Oliver

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Travel Tuesday

Five things I learned about: Berlin

Holocaust Memorial, Berlin - travel diary
Words: @oliverinstead • Photo: Myself & David

As you may have noticed from my Instagram (follow me), I spent my last Bank Holiday weekend in Berlin and as with all my previous Euro trips, I’ve returned with five tips (?) I’d like to share with those of you who may be planning on a trip there or have always been curious about what the city is really like…

 

one It’s huuuuuge!

The size of Berlin is no joke. If you’re going there soon, make sure you prepare yourself and your feet (bring comfy shoes) for lots and lots of walking and transferring between S- and U-Bahn. Be sure to allow ample travelling time between one tourist spot and another, especially if you’re only there for a short period of time and aiming to hit all the major attractions in one trip.

 

Tempelhof Berlin - travel diary

 

two Vegetarianism is not a thing

Maybe I’m asking for too much here because the Germans are known for their carnivorism, or maybe I just didn’t know where to look… but honestly, I struggled to find many restaurants that served decent vegetarian options.
However, I did stumble upon a ‘vegetarian butcher’ on my first day in Bergmannkiez called Der Vegetarische Metzger (check out their website) They serve a selection of very tasty, very convincing cruelty-free ‘burgers’ and currywurst (!) – something I really wanted to try but wasn’t sure if I’d be able to find a veggie version but I did.

 

three The Sunday flea market at Mauerpark is a must

I love checking out local markets when I’m travelling, and this particular flea market is possibly the best one I’ve ever visited in all of Europe – it’s a good mix of indie makers and food vendors, and vintage clothing and antique furniture. Again, it takes at least a good hour or two to see it properly so remember not to make other plans for the day.

 

Universität Potsdam - travel diary

 

four …so is Potsdam

Potsdam is a city bordering Berlin about an hour train-ride away from Alexanderplatz… providing that the train runs smoothly. The area is famous for its complex of palaces and parks, which is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site so you can be assured that it’s as magnificent and beautifully quaint in the flesh as it is in photos. It’s also completely free to have a wander around the parks and the Sanssouci Garden, so if the weather permits, it makes for a great day out away from the city. Yes, it is outside Berlin so if you have a day to spare, you should deffo consider the option of visiting Potsdam – it’s worth it.

 

five You can do Berlin on the cheap

There are so many free things that you can do in and around Berlin – including all the attractions I’ve mentioned, and more… such as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (aka the Holocaust Memorial), the Reichstag dome, the historic Tempelhof Airport, etc. etc. etc.

Transport-wise, we paid for a 72-hour Berlin Welcome Card (for Zone AB and C, so we could visit Potsdam), but I was under the impression that many people didn’t bother with tickets… which was shocking to me considering Germany’s reputations. What’s even more surprising was that we did not see an ticket inspector throughout the entire trip. So if you’re ever in Berlin, it’s up to you whether you want to risk getting caught on the off-chance for travelling without a valid ticket or you want to be a good tourist… I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying that a lot of people do and successfully get away with it.

 

Reichstag Berlin skies - travel diary Weinbergterrassen, Potsdam - travel diary

 

If I must be honest, Berlin is not my fave European city ever – I mean the weather treated us well and all but would I rush to return? Probably not, at least not by choice. I know many people who’ve been who’d happily go back at the drop of a hat, so I’m glad I went and made up my own mind and I’d recommend anyone to do the same!

 

What about you? Have you ever been to Berlin? If you say “Ja!“, what did you think of it? If you say “Nein…“, would you like to go? Let me know!!

 

Oliver ❤

Chit-chats Foodie Friday

#BeeProud afternoon tea at Radisson Blu Edwardian, Manchester

afternoon tea-radisson blu 02
Words & Photos: @oliverinstead

Earlier this week, I was invited by Radisson Blu Edwardian, Manchester to go and have a taste of the new #BeeProud afternoon tea. Here’s a confession: I’m not the afternoon tea-type. The last time I had a full-on afternoon was 4 years ago, in a Best Western in Kuala Lumpur, but #Pride is a great cause – in fact, one that I care very much about so I didn’t waste a sec before accepting the offer! Continue Reading

Music

My summer 2017 playlist

summer playlist 01
Words & Photo: @oliverinstead

Of all the things on the face of this planet, none gives me more joy than the following : people who hold the door for me, people who thank me when I hold the door for them (common courtesy, people!) and listening to a new bop for the first time.
Today I’m sharing five songs I’ve discovered this summer and will continue to play on repeat throughout the season. Read on if you need some inspo for your own summer playlist!

 

one Don’t Take the Money – The Bleachers

Not everyone’s heard of the Bleachers but I bet almost everyone would’ve heard of the frontman’s music… case in point : That new Lorde song? No? Maybe Taylor Swift’s latest album? Ok, how about that fun. song that everyone jammed so hard to back in 2012? Yeah, the main man behind the Bleachers, Jack Antonoff is one-third of fun. and responsible for countless other artists’ hits.

If you’re not familiar with his music, I reckon Don’t Take the Money would be a good introduction. [ Listen ]

 

two Plot Twist – Sigrid

Sigrid is my new Scandi-obsession. This Norwegian newcomer’s songwriting is so youthful and so refreshing, coupled with her gritty and at times aggressive vocals : it’s love. Confessions : upon hearing Don’t Kill My Vibe (which I assume is how most people, myself included, have come to know her), I found her slightly hard to get into to begin with but then Plot Twist came along, and my mind was forever changed. [ Listen ]

 

three Glorious – Macklemore (feat. Skylar Grey)

Serving some good ol’ Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ Can’t Hold Us teas here… if you remember that song as well as I do. #goodtimes
If you haven’t heard Glorious yet, then (SPOILER ALERT!!) expect lots of Can’t Hold Us flashbacks – so much so that it almost sounds like they just laid new vocals over the Can’t Hold Us backing track, but I’m not complaining because this song is gold. I know for sure it’s going to be the first song I turn on whenever I need my spirits lifted. [ Listen ]

 

four Remember I Told You – Nick Jonas (feat. Anne Marie & Mike Posner)

This track is so underrated. #fact Personally, I think it’s one of Nick Jonas’ best songs to date, but it’s not even charted in the US… like, how?! It’s catchy, the lyrics are relevant, the vocals are solid, and it features a rapper… granted, Mike Posner isn’t the most sought-after rapper in the game these days – but still, this song pretty much has all the hallmarks of a summer smash.

(Also, much love for the styling in the video.) [ Listen ]

 

five Say My Name – Tove Styrke

Another one of my Scandi-obsession : this one goes all the way back to my teens and it’s been a real joy to witness Tove’s musical evolution. Say My Name is this Swedish pop princess’ latest offering, the lead single from her upcoming album, which I cannot wait to hear because Kiddo was such a masterpiece. [ Listen ]

 

What do you think about my selection? How many of them have you heard? Is there a summer track that you think I need to know? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Oliver ❤