No, that’s not what I thought when temperatures dropped from 25 degrees Celsius on Thursday to 13 degrees Celsius on Saturday. I didn’t feel like looking for my stockings yet and I actually liked not having to think about jackets and umbrellas. But hey: I live in Berlin and even though there’s quite a lot of consensus about the summers being awesome, every season means new opportunities. Let’s be positive and think about all the good things that are waiting for us now!
Eating Real Food (Cheesecake!)
Loyal readers of this blog already know that I’ve been having a little love affair with (New York) cheesecake ever since I moved to Berlin – and I’m not the only one. Cafés and bakeries are constantly competing to bake the best one in Berlin and the cheesecake lovers are benefiting whilst the creamy, crunchy goodness is exploding in their mouths. During summer, I tried to hold back a little – because cheesecake doesn’t look too good in a bikini.
Now that my beach body is hibernating however, my hunt for the best cheesecake in town is at the top of my list again. For now number 1 is still A.Horn (crunchy base, creamy filling and a layer of handmade berry jam on top), very closely followed by Five Elephant (even crunchier base, great creamy filling, but I’m missing some sourness). A little research tells me that I should definitely try Princess Cheesecake – they somehow seem to have specialized – and Katie’s Blue Cat this fall. Let the games begin!
The best cheesecake in Berlin (so far): A.Horn. Image courtesy of Daphne Damiaans.
- Café A. Horn: Carl-Herz-Ufer 9, Kreuzberg
- Five Elephant: Reichenberger Straße 101, Kreuzberg
- Princess Cheesecake: Tucholskystraße 37, Mitte
- Katie’s Blue Cat: Friedelstraße 31, Neukölln
Being Outside and Loving the Colours
Going to the supermarket was quite a challenge last autumn. Red leaves, yellow leaves, orange leaves – I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the trees and collecting fallen leaves. Seriously, it became annoying and I had no idea what to do with all those huge leaves in my house. However, there’s no denying that Berlin looks stunning in the fall. Every street becomes a little autumn painting and with the sun using its last energy to light it all up, there’s no better moment to take a long walk than now – also because of all the above mentioned cheesecake.
If you want to keep it close to ‘home’, you can just go to a nearby park. Walk up the hill in Volkspark Friedrichshain for an instant fall feeling, for example. If I feel like putting a little more effort into my walk, I go the Landwehrkanal in Kreuzberg. The buildings along this canal are among the most beautiful in Berlin and on top of that it’s a great location for autumn colours and people watching – and Five Elephant, Katie’s Blue Cat and Kaffee A.Horn (actually directly on the canal) are just a few steps away. Still looking for more nature? Take the train north, east, south or west and before you know it, the city couldn’t be further away. There are great walks in the Grunewald (south-west of Berlin) and near the many lakes around Erkner (south-east of Berlin).
The buildings along the Landwehrkanal are even more beautiful at this time of year. Image courtesy of Daphne Damiaans.
Volkspark Friedrichshain turning yellow. Image courtesy of Daphne Damiaans.
- Volkspark Friedrichshain: U5 Strausberger Platz, walk 5-10 minutes north.
- Landwehrkanal: U1 Prinzenstraße, then walk about 3 minutes south.
- Grunewald: Visit Berlin – has a lovely walk in this area.
- Erkner: Erkner: RE1 and S3 Erkner, then walk eastwards.
Getting Comfy at the Movies
Now this is something I haven’t been doing nearly enough in Berlin. There are so many beautiful movie theatres in the city – and this autumn I’m planning on finally visiting some more of them. I won’t just walk into any theatre and buy tickets for the next movie, however. In case you weren’t aware yet: if you want to see the original version of movies in Germany, rather than a dubbed version, you have to proceed with caution. Always look for the sign ‘OV’ (original version) or OMU (original with subtitles), otherwise you might be facing a very, very long night at the movies listening to your favourite Hollywood actors in German.
But even within a small radius from my house, there are plenty of options. My personal favourite is of course Kino International at Karl-Marx-Allee, just a few minutes’ walk from where I live. It opened two years after the Wall was built and still has a very elegant 1960’s interior. If you’re looking for something more intimate, you can head deeper into Friedrichshain for B-ware! Ladenkino. A cinema couldn’t be more Berlin than this: it’s a bar, café, movie store and movie theatre in one – and the right place to watch truly unique art-house films. In Prenzlauer Berg, there’s Filmtheater am Friedrichshain, opened in 1925 and already worth a visit just because of the amazing building.
- Kino International: Karl-Marx-Allee 33, Mitte
- B-ware! Ladenkino: Gärtnerstraße 19, Friedrichshain
- Filmtheater am Friedrichshain: Bötzowstraße 1-5, Prenzlauer Berg
Warming up by the Fireplace
Yes, having a beer or glass of white wine in the sun whilst watching the people of Berlin pass by is amazing. And with a little luck you might still be able to do so in October or November, possibly covering your legs with a rug. But what I might love even more is finding a snuggly (German: ‘kuschelig’) corner of a bar, ordering a craft beer or a glass or red wine and warming up as the rain and wind are doing their thing outside.
It gets even better when there’s a fireplace, something I can only dream of once having in my own home. For now I’ll find real warmth in Café am Neuen See, surrounded by the greenery of the huge Tiergarten park. Cheese fondue and an open fire are on the menu in Linda Carell, combined with Dutch (Go Holland!) and Belgian speciality beers. In the mood for more French? One of last winter’s best discoveries was Crêplala, a crêperie settled in the cutest little building and, of course, with fireplace.
- Café am Neuen See: Lichtensteinallee 2, Tiergarten
- Linda Carell: Rhinower Straße 3, Prenzlauer Berg
- Crêplala: Kantstraße 85A, Charlottenburg