Coming soon and long overdue! I am working through countless photographs, trying to choose the best and this is hard considering they are all so wonderful...so, keep your eyes glued...just kidding. I love the preparation for a new Bombe du Mois...and it is always like a birthday, somehow.
Today I am thinking a lot about rituals. These are the moments and occasions I hold close to my heart because they are special and remind me about the past...and the importance of securing them for the future. Visiting Café Gnosa in the notrious Lange Reihe is one of the stops I simply have to make while I am in Hamburg. It is an old café, having opened its doors in 1900 and in 1939, the famous name was first brought to life by the couple Elli and Gerhard Gnosa. After the Second World War, it was a café where prostitutes used to congregate and later it became known for its food...so it has a colourful past indeed.
I love sitting here and watching the city roll by, while having a slice of my favourite pear tart, accompanied by a pot of tea. The interior is wonderfully nostalgic and even when it is almost empty, the café has a charm and elegance that never feels as if it is lonely. So, when you are next in Hamburg, do yourself a favour and make a pit stop here! You can find it at Lange Reihe 93.
I am not always a fan of eating in a restaurant that is part of a department store. In my mind, I still have these images of being dragged, unwillingly, by my mother as she did her shopping. I grew to love shopping and in many ways I am indebted to my mother for her firm grip on my arm and her strong manner. It has made me the shopper I am today: determined and focused. But, back to the issue at hand...food. We were doing our walk through Alsterhaus and decided to give Yoshi a try, situated on the top floor. I was surprised not to see too many tourists as the view is rather spectacular...okay, there was a table of Scandinavians next to us but, they were harmless. No selfies in sight!
We ordered sushi of course and it was a big hit. Jürgen had the Bento box and I had a selection of probably the freshest fish I have had in a long time. Paired with a glass of white wine, it certainly lightened the mood on this typically grey day in the city. While Yoshi may not be the cheapest place to try for good Japanese food, it certainly delivers on all fronts: not overcrowded, tastefully decorated and not a sushi belt in sight!
Visiting La Mirabelle is like visiting an old friend. This restaurant, run by Pierre Moissonnier, is French cooking at its best: unpretentious and wonderfully well thought-out. We have been going here for many years, tempted by the online menus and of course, the food, that is always wonderfully made with a touch of the unexpected. Add to this a good service and it is the perfect venue for a special occasion, like meeting up with old friends like Rainer and Tanja, who are equally obsessed with all things French.
What this restaurant does is exactly what many new restaurants fail at: it delivers elegant food, without intimidating you. From the wonderful fish served on mushrooms, to the elegant savoury crêpes, to the indulgent crème brûlée, everything is as it should be: delicious! You can find them at Bundesstraße 15...from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 6pm but, be sure to book a table!
Photo credits: Tanja Haberkorn
One of the most important things to me is keping contact. Having moved so many times in my life, it is almost impossible that friendships remain the same. Distance does indeed change everything. If we cannot see people then we quickly move on. It is a sad fact. But, occasionally, there are people who remain part of a city and when you visit that city, seeing them feels like part of the package somehow. Case in point, my former boss, Gerd, who is still in fashion retail with his store, Park, found at Weidenstieg 11, a stone's throw from where I used to live in Hamburg. When I am in Hamburg, it has become somehat of a custom to have lunch with him and if he is in a bit of time squeeze, then we manage to have an espresso at his wonderful café, Favorita, which can be found at Eppedorferweg 215. When I was at Park, I was lucky enough to be able to snap this lovely lady who was rocking some serious winter feeling in this gorgeous coat...for more interesting and fashionable choices, visit the store's website: park-mode.de
Is it too late to latch on to a motto for the new year? Last night at the Jamiroquai concert in Zurich, the lyrics from one of my all-time favourite songs, 'Canned Heat' made me smile and I think one line from it could be my motto for 2018: 'So I've got to hang out all my hang-ups'. I think this could be a great new attitude for the year, letting go of the baggage and letting in the new light and positivity.
The concert was amazing...from the new material off their latest album 'Automoton', to the oldies that made me think back to my varsity days and the nights out that ended with a few of us dancing on speakers...literally. If you are in the States, you can catch them at Coachella...and if you happen to be in Mexico, they will be performing, no doubt in a sold out arena, in Mexico City. It is so encouraging to see that the heroes of my youth are still out there pouring themselves into reinvention...and having success in an industry that is all about 'fast service' and high speed connections. And on that note, you all have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the time off...and go on...put on some Jamiroquai...I have some playing in the background already.
Photo credit: technabob.com
When a restaurant is hyped to the extreme, then I tend to stay far away from it until the heat has cooled down. Case in point, Bullerei, brainchilod of a tv star cook that has long been the centre of much media attention in the trendy and upmarket area called Schanze. So, when I met up with Duygu, and she suggested it, I was at first rather apprehensive about it. But, I thought it was the middle of the week and we could this way avoid the dreaded weekend crowd. I was wrong. It was packed...and with all sorts of tourists, out to sample a slice of the 'real' Hamburg. When Tim Mälzer, the owner himself appeared, there was much oohing and aahing from patrons, making their visit all the more worthwhile.
We had the fish which was oven-baked. It was rather disappointing, unfortunately...and were it not for my company (who walked through the restaurant ahead of me, her naked shoulders parting the waiters like the parting of the Red Sea...a sight to behold, let me tell you!), I would have left sooner. From an ambience point of view, the restaurant is really great. It has been tastefully put together and the room, although large, does not appear menacing. It is sad though, that the fish was not descaled and as a result, difficult to eat.
Sadly, this visit once again confirmed that hype does not mean good. Bullerei will no doubt continue to attract the tourists and those wanting a bit of the TV personality but, I will not be back.
So, the one thing you can be sure of in life is that nothing runs as planned...or so it seemed when we were unable to fly to India in December. A real shock it was and marathon sessions involving trying to get to the right people to cancel flights and accomodation followed...but, when life gives you lemons...add gin and make a cocktail! What was supposed to be a Christmas in sunny climes ended up being a snow-filled experience, with our first official Christmas tree in Switzerland (which turned out rather fabulously, I may add), plenty of evenings nestled in our home while the snow cascaded from above and more Christmas carols than the years before. And to reward ourselves, we went up into Braunwald and had an Apéro with our friends Sabine and Peter. The last photo in this series is of Sabine's installation for Advent...which turned out to be a highlight indeed!
So, with much snow and my first time on a bobsleigh, it was the start of a new year and the beginning of new chapters and adventures...to all of you I wish a wonderful 2018 filled to the brim with all you want!
Photo credits: all images appear courtesy of Jürgen Küssow