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Two or three things for summer's end


Nesting for the winter begins with handmade books and beautiful textiles. This lovely risographed zine has stories by Victoria Hannan and illustrations by Jazz Feldy. Beneath, a cozy eggshell and charcoal rug courtesy of the Urbanara shop, of which I have grown very fond. Mary wrote all about the Berlin-based homeware store here


I let you have a glimpse of Rita Zepf's wonderful hand-stitched portrait of my daughter in the spring. The dangling threads are particularly appealing picked out in the summer light.


Do you remember when white lilac was everywhere? Now, visits to the organic market at Kollwitzplatz show dahlias in ascendance.


Makrönchen Manufaktur goes heavy on the ground almonds and easy on the sugar when making their macarons. Our favorite trio is pistachio, rose, and Madagascar vanilla. Their tarts are fluffy and not cloyingly sweet, with the happy surprise of red currants studding the fluffy yogurt cream filling. The rainbow-hued base, thrillingly, was made with ground macarons. Ailene took some stunning photos of Makrönchen Manufaktur's cafe interior here.

Urbanara shop, online & showroom, Gipsstr. 10, Berlin-Mitte (map)
Rita Zepf, textile artist, Berlin-Friedrichshain & Uckermark. Open by appointment. Makrönchen Manufaktur, Apostel Paulus Str. 4, Berlin-Schöneberg (map). Snug cafe with macarons, tarts, and hot and cold drinks: I love their sparkling lavender water.

A grand day out in Linum



The rarest of days off: we seized it, and lit out for Linum. Our first stop was the restaurant Kleines Haus, opened in 2009 by Frank Buthmann after stints as a chef at Vau and Weinstein.



Leg of lamb with roast potatoes and chanterelles for me; courgette carpaccio and tomato soup for David. The latter was devoured too quickly for me to photograph: each roasted tomato (which the chef later explained were marinaded and slow-baked overnight) was a bombshell of flavor. My bed of tubers and mushrooms was perfect; the meat was tough and the glaze too heavily salted for my taste; it's possible Haxe is not my thing.

The simple interior was brightened by chunky dishware from a local potter, and made airy thanks to the open timber roof. Buthmann says majority of the ingredients he uses come from a 100 kilometer radius. Indeed, when we inquired as to the provenance of the quince liquer on display, the friendly waitress pointed us down the road to the Linumer Landhof, just down the main village road.


The shop was a treasure chest of local jams, honeys, juices and more. Who knew yarrow syrup (Schafgarbe) could be so refreshing? Or that we, upon sampling glasses of Boskoop, Jonasgold, and pear juice poured by the friendly owner, would select a bottle of Elstar apple juice as our favorite? Their whole range of syrups, juices, and more is through their online shop. For those of you endowed with fruit trees, know that your bounty can be turned to juice at their juice press from the end of August.



We finished with a quick peek at the nature reserve next door. In the summer, it's very quiet, but come October, the skies fill with storks.


Kleines Haus, Nauener Straße 58, Linum (map)
Linumer Landhof, Nauener Straße 50, Linum
Storchenschmiede Linum, Nauener Str 54, Linum

Scenes from Little Wood





You know my love of vacant lots, and my curiosity about what comes to fill them. When Contemporary Food Lab sent out invitations to the opening of Little Wood, I had to go.

Continue reading "Scenes from Little Wood" »

Late summer foraging/Three spots in the sun



Berlin has left the season of cherries. Overhead, along shady avenues and in playgrounds, berries and stone fruits ripen. As we walked to Krumme Lanke with a picnic basket in hand, S plundered the front gardens of the silent Bruno Taut row houses.



We were on our way to look at some cupboards at Stacey's studio in Lichtenberg. On a summer Saturday, Kaskelstraße was quiet. The park beside Nöldnerplatz was shaded with common ash trees. A red-haired woman pumped the fountain until water spilled down the stones into the sand. Overhead there were apples; a row of blackberry bushes hugged the edge of the playground.



 On summer mornings and evenings, Volkspark Wilmersdorf is alive with rabbits, munching cloer in trios. In the afternoons, the park beside the Goldenem Hirsh plays host to a half-dozen picnics. Walking home afterwards, the residential streets are heavy with fruit.

Krumme Lanke, Berlin-Zehlendorf (map) The lake can be unbearably rowdy at the weekends, whereas one almost always finds a quiet space of shore mid-week.

Hauffstraße playground, Hauffstr. 21, Berlin-Lichtenberg (map) From May to September, the Lichtenberg cafe Je länger, Je lieber opens a small outpost at the playground selling coffee and ice cream. 

Rudolph Wilde Park, Berlin-Schöneberg (map) Children love watching the U4 trains whisk in and out of Rathaus Schöneberg stop, arguably the prettiest station in the city.

Pink Three Ways




Roses; Kolor; sunset-tinged windowsill and blocks. The nights are drawing in, the chestnuts on the ground are still green but fat now.

Kolor, Kopenhagener Straße 64, Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg (map). Perfectly edited design shop and studio. Oh, for those May green shelves!

A picnic on the Spree



Once again, we headed down to the water.

Have you got a favorite spot for picnic provisions? Our baskets were filled with buttery biscuits from the new Albrecht's on Sophienstraße, with Grüner Veltliner and Morbier from the charming Jens Garlipp on Große Hamburger Straße, with figs and rolls from the supermarket.

By nightfall, all we could see of the pleasure boats were their lights reflected in the river.


Albrecht's, Sophienstraße 5, Berlin-Mitte (map) Pocket-sized pâtisserie with perfect tartes and tortes.
Garlipp Weinhandlung, Große Hamburger Straße 1, Berlin-Mitte (map) Unpretentious and competent wine shop with a small selection of cheese and antipasti.

Let's store up this summer


Let's store up this summer against all the other summers that are gray and drizzly, damp and dispiriting. I don't go out much these days. Even on the kitchen sofa, silhouetted against the balcony curtains, though, there's the light of these endless evenings. It seems to grow more lovely as dusk draws in.