Friday 30 December 2011

Tea on the Go

For many of us, Christmas means a lot of time spent driving between relatives delivering Christmas cheer and indulging in one-too-many mince pies. One of the worst things about being on the road is drinking horrid machine coffee from a paper cup; I mean, I don't even consider drinking takeaway tea in those circumstances as, although I love a good cuppa, I'd rather avoid tea altogether than drink an underwhelming cup. I guess I'm just not one of those "can't live without tea types"; I find it relatively easy to give it a miss if there's only a disappointing bog-standard tea on offer.

Saturday 29 October 2011

Review: Napoljonska, Mitte

Napoljonska Berlin Mitte interior

Do you sometimes get stuck in a rut afternoon tea-wise? No? Well maybe it's just me. Really good tea and cake experiences are just not that thick on the ground, so when I have the chance to indulge I find it very difficult to pass up on one of my old favourites where I know I'm going to get exactly what I want. But sometimes you have to branch out and try something new.

Saturday 27 August 2011

Review: Jade Vital, Kreuzberg

Jade Vital Berlin Kreuzberg teestube

The promise of a nice cup of tea is enough to encourage me to do pretty much anything. So when a friend told me about a place near her Berlin flat that served up a massage accompanied by a cup of tea I was intrigued. I am not the world's greatest massage fan but the thought of being pummelled whilst trying to sip a scorching brew sounded exciting if not a little dangerous. I decided I'd give it a try.

Wednesday 13 July 2011

Review: Soho's Secret Tearoom

Soho's Secret Tearoom counter serving

Do you ever find yourself in that situation where you discover something and wonder how you hadn't known about it before? That's what happened to me a couple of weeks ago when my friend M had a stopover in town on her way from Tokyo to Düsseldorf. I was wracking my brains trying to think of somewhere to take her when I decided to do a bit of Googling for inspiration. Narrowing my parameters to Soho, Covent Garden and Piccadilly (nobody wants to spend a stopover trekking around town) I saw a couple of references to Soho's Secret Tea Room. At first I ignored them not realising this was the actual name of the place and then I did a little bit more digging. Here, apparently, was an old-fashioned tearoom in a hidden room above one of Soho's most traditional pubs. Why had I not heard of it before? How long had it been there? Was it any good?

Friday 3 June 2011

A Perfect Sunday

Anderl Kammermeier garden Berlin

There are few things I like better on a sunny day than poking around gardens that aren't usually open to the public: whether it's a workplace garden or an someone's own little oasis, I love seeing places that are usually reserved for private down-time. Actually I like nosing around pretty much anywhere but that's by the by. So I was pretty excited when I read about Anderl Kammermeier on one of the Berlin blogs I follow. He's an artist who opens the garden of his studio once a month in the summer. Not only does he welcome the public to peek into his private world, but he provides a space for a series of performances and a cafe in which to purchase cake. Clearly, I needed no more encouragement.

Friday 20 May 2011

Espresso Coffee Cupcakes

Espresso cupcake unwrapped

Do you ever get bored of chocolate? No, neither do I. When I'm in the mood for a spot of cupcake-making I generally find myself drawn to either a chocolate cupcake or chocolate buttercream. But last week I fancied something a bit different: I had a craving for coffee cake.

Thursday 21 April 2011

German History with Cake on the Side


Majakowski Gasthaus Pankow chocolate cake coffee

One of the things I love about Berlin is the little pockets of history that you can discover all over the city. The fact that you can cycle to them without battling aggressive drivers just makes it all the better. So the other day, as it was beautifully sunny, we decided to hop on our bikes and head up to Pankow. I had read in Slow Travel Berlin that a number of the dignitaries of the ruling party of the former East Germany had lived on one street in the suburb at Berlin's northern edge. Being suckers for old DDR stuff we headed up the, thankfully gentle, hill of Schönhauser Allee to check it out.

Sunday 10 April 2011

Review: Mariage Frères, Paris

Mariage Freres Marais Paris

A few weeks ago Coffee Boy and I popped to Paris on our way to Berlin. It sounds very extravagant but actually, because for once I was organised, the journey cost us less than our usual flights to Berlin (perhaps I could learn something from this...). It gave me the perfect excuse to visit Mariage Frères - the mother of all French Salons de Thé. Sixteen years ago we used to live in Paris but I had no more than a passing interest in tea in those days so I'd never even heard of Mariage Frères at that time, let alone visited.

Wednesday 16 March 2011

A Sad Time

Japanese garden kimono

I can hardly believe the events that are unfolding in Japan. It was this time last year that I was there on a holiday that turned into a tea odyssey. When I was there I remember reading that the notion that "the big one" would come one day was embedded deep in the Japanese psyche - it seems unbelievable that that day has actually come. There isn't much to say but I wanted to let my readers in Japan know that my thoughts are with them and that I hope things can return to some kind of normality for your wonderful country soon.

Wednesday 16 February 2011

Review Fraülein Dickes, Prenzlauer Berg

Frauelein Dickes interior chandelier counter

Last month while I was in Berlin I was browsing though my trusty Tip Speisekarte magazine looking for new cake places to try in Berlin. One that caught my eye was Fraülein Dickes as it was not far away up in Prenzlauer Berg; but for some reason there were no details other than the address. I mentally stored it away in my brain thinking I'd check it out next time I was up that way. And then, in one of those weird coincidences, a new blog reader (and fellow blogger), Schlactplatte, happened to mention it was her favourite place for cake. That was it, I didn't need any more encouragement. A short U-Bahn journey later (no cycling thanks to the snow and ice, grrrr) and I was there.

Sunday 16 January 2011

The Ultimate Green Tea

Postcard Teas Laoshan green tea Japanese cup

Whist having a Twitter chat with blogging chum Caroline, No recently (gosh aren't we modern and multimedia) I realised it has been quite some time since I wrote a purely tea-based post. I have to admit it, delicious cakes can sometime overshadow the humble cuppa in my posts, but never in reality: cake is massively diminished without a great cup of tea to go with it.

Monday 3 January 2011

Review: Elbspeciher, Prenzlauer Berg

Elbspeicher Prenzlauer Berg Berlin exterior

Realising it's been quite a while since my last post (sorry about that, work & Christmas rather got in the way...) I was determined to try somewhere new for afternoon tea when I met up with Rebecca from The Field Office yesterday. Struggling to find anywhere to fit the bill that was actually open I was ready to give up until I remembered hearing about Elbspeicher. Being a predominantly coffee place it wasn't exactly what I was looking for but I decided to give it a go.