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SUSTAINABLE, INVITING AND VERSATILE — HOLIDAYS AND RETREATS AT BIRKENHOF

SUSTAINABLE, INVITING AND VERSATILE — HOLIDAYS AND RETREATS AT BIRKENHOF

Birdsong in the morning, a crackling fire in the evening – that’s how it should be in the countryside, right? At Birkenhof, a holiday rental in Brandenburg’s Uckermark, this is exactly what you get. This modern accommodation is situated on the grounds of a former farm in the village of Casekow. The farmhouse and outbuildings have been gradually and carefully converted by owner Stefan, an architect by trade. They’re suitable for all kinds of getaways: trips with friends, wellness weekends and multi-day company retreats. In the barn, there is a large multifunctional living area that can serve as a workshop venue and includes a rustic kitchen-diner. In the evenings, the fireplace transforms it into a cozy space. The upper floor of the farmhouse is also kept open. Another highlight is the spacious bathroom with a large bathtub for a spa-like experience. The two houses each sleep 12 people, and can be rented separately.

The buildings are home to furniture Stefan made with help from the carpenters at Woodboom. The wood was his own: Stefan is proud owner of a patch of woodland and likes to give guided tours explaining his approach to forestry. Sustainability is close to his heart: the roofs of Birkenhof are covered with solar panels which produce 75 percent of the electricity consumed on site. Then there’s the impressive sauna complex, which includes floor-to-ceiling windows and is heated using wood from the forest. You can spend the day watching the brown hares from the spa before dowsing yourself with a bucket of cold water. During our team excursion, we made use of all the farm’s facilities and left wishing we could stay longer. One thing’s for sure: we will be back! 

Text: Nina Trippel / Photos: Savannah van der Niet

Birkenhof, Dorfstr.5, 16306 Casekow; map

@derbirkenhof

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SWORD MASTER — CHIC EATERY SERVING HAND CUT KOREAN NOODLES

SWORD MASTER — CHIC EATERY SERVING HAND CUT KOREAN NOODLES

While the pen is usually mightier than the sword, there are some exceptions – like Sword Master Noodle. This Korean restaurant opened up shop in Prenzlauer Berg in September 2022 and serves traditional Korean wheat noodles which are hand cut with the blade of a knife. The resulting dish is called Kalguksu – a traditional Korean noodle soup whose name roughly translates as “knife noodles”. It’s a concept you won’t find elsewhere in town – all the more reason to pay a visit to this small, minimalist restaurant. If you’re quick, you can secure a seat right next to the glassed-walled kitchen and watch the steaming dishes being prepared. As far as the menu is concerned, less is more: you can choose between four generously portioned soups, served by one of the attentive owners. Whether you go for beef, chicken, grilled mushrooms or mussels, it’s worth ordering an extra portion of the fantastic homemade kimchi as a little treat. Just what you want to stick your fork – and knife – into.

Text & Photos: Natascha Hamel

Sword Master Noodle, Dunckerstr.30, 10439 Berlin–Prenzlauer Berg; map
Wed–Sun 17–22h

@swordmaster_noodle

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GIFTS FROM LOCAL HEROES — SHOP BERLIN BRANDS ON THE LABELS APP OR IRL AT THE CHRISTMAS MARKET

GIFTS FROM LOCAL HEROES — SHOP BERLIN BRANDS ON THE LABELS APP OR IRL AT THE CHRISTMAS MARKET

Want to shop local this holiday season? Here’s an address to note: Charlottenstraße 2. This pop-up space is where Labels will be hosting a five-week-long locals Christmas Market that includes fashion, home goods, tasty treats and other gift ideas all made by Berlin brands. The market is hybrid, meaning you can shop for your gifts in person or, if you don’t fancy leaving the house, on the Labels app. Home delivery is by eco-friendly e-bike. The festive sale includes dozens of local favorites: jewelry by Sabrina Dehoff, daring fashion by Ukrainian designer Alexandra Piskun, handmade mugs by Helka Ceramicsand chocolate from Walter Confiserie. For the winter months, there’s candles from Garden State, cozy, high-impact socks from Popeia and games to connect with friends and family from Kindred People. The bamboo jewelry from Atelier Elle Pé is well worth a look, too. The Christmas market collection is going live on the app today (24.11.2022) ahead of the IRL market, which starts this Saturday (26.11 15–20h). Join for a nice glass of Glühwein, some music and a stroll around the stands. A leisurely browse through local brands, drink in hand? This is Christmas shopping we can get behind…

Text: Romy Lagodka / Photos: Savannah van der Niet, Sabrina Dehoff & Isobel Grace Photography / Credit: Kindred People

Labels Christmas Market (26.11–22.12.2022), Charlottenstr.2, 10969 Berlin–Kreuzberg; map

Market open every Sat & Sun, 15–20h. You can register to attend here. The collection is available 24/7 on the app.

@labelsapp

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NUMA NOVELA — SMART ACCOMMODATION FOR TODAY’S TRAVEL TRENDS

NUMA NOVELA — SMART ACCOMMODATION FOR TODAY’S TRAVEL TRENDS

Got friends stopping over in Berlin but no guest room to house them? Are your parents not ones to spend the weekend on the sofa bed? Well, we’ve got an alternative, and it’s in Wilmersdorf. Here in the wonderful west, a lot of what makes Berlin great comes together: charming architecture and lots of culture. The streets are lined with magnificent old buildings and art galleries, there’s an abundance of classic restaurants and the Schaubühne is within walking distance. And then there’s good old Ku’damm, which is practically at your feet. This is exactly where numa has opened its latest accommodation, Novela. The company’s concept is individually and distinctively designed hotels sited in exciting districts – letting you experience the city as effortlessly and authentically as possible. Tips for local culture and culinary delights are provided in the form of a blog and a city guide in the room.

With high stuccoed ceilings, the guestrooms are impressive. The interior contrasts with the dignified charm of the architecture, with herringbone parquet flooring and beautiful high windows. No frills, just homely furnishings. Contemporary art, simple open shelves, rounded mirrors and headboards combine to create a clear, fresh look that will recharge your mind and tired tourist limbs alike. Check-in is completely digital, with smartphone-controlled arrivals and departures taking the place of the classic lobby. And if something is missing, there’s a chat (with a real person) letting you request the likes of extra pillows and towels directly to the room. We tested it and it works pretty well. Of course, all this isn’t just for visitors: if you don’t live in Charlottenburg–Wilmersdorf yourself, how about treating yourself to a stylish, digital staycation out west?

Text: Nina Trippel / Photos: Celeste Najt

Novela, Konstanzer Str.1, 10707 Berlin–Wilmersdorf, map

@numastays

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TIPS AND INSPIRATION FROM PRO TRAVELERS — A HALL FULL OF WANDERLUST AT BERLIN TRAVEL FESTIVAL

TIPS AND INSPIRATION FROM PRO TRAVELERS — A HALL FULL OF WANDERLUST AT BERLIN TRAVEL FESTIVAL

Brandenburg or Bulgaria? Hammock or houseboat? Weekend getaway or wellness retreat? If you fancy being somewhere else but aren’t sure where to head, it’s time to visit Messe Berlin for an exotic escape. It’s there that the Berlin Travel Festival is taking place (25–27.11.2022), inviting globetrotting travelers and cultural ambassadors from places ranging from Georgia to Jerusalem. If you want to stay closer, that’s good too: regional districts like Spreewald and Mecklenburg are also represented. Hopping from one stand to the next, you’ll soon discover your new number one travel destination. The fair has it all, from tiny house accommodation to capsule hotels and wonderful Wayks backpacks for adventurous trips. There’s also travel reading material aplenty. Organized by Bernd Neff and his team and returning after a pandemic pause, the festival is very much about the experience. The location has switched from Arena Berlin to the Messe, and while it might be a bit further away, it’s really a stone’s throw given how much there is to discover. Time to cure that wanderlust and temper that travel fever.

Text: Nina Trippel / Photos: Tina Linster

Berlin Travel Festival at Messe Berlin, Messedamm 22, 14055 Berlin–Westend; map
25–27.11.2022 10–18h. You can buy tickets here

@berlintravelfestival

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