Fashion Salade City Guides:
There really is no more perfect an embodiment of Berlin’s East-meets-West, alt und neu optimism than the spectacular Soho House. The unremarkable exterior, distressed cement-floored lobby and graffiti-scrawled lifts of the former Communist Party archives building give no clue to the luxury of the eight floors of accommodation and club rooms above. Bedrooms come in six sizes from ‘Tiny’ to ‘Extra Large’, all with the kind of coolly quirky touches habitués of Soho House Group’s clubs and restaurants will know and love, among them vinyl LPs (and the record players to play them on), vintage furniture and Cowshed products in the bathrooms. The Club Floor – only accessible to members and hotel guests – offers sumptuous seating areas, a House Kitchen dining room (we love the veal meatball pizza) and a spectacular bar. Best of all though is the truly stunning rooftop bar and swimming pool; the views of the city beyond will take your breath away.
Soho House Berlin, Torstraße 1, 10119 Berlin Tel: +49 (0) 30 40 50 44 0 http://www.sohohouseberlin.com
Like most capitals, Berlin is rich in international restaurants – but surprisingly lacking in places serving traditional, Germanic cuisine, unless you count the ubiquitous street kiosks selling currywurst. You can trust Fashion Salade, however, to have sought out the best Erdäpfelsalat in town. To get your fill of sauerkraut, Wiener schnitzel and spetzle in a homely Tiroler setting, head to the western residential district of Wilmersdorf and seek out Vogelweide, a charming family-run restaurant on Bayerische Straße. It’s impossible to be unhappy in the cheery, bright-yellow dining room and we defy you to leave hungry. Or for something more contemporary, try the stylish-but-simple Sissi on Motzstrasse in edgy Schöneberg, where authentic traditional dishes are served with a lighter modern touch. Both are fun, friendly and very reasonably-priced; the latter gets particularly busy at weekends so booking is recommended.
Sissi, Motzstrasse 34, 10777 Berlin Tel: +49 (0) 30 21 01 81 01 http://www.sissi-berlin.de
Vogelweide Restaurant, Bayerische Str. 32, 10707 Berlin Tel: +49 (0) 30 88 67 80 40 http://www.restaurant-vogelweide.de
Although not quite as fashion-forward as some of its European capital counterparts, Berlin nonetheless has plenty to offer the trend-hunting Traveller. Quartier 206 in Mitte is a stunning, I.M. Pei-designed mini-mall housing high-end designer boutiques (Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche…), cafés and bookstores all under one roof. It’s a beautiful space, with black-and-white, marble-floored walkways linking the floors. The main attraction however is the amazing mini department store (called, appropriately, DEPARTMENTSTORE) which stocks exclusive men’s and women’s labels including Balenciaga, Theyskens Theory and Victoria Beckham. It’s also the only place in Berlin where you can buy Smythson of Bond Street stationery, perfect for when you want to send your loved ones something more beautiful than a postcard of the Reichstag.
Quartier 206, Friedrichstraße 71, 10117 Berlin Tel: +49 (0) 20 94 65 00 http://www.quartier206.com
Berlin’s famously hedonistic bar scene has something for every taste and pocket, from simple pub-style brauhauser to ultra-swank cocktail lounges. For something altogether edgier, there’s Barbie Deinhoff’s, a loud, sociable bar and performance space on Schlesische Straße. The area it’s in, Kreuzberg, is known as being the city’s melting pot and you’ll certainly find a very mixed crowd here; students, fashionistas, gays, girls and grannies congregate to enjoy cheap drinks, cool music and cutting-edge cabaret. Anything goes at Barbie Deinhoff’s – not to be confused with the also fabulous Barbie’s Bar nearby – so leave your preconceptions in the hotel safe and go let your hair down with the really cool crowd. Be warned – smoking’s permitted inside, so if you don’t want your couture to reek of cigarettes you might prefer to go on a mild evening when crowds spill out onto the pavement and mingle in the light of the landmark neon sign.
Barbie Deinhoff’s, Schlesische Straße 16, 10977 Berlin http://www.barbiedeinhoff.de
By Hugh Wright