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LISA KRÜGER RECOMMENDS: HOTEL ULTRA

LISA KRÜGER RECOMMENDS: HOTEL ULTRA

“Is this a real hotel?” If you want the answer to this, you have to question the obvious. Because upon entering, it soon becomes apparent that Hotel Ultra is, in fact, not an actual hotel but a concept store. The clever idea was implemented in the heart of Berlin at Torstr.155 in 2014. The interior has all the makings of a real hotel: a reception, a lobby and the obligatory bar. Even so, no one will be checking into their room here, but rather browsing design products from (un)known designers and (inter)national brands. The small café tucked away in the back of the shop serves freshly baked cakes and coffee. The unusually provocative concept was created by Mo Ghandehari, a fan of design and Depeche Mode. He conceived the store as an homage to the album “Ultra”, and more specifically to the song “It’s No Good”. Hotel Ultra is a captivating place to discover exceptional design products and to be inspired by unconventionality. (Text: Lisa Krüger / Photos: Hotel Ultra)

Hotel Ultra, Torstr.155, 10115 Berlin-Mitte; map
Mon-Sat 11.30-19.30h

Berlin native Lisa Krüger currently lives in Pankow, and is a trained product design assistant who studied marketing communications and public relations.

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CLAUDIA ZENK RECOMMENDS: 1213BST

CLAUDIA ZENK RECOMMENDS: 1213BST

Caitlin and Bryan Sanderson wanted to create something meaningful. Upon moving to Berlin from Los Angeles, they immediately opened their store 1213bst on Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße in 2017 with the aim of establishing a platform for diversity and sustainability. The idea behind the store is both persuasive and simple: The duo buys clothes, shoes and accessories from trading customers. But unlike the typical second-hand store, the seller can choose to receive either cash in hand or an in-store trade credit. The newest addition to their concept is the online shop 1213bst.com. Their brick-and-mortar location’s interior is tastefully designed with subtle details. Generous amounts of white space and light woods create a positive and carefree atmosphere that makes everyone feel welcome. For Caitlin, who has worked for various non-profits such as ACLU for the past 15 years, openness and diversity are central to her identity. Bryan, who ran the Weltenbuerger concept store for cosmopolitans in LA, remarks: “A truly diverse crowd of people shop here. And bringing them all together gives me more pleasure than making a statement with an exclusive fashion label.” (Text: Claudia Zenk / Photos: Emilie Wade)

1213bst, Rosa-Luxemburg-Str.19, 10178 Berlin-Mitte; map

Mon-Sat 12–20h

Claudia Zenk studies the history of art at Humboldt University Berlin while working at Softspace and David Chipperfield Architecture, among other places. Besides digital issues, she is interested in people, houses and books as well as the interaction between them all.

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CAKESBERLIN — BAKED-TO-ORDER TRUE WORKS OF ART

CAKESBERLIN — BAKED-TO-ORDER TRUE WORKS OF ART

There is an abundance of cake in Berlin, but we have yet to see any quite as beautiful as those made by Stephanie, owner of CakesBerlin. Born in Israel, Stephanie studied fine art and worked as a set designer before moving to Berlin. After receiving more and more requests from friends to bake for their birthdays, she decided, on a whim, to set up a Facebook page. Three years later and a fleeting idea is now a full-fledged company where she bakes cakes fresh to order from her kitchen in Kreuzberg for an impressive list of clients and individuals in the city. Although she has a natural gift for baking, her artistic eye is what makes these cakes so unique. Each one is a work of art that she creates with incredible patience, meticulously painting, placing and perfecting every last decorative detail. All her creations are based on a light, buttery sponge cake with a melt-in-your-mouth fresh cream filling. Customers can choose from a range of flavors, such as “Old School Vanilla” and “Vanilla with Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cream,” as well as customize the color scheme and design. Next time you need a bespoke cake for any occasion (make one up if necessary), you know whom to call. (Text: Lucy Thorpe)

Order online with at least a week’s notice via CakesBerlin or call Stephanie at 0157 802 69 563.

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JUSTYNA BURZYNSKI RECOMMENDS: NO WÓDKA

JUSTYNA BURZYNSKI RECOMMENDS: NO WÓDKA

As indicated by its name, don’t expect to find vodka or other Polish clichés at No Wódka, a concept store in Prenzlauer Berg. Instead, be prepared for a slightly different image of Poland, corresponding to the aesthetic preferences of Aleksandra Kozlowska, who opened the shop in 2014. From furniture, home accessories, through clothes to jewellery – all sorts of high quality products that reflect current trends in Polish design are selected by the owner. The whole assortment is made in Poland: pieces by smaller and bigger brands, but no mass-produced articles. For the store’s look and feel, Kozlowska teamed up with Studio Kontent in Warsaw. Handpicked items are showcased within the minimalist store interior, dominated by white and neutral shades, mixed with scaffolding beams. The space can be easily transformed and rearranged for various purposes such as occasional art exhibitions, workshops and other events. This very consistent strive to charm away stereotypes about Poland makes No Wódka something more than just a shop. It’s somewhat a cultural institution and therefore my personal favorite when it comes to Polish spots in Berlin. (Text: Justyna Burzynski / Photos: Baba Wie, No Wódka)

No Wódka, Pappelallee 10, 10437 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg; map

Mon-Wed 12-19h, Thu-Sat 11-19h

Justyna Burzynski runs Berlinsko, a blog dedicated to Berlin’s Polish community, spends most of her free time at bouldering gyms, likes exploring Berlin and writing about it. She’s lived in Neukölln since 2012.

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KØNIGLICHE BACKSTUBE — BACK TO THE BASICS OF GOOD BREAD

KØNIGLICHE BACKSTUBE — BACK TO THE BASICS OF GOOD BREAD

A little shop that’s been supplying Rixdorfers with their daily bread since June 2016 has been flying under the radar for too long. Micha Köser’s Kønigliche Backstube lives up to its royal name — the passion for craftsmanship is palpable here. From the shopfront, where stacked loaves are ready to be sold, you have an excellent view into the kitchen, and can watch bakers make and knead the dough, taking in the feeling of old-school coziness and delicious scents. Kønigliche Backstube’s selection includes classics such as pane rustico, crusty French breads and artisan walnut loaves. Cakes aren’t to be found amongst the array of baked goods; here, fluffy raisin buns and juicy cinnamon rolls are the quintessence of a guilty pleasure. Micha, formerly of Beumer & Lutum, pays close attention to the quality of the preparation processes, striving to create dough that’s soft and a pleasure to eat, but also lasts for a few days. Little wonder, then, that this pint-sized bakery has such a loyal customer base. The atmosphere is welcoming and familiar, and commitment to the community extends to the walls: As part of the project “Einszueins - Kunst in der Køniglichen Backstube”, artists receive a daily loaf of bread in exchange for their work. (Text: Jennifer Prietzel / Photos: Pamina Aichhorn)

Kønigliche Backstube, Zwiestädter Str.10, 12055 Berlin-Neukölln; map

Mon-Fri 9-19h, Sat 8-14h. Bread baking schedule here.

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