Following the Expedia Bloggers’ competition, I was thrilled to win a trip to Berlin and couldn’t wait to start checking out the city. We had a full itinerary that would see us explore alternative activities for five days before returning to London.
Upon arrival at Berlin Tegel Airport, we were picked up by our driver Alex, a warm and friendly character that was happy to chat and discuss the city and his recommendations for things to do. Upon arrival at Eurostars Hotel Berlin, we checked in, got our bearings and then set out to meet our guide from Berlinagenten: Gastro-Rallye Hip East – Unique Foodie Private Walking Tour in Berlin for an insight to the hidden treasures of Berlin.
Berlinagenten: Gastro-Rallye Hip East – Unique Foodie Private Walking Tour in Berlin
I had previously emailed Henrik Tidefjärd the company founder to discuss the meeting point for the evening and had already been impressed by the prompt communication – already I had a good impression of the company and couldn’t wait to try their tour. Having researched the company online, the tour had previously been taken by celebs such as Kelly Rowland and Lourdes Ciccone (Madonnna’s daughter), so we were already set to be amongst good company.
We met Lollie on the first evening of our trip for a private couples’ tour and immediately found her to be a friendly character, very knowledgeable about Berlin and keen to share that with us. Through the course of the evening we learnt that she is from Australia, working as a freelance writer and author having lived in Berlin for three years. Not only is she a fantastic representative for the company but she is well travelled, something that obviously gave us an interesting base of topics to talk about.
The structure of the tour allowed us to visit three restaurants during the course of the evening, sampling a meal in each restaurant before moving on. It lasts for 3-4 hours and is an intimate way to really absorb the city and its culinary offerings. Fun, interesting and intriguing – you have no idea where you’ll be visiting, which only adds to the surprise.
The first restaurant that we visited was W-Der Imbiss that’s been open for around 10 years. It’s a cosy, casual restaurant with around 10 tables. Set in the intimate environment, we opted to share a naan pizza topped with avocado, guacamole, salad and tomatoes; delicious and accompanied by red wine. It was a great way to start the evening and certainly an amazing find.
Following the starter, we were keen to see the second restaurant. The more mid-range Italian called Vino e Libri was well located close to Rosenthaler Platz. Here, we each enjoyed a main course of fish and asparagus wrapped in meat in the moderately busy restaurant. The meal was well presented and cooked to a high standard.
Having enjoyed our main course, Lollie took us to the third and final restaurant – an exclusive, high end restaurant called Pauly-Saal that’s tucked away in a former Jewish school. Here we enjoyed a fabulous dessert platter consisting of fruit and cake based treats; a great selection accompanied by dessert wine followed by coffee.
Overall we enjoyed a fantastic evening with an innovative concept for foodie travellers. It’s a brilliant way to sample different foods and try places that you would otherwise be likely to struggle with finding, particularly with limited time in the city. Lollie was the perfect host throughout the evening, walking between restaurants and introducing us to the local area as well as pointing out other attractions. She took the time to show a genuine interest in us as a couple and talk openly with us about the city highlights. I was so pleased we did this on first evening for an exceptional way to see the city first hand as well as gain one on one local knowledge. They also have a fantastic new website where you can learn more about their tours and availability.
After parting ways with Lollie, we continued to a bar that she had recommended during the course of the evening, Buck and Breck – read all about it here.
Later in the trip we visited Liquidrom, a nude sauna where we literally shook off the British reserve and embraced the liberal attitude of Berlin. Gone was the uptight nature and instead a more open attitude towards what is… well… just a naked body.
Now, those that know me personally might be surprised by my quick adaptation to nakedness, but fact is, I love it. There is nothing more natural, open and self-fulfilling than accepting a few lumps and bumps. The fact that my boyfriend (who is usually very reserved about such things) was happy to join me made it that much more of an experience to share.
The whole experience is professional and non-judgemental. From the saunas (all at varying degrees of temperature) to the thermal pool and the outdoor, heated pool, the professionalism by staff and other guests is noted and the environment is respectful. For a complete shake-up of any personal reservations, it’s a must-try whilst in Berlin.
Many thanks to Expedia UK and readers of the Ad-lib Traveller for providing this opportunity for me to visit Berlin, Germany.