Berlin is a city that is constantly changing. From the squat bars that I so loved in the early nineties to the coffee bars of today, it's the kind of place where you can never be sure that that little restaurant/bar/café that you loved visiting on your last trip is still going to be there on your next. Although that can be sad it's also what makes the city vibrant and exciting.
Anyhoo, so Princess Cheesecake: we decided to go. Situated just off art-filled August Straße we checked out a few galleries on our way - just to make it seem like we had other interests than cake - and when we arrived picked a spot by the window. It's a fairly small place with only about five tables inside and a few more out on the pavement. Everything is painted the most beautiful shade of grey (my favourite) and the place is very much just-so. Not your typical Berlin hang-out at all. The counter is one long vitrine full of the most delicious looking cakes - and not just cheesecakes but everything from fruit baiser to chocolate gateaux. CB decided to try Zupfkuchen - a heady mixture of cheesecake and chocolate cake - and I had the most amazing salted caramel tart. My goodness it was gorgeous. In fact it was so good I completely forgot to take any pictures on that visit. I was so busy enjoying the cake I totally forgot I had a blog about afternoon tea at all.
So, there was nothing for it but a return visit. This time CB had a rhubarb baiser (a fruit tart with a light meringue topping) and I tried a pear and chocolate mousse cake. Wow, all four cakes we tried over our two visits were delicious. The fact that they're all hand made from natural ingredients without colours and preservatives just makes them all the better. Added to this direct-trade coffee and a truly fantastic selection of teas from Hamburg-based Samova and this place is definitely a winner.
I guess I should really learn from this experience and stop being so negative about places with English names. Certainly if Princess Cheesecake is anything to go by I really could be missing out. But I am still left wondering why places pick English names. Is it to appeal to tourists? I'd have thought most people who make the journey to Berlin want to experience something German. Is it to attract ex-pats? Surely there's not enough of them to sustain a business. Or is it just that people think that it sounds exotic, the way that places back home sometimes take a French or Italian name? (Hard to believe I know!) I'm not sure of the reason but after this experience I'm certainly going to do my best to put my prejudices aside. And if you share them I suggest you do the same. The cake here is just too good to be missed.