3 favourite things

It's been a while since I've posted one of these but being in the middle of preparing to go on holiday this week, I can honestly say I have some firm favourites that just need to be mentioned!

 We travel (very early) on Sunday morning so I've been planning all week to get everything ready and having recently travelled to Berlin these are the things I found invaluable when travelling and when we were there.

Exploring our own city

We've had a busy old few weeks recently, and not much of an opportunity to just relax of a weekend, so last week we took some time to go in to the city and explore a bit.

My gym essentials

When going to the gym I like to keep things simple. What I like to be able to do is have a few staples in my gym bag and jut switch in my gym gear each day so I know I always have what I need.

Last minute exploring

Our last day in Berlin was a long day of walking before a late flight home at about 9pm. But before we could even contemplate pounding the pavements we had to start with a hearty breakfast, in by far my favourite breakfast spot!

I almost feel like I shouldn't share this place because I like it so much I want to make sure I'll be able to get a space next time, but Antipodes does by far the best coffee I've had in Berlin (possibly ever), some of the best service I've ever come across, and the cakes? I can't even describe how good. And so, for the third day in a row, we pulled up a seat at a brightly painted table with beautiful fresh flowers, ordered a flat white and my favourite breakfast on the menu.

The place is small, delightfully bright even on the dreariest days and always has an array of incredible home baked cakes on offer.

We'd finished our coffees before our breakfast even arrived, and so ordered a second, while the scent of bacon filled the air. And soon our plates of rather substantial breakfast arrived.


Don't be fooled by all that green. Underneath hides beautiful soft wholemeal muffins, with lashings of cream cheese, the crispiest of bacon, heaps of avocado and a pile of leaves all drizzled in olive oil. It's filling, tasty, and yet feels so deliciously healthy that you definitely should allow yourself some cake for what I like to call 'breakfast dessert'.

We tried a few - the banana and raspberry bread is so soft and fluffy (and tasty) it's almost too difficult to share, the carrot cake is some of the best I've ever had and served with yoghurt and fruit is the perfect example of cake for breakfast, and the chocolate and peanut cookies are as crumbly and devilish as they sound. But by far our favourite were the butterscotch blondies - just. too. good.

If you don't feel like cake at breakfast ask for them to take out and have them when you need some sustenance (you can thank me later). Everything is home baked so they will have different options at different times but I doubt there'd be anything that wouldn't be delicious.

Thoroughly fed and watered (and needing to walk off the cake) we headed out for more adventures. We walked a ridiculous distance, heading down towards Tempelhof, and stopping off at one of the weirdest sights of the trip. Known as Schwerbelastungskorper (or Heavy load bearing body to me and you), this was a leftover relic from the days of the Third Reich, and was a test site for what would have been one of the biggest structures in Berlin.

It may just look like a giant concrete cylinder and well, that's exactly what it is, but the history that goes with it is both fascinating and frightening all at once. This was a test for just one of four feet of a gigantic arch that would stand at one end of a huge road which would have ran through the centre of Berlin and framing an even bigger domed hall at the other end - had the Third Reich been successful. I know, crazy. And seeing it in person, it just seems even more crazy.

Berlin is full of strange relics from this time, and so we headed off from here to find another one - the old airport at Tempelhof.

We found the front and were enthusing about how much bigger it was than we thought, but the more we explored, the bigger it was!

Now, the grounds are used as a park and recreational space. It was warm on the day we were there but overcast, and there were still tons of people riding bikes and playing games. On sunny days it gets really busy, and there is even space for BBQ's. If you take my advice hire a bike and explore, reading the information points as you go, it's really interesting to read about the history and demise of the airport (if that's your sort of thing). Otherwise it's just a massive park to use on nice days.

As I've said before, the whole city is so full of history, and every corner seems to have a relic of a moment in time.

There is so much to explore that it is well worth taking time to plan out, and although we walked everywhere the metro is so easy to use (just make sure you validate your tickets in the little machines before use) that you could easily see so much of the city even over the course of a weekend.

We rounded off our trip with some shopping - Mitte has a range of high street brands and independent shops.

Even when shopping it's easy to wander in to odd little courtyards and interesting spaces.

And with that, we made our way to the airport to enjoy a last beer before our flight home.

We flew with Easyjet (the flights are ridiculously reasonable), and stayed at the Park Inn by Radisson right on Alexanderplatz (the location is as good as you can get, and the hotel is fine, with a fairly good gym, but we literally only used it for sleeping and showering so I couldn't tell you about anything else, and I'm sure there are loads of great places to stay).  All in all, Berlin is well worth a visit, whether you're intent on a history buff's tour of the city or a shopping and eating type of break.

Alternative things to do in Berlin

There's so much to see and do in Berlin, and it's easy to get caught in the tourist traps. As we'd managed to fit in most of the obvious sights on our visit last year, this time we wanted to visit some more alternative places.

This included a trip to two pretty different types of museum.

Summer in the city

Finding something to wear for work can be hard enough - grabbing something random at 6am in the morning isn't always the best idea - but finding something to wear for work when the weather is in the high 20's can be even more difficult.

Street Food Thursdays

One of my favourite things to do in Berlin is visit the street food market. I mean, food is probably my favourite thing in any city but this is extra good.

Berlin wanderings

One of my favourite things to do in Berlin is find quirky little coffee spots and find a perch outside to drink (generally) excellent coffee and watch the world go by. On our first morning we visited one of our favourite haunts, Impala, on a corner in Prenzlaur Berg, pulled up a mismatched seat and ordered bagels and coffees to enjoy while we indulged in some people watching.