♥ Berlin

Why brünch and what is it about Berlin Breakfast?

I have been asked a few times now how I came about launching brünch and why Berlin breakfast? What is Berlin breakfast? 

Well,…since I can remember I have been passionate about food and in particular breakfast. I grew up in a culture where we celebrate sourdough, rye breads and Brötchen and where breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. Breakfast in Berlin is kind of a big deal considering our vibrant nightlife culture, which makes us very hungry in the morning ;p I remember that every weekend we would have a long lazy breakfast at home or out in Berlin’s thriving cafe scene. What is in London the pub, is in Berlin the cafe – one after the other offering breakfasts, cakes, great coffee and the daily newspaper. We like to take it easy in the mornings. Forget the coffee to go – it’s sitting down with friends who bring more friends and easing into the day.

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Bergmannstrasse in Kreuzberg – around the corner from where I grew up

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Bergmannstrasse – Kreuzberg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting together with friends and meeting new people is one of those little things in life that make me very happy. Food brings people together. 

in 2009 I moved to London. Full English breakfast, Eggs Benedict and Beans on Toast were on the menu. At that stage, Avocado on Toast has not quite made it onto London’s brunch menus yet and brunch in general was not very popular at the time. I struggled to find what I was after. I missed my Brötchen filled with as much cheese, ham, egg and garnish as I wanted. I am sorry, you might think well why did she come in the first place. Well,…I was in love and I looked for a new adventure. I am still on an adventure and London keeps on surprising me – I am fascinated by this city’s architecture, energy, music scene, arts, choice of things to do, ethnic diversity and eclectic mix of trendy hipsters meet the super rich and everything in between. I am happy here but I am a Berliner at heart and always will be.

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In the meantime, I went to Australia which sparked my passion for brunch even more. And I returned determined to start my own brunch cafe in London. I thought about the menu, the style, the design, staff, everything. It was so clear in my head I just had to bring it onto paper. And so I did. 

My passion for food grew and my ideas evolved to the point where I had to change course, leave my corporate job and do what I really wanted to do. A new chapter of my life has begun. But before I am ready to commit to permanent premises, I want to test my ideas, I want to play around with my concept and have some fun with it. 
Having spoken with some German friends we agreed, that there are hardly any German breakfast places in London. And given that I knew inside out what it takes to make a proper Berlin Breaky, I amended my brunch idea for my pop ups and I launched brünch in February – a roaming brunch pop up concept, which brings a little bit of Berlin to London. 
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I want to bring people together to ‘break bread’ and share an experience. 

brünch brings the best of Berlin brunch to London’s quirkiest venues, which I hand pick carefully.  I am taking a lot of inspiration from my memories of Berlin when I was still living there. I remember Berlin as a city that has this amazing ability to create something out of very little. We are probably the inefficient bubble of Germany, with little money and rough around the edges but we have a heart of Gold. We are very honest and proud of what we have. I remember how much personality and character my old home city has, full of history and stories. 

With brünch I want to capture some of that Berlin mentality and vibe and combine it with what is precious to me – a full Berlin breaky spread with hard-to-come-by Berlin drinks, mellow tunes, German breads and great company – ‘Ick bin ein Berliner’ 

In order to understand what Berlin Brunch means, come and join me for brünch. Check out my website when the next event is on. Would be great to see you.

I am currently working on some new ideas which I will tell you all about in due course. I can tell so much, it involves food and it going back down memory lane. Follow brünch on Twitter or Facebook to stay up to date 🙂
xx
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Roamers – Brunching in Berlin Neukölln

First day back in Berlin and I started my exploration tour around the city with a good brunch. I had been given a few recommendations so I ventured into Neukölln, a borough characterised by having one of the highest percentage of immigrants in Berlin. But the area has changed since I was here last. I notice new little cafes and restaurants have popped up everywhere and the area is gentrifying.

I came across a number of really cool small cafes and coffee shops with English menus and English-speaking staff. Berlin is ‘internationalising’! Compared to a few years back when it was hard to go by without speaking any German, it is getting difficult now to go by without speaking any English.

It feels strange at first but I also know from living in London how much this enriches the area with new ideas, flavours, concepts and entrepreneurship. A few years back, Kreuzberg (another Berlin borough) launched an anti-tourist campaign. It was borderline funny considering it went completely pear shaped. Berliners were unhappy about the influx of ‘Easyjet’ visitors that take the mickey when coming to the city to party (some, not all!). So the Kreuzbergers came up with the ‘Berlin doesn’t love you’ stickers plastering traffic lights, lamp posts, bike racks, etc in the neighbourhood. Some bars also put up signs like ‘Sorry, no entry for hipsters from the U.S’!

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But this did not quite work out as intended..tourists actually hunted those stickers down to take pictures and tourism continued to increase.

Anyway, so I find myself in Roamers ! A very cute cafe, which opened in January 2014. The menu is exclusively in English and also the waitress is looking at me with big eyes when I ask for her recommendation in German. The owner of this lovely cafe is Flore. Flore loved food & cooking and always wanted to open her own cafe, until she passed these vacant premises one day. The next day she quit her full-time job and went for it! Does this sound familiar to you? 🙂

The space is very small and filled with up cycled furniture and plants. I really really like it! Top to bottom windows allow for a lot of natural day light to enter the cafe. The menu does not have the typical ‘Berliner’ breakfast but offers a variety of delicious sourdough sandwiches such as with marinated goats cheese with fresh figs, hazelnuts and thyme. I can also choose between home-made granola and very simple scrambled eggs with different toppings. Of course avocado on sourdough, which seems to be a must-have nowadays, is not missing either.

I decide for the scrambled eggs as they ran out of figs… I look over to my neighbour’s plates (as I do) and they definitely went for the better option. That is what a call a double-decker sandwich! Wow

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Double-Decker Sandwich with Goats Cheese, home-made Hummus and sun dried Tomatoes

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My scrambled Eggs with Feta and Cherry Tomatoes

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Sourdough Bread with Goats Cheese, Hazelnuts and Thyme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The atmosphere is very relaxed, some came with laptops, some hipsters catching up over a coffee and a few people who had to leave again as there was no more space. The interior is inspired by Flore’s travels to the U.S. If she had not said that, I would just claim it to be a very cute, rustic and naturally designed cafe, with bags of personality and charm. It definitely gives me a lot of inspiration for my Brunch concept in London!  🙂

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I can only recommend you to check it out when you are in Berlin but do not expect the ‘typical’ Berliner breakfast. But expect a lot of other delicious things! Just Enjoy! x

Berlin Intro

As you know I was born and raised in Berlin and left my beloved home city at 18 to discover the world! I must admit, I have lost touch with this city! Every time I come for a visit, things have changed, some for the better some for the worse. I feel like a tourist in my own city which makes me sad a bit but at the same time it is exciting to re-discover it all over again.

Berlin has become extremely popular worldwide for its creative scene and cultural offer and the hype is growing. A creative and cool Berlin has started to evolve in the 90s with experimental arts and techno music. Gentrification is taking place now transforming some areas of Berlin in proper hipster paradises.

Klaus Wowereit, governing Mayor of Berlin (2001 until 2014) aka ‘Wowi’ helped to make Berlin what it is now! Two catchphrases are cited over and over again when it comes to ‘Wowi’s’ and his legacy. The first was ‘I am gay and that is just fine’, which helped mainstream acceptance of homosexuality in Germany greatly – the gay capital Berlin was born.   The second one was Berlin – ‘Poor but Sexy’. This one captured Berlin’s way of life: attractive but not pretentious, young and creative but penniless for the time being. The other day I heard someone say ‘ Berlin isn’t, Berlin wants to be’. Who knows what Berlin wants to be but I am very curious to see what happens next in this beautiful city, which I called once home.

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I am sad to say I missed a lot of what has been going on in this city. But in all these years away from home (it’s been 10 years now!!), I never felt home sick. I always enjoyed coming back for a visit and I know for sure that I will return back home one day, when the time is right!

Until then I am going full steam ahead with my food projects in London. I have come to Berlin this time, not only to see my family and friends but also to discover Berlin’s Brunch and pop up scene, which will heavily influence my all-day Brunch concept with Berlin Twist.

 

 

See for yourself what I have discovered!

x

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