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.
I set off to Berlin's Moabit area with Coffee Boy and Rebecca from The Field Office. It was a glorious day so we took our bikes and headed through what we'd imagined would be an industrial wasteland but which actually turned out to be a surprisingly attractive neighbourhood. I've just bought a new camera so we stopped to take a few pics on the way. As soon as we arrived at the studio it was clear that we'd made absolutely the right decision in coming. The garden was truly lovely: dappled sunlight and lush grass and foliage all surrounding a brick workshop where the artist creates his metal pieces.
We first checked out the performance area but as we were a bit early we thought we'd make the most of a free table we'd spotted and grab a drink and some cake. My hopes weren't amazingly high but yet again the German knack for having quality food in the most unlikely of places took me by surprise. There were at least five cakes to choose from including a chocolate torte, and a cheesecake but I found myself drawn to a rather lovely looking peach cake, with a cup of fresh mint tea to wash it down. Coffee Boy went for the strawberry cake and, naturlich, a milky coffee.
Well, what a treat everything turned out to be. My cake had fairly dense sponge on the bottom with a thick topping of sweet vanilla cream filled with chunks of fresh peach and topped with crushed nuts. My tea was strong and refreshing and CB reported that his coffee was top notch. Obviously I had a little sample of his cake for research purposes and can report that it was bursting with a proper fresh-strawberry taste and was nearly as delicious as mine, but not quite. Yet again I win the cake-choosing contest (that I haven't actually told CB about).
Once the performance started CB went over to check it out whilst Rebecca and I guarded our table and continued to chat and enjoy the laid-back vibe of the place.We were a little perplexed by the shouting we could hear coming from the performance area until CB enlightened us. The performance was not flamenco music as I'd thought, but an actor declaiming a poem with sometime accompaniment by flamenco guitar. It sounded interesting but not quite what I was expecting so we decided to forego the crush around the little stage and have a beer instead.
What a gorgeous afternoon it was. We managed to stay at our table under the floating parasol for some hours and then pootled back to Prenzlauer Berg for more drinks and dim sum. Just pretty much a perfect Sunday. And I'm reminded yet again why I love this place so much. The fact that you can buy really good cake almost anywhere makes it just that little bit more special.