Brunch O’Clock

What’s the time Mr Wolf?

Recently we have been taking part in a very “Berlin” thing: Brunch! It seems all the cool young people and also families will pop out on a Sunday morning to a restaurant and indulge themselves on a buffet of delicious food.

We normally have Sunday morning breakfast eggs at our house with all the delicious trimmings of German bread and toppings. Occasionally we will go all out and have an English breakfast. However, we have recently discovered how lovely it is to have brunch out and today I’m going to tell you where our favourite place is.

Hoppegarten is in Steglitz, in the south-west of Berlin. A friend told us about it and we eagerly went along to try. I think the main reason was hearing about the 7-page menu for breakfast. Yes, that’s right: SEVEN pages. It’s difficult to decide what to get. Whether you want something sweet, savoury, meaty, healthy… they have absolutely everything. I go for the sweet breakfast and Jason goes for the Steglitz breakfast – named after the local area. It’s overflowing with meat and you even get a pancake on the side.

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The place is very welcoming, the staff actually polite and the food is amazing. We saw a man order a pork shoulder and OMG it’s the biggest slab of meat I have ever seen, so I’m sure we will be going there for something other than brunch one day too, but for now, go try it for yourselves :) You will probably find us in there…

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Friday Links

Tell me when will you be mine…

A friend sent me this and I have to say it made me giggle. Read about the 15 different flavours of kitkat in Japan – I think I’ve had most of them and the Matcha (Green Tea) is by far the best. Wasabi is also a winner…

I’m not sure I ever want to connect to a public wifi connection ever again after reading this article.

Haha – being handsome seems to help if you want to be a politician with lots of Twitter followers.

Ealing is where I grew up – who knew it was actually the centre for the rock universe?! Amazing!!

This annoyed me so much – how does Japan get away with this still?

Berlin’s underground map all made up with bars!

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The Festival of Lights

This little light of mine…

So we went on the last day of the Festival of Lights (Sunday), which is why I didn’t write this post up earlier. Basically, you missed it already, so here are the highlights kind of thing…

They lit up famous buildings all over Berlin for a couple of weeks and we went to have a little look too. My favourite was the Brandenburger Tor, on which they beamed a 10 minute show of fun things. There was a colourful gate, a whole “making of” – when they showed how each stone was set to make the gate, an “I LOVE BERLIN” gate and even a gate bursting with fireworks. The last photo shows the Potdamer Platz area all lit up too. Next year we shall do it on bicycles, because there was a train strike and town was busy, so we only did a few of the sights this time. We will give you more notice for the next show I promise :)

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The unexpected cheesecake…

It’s been a while…

We haven’t updated you with our latest cheesecake findings in Berlin for some time – and this will change right now ;)

We have often popped into Engels for brunch or a quick beer and a catch up with local friends, but this is the first time we tried their cake. It wasn’t the most perfect of experiences. Two German ladies cut in the queue in front of us. It annoyed me no end, but there is only a tiny window of opportunity in which you can reprimand them and we didn’t jump at it. So they ordered before us.

I had decided to get the cheesecake with a layer of something red on the top. I’m guessing a berry jelly layer of some kind. It looked amazing. There was three-quarters of it left, so I wasn’t worried about it running out. Then the pushing-in ladies had their turn. Four of the slices of my cake were cut and placed into a bag as a take away. I was a little worried, but there were still two big slices left. Surely they didn’t want those? Well, you guessed it, they then ordered the last two slices for themselves to sit and eat them in the restaurant. I was fuming. In my rage, I didn’t want them to have my cake and eat it as well, so instead, I chose the next best thing to revenge: a different cheesecake. And I have to say, it was absolutely heavenly. Much better than the other one could have been. Karma strikes again – my cake was vastly superior – in a completely different class to the plain one they stole from me!

Just look at it:

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Literally, can you see the tastiness? It was so thick but light at the same time. The blueberries were tangy enough to make my face scrunch up together, but the shavings of white chocolate blended so well with the creamy middle and hard biscuit bottom that this place has gone right up in my cheesecake list. It’s not quite Barcumis, but it is a very close second.

And just because I can, here is that photo once more:photo 1 (1)

Cafe Engels: Herrfurthstraße 21, 12049 Berlin

 

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Going to the doctor in Germany

Doctor Doctor I feel like a pair of curtains…
Well pull yourself together then!

Following on from yesterday’s post all about my constant allergies and getting ill all the time, I thought it might be interesting for me to tell you all about my experiences of going to the doctors here in Germany.

It’s hard for me to compare the experience with England, as I have never visited my GP (doctor) in London for a cold before. I had the pleasure once in Japan and once was enough (I will save that story for another time). Up until now my jobs have always involved sitting down. So even when I’m not feeling up to it, I shoved myself into the packed tube and sat at my desk feeling sorry for myself, but not really struggling too much. However, working at UNIQLO it’s impossible if you feel really rough. All day you have to run around and standing for more than eight hours is painful. Add to that the constant questions from customers and rushing around the shop-floor and it’s a recipe for disaster.

So, the first time I felt absolutely horrendous I needed a doctor. In Germany, you legally have to sign up for health insurance when you arrive and plan on getting a job. It’s expensive. I am with TK and I pay 300 euros a month. YUP – it’s a lot of money. So when I felt like death, I thought it was time to get something from all the money I pay out to the TK and see what the service is like. One word: Amazing! It’s different to the UK, in that you don’t have an assigned General Practitioner who you go to for problems. You can choose any doctor in the country. You can put your postcode into a website and it comes up with local doctors and their specialities. You can also refine your search to find doctors who speak English etc if required. Many places come with reviews by patients and I basically just picked the place closest to home that was open. Interestingly, they are scattered all over the place. There must be about 10 different practices within a 500 meter radius of our place. They are often just inside huge houses that have been converted into flats – so three rooms will be for the doctor or dentist and then the rest of the flats will be occupied by residents.

I have to admit, the main reason I went to the doctor was to get a sick note. I have never needed one before, as I just plodded along to work and hoped no one would talk to me. But that’s not possible at UNIQLO, so I needed to get that sheet of paper and quickly. It took less than twenty minutes from walking into the door to leaving. I read online that when you walk into a doctor’s waiting room, it is custom to greet the other people waiting in the room with you. A quick “Guten Morgen” will suffice. Very different from back in London, where you would pick the chair furthest away from anyone sick and avert your eyes.

The lady who saw me was very pleasant and interestingly asked me to speak at a 90 degree angle away from her, so my germs wouldn’t be directed at her when I spoke. Then she told me she doesn’t believe in medicines and gave me a load of herbs. I even got some blood taken. It was quick and painless and after a five minute chat, I was done. I took my three tiny herb tablets and she sent me on my way with my sick note in my hand. Let’s just say the herbs didn’t do much and I was ill for many more days.

Then a few weeks ago I got double illness added to crazy allergies and was totally wiped out. I picked a doctor even closer to home, after trying and failing to find a doctor in the area who was open on a Saturday or Sunday. This lady got straight down to business. I had to remove my top and she prodded and poked and listened to my lungs and in the end I received 5 different drugs all relating to allergies. I don’t even know if she knew I was sick. Haha. Anyway, I got my sick note and a whole load of medicine that is still sitting in the cupboard unopened, but the best thing was that she has recommended an allergy doctor to me and I shall be going next week to find out hopefully what I’m allergic to. Quite exciting times over here… ;)

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