Art: from fine art to street art in Berlin (Part 2/2)

I feel that the best way to get to grips with an unknown city is to walk as much as possible. It’s also a chance to practice mindful walking, just taking in your surroundings and going at a slower pace.  So, today, I put on my comfy trainers and pounded the streets in the hope of seeing some of the amazing street art that Berlin is known for. This is what I found: 

And this one is just because it made me think of my puppy! 


Art: from fine art to street art in Berlin (Part 1/2)

Today, was my art day in Berlin. I’d put the whole day aside to explore the galleries, and to keep my eyes peeled for super samples of graffiti as I pounded the streets. 

My favourite art gallery was the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, which was once an old train station. The architecture is simply stunning. I sort of want to live here, just look at all that grey and white, the concrete, the beams, the high ceiling…

These were my favourite pieces at the gallery: 

Anselm Kiefer (above)

Andy Warhol (above)

and this installation by Joseph Beuys (above). 

Such a treat to visit! There’s also a gorgeous restaurant next door: 

Eat and Drink: Vino and Basilico, Berlin Mitte 

It’s half term, so it’s time for an adventure! The puppy is with Granny, so L and I are headed off to Berlin, a city that neither of us has visited before. 

First stop, using Google to find the best places to eat. So lucky that we stumbled across this fantastic Italian, Vino & Basilico. 

We were fortunate to meet the owner, who looked after us himself for the evening. The menu is small and very select. Everything we tasted was delightful! 

Had a delicious pecorino flan, which has inspired me to have a go at making my own when I get home. 

This may not look particularly appetising, but it was heavenly plates of scollop risotto and salmon gnudi (like giant gnocchi). We’ve got a few more days, so we may go back…

Eat and Drink: Niche, Angel

It’s not often I can go out for a burger without having to ask for it to be served “naked”. However, this weekend, I was introduced to Niche, a restaurant in Angel that caters for coeliacs. Hooray!!! 

Not only that, but I got to have a gluten-free beer and a starter of cheesy doughnuts. The latter, served with a tasty pepper relish, were like little balls of cheese heaven…

The menu, below, was simple, but who doesn’t like a good burger‽ 

The service wasn’t great, but the decor was tasteful and the atmosphere was cosy. Would I go back again? If I was local, yes. If I had to travel, probably not. It’s a good restaurant to know about if you have coeliac friends and relatives in town. 

Spa Visit: K West Hotel, Shepherd’s Bush 

My friend’s lovely husband treated us both to a spa day, here, to give her a relaxing treat before her due date next month. How sweet‽ 

We had an hour in the spa, indulging in the large jacuzzi pool and sauna (not suitable for pregnant ladies though), then we each had lovely massages. They use Aromathery Associates products here, which I adore. 

Not the most amazing spa ever, but pretty good for a pit stop in west London and I certainly felt relaxed after my massage! 

Eat and Drink: The Petersham Hotel, Richmond 

I celebrated my birthday with my family this week at a beautiful hotel in Richmond, The Petersham

This was the stunning view from our table, overlooking the meadows and the river. Thank goodness for the picturesque view, as the small children running up and down and shouting for an hour, at the next table, were a real challenge to our notion of a fancy afternoon tea. 

The champagne was lovely and the food, particularly the scones, was yummy! It was a real shame that the restaurant ran out of tea strainers (bizarre!), so we had to share and mix up all our different teas, but we made do! 

One week on and I’m still waiting for a reply to my feedback to the hotel. Would I recommend it? For the beautiful view, yes. For the service and overall experience, probably not. 

Visit: Hotel du Vin, Brighton

Half term holidays offer teachers a little bit of headspace and time to rest. My partner and I, along with our puppy, visited another Hotel du Vin for our half term break. This one was in Brighton, as we wanted a taste of the sea air and rambles on the beach. 

The hotel was fab. My favourite part of our suite was the double bath situation with sea views – seriously, how amazing?! The Ren products lent themselves to relaxing evenings in the tub. 

We treated ourselves to the package that included breakfast and my favourite was definitely the eggs royale. There was a whole host of heathy choices to choose from. 

One of the great things about this hotel is that they welcome small dogs, so we were able to bring Hector with us! As you can see, he made himself at home on our bed and ignored the dog bed that the hotel kindly laid out for him! He also enjoyed snoozing on the armchair and watching TV. It made all the difference to our stay knowing that he could come on holiday with us.