Nostalgia Rose

Flowers June 2017

– Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll.

I couldn’t help but think of Alice in Wonderland when I discovered this rose. A uniquely red splashed flower named Nostalgia that exudes a beautifully powerful scent. Locally grown outside of Berlin.

St Agnes | König Galerie

Berlin May 2017

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Brutalism is the bold postwar architectural movement synonymous with concrete which divides opinion, but is, in my opinion, happily and finally finding a new wave of appreciation in its stark style and functional forms. Brazenly raw, Brutalist architecture sought socialist uniformity and functionality in a postwar time, becoming the architecture of the establishment.

 

When I lived in London, I had a walk to work that took me past the Hayward Gallery every morning. It was remarkably ugly, with the look of a multi-storey car park, yet intriguingly beautiful. A subtle beauty in its bold angles, the shadows, and play of light. What I really loved, though, were the textures and rawness of materials – the different finishes, markings, and imprints from wood molds. I suspect this is where my love affair with concrete began. After years of living in London and really exploring places like the Barbican and Southbank Centre, I discovered St Agnes in Berlin.

The windowless structure of angular blocks stands, dominant, in a quiet residential area in Kreuzberg. This former Brutalist church of St Agnes, built in 1967 by Werner Düttmann, has been reinvented as a uniquely striking an art space.

 

 

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Anselm Reyle | Eight Miles High

 

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König Galerie, St. Agnes, Alexandrinenstr. 118-121, 10968 Berlin.

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Cafe Pförtner

Berlin May 2017

Set amidst artist studios and Berlin creativity in the old gatekeepers house of a former BVG repair shop, Cafe Pförtner is a beautiful find in an increasingly interesting pocket of Wedding. Focused on the flavours of seasonal ingredients and an Italian inspired simplicity, this cafe serves up a few daily specials, such as beetroot risotto with ricotta and spinach or duck salsiccia with carrot couscous and mint yoghurt. Everything is lovingly cooked and presented.

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The place is charmingly cobbled together, in true Berlin style, with it’s rooms joining into an old BVG bus from the 70’s to create a truly unique dining experience. In summer it’s sun filled courtyard is surrounded by the buzz of artist studios, works in progress, canvas’ leaning on walls, random objects waiting to be claimed all adding to atmosphere.

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Originally serving the locals it’s now becoming a destination in it’s own right.

Cafe Pförtner, Uferstraße 8-11, 13357 Berlin.

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The Ethicurean

Somerset September 2016

From the moment you step through the gates of the walled garden, every element at The Ethicurean immerses you in a English idyll wholly connected to the land and surrounding countryside. It is at the heart of the place, echoed in the red bricks, box hedging, jars of pickles, cider and setting in the rolling hills of Somerset. The place has the charm of a traditional Victorian kitchen garden beautifully seasoned, yet, it is in fact a free spirited, experimental, unexpected fairytale-like environment.

Sustainable seasonal cooking is central, and part of a community approach to the land. Ingredients are grown in the garden, foraged for in the surrounding environment, cultivated and pickled, juiced and brewed, and sourced from local farmers, makers, and brewers. The Ethicurean offers a fresh and thoughtfully presented menu, from roasted brassica tops with apricot labneh and smoke almonds to beef neck with sauerkraut and wild garlic, celebrating the garden and the wild land that surrounds it.

The gardens seem to expand out, rolling into hills and broadening to sky, connecting the restaurant with the land and it’s surroundings. The Ethicurean is founded on a sense of place. Intrinsically tied to the seasons both in menu and experience, you dine in the enveloped by the sky, you see the hills change with the approach of a cloud on a clear day, feel the onset of rain as scenery turns grey, embrace a hot summers sun.

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The Ethicurean, Barley Wood Walled Gardens, Long Lane, Wrington, Bristol, BS40 5SA.

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