Stylish cafés and hip restaurants have been all the rage in Berlin of late. We adore them, but sometimes we long for that old-world European coffeehouse atmosphere. So when I was invited to dinner at Einstein Unter den Linden recently, I was pleasantly surprised. Little did I know that the Grill Royal team, together with the former Michelin-starred head chef from Pauly Saal, took over the famous breakfast spot just over a year ago – overhauling the entire menu. Its interior decor, in keeping with the restaurant’s original classic feel that appeals to a wide range of guests, was updated with subtle opulence sans the typical stuffiness. Expect a solid and authentic Viennese high dining experience during lunch and evening hours, featuring carefully selected wines along with delicious homemade sweets. The satiating goulash, ox filet tartar or one of the seasonal specials will surely not disappoint. Casual yet classy: perhaps a new trend for grown-up hipsters. (Text: Rei Matsuoka / Photos: Robert Rieger)
Sleek curves, sharp floral elements, gold-plated brass, and sterling silver come together in the jewelry of Berlin and Northern Italy-based Anne Manns. A fashion designer by trade, Manns launched her first jewelry collection in 2016, focusing in on clearly defined modern shapes and simplicity. Her love of sculptural details combined with the knowledgeable craftsmanship of Berlin goldsmiths results in jewelry that is almost too fine to wear — emphasis on the almost. The pieces are stunning works of art that effortlessly elevate even the simplest outfit of a t-shirt and jeans, adding a contemporary shine that draws eyes from across the room. We’re lying in wait for more from this emerging jewelry designer, and can only hope that her next collection is right around the corner. (Text: Devan Grimsrud / Photos: Paul Aidan Perry c/o Anne Manns)
Rising like an extraterrestrial sphere from the usual gridline construction of a university campus, the Philological Library of the Free University of Berlin is an entity of welcomed visual deviance. Completed in 2005 by Foster + Partners (an architecture firm founded by Lord Norman Foster) the library is another addition to a portfolio known for its proclivity for the high tech (they are also the firm behind the otherworldly Reichstag dome). Open to the public, the only thing mandatory is the placement of all possessions in one of the lockers locked, befittingly, electronically. From the top floor of the core structure, the bright yellow entrance and the undulating curve of each floor below is an astounding sight for a building that houses books about the, mesmerizing in its own right, history of language. Said to be one of the firm’s most ecologically advanced projects, decades of research and experimentation were conducted to maximize energy efficiency while equally minimizing the environmental impact. Endearingly referred to as the “Berlin Brain” due to its form being reminiscent of a cranium, the library is awash in natural light and the unmistakable silence of students in a daze of academic concentration. (Text: Feride Yalav-Heckeroth / Photos: Bernd Wannenmacher, David Ausserhofer, Reinhard Gorner)
Mon-Fri 9-22, Sat-Sun 10-20h
Feride Yalav-Heckeroth is a freelance writer who has written for Brownbook, The Carton, and The Guide Istanbul. She’s been living in Kreuzberg for six months and is working as a freelance writer for Gestalten.
Did you know that you can familiarize yourself with Japanese tea and tea culture without stepping foot outside of Berlin? Meet Macha-Macha, a café and shop for all things Japanese tea that has been occupying a small, pleasant space across from Volkspark Hasenheide since 2014. Inside, you’ll be met with over 25 exquisite teas and a fantastic house-made matcha cheesecake that tops our list as the best in Berlin. Owner Erik and Japanese tea instructor Yumi work directly with tea farms in Japan to ensure the products they buy and serve are of the utmost quality, plus they often host tea tastings, ceremonies (experience a Samurai Style Tea Ceremony this Sunday, 24.9.17), and other events to introduce Japanese tea culture to curious minds. Sit in the front room and watch the tea making process or request a seat in the back where one shoeless step across the threshold will transport you to a Japanese chashitsu (tea ceremony room) where you can relax in the zen atmosphere and enjoy your tea, and cake, in peace. (Text & Photos: Devan Grimsrud)
When you’re lying facedown on a bench in Mitte receiving a traditional Hawaiian massage from a Polish woman speaking to you in English – well, you just might start to question the word “authenticity” before realizing that this is just a part of living in a globalized world. But, all thoughts are quickly let go of at Lomi Lomi Nui, because it’s all about experience and relaxation here. After you’ve undressed (completely!), you’ll lie down and cover yourself with a soft blanket. Then, massage therapist Joanna will start softly chanting and massaging your body. Lomi Lomi – the name of this Hawaiian technique – is not just about working on your muscles, it’s a spiritual concept that takes care of both body and soul. Other massage techniques might be all about the right movements, but this massage is more of a sensual, soft experience. In the end you will feel completely relaxed and I at least, was relieved of the weight of any stress – finding myself escaping to a place of peace and leaving the world and my past problems behind me. Lomi Lomi with Joanna is a true feel good moment to relax all your senses. (Text: Nina Trippel / Photos: Joanna Polkowska)