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.


Honey Honey (& More Sky & Art School Open Days)


Oh, but the sun is shining, the bees buzzing. Not one, but two events on this weekend for amateur apiarists and those who just love honey. Do bees drink only nectar, or water too? Do bumblebees make honey? Oh yes, my daughter will be in tow.

On Saturday, Slow Food Berlin, Prinzessinnengarten, Mellifera and Berlin's beekeepers' associations join forces to stage the fourth annual Stadthonig-Fest (or Urban Honey Festival). More than 30 city beekeepers will be on hand to speak about their work and sell jars of fresh spring honey, and there will be a children's program. Prinzessinnengarten's lovely garden cafe will serve up dishes featuring Berlin honey, culminating with a honey-themed dinner—think calzones with honey and regional goat's cheese—beginning at 6:30pm. Spaces are limited, so do email to check if there are still spots free.

Then on Sunday, the reconstructed 13th century village Museumsdorf Düppel in Zehlendorf will host Honigtag (Honey Day). On this day, children can help the beekeepers spin honey from the honeycomb. As always, one can also find live demonstrations of woodworking, weaving, iron working, and more.

Stadthonig-FestPrinzessinnengarten, Prinzenstr. 35-38, Berlin-Kreuzberg (map). Admission free.
Saturday, 19 July 2014, 11am–5pm, dinner 6:30pm

Honigtag, Museumsdorf Düppel, Clauertstraße 11, Berlin-Zehlendorf (map). Admission 5 EUR adults, 2.50 reductions. 
Sunday, 20 July 2014, 10am–5pm

PS: & also - Otto Piene's More Sky installation opened at the Neue Nationalgalerie on Tuesday. This Saturday's Sky Art Event celebrates the opening and marks the debut of the three star sculptures, including the Berlin Superstar. But the installation is worth visiting any evening from 10pm-3am with a picnic basket, a chilled bottle of Grüner Veltliner, and a few good friends. 

&& the always-inspiring open days at the Kunsthochschule Weißensee and the UDK are this weekend: go!