Thank you to my guest blogger this week – our MD, Wendy Bartlett.

New food experiences

One of the major advantages of living in the UK is how close it is to many other countries. And being a foodie this provides me with plenty of opportunities to try new food experiences. Last weekend I did a hop, skip and a jump to Berlin; it’s a city that everyone raves about so I thought I should visit.

Delicious deli

Historically Berlin is significant and fascinating but what about the food experience? Well, it was as diverse as the history. They have a challenge to overcome their reputation for bland food and there is definitely a preference for meat and 2 veg. However the pastries and bakeries are amazing and I think they are the best in Europe. I also found one of the best food emporiums I have ever seen- it was in the ‘KaDeWe’ department store, there was a veritable array of delights. Each food category counter area was an example of the best; be it cheeses (I smelt it before I saw it!), chocolates, sushi, delicatessen meats and of course counters bursting with the great German sausage.

Berlin’s most famous dish

The mystery is with such devotion to sausages, why in Berlin do you see advertised everywhere the ‘currywurst’ – what is the fascination and need to claim Berlin as the home of the ‘currywurst’?!! (a battle with Hamburg apparently, but one I suggest they don’t shout about that too loudly). We queued with many others, we thought this must be something not to be missed, and we shunned all the other delights in-store. Imagine our astonishment when we got said German sausage, smothered, and I really do mean smothered, with ketchup then sprinkled with curry powder. This ‘currywurst’ delight is not one we will be featuring at bartlett mitchell!

So the ‘currywurst’ eating experience wasn’t the highlight but two other experiences stood out. One was an evening meal in the Kafer restaurant atop the Reichstag, not so much for the food, which was acceptable, but more the location and the stunning dome designed by Sir Norman Foster. I love the idea of the German parliament being overlooked through this tourist glass top. Its purpose and significance is to show their transparency of actions to the people.

Innovative food service

The other new experience was the innovative at-table self service beer point and touch screen food ordering. It’s coming to London too and I can see it being a big hit. It was simple and fun and you paid by the centilitre so we were able to top up in dribs and drabs so we always had a fresh cold beer. Tempting as it was, we were not drawn to add the sweet syrups to our beer with the luminous green apple or the fluorescent pink raspberry colours. We wondered what the bright green and red drinks were, served in manly beer glasses complete with straws? This Berlin delight I am pleased to say we will save for another day … maybe.

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My earliest food memories are of my mum’s baking; coconut pyramid cakes were my favourite.

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