Tradition and quaint at the Charlottenburg Palace Christmas Market in Berlin!
Tradition and quaint at the Charlottenburg Palace Christmas Market in Berlin!

I love the German Christmas Markets because they remind and prepare me for the winter season, and the time of year in which we have to dress up in our winter woollies and go out.

I love the German Christmas Market as it’s so very different from markets at home – in England. I mean, you can drink as much alcohol as you like for a start.

Beer for everyone in Germany 'cos the drinks are on meeeee!
Beer for everyone in Germany ‘cos the drinks are on meeeee!

Outdoors. Legally.

Wow!

Old German gothic handwriting and print...
Old German gothic handwriting and print…

Most of the stalls in the markets are made out of wood and have the old German gothic handwriting and print, on their signage. It’s known as Sütterlin or Suetterlin script. This type of writing was pretty popular in 20th century pre-war Germany. You can see the writing outside old buildings and in the parks and even though, it looks romantic and speaks of nostalgia, although I find it difficult to read.

You can even find German Christmas Markets in town squares, near large boulevards, outside shopping centres and arcades, in side streets and sometimes in public buildings too! Cool stuff at the Sony Centre Forum in Berlin.
You can even find German Christmas Markets in town squares, near large boulevards, outside shopping centres and arcades, in side streets and sometimes in public buildings too!
Cool stuff at the Sony Centre Forum in Berlin.

You can also find some of the German Christmas Markets in town squares, near large boulevards, outside shopping centres and arcades, on side streets and sometimes in public buildings too like town halls, government offices, museums, galleries and castles.

Being that I live in Germany, nothing is done without some sort of order, precision and regulation thus, the German Christmas Markets are only open and available during the four weeks of Advent, which starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day. It’s believed that this tradition started in the late Middle Ages, and that the first formal location was in Vienna, 1294!

Masked entertainment at the Vienna Opera! @Heikenwaelder Hugo, Austria
Masked entertainment at the Vienna Opera!
@Heikenwaelder Hugo, Austria

The German Christmas Markets or Weihnachtsmarkt is enormously popular in German-speaking Europe, parts of Italy, parts of France and in the United States. It’s even popular in England and very successful in my home town of Manchester, and in other cities like Leeds and Bath!

I went to the German Christmas Market in Birmingham a few years ago, and I was very impressed!

Even Romania has a Christmas Market...!
Even Romania has a Christmas Market…!

The notion of a German Christmas Market even spread as far as that of Romania, with their very own public market that opened in 2007.

In Germany, the Christmas Markets sell food, drink, christmas decorations, ornaments, crafts and carvings, lights and seasonal ware, often in addition to singing, dancing, ice-skating, and other forms of entertainment.Very akin to a country festival fair!

The German Christmas Market is very akin to a country fair! @Michael Setzpfandt
The German Christmas Market is very akin to a country fair!
@Michael Setzpfandt

If you’re going to visit a German Christmas Market, I’d strongly advice you to prepare your stomach, unzip your coat and roll up your sleeves, as there’s so much to eat, drink and see.

There’s so much to eat, at a German Christmas Market!
There’s so much to eat, at a German Christmas Market!

There’s no saving me….

...And there's so much to drink at the German Christmas Market too!
…And there’s so much to drink at the German Christmas Market too!

You can have:

Gingerbread that I made myself..!
Gingerbread that I made myself..!

Gingerbread biscuits – Lebkuchen

Sweet, toasted almonds – Gebrannte Mandeln

A perfectly acceptable pork grilled sausage or bratwurst!
A perfectly acceptable pork grilled sausage or bratwurst!

Grilled sausages with mustard or ketchup – Bratwurst

White cabbage and salted / slightly smoked pork – Sauerkraut und Kassler

One of my favourite Christmas Market meals - Green cabbage and pork sausages or Grünkohl und Knacker!
One of my favourite Christmas Market meals – Green cabbage and pork sausages or Grünkohl und Knacker!

Green cabbage and pork sausages – Grünkohl und Knacker

Eggnog – Eierpunsch

Stollen at the German Christmas Market. Yeah!
Stollen at the German Christmas Market. Yeah!

A sweet yeast dough with candied citrus peels, spices, raisins, nuts or marzipan and covered in castor sugar / icing sugar – Stollen

And the very highlight of every German Christmas Market: Hot mulled wine – Glühwein

This is what Feuerzangenbowle looks like, in the safety and serenity of a German home!
This is what Feuerzangenbowle looks like, in the safety and serenity of a German home!

For those of you who have a really strong alcoholic tendency, I also recommend: a traditional rum-filled type of mulled wine. It’s put in a huge canister, filled with huge lumps of sugarloaf or Zuckerhut soaked in rum, set on fire and dripped into cups and glasses. It’s called – Feuerzangenbowle and is an absolute killer!

This is what Feuerzangenbowle looks like after you've had a few. It's a Christmas Market killer! ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
This is what Feuerzangenbowle looks like after you’ve had a few. It’s a Christmas Market killer!
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

I had a cup once and almost fell to the floor!

It’s strong stuff and as I’m a bit of a light weight when it comes to the matter of strong alcohol, I can only manage half a cup – after a heavy meal of stodge!

German sausages.
German sausages.

The very famous German Christmas Markets can be found in Dresden, Dortmund, Cologne, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Augsburg, Erfurt, Frankfurt and of course, Berlin.

There are so many Christmas Markets to choose from so I’ve picked my favourites below:

1.  The WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt or the Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market: OMG! This market is one of the most beautiful and one of the most famous, German Christmas Markets in Berlin. It’s in the old French square and is surrounded by the opera house, two cathedrals, very expensive haute couture shops, art galleries, 5 -star restaurants and luxury hotels!

The WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt or the Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market in Berlin, is one of the most beautiful Christmas Markets in Germany!
The WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt or the Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market in Berlin, is one of the most beautiful Christmas Markets in Germany!

It focuses on traditional handicrafts such as flax embroidery, wood carving, stone masonry, acrobats, classical or jazz choirs, and exclusive food and drink. You only have to pay €1.00 or €2.00 to get in, but it’s so worth it.

There’s still time to catch it, as it’s always open to the 31st of December!

2.  The Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt Opernpalais or the Unter den Linden Christmas Market: This is also a favourite of mine as this German Christmas Market is located between the most elegant State Opera House – Staatsoper and the Opera Palace – Opernpalais. It is also opposite the 1810 academic Humboldt University of Berlin or Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

The Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt Opernpalais or the Unter den Linden Christmas Market is another firm favourite of mine! ©Visit Berlin - Wolfgang Scholvien
The Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt Opernpalais or the Unter den Linden Christmas Market is another firm favourite of mine!
©Visit Berlin – Wolfgang Scholvien

This most noble and nostalgic Christmas Market also focuses on skilled and crafted people who make candles, lanterns, almonds and chestnuts, and lots and lots of illuminated lights. In fact, the very long boulevard is lit with twinkly christmas lights and balls in trees and plants. The market also has horse-drawn carriages and a historical atmosphere of old.

3.   The Adventsmarkt der Domäne Dahlem or The Advents Market of the Dahlem Manor: This German Christmas Market is a market with a difference as it’s located in a former Manor. The manor is located in the south-west suburbs of Berlin and is over 800 years old! The Manor is also an open-air museum focused on agriculture and farm life of old. You can imagine what a Christmas Market would look like here.

The Adventsmarkt der Domäne Dahlem or The Advents Market of the Dahlem Manor, is a German Christmas Market located in a former aristocratic manor! ©K. Wendlandt
The Adventsmarkt der Domäne Dahlem or The Advents Market of the Dahlem Manor, is a German Christmas Market located in a former aristocratic manor!
©K. Wendlandt

It’s great! There is livestock, people are dressed up in medieval clothes, there are exhibitions, food and drink from the ages and music and concerts. There is an admission fee and it can be a little chilly ‘cos it’s outdoor based, but it’s soooo much fun.

4.  This year we spent a lot of time at the Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt im Hof der Kulturbrauerei or the Lucia Christmas Market in the hip and trendy courtyard of the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauerberg! This popular romantic Christmas Market is not even German at all, but rather, Nordic Scandinavian!

Nordic Angels at the Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt im Hof der Kulturbrauerei or the Lucia Christmas Market in the courtyard of the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauerberg! © Jochen Loch
Nordic Angels at the Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt im Hof der Kulturbrauerei or the Lucia Christmas Market in the courtyard of the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauerberg!
© Jochen Loch

It’s about 10 minutes from where I live, and is an ensemble of twenty (20) buildings and six (6) courtyards connected in an outdoor space of 25,000 m² in red and yellow bricked industrial architecture, of the 19th century!

The industrial architecture of the 19th century - im Hof der Kulturbrauerei or the courtyard of the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauerberg, Berlin! © Jochen Loch
The industrial architecture of the 19th century – im Hof der Kulturbrauerei or the courtyard of the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauerberg, Berlin!
© Jochen Loch

This Christmas Market is very picturesque and is filled with artistic charm and romantic innings. The market is so named because it’s dedicated to the Nordic goddess of lights – Lucia – and is represented and dedicated to countries from the Scandinavian hemisphere. It also has Swedish open air fires, art, food and drink, as well as bungee jumping, trampolining and a merry-go-round!

Having said that, this Christmas Market is as German as you want it to be.

The people. In Germany, at the Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt im Hof der Kulturbrauerei or the Lucia Christmas Market courtyard of the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauerberg! © Jochen Loch
The people. In Germany, at the Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt im Hof der Kulturbrauerei or the Lucia Christmas Market courtyard of the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauerberg!
© Jochen Loch

We very much enjoyed eating:

I don't usually eat potato pancakes as I don't like them! But I was willing to give 'em a try!
I don’t usually eat potato pancakes as I don’t like them! But I was willing to give ’em a try!

Potato pancake with apple sauce – Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelkompot

Deer sausage with mustard – Hirsch Bratwurst

White cabbage & salted / slightly smoked pork with pan-fried sliced potatoes, dollops of horse-radish and spicy mustard - Sauerkraut und Kassler. Yum!
White cabbage & salted / slightly smoked pork with pan-fried sliced potatoes, dollops of horse-radish and spicy mustard – Sauerkraut und Kassler.
Yum!

White cabbage and salted / slightly smoked pork with pan-fried sliced potatoes, dollops of horse-radish and spicy mustard– Sauerkraut und Kassler.

Spicy Mulled wine – Glühwein

Trying out the Feuerzangenbowle. Again!
Trying out the Feuerzangenbowle. Again!

Non-alcoholic punch for “The Tall Young Gentleman.”

We didn’t have any snow this year and it wasn’t even cold, but you can’t be in Germany at this time of year, without partaking in the fun of a German Christmas Market!

See you next year!

Lean on me!
Lean on me!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions are my absolute own.

Have you ever been to a German Christmas Market? Have you been to Germany in the winter? Would you eat a sausage made from deer meat?

"The Tall Young Gentleman" and I
“The Tall Young Gentleman” and I

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