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OCTOBER: Munich, Berlin and great design

The ace thing about London? The ease of travelling, in general, but of course to Europe. And Munich, you've been gorgeous. 

This was my first trip to Munich. I've been going to Berlin once or twice a year since 2012 (and have been as a few times before that), it has been really interested to see the eating and drinking scene change, and I was curious to see what Munich was like. 

Of course there are always going to be wonderful restaurants in cities like Berlin and Munich, but those are generally outside my income; what I am interested in is the development of the average, everyday eater. Berlin has great cafes, and bars, but the ‘wine bar’ and thoughtful but affordable neighbourhood restaurants wasn't really there the first few times I was in Berlin. This contrasts to what is happening in London (this is of course due to the difference economies and indeed structure of London in comparison to Berlin). But in Berlin it has been growing in the last year or so. I was only in Munich for a couple of days, but it felt in the same culinary space as Berlin.

I feel this  culinary drive that is beginning to happen in these cities has come from a different train of thought than London. What is most prevalent is great design. The movement into a food conscious society feels to be from the point of making beautiful spaces. This could come across as style over substance, but somehow it doesn't. I think this is because in both Berlin and Munich I constantly saw simple, practical, but beautiful design decisions. When you start with this aesthetic the food and and service slips into place and matches with its surroundings.

Berlin spaces often have a very industrial sense to it, but unlike what is becoming of London, it isn’t a forced stripping back to exposed pipes. These are building with a huge history of destruction and it is simply being thoughtful and not creating facades. Then there are all the details - once you have a clean, beautiful structure, it is the details of great wine glasses and crockery and vases and tables and… and that adds to a calm and engaging space to be in, to relax and enjoy yourself. These details and the sensitivity to space seems to be seen in the places I went to and passed in Munich. Of course there is bad design (check out Natalie Kane’s blog post about Bikini Berlin), but there is a clear attention to detail both in Munich and Berlin that is exciting. 

I was only in Munich for a couple of days, so I didn’t seem much, but what I did see was interesting and got me thinking. 

My overall point is that Germany is going to be an exciting place to look to for hospitality, and it is going to come from a place of having good taste. German wines are also really underrated and delicious. so that will be a driver too - food will rise to the standards of the wine and it’s surroundings. 

Consuming details:
Thursday night at Oktoberfest I had half a duck, potato dumplings and red cabbage, and of course a stein of beer.
Friday lunch at Teresea's Restaurant I had a great burger (hungover), with wonderful homemade bbq sauce.
Friday night at Cantine Contana I had lot so of good stuff, particularly a mackerel. I drank a really great sparkling wine - Dicker Fritz, Methode Rurale, Rheinhessen. A good resiling - 2013, Battenfelf Spanier; and a great light yet earthy Pinot Noir, perfectly balanced - 2012 Obsession Sven Klundt Pfalz. These were the cheapest on the menu I think, but I chose them because I *love* Riesling and Pinot Noir, so I didn’t want to drink anything else. 


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