A Beginners’ Guide to the Berlinale, otherwise known as the Berlin International Film Festival 2017!

Stanley Tucci as the marvellous Director of the film - Final Portrait, at the Berlinale. ©Berlinale
Stanley Tucci as the marvellous Director of the film – Final Portrait, at the Berlinale.
©Berlinale

OMG!

I’ve told you before and I’ll probably tell you a million times over, living in Berlin is awfully fabulous!

I mean, there’s just so much to do!

The work of a lifestyle, expat, travel blogger is never done. There's just so much to dooo!
The work of a lifestyle, expat, travel blogger is never done. There’s just so much to dooo!

Only a few weeks ago I was telling you all about how I could afford to travel all over Europe, and using the train no less, as well as floating through Berlin Fashion Week, rushing through windmills in Holland, and skiing in the Czech Mountains, which the official Twitter account of Visit Czech Republic, kindly retweeted and shared!

And just the other week, the Sputnik Kino put out all the stops to bring us the British Shorts Film Festival too!

Diego Luna & Maggie Gyllenhaal at the Berlinale. ©Berlinale
Diego Luna & Maggie Gyllenhaal at the Berlinale.
©Berlinale

And now, ladies and gents, the red carpet has been rolled out yet again, and Berlin has been hobnobbing with the best of the best. I mean, if it’s good enough for Richard Gere and Jonny Lee Miller of T2 Trainspotting. It’s surely good enough for you!

And why forsooth?

Because?

Because the 67th Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale, is in town!

Now for those of you interested in getting a piece of the action it’s quite easy.

WHAT IS THE BERLIN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL / BERLINALE?

My press pass at the Berlinale.
My press pass at the Berlinale.

Well, the Berlinale is simply, the world’s largest public film festival which provides an audience of interested film-goers, a city full of excitement, a diverse cultural scene, fascinating new films, and an opportunity to see, talk to, and take close-up pictures, of international stars in the movie world!

The public programme of the Berlinale shows about 400 films per year, mostly international or European premieres of every genre, length and format! Formats such as epic international cinema (Competition), independent art house (Panorama), films for a younger audience (Generation), new talent from the German film scene (Perspektive Deutsches Kino), avant-garde, experimental cinematography (Forum / Forum Expanded), weird black and white science fiction (Retrospective), film classics / rediscovered films (Berlinale Classics), cult films (Homage), and films about food (Culinary Cinema), art house cinemas within Berlin (Berlinale Goes Kiez), cinematic story-telling of Indigenous people around the world (NATIVe – A Journey into Indigenous Cinema), and short pieces (Berlinale Shorts).

Jeanne Werner. And if you look closely, I'm sitting on the right, on the row behind her! You can just about see my hands! Es war einmal in Deutschland - Bye Bye Germany. ©Berlinale
Jeanne Werner. And if you look closely, I’m sitting on the right, on the row behind her! You can just about see my hands!
Es war einmal in Deutschland – Bye Bye Germany. ©Berlinale

And with more than:

  • 335,000 sold tickets
  • 20,000 professional visitors
  • 122 countries
  • 3,800 journalists
Press hacks at the Berlinale!
Press hacks at the Berlinale!

You simply can’t go wrong!

That’s right.

From the 9th of February to the 19th February, 2017, Berlin will be packed solid with members of the film industry.

My heart swells when I know that Berlin is competing with the likes of other film festivals, in Cannes and Sundance.

Alright, not in the same category, but still. A festival to be proud of!

With more than four hundred (400) films, fifteen (15) categories sections, and more than half a million cinema visits, the Berlinale is not only an independent film festival with a difference, but also a film festival that ordinary people can actually visit.

Ordinary punters at the Berlinale. You know. People like YOU! ©Berlinale
Ordinary punters at the Berlinale. You know. People like YOU!
©Berlinale

Yes, that means YOU!

A world international festival can sometimes be daunting, so I’m going to try and make it as easy as possible so that you too can participate. If you want to!

Read my beginners’ guide and find out how!

A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO THE BERLINALE / THE

BERLIN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2017!

Punters waiting at the Berlinale Palast to see the stars. Be prepared & wrap up warmly! ©Berlinale
Punters waiting at the Berlinale Palast to see the stars. Be prepared & wrap up warmly!
©Berlinale
  • BE PREPARED: The Berlinale always takes place in February so get yourself on the mailing list of the Berlinale, so that you know when the official Berlinale programme is published.
  • USE THE INTERNET: There is a Berlinale homepage in both English and German. On the homepage is a Programme Section which also has a most valuable item called the programme planner. Use this item to search for films so that you have an idea of what you might want to see BEFORE the film festival begins.
Search for a programme at the Berlinale.
Search for a programme at the Berlinale.
  • GET THE PROGRAMME: If you’re not entirely sure what each film is about, you can either download the pdf format or if you’re in Berlin (and why wouldn’t you be!), you can pretty much find the programme brochures in every cinema forum in the city. Just help yourself!
  • USE TECHNOLOGY: Not only can you use the programme planner for your personal searches but you can also get into the 21st century and, for the first time ever, download the Apps (for Android and iOS) which links into the programme planner so that you can mark your favourite film or event at home, or on the move, and still remain up-to-date across multiple devices. The app also provides Berlinale information about festival venues, festival events and an overview of festival video broadcasts, the Opening and Closing Gala, as well as all the fun on the Red Carpet!
Relax & check my social media at the Berlinale Open House! © Berlinale
Relax & check my social media at the Berlinale Open House!
© Berlinale
  • USE SOCIAL MEDIA: The Berlinale is on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow my titbits and little quips here! Not only that, but around the Potsdamer Platz Arcade, WiFi is available for 2 hours per day per person, and there are other WIFI hotspots scattered around in various venues. For free!
  • MAKE A LIST: Once you have a rough idea of what you want to see, go ahead and make a list. Don’t forget to put the date, the name of the film in it’s original language and in English, the venue, and the time. Then make a second list with different films. Just in case. And a third one too!
Look at the packed crowd for the World Premier of Es war einmal in Deutschland - Bye Bye Germany. Aim to arrive early!
Look at the packed crowd for the World Premier of Es war einmal in Deutschland – Bye Bye Germany.
Aim to arrive early!
  • CHECK THE FILM TIME: People get really excited when punters finally get the film of their dream and then discover soon after, that they can’t actually watch it ‘cos they’re still at a previous showing! Just because the film states a starting time of 20:00 doesn’t actually mean that it’s going to start at 20:00! Films start late, discussions over lap. Deal with it! I find that putting films three (3) hours apart generally leaves more than enough room to manoeuvre. So, if for example, a film starts at 09:30, the next film I book is at 12:30 and not anything less! Most films tend to last between 80 and 100 minutes but you want to give yourself time for overlaps and also for getting from A to B. Berlin’s public transport system is fantastic but you still have to wade your way through the crowds to get out of the venue itself, and then go downstairs to your next train station, not to talk of wading yourself through more crowds, at the next film venue!
  • LEAVE EARLY: Doors generally open 10 minutes before the film starts, so make sure you’re in the queue at least 20 minutes before the movie begins. If it’s a popular film, give yourself 30 minutes as there is no allocated seating. First come, first served. No seat is a dud in my opinion, but if you have preferred seating, then get there early.
Get your Berlinale film tickets in person!
Get your Berlinale film tickets in person!

This means that you’re going to have to gird your loins, get all your mates together and be smart and efficient. Each individual can only buy 2 tickets per film, except for Generation (children / youth films) which you can buy 4 tickets at a time, and Culinary Cinema film screenings at 7.30 pm, which you can buy as many as you like! You can of course, cross your fingers and buy on the day if tickets are available at the box office of the cinemas themselves. Ticket counters open daily from 10:00 to 20:00, with people forming a queue from as early as 08:00!

If you don't feel up to being with the rabble, not a problem, use your fingers and go online to buy tickets at the Berlinale instead!
If you don’t feel up to being with the rabble, not a problem, use your fingers and go online to buy tickets at the Berlinale instead!
  • BUYING TICKETS ONLINE: If you don’t feel up to being with the hoi polloi, not a problem, use your fingers and go online instead! On the programme page is an online ticket icon. If you click on it, you’ll be directed to the online ticket shop but be warned, the other buyers are keen film-goers and pros. at this game. You’ll need firm fingers to keep clicking and refreshing in order to get those tickets. Or better still, allocate yourself an army of friends to help you.

You know how concert tickets sell out in 10 minutes? Yep! They use the same method. Friends! Mates! Neighbours! Everyone you know!

Grab a few friends to help you buy your Berlinale ticket!
Grab a few friends to help you buy your Berlinale ticket!

If you click on the Online Tickets icon, you will automatically be forwarded to the website of the Berlinale ticketing partner – Eventim. You’ll have to create an Eventim account with an extra processing fee of €2.00 per ticket. You can also use a major credit card and the tickets will be delivered to you either by Email, on your mobile phone, or you can simply pick the tickets up at the Online Ticket Pick-up Counter in the Potsdamer Platz Arcade shopping centre, by showing your printed confirmation and ID card.

There’s an exclusive ticket counter only for punters with Mastercard!

Berlinale ticket prices are very reasonable!
Berlinale ticket prices are very reasonable!
  • TICKET PRICES: Berlinale tickets are generally between €4.00 – €22.00! A 50% discount is available for selected last-minute tickets and of course, if you’re a student, of school age, on welfare, etc, then a 50% discount on tickets are available too.

If you register by telephone, groups of at least 5 people for Generation tickets, cost just €2.50 each!

Roll up! Roll up! Queue up & come & get your ticket! © Berlinale
Roll up! Roll up! Queue up & come & get your ticket!
© Berlinale
  • NO TICKET: If you still haven’t got the ticket you want, then go ahead and get any other film ticket instead!

The whole point of a film festival are the intriguing films that are made available. Every film has passed muster, and outside of your own personal preference, none of the films are duds. Go on live a little! If you’re still unsure, then go to the venue of your choice and either hold out a sign that you’re looking for an extra ticket, or look for individuals who might want to sell theirs. Don’t deal with touts though. If the individual looks nice enough and has 1 or 2 tickets rather than 20, and is willing to sell it at market price, or even cheaper, then go for it!

  • WATCH YOUR THROAT: After watching quite a few films, the throat does tend to take a bit of a beating as the rooms can get a bit dry, so arm yourself with water and cough drops. Take a scarf too, in case the air-con is at full blast!
A film industry and press-only conference, at the Berlinale! ©Berlinale
A film industry and press-only conference, at the Berlinale!
©Berlinale
  • PRESS: If you’re a press person, you should have been through the accreditation process and have your badge and Berlinale gift bag! Nevertheless, even press people have to organise themselves, as tickets are only made available one (1) day prior, and so I found myself checking into the Grand Hyatt Berlin on a daily basis!

At 08:00 in the morning. Eeek!

After a hard day at the Berlinale, surely I deserve a glass of champagne!
After a hard day at the Berlinale, surely I deserve a glass of champagne!

On the other hand, free water, free coffee (Ouch!) free WiFi, a press room, comfy seats and a quick means of getting all the press stuff and press tickets that you need, are provided.

Everyone has been so helpful and kind and because I’m now a pro. I’ve gotten each and every film ticket that I have wanted so far.

Thank you Berlinale Press Team!

Bing Lang Xue - The Taste of Betel Nut - A Hong Kong film at the Berlinale. ©Berlinale
Bing Lang Xue – The Taste of Betel Nut – A Hong Kong film at the Berlinale.
©Berlinale

I really don’t think so!

In my case, I aim for weird Asian films, obscure East European films, Anglo-American films with controversial topics, and films over issues that I would never usually go for ‘cos they’re just not shown at your local flick!

Menashe - The first Yiddish film to be presented at the Berlinale. Ever! © Federica Valabrega
Menashe – The first Yiddish film to be presented at the Berlinale. Ever!
© Federica Valabrega
  • STAY FOR Q&A: The beauty of an international film festival or any film festival at all, is that everyone tends to be there. You get stars such as Richard Gere, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Gillian Anderson (Scully), Chloë Sevigny, Kristin Scott Thomas, Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting), Timothy Spall, Steeve Coogan, Cillian Murphy, Sibel Kekili (Game of Thrones), Moritz Bleibtreu, Jason Issacs (Harry Potter), and Geoffrey Rush. Directors such as Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games), Danny Boyle (Trainspotting & Slum Dog Millionaire), Gurinder Chadh (Bend it like Beckham), and other directors, producers, actors.

In fact, everyone!

Helena Bonham-Carter sat behind me at the Berlinale,and I hadn't even noticed, until she got up to go to the front of the stage!
Helena Bonham-Carter sat behind me at the Berlinale,and I hadn’t even noticed, until she got up to go to the front of the stage!

Three years ago, Helena Bonham-Carter sat behind me and I hadn’t even noticed, until she got up to go to the front of the stage!

Actors, directors and producers tend to go out to the front and apart from staring at them really closely, you can ask them questions about their films or their thoughts, surrounding that film. And being that this is Berlin, everyone’s really chilled and not freaking out, or going crazy!

Not inside the cinema theatre in any case.

George Clooney © Berlinale
George Clooney
© Berlinale

If there’s a hottie on the red carpet like George Clooney, Jonny Lee Miller or Richard Gere, all that flies out of the window, and people start screaming!

I mean, it sometimes goes insane.

Richard Gere at the Berlinale. Everyone went crazy! ©Berlinale
Richard Gere at the Berlinale. Everyone went crazy!
©Berlinale

The actors are always calm, professional and charming (especially George & Richard. We’re on first name basis now of course..!) but the audience just lose themselves with star-lust, over-whelmingness, or the fact that film premier tickets can sell out surprisingly quickly, and not be found for love or money. If you didn’t know somebody, who knew somebody, who knew somebody, way up there, chances were, you wouldn’t get a look in!

The atmosphere once you get indoors, really is comforting and quite frankly, it’s nice.

Practically every member of the T2 Trainspotting cast got mobbed at the Berlinale. Even Ewen Bremner - Spud! ©Berlinale
Practically every member of the T2 Trainspotting cast got mobbed at the Berlinale. Even Ewen Bremner – Spud!
©Berlinale

And all for the price of a cinema ticket.

Less in some cases!

  • MAKE FRIENDS: Chat to the person next to you. Find your friends and partners and go for a well deserved late night drink!
Make Friends at the Berlinale! ©Berlinale
Make Friends at the Berlinale!
©Berlinale
  • TAKE ACTION: Now that you know what to do, go ahead and get yourself a film ticket and do it all over again the next day!

See you at the Berlinale!

A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO THE BERLINALE / THE

BERLIN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2017!

Laura Hajek & the hilarious Steve Coogan at the Berlinale. ©Berlinale
Laura Hajek & the hilarious Steve Coogan at the Berlinale.
©Berlinale

This article is not sponsored and even though I received press tickets, all opinions and the excellent festival films that I chose, are my very, very own!

It’s February!

I have so much to share with you.

Next week, I’ll be reviewing the films that I saw at the Berlinale.

February is enjoyably rushed!

Catch me if you can!

Please also note that there is now a Booking.com affiliate link (for the very first time) connected to a few hotels. Please consider using the link, because every time some sort of accommodation is booked via my link I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself! A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

A Beginners' Guide to the Berlinale, otherwise known as the Berlin International Film Festival 2017!
A Beginners’ Guide to the Berlinale, otherwise known as the Berlin International Film Festival 2017!

Have you ever been to a film festival? What actor would you like to see in real life? Let me know!

See you in Berlin.

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

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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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!

Please also note that there is now a Booking.com affiliate link (for the very first time) connected to a few hotels. Please consider using the link, because every time some sort of accommodation is booked via my link 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!

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

How to be a savvy travel blogger with 10 tips to help you prepare, and find your way around! – ITB Berlin.

Nepal
Nepal

This week is going to be exciting.

And why?

The ITB travel trade fair is going to be in town.

Yeeeeeeeees!

Before I became the awesome travel blogger that I am today, I used to attend the ITB as an ordinary member of the public. And let me tell you. It was one of the highlights of my year!

I mean, thousands of international travel organisations and travel destinations to watch, see and taste.

Look at me. No! Look at me!
Look at me. No! Look at me!

OMG!

It was amazing.

It still is!

Sooooooooo, this week, I’ll be joining in the action too.

However, now that I’m a professional blogger don’t you know, I get to have internal access to all that the travel industry has to offer.

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

I’ve already written about the ITB before:

Here – My first introduction to the ITB Berlin: the international tourism trade fair.

Here – 10 things to do if you’re a new blogger and what I learnt – ITB Berlin.

And here – I went to the ITB in Berlin, so am I a professional travel blogger?

But it doesn’t hurt to reiterate the facts:

WHAT IS THE ITB?

ITB Berlin Convention 2016
ITB Berlin Convention 2016 – 50 years of excellence!

The ITB Berlin stands for the “Internationale Tourismus-Börse” or in English, the “international tourism trade fair.”

The ITB represents B2B, hotels, tourists boards, tour operators and providers, airlines, transport operators, responsible travel organisers, information technology experts, social media bloggers, and anybody else interested in travel and tourism.

It’s also the world’s leading travel industry think tank in which the convention trade fair establishes itself as the industry’s main knowledge platform with top-notch presentations on global trends, travel innovations and path-breaking events for the entire tourism industry!

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT THEN?

Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan

Well, the ITB Berlin is the foremost business platform for the global tourism business. We’re talking:

  • 5 continents.
  • 185 Countries.
  • 200 trendsetting events.
  • 850 Qualified Top Buyers.
  • 10,000 Exhibitors.
  • 23,000 Convention Visitors and Participants attending lectures, discussions, and workshops.
  • 50,000 Private Visitors.
  • 115,000 Trade Visitors.
  • 160,000 Square meters.
  • Bloggers from 25 countries all over the world.
  • Over 5 days within 9th March – 13th March, 2016.
  • Bringing in a €6.7 billion turnover to Germany!

If you’re at the ITB, you’re in good company.

Visit the Maldives.
Visit the Maldives.

The ITB Berlin is a huge deal and the partner country for 2016 is the Maldives with the motto: –  the sunny side of life.

Wow!

THE ITB BERLIN IS 50 YEARS OLD!

Happy Birthday ITB Berlin!
Happy Birthday ITB Berlin!

The name ITB Berlin stands for a unique success story and things that are made in Berlin.

What began in 1966, as a small overseas import trade show, has developed into a true global success.

What originally, was only an event of five (5) participating countries and regions, has grown to over 180 with an exhibition space expanding from 580 m² to 160,000 m² today!

In five (5) decades so many societal and political changes have taken place.  As far as the tourism industry is concerned, Germany has developed into one of the world’s most important economic factors.

50 Years ITB Berlin - ITB Berlin in 1966!
50 Years ITB Berlin –
ITB Berlin in 1966!

To mark this anniversary, 50 Berliners travelled to 50 destinations all over the world, met 50 representatives, and spoke about 50 special events, topics or projects, whilst picking up interesting, fascinating, and unusual stories. The motto – From Berlin with Love!

Today, the ITB Berlin is the leading trade show of the travel industry and, at the same time, the biggest travel show for the German public!

However, it’s a huge venue and there have been incidents of people wandering around and not actually getting to where they wanted to go. Not naming names or anything, so here’s a few tips on how to navigate your way around!

WHEN CAN YOU VISIT?

Visitors are welcome at the ITB Berlin!
Visitors are welcome at the ITB Berlin!

OPENING HOURS.

Trade visitors: 9th – 13th March, 2016. 09:30 – 18:00.
The general public: 12th – 13th March, 2016. 10:00 – 18:00.
Journalists and bloggers: 9th – 13th March, 2016. 09:00 – 19:00.

ADMISSION.

ITB BERLIN – The world in one place!
ITB BERLIN – The world in one place!

You can buy tickets at the Exhibition Grounds – or save time and money and buy them in advance at the Online Ticket Shop. Entrance for Trade Visitors / Press to the ITB Berlin Convention is included in the price of your trade fair ticket.

Trade Fair Visitors:

  • One Day ticket: Online in advance – €35.00. On the day – €52.00.
  • A Five Day ticket: Online in advance – €50.00. On the day – €75.00.
  • Accredited press / bloggers: Free of charge, in advance. If not accredited, as above.

The General Public.

  • One Day ticket: Online in advance – €12.00. On the day – €15.00.
  • Last Minute tickets (only valid on March 13th, from 14:00) – On the day – €8.00.
  • All children under the age of fourteen (14) if accompanied by an adult, are totally free of charge!

p.s. You should also be able to buy a €12.00 ticket from any BVG/Sbahn ticket machine. And if you live in Berlin, watch out for the free voucher that sometimes comes via a free delivery of the weekend edition of Berliner Morgenpost!

HOW CAN I GET TO THE ITB?

You can travel to the ITB Berlin, any way you like!
You can travel to the ITB Berlin, any way you like!

If you’re a trade visitor or a member of the press, then there is a free ITB shuttle service that will take you from the airport, from selected hotels and from various stops around the city to the ITB Exhibition Ground. If you’re using the city shuttle line service, please note that the stops are not marked as ITB Berlin stops, but are selected buses at the regular bus stops of the Berlin Public Transport System, otherwise known as the BVG!

A map of the Berlin Public Transport Network - BVG
A map of the Berlin Public Transport Network – BVG
You can find them at:
Line A
Bus-Stop 1: Unter den Linden / Friedrichstraße.
Bus-Stop 2: Train Station Potsdamer Platz (on Leipziger Platz).
Line B
Bus-Stop 1: Underground Station U Wittenbergplatz.
Bus-Stop 2: Underground Station U Kurfürstendamm (Kranzlereck).
Bus-Stop 3: Olivaer Platz (Kurfürstendamm 61).
Bus-Stop 4: Underground Station U Adenauerplatz.
Bus-Stop 5: Sbahn Train Station S Halense.

HOW TO NAVIGATE YOUR WAY AROUND THE ITB VENUE.

Navigate your way around the ITB Berlin.
Navigate your way around the ITB Berlin.

There are seven (7) entrances, but to give you a better insight you can download a map of the exhibition ground:

  • Entrance South / Halls 1/2 (Jafféstrasse).
  • Hall 7.2a (opposite to CityCubeBerlin).
  • Hall 9 (Messedamm).
  • Entrance East (Hall 14.1, opposite the ICC Berlin).
  • Entrance North (Hall 19, Hammarskjöldplatz).
  • Hall 25.
  • City Cube Berlin.
The ITB venue is pretty huge so within the exhibition ground itself, you can use the ITB fairground shuttles that will transport you from hall to hall.
Take the Ring Train S41 or S42 to the ITB Berlin!
Take the Ring Train S41 or S42 to the ITB Berlin!

If you’re not using any of the above, or you’re a member of the general public, then you need to get yourself to the following public transport stations. Don’t forget to get a ticket! 

There’s no need to panic though, as the city of Berlin provides an extensive public transport network, but make sure you read this post as to how to buy a daily ticket, as Berlin doesn’t have any barriers, and you don’t want to get caught out without a ticket now, do you? The stations that you need to get to are:

  • Messe Süd – Sbahn Train S5.
  • Messe Nord /ICC  – Ring Train S41 or S42.
  • Kaiserdamm – Underground Station U2.
  • Westkreuz  – Sbahn Train S75, S7, S5, Ring Train S41 or S42. You ought to change to Messe Süd (one stop), or go for a little stroll instead, but it’s a bit of a walk!

10 TIPS TO MAKE YOU SAVVY & HELP YOU PREPARE!

ITB Berlin 2016 robot NAO. ©Aldebaran Robotics
ITB Berlin 2016
robot NAO.
©Aldebaran Robotics
  1. Book: Are you flying, taking the train, hustling in the coach-bus or car-sharing?
  2. Focus: Define what you want to accomplish and whom you want to contact.
  3. Plan: Set up meetings and appointments.
  4. Do research: Get information about the industry’s latest trends and use the Virtual Market Place® catalogue to find out who’s there!
  5. Learn: Go to presentations, workshops, conferences and talks. I learnt all about Twitter for the first time at ITB and then the next day, I went live and never looked back!
  6. Save: Buy your Visitor Ticket in advance at the Online Ticket Shop.
  7. Navigate: Use the Map of the Exhibition Grounds for your personal orientation.
  8. Download: The  ITB Mobile Guide with maps, lists, and services.
  9. Network: The ITB Berlin offers networking events of a special kind – ITB Blogger Speed Dating and the ITB Speed Networking event. However, it doesn’t matter if you’ve not made an appointment previously, although it helps if you do. Nevertheless, you’re at the largest travel trade fair in the world, so go and explore!
  10. Enjoy: You’re in one of the finest cities in the world. Have fun!

DON’T FORGET!

"50 Years ITB Berlin" - ITB Berlin 1997 - Smart clothing - Check!
“50 Years ITB Berlin”
– ITB Berlin 1997 –
Smart clothing – Check!
  • Business Cards – Check!
  • Business Card Folder or File, so that you don’t lose the ones that you’ve collected – Check!
  • Map – Check!
  • ITB Berlin Mobile Guide – Check!
  • Mobile or Cell Phone plus charger – Check!
  • Bottle of Water – Check!
  • Smart clothing – Check!
  • Exude confidence – Check!
  • Smile – Check!

See you at the ITB!

India
India

This article is isn’t sponsored and the wonderful time that I’m going to have at the ITB Berlin, is my very own!

In March and April, I’ll be going to England, Portugal and Spain!

On March 8th, I’ll be at the ITB Berlin Opening Party taking place at Urban Spree. It’s always a lot of fun, so if you’re in town, come and join us!

To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, I’ve joined the Berlin Travel Massive campaign which is hosting an OPEN CALL for the best photos of awesome WOMEN IN TRAVEL. You can share your pictures using the hashtag #WomenInTravel & #travelmassive until March 6th, where photos will be featured at Travel Massive’s biggest night of the year – the Opening Party at ITB Berlin – on March 8th.

The best pictures will also be published on the platform of Travel Massive & featured by Lonely Planet, on Twitter!

The artistic space dedicated to urban culture – @Urban_Spree – will be an evening to celebrate the travel industry, the 50th anniversary of @ITB_Berlin and to highlight and spotlight women – #womenintravel – empowered through tourism: To RSVP go here!

PLANET HER – a pop-up photo exhibition – will also be launched on International Women’s Day (March 8th), and will run until March 13th and during ITB Berlin. The gallery will feature images of women from Haiti, Burma and Tajikistan, and images from @gadventures for Good projects such as Sisterhood of Survivors in Nepal, winner of the UNWTO Award for Innovation in 2016.

On March 9th, I’ll be participating in the iambassador – Traveldudes – ITB Travel Tweet-Up!

And of course, the world’s leading travel trade show –  ITB Berlin – will be taking place from 09.03.16 – 13.03.16.

I’ll be there. Will you?

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

If you’re not in Berlin in March, where are you?

March is going to be splendid!

Watch this space!

How to be a savvy travel blogger with 10 tips to help you prepare, and find your way around! - ITB Berlin.
How to be a savvy travel blogger with 10 tips to help you prepare, and find your way around! – ITB Berlin.

Which of these tips would you use? Are you a savvy travel blogger? Have you ever been to the ITB Berlin?

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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