Last November we visited Berlin for Paul’s brother’s 60th celebrations and were surprised to find a fantastic number of vegetarian fine dining restaurants such as Cookies and Cream, The Lucky Leek, Kopps and Bistro Bardot. Eager to try one of these restaurants we travelled a day early so that we could eat at The Lucky Leek and being a popular restaurant we sat outside under blankets eating one of the best vegetarian meals we had ever experienced.
We vowed one day we would come back and six months later used the poor excuse of returning to buy lampshades when really we wanted to return to The Lucky Leek and feed our need for amazing veggie food.
Flights booked, airbnb flat selected and dog sitting arranged at Paul’s mum we set out on our 48 hour gastronomic journey to find the perfect lampshades.
If you have never been to Berlin you must, it is very cool, relaxed, slightly edgy with eclectic cafes, markets and bars on the leafy avenues of Prenzlauer Berg and streets of Mitte and Kreuzberg.
If you have never booked an airbnb flat you really really must. The great thing about airbnb is the local knowledge that comes with your dwelling. We were met at our trendy flat by Bert, a factory of fantastic places to eat and drink at left us hungry to try the training chef restaurant Das Pferffer and breakfast at Suicide Sue. How much could we cram into 48 hours, not forgetting that we were here to buy lampshades! Let the gastronomic journey begin:
0 hours – arrive at our sunny flat on Schonhausser Allee
2 hours – A wonderful meal at The Lucky Leek with a bottle of amazing German vegan red wine. Amazing the waiter remembered us and noted that we ate outside on a cold November evening. Our tasty meal included: Muse bouche -fennel salad with smoked tofu and smoked tomato bruscetta, prelude -seaweed with smoked macadamia nuts, beetroot infused morels and chilli; upswing – pea consume and asparagus ravioli ; Kohlrabi three ways with aranci and herb sauce (sensational) Seitan with Austrian dumplings, cranberry jus on mushroom cream with roasted carrot puree (wowwww!) and mangoe with cocoa praline and cookie ice cream and chocolate coconut tart with banofee ice cream followed by a complimentary glass of sweet wine from the lovely waiter.
5 hours – nightcap cocktail at Scotch and Sofa
17 hours – breakfast at Suicide Sue including tea with a timer to allow the leaves to perfectly stew, rye bread with micro leaves, sprouting mustard, avocado and chilli layers – yum and a board of homemade dips, bread, cheese and treats for Paul.
20 hours – lunch veggie momo delights at Momos, sauerkraut, carrot and ginger and broccoli and shitake mushroom flavoured dumplings.
22 hours – afternoon break of mango ice cream and a quick purchase of four lampshades. We had after all come to Berlin to buy lampshades!
26 hours – we desperately wanted to go back to The Lucky Leek but decided we should really try one of the other fine dining vegan restaurants so booked into the cool looking Kopps in Mitte. Another incredible vegetarian meal, although we preferred the ambience and service at The Lucky Leek , the food was fantastic: Muse Bouche of Watermelon filled with balsamic and salsa verde, carrot five ways with passion fruit (just so delicious), cucumber chilled soup with samphire and vegan caviar made from seaweed (amazing), mushroom ravioli on a bed of peas, fresh white asparagus with hollandaise sauce and smoked tofu (wow hollandaise sauce with no egg or butter and tofu that tasted like pancetta!), potato fondant with truffle and bean cassoulet; chocolate mousse with mint granita, strawberries and marshmallows and strawberry mouse with a coconut truffle!
30 h – night cap of Rhubarb Gin and Tonic and craft beer at a cool bar called ‘An Einem Sonntagim August’.
39 h – wonderful coffee at Impala Coffee
41 h – lunch – wow 6 euros each for at this wonderful restaurant, Das Pferffer , for training chefs sitting outside in the sunshine eating wonderful food from this gem of a find, thanks to Bert our airbnb host!
44 h – a quick trip to Rewe supermarket to pick up some paprika chipsticks for the plane!
45 h – train in the sun to the Flughafen!
46 h – Sadly our whirlwind trip came to an end and almost having to leave the lampshades behind as my hand luggage was a bit bigger than on the way out and had to dismantle all the lampshades to get them home!
48 h – Southend on Sea airport!