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.

Frauelein Dickes interior ceiling chandelier

Immediately I fell in love with the place. Tiny, with just three tables, the cafe has been beautifully decorated. From the old window frames hung on the wall to the broken chandelier, and from the beautiful original ceiling painting to the equally gorgeous vitrine of delicious-looking cakes. It has that lovely atmosphere of faded glamour that used to be so prevalent in Berlin but now, as the city becomes more like other European capitals, seems to be sadly in decline.

Frauelein Dickes Berlin Kusmi Tea

As if the wonderful surroundings weren't enough to make my heart sing they carry a selection of lovely Kusmi Tea. So, what to order...? Obviously Coffee Boy went for a latte ("really good") and a piece of baked cheesecake. I struggled over the tea selection for a while but ultimately went for a blend called Sweet Love which combines black China tea with liquorice root, guarana seeds, pink pepper and other spices. To be honest these kind of teas aren't usually my thing but I'd had a couple of milky drinks already that day and fancied something spicy and warming. And it certainly fitted the bill. It came in one of those stitched muslin bags and emitted a gorgeous aroma when dunked in my tall glass of boiling water. In fact I liked it enough to actually consider buying some on my upcoming trip to Paris.

Frauelein Dickes baked cheesecake latte

For my sweet treat I made the brave decision not to have the chocolate cake and instead opted for a pear and almond one (having been tempted by the words "fresh out of the oven"). Wow. It was truly delicious. Moist and fruity with a just-right almond crumb it was completely heavenly. CB's cheesecake was also really good but nothing was going to match mine.

Frauelein Dickes pear almond cake

What a discovery Fraeuline Dickes is. If you can get a seat (and that will be easier as the weather warms up as there are a few outdoor tables) it is totally worth a visit. It really is very nearly my ideal afternoon tea place. Just a couple of things hold it back in my opinion. Firstly there's no loo. This is pretty much a disaster for me. When I drink tea, I need to know I'm going to be able to relieve myself without having to walk for 10 minutes and then go and have another drink in another cafe just to use their facilities.

Frauelein Dickes interior Berlin

And finally, and this is especially an issue for Coffee Boy, please don't speak to us in English when we are coping perfectly well in German. The main woman who served us was friendly and stuck to German (in fact she spoke like a machine-gun) and we coped. But when it came time to get the bill another waitress arrived and decided to show us how brilliant her English was. The truth is we're not impressed. Pretty much everyone under 40 in Berlin speaks English and although you might be trying to help us it actually comes across as kind of rude. A bit like "your German is so rubbish I'm going to have to speak to you in your own language". I realise being offended by this might be a very English thing but it really does rankle.

Frauelein Dickes Berlin baked cheesecake

Anyway, I didn't mean to hijack my review of what is a really rather wonderful cafe with a rant about loos and language. Fraeulein Dickes is a gem of a place and the goods on offer are top quality. I guess my only hope for them is that they move to larger premises so that I can comfortably hang out there for hours (and have a loo to use). So thank you Schlactplatte, I await more recommendations with bated breath.


  1. Small but perfectly formed? Is that some kind of dirty joke?

  2. I can understand what you mean about the language thing. When on holiday in NYC we went to Chinatown. My husband, who is of Chinese origin was spoken to in Cantonese and the waitress keep speaking to him in Cantonese even though he kept replying in English and then, to top it off she presented us with our eating apparatus, my husband was given chopsticks whilst I was presented with my fork and spoon, even though I had not requested them and had to ask for chopsticks. It was a good thing that the food was out of this workd!

  3. Glad you liked it! It feels so cozy in the winter! I also recommend to look through their guest book (usually sits on the windowsill), which contains some pretty sketches!
    I know how you feel about the language, I have had the same experience in several other European countries. It can be annoying, but ususally it is just a way of people trying to make you feel comfortable.

  4. so glad I came across your blog... I love tea too, but never have enough time to just sit and enjoy it anymore!

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