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Berlin’s been on a sweet curve lately, with numerous places opening that serve treats from all over the world. Here are three new spots to bid goodbye to hypoglycemia during Fashion Week.
Efa’s: If Efa’s name or logo seems oddly familiar, that’s because it used to belong to one of Germany’s former ice cream icons. Established in the Fifties, Efa’s exclusively supplied the 1972 Munich Olympics with its sweet boosts, but closed down in the Eighties. The founder’s granddaughter Felicitas Freiberger and her boyfriend, Paul Claudius, have revived Efa’s with a 1,076 square-foot parlor in Berlin.
But instead of sticking to the old recipe, they updated the concept from ice cream to frozen yogurt, after having developed a taste for it as students and interns in New York. Located just off Rosenthaler Platz, they serve two flavors — a basic and hibiscus-lemon — with fruit or sweet toppings and purees as sauces, plus smoothies and parfaits from around $3.50.
Efa’s Frozen Yogurt
24 Weinbergsweg, 10119 (Mitte)
firstname.lastname@example.org Web: efas.de
Open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Confiserie Orientale: Specializing in Turkish delicacies, Confiserie Orientale also has a lengthy history: The first branch opened in 1883 in Istanbul. Now, a friend of the founding family, Sevgi Gyrez, has taken the concept to Berlin’s gallery district in Mitte. There, starting at about $4, almond flavored marzipan, sweet pistachio and classic Turkish delights fill the minimalist white shelves or one’s plate together with Turkish tea or coffee in its cafe corner.
113 Linienstrasse, 10115 (Mitte)
Open Tuesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, Noon to 6 p.m.
Hudson’s: Brit expats Jim and Katie Hudson serve English cakes, soups, scones and tea with efficient yet pleasant service. Add the cafe’s comfortable style and Bauhaus light fixtures, and you might find hints as to the couple’s previous professions: BBC project manager and architectural engineer.
Specialties include a chocolate cake enriched with German dark beer Lausitzer Porter ($4), proper sandwiches, including the pub-influenced Ploughman’s of cheese topped with tangy onion relish ($5), and British traditional recipes accenting local seasonal ingredients, like strawberry-lavender shortcakes and Cranachan, a Scottish dessert blending raspberries, whiskey and oatmeal. The pair have recently added weekend breakfast service featuring freshly baked bread — à la carte Saturday and buffet style on Sundays. Customers can also take away baked goods and coffee and tea accessories like London pottery teapots. Just look for the sign with the bowler hat.
Hudson’s Cafe & Shop
1 Boppstrasse, 10967 (Kreuzberg)
Open Tuesday to Friday, Noon to 6:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The openness surrounding the approach to fashion design in the Netherlands encourages diversity, fluidity and crossover in design development. That’s the premise behind “Basic Instincts,” a showcase from Premsela, the Dutch Institute for Design and Fashion.
The touring exhibition, which kicks off in Berlin’s Villa Elisabeth, aims not to explain Dutch design, but to shine a light on its talents, methods and variety. The multidisciplinary melange unites contemporary fashion, architecture, art and product design, using the work of five Dutch fashion designers — Klavers van Engelen, Monique van Heist, Oda Pausma, Anne de Grijff and Iris van Herpen (who is also showing at Berlin Fashion Week) — as touchstones. Doepel Strijkers Architects and design studio Jo Meesters are also represented, along with 50 other participating designers.
Zoo Magazine’s José Klap and Sandor Lubbe are the exhibition’s creative directors, working with creative curators Luca Marchetti and Emanuele Quiz of consulting team Mosign, who directed last summer’s Dysfashional. The exhibition design is by Danish designer Henrik Vibskov.
The show’s venue is also visit-worthy on its own. Century-old, ornate but crumbly Villa Elisabeth was built as a parish house to accompany the nearby St. Elisabeth’s Church. These days, the Villa plays host to concerts, fashion shows and art events.
— Susan Stone
3 Invalidenstrasse 10115
Open Wednesday-Sunday, Noon to 7 p.m. Entry free.
Germany might be best known for its beer, but a different kind of bubbly beverage has always been a favorite glass-raiser in fashion circles. From French Champagne to German Sekt to Spanish Cava, new bars are pairing the effervescent drink with a variety of tasty tidbits to, ahem, sparkling effect.
Bar Brut: When Maud Cassagne, the French owner of the former Systm Bar on Torstrasse, got two German proprietors on board, they changed more than just personnel duties. Instead, the new trio shut down the old bar, threw out the streamlined, minimalist decor, carved their own tables, benches, lamps and bar counter out of raw wood and reopened as the cozy chalet-style Bar Brut in March.
But Brut doesn’t only call to mind a glass of fine French Champagne — it’s also the German word for “brood” and illustrates at whom this bar is aimed: the company of one’s good friends. Depending on how many of them are in attendance, there is an emphasis on bottled or open wine (from $4 per glass) on the menu, which now also includes French cheese and German sausage platters (from $7 per person).
— Jennifer Weibking
68 Torstrasse, 10119
Open Monday-Saturday: 6 p.m.- at least 1 a.m.
Bar Raval: This bar from German-Spanish actor Daniel Brühl (“Goodbye Lenin,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “The Bourne Ultimatum”) and partners Mark Beyer and Atilano González makes tapas trendy again by going traditional, though Bar Raval’s décor is clean rather than kitsch. Fizzy glasses of Rimarts Especial Cava ($5) greet savory buñuelos de bacalao (cod fritters) ($5.40) and refined bits of Joselita Bellota ham ($28), which comes from free-range pigs on an acorn diet. Green parties will groove on the house salad with sauteed veggies ($7) and the crisp patatas bravas sauced somewhat spicy ($5.25). Bar Raval, named after a lively Barcelona neighborhood, is more local favorite than celebrity hangout, but Brühl-related buzz has interest high, so it’s wise to reserve a spot in advance.
1 Lübbener Strasse, 10997
Open daily from 5 p.m.
Food available until 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and until midnight Friday and Saturday.
THE OTHER VIEW
Berlin’s Kulturforum is devoting 11,000 square feet of exhibition space to a show of fashion photographs and illustrations from the last 30 years. But don’t expect a familiar visual journey. Curated by Adelheid Rasche, director of Berlin’s Lipperheidesche Costume Library, “Visions and Fashion, Capturing Style 1980/2010” specifically aims to shed light on the “extraordinary and previously unseen, as well as images that have slipped from collective visual memory.”
About 250 original works by more than 40 international photographers, illustrators and independent visual artists will be arranged by artist on the upper floor, from the very well known — Karl Lagerfeld, Peter Lindbergh, Sarah Moon, Helmut Newton, René Gruau and Antonio Lopez — to the almost unknown, like Carola Seppeler, an 85 year-old artist who doesn’t exhibit as a rule.
The Kulturforum’s lower galleries will spotlight media-disseminated fashion images from magazines, posters, look books, advertising campaigns and promotional videos according to theme, including Celebrities & Glamour; Eroticism, Sex & Bodies or Myths & Legendary Places. A 225-page German-English language book accompanies the show.
Pulling the show together, Rasche came to the conclusion, “Illustration is not as dead or unimportant as one thinks, and there are a lot of good, new people out there.” As for the future of photographic and other images in the digital world, she noted, “The amount and breadth of variety is enormous, and via the Internet, one can combine everything. What’s next? I can’t say, but I think there will be more and more fast — and cheap — images on the ’Net, but also excellent images will continue to exist. It’s the middle-of-the-road that won’t survive.”
— Melissa Drier
Visions & Fashion, Capturing Style 1980/2010 Through Oct. 9
Kulturforum am Potsdamer Platz
6 Matthäikirchplatz, 10785
Open Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday until 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
FINE YOUNG CANNIBALS
Edgy art venue Me Collectors Room Berlin uses thematic exhibitions to showcase the Olbricht collection, one of the largest contemporary collections in Europe, and others of its kind. This summer, the “All Cannibals?” show delivers a taste of art about — what else? — cannibalism, presented with the art magazine Art Press. Visitors can sink their teeth into 100 unsettling works from 40 international artists including Francisco de Goya, Odilon Redon, Cindy Sherman, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Vik Muniz and Patty Chang.
The show was inspired by a quote from anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss stating, “We are all cannibals. The simplest way to identify with another is still to eat them.”
Luckily, art lovers can devour the displayed video works, paintings, sculptures and photographs with their eyes instead, and even rent out related films, such as “Silence of the Lambs.”
The exhibition is carved into sections such as Myths & Fairy Tales, Solidarity of the Flesh, and Holy and Secular Cults, and contrasts ethnographic photographs, cult objects and contemporary art. Guests can also visit the gallery’s quirky, well-curated shop, the permanent Wunderkammer exhibition blending old and new oddities, or drop by the sculpture-filled lobby cafe for a coffee and lime cheesecake, if they’re still hungry for more.
Me Collectors Room Berlin
68 Auguststrasse, 10117
Open Tuesday to Sunday, Noon to 6 p.m.