The cream for the Irish whisky was whipped by hand; the concoction in the glorious silver-lidded carafe above is a fresh beet/apple/ginger juice. Like their products, the Wednesday Paper Works "pop-in" shop was at once elegant and intimate.
We watched a few Christmas cards being printed, snapped up two snazzy bags, then sat back on the sofa (improvised out of wooden pallets) and watched as the studio filled with laughter.
The cows and the sheep greeted us with mild interest. Even in winter, the fields behind Hof Apfeltraum (a biodynamic farm near the Polish border) were full of life. When we returned to the Christmas market, the beeswax was being heated on the hob, and the first curious candlemakers had begun to buy their wicks.
The clay oven turned out crisp thin pizzas all afternoon. A quintet of little girls stood on the stairs and played Schneeflöckchen, Weißröckchen on their violins and recorders. My friend and her son painstakingly wove sprigs of mistletoe, pine branches and pinecones into a wreath.
Once our baskets were laden, we gathered around the fire. By the time the courtyard had filled with visitors, it was time to catch the Regionalbahn home. 'This train is like the Christmas express,' Jane commented when she returned from the ticket machine: 'there are pine needles all along the aisles.'
The Wednesday Paper Works pop-in shop is open Fridays 4pm-9pm between now and Christmas. Reichenberger Str. 155, Berlin-Kreuzberg (map), in the second courtyard and up the stairs. Afterwards, we stopped at the Crêperie Bretonne across the road and were delighted by the excellent buckwheat gallettes and crepes.
Hof Apfeltraum's Christmas market takes place on the first Advent Saturday each year.