No time do I miss Boston more than in the Fall. As the Berlin leaves change, it all floods back to me: Apple cider donuts, carved pumpkins, the beauty of the Boston Commons and how tightly I clung to that cup of piping hot coffee from the Thinking Cup just to keep myself warm. And all I can do is prevent myself from hopping on the first plane that will transport me to that world of dark red and golden leaves and those crisp walks and nights at the Goethe Institut.
All-in-all though, this is being unfair. Berlin Fall has incredible charms. So before the light runs away from me and the Christmas markets appear, here are seven things I will do in order to not miss American Fall.
3 outside escapes to embrace the last few warm days:
1. Enjoy a cup of newly fermented wine on the Saturday market at Kollwitzpark:
In Berlin, there are no open container laws and public drinking is very common, but contrary to what you may believe, this does not lead to public drunkness instead it leads to a very open relationship to wine or beer. This means that at almost every market there is a wine or beer stand and all around them stand happy market goers, their baskets full of produce enjoying a late afternoon wine.
In early fall there is a special newly fermented wine that arrives for only a few weeks, Federweisser. And just because it’s Saturday and Fall Saturdays are made for preparing for the long winter ahead. I hope you’ll stop and take a drink too.Why specifically Federweisse? Because it is the perfect Fall drink. You can read more about that here.
2. Snuggle up beside someone dear at Stella & Apos Bootshaus
If you’re from the North, you have to become an expert of cold weather in order to survive. That to me has always meant soaking up every minute of not-quite-warm-but-not-yet-freezing weather and always being outside on those last few days when is still warm enough to spend sometime in the open air. If you’re like me and need to soak up every last minute of sun, grab a blanket and someone to huddle with you under it and head to this charming lake in Charlottenburg. You can have tea, coffee, and of course an amazing view.
3.Take the S-bahn to Grunewald and the woods
One of the things that has always struck me about Europeans is how close of a relationship they still have to their land. In Norway, this means they hike in the mountains, in France, it might be expressed in the Terroir of a specific region and in Germany, it’s how closer you are to the most charming forests. Take the S-Bahn in pretty much any direction and you will eventually end up at a station that is not too far removed from a forest. If you’re any good at German. It’s worth checking out this page. If you’re not, just write me. 😉
3 fall comfort foods that will warm you up:
1. Apfelkuchen at Berlin’s oldest Bakery, Baekerei Siebert:
Finding a genuine Apple Cider Donut in Berlin might not be impossible, but it sure is difficult. The German baking tradition, however, does not fail me and many of their deserts involve apples as well. So, for a day when it’s too rainy to grab a glass of wine among the screaming kids and market goers with their baskets popping with goods, I like to pop into the oldest bakery in Berlin. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy some Apfelkuchen lightly drizzled with some granulated sugar.
2. Schmeer that Bagel at Shakespeare and Son:
What better way to hide away from unpleasant weather than in an English bookstore? And how fitting that the cafe and the bookstore are run by a former Bostonite who just couldn’t deal with the lack of good bagels in Berlin. If you’re interested in reading more about Fine Bagels and Shakespeare and Son. Here is a great feature on another Berlin blogger’s profile.
3. Flammkuchen on the Spree at STäV
The most common dish that is served with Federweisser is Zwiebelkuchen a type of Flammkuchen or Tarte Flambeé. In my opinion, this is where you’ll find the best Flammkuchen in Berlin. Somehow a Fall without Jack O’ Lanterns is a little more bearable when you can trace the history of a dish back to fire ovens and the traditional slaughtering of a pig. Especially in a place like this.
And 1 place I’ll escape when the rain just hits too hard:
1. Visit the Pergamom at Museum Insel
On those days when the rain pours so hard and you that it will be a struggle to even get out of bed. Perhaps the best place to run to is a Museum. Especially a place like the Pergamom. You can get lots in its halls for hours until hopefully the rain lets out. And if you’re really lucky, maybe you’ll even have one of these moments. 🙂