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Opening days at Dóttir

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The sweetest snow crab in an age; a dill meringue which left me with the sugar shakes, in the nicest way. Not pictured: the pleasing sludge of the beurre noisette; the liquorice-dark bread; the thimbles of akvavit the kind waiter pressed on us before we went on our merry way.

Dóttir, Mittelstr. 40/41, Berlin-Mitte (map)
Pan-Scandinavian menu (€45)

Dry Beef Salad, Sweet Cinnamon Noodles (Revisiting Do De Li)

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Beef, dry as jerky, sliced thin and slicked with enough marinade to make the scatter of Sichuan pepper stick. Crisp apple and rice noodles swollen in a cinnamon blossom syrup. A mouthful of this, a mouthful of that.

They had sold out of jellyfish so that's the salad we'll try next time.

Do De Li, Kantstr. 120, Berlin-Charlottenburg (map)

Aux Delices Normands

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A rare Saturday zu zweit: we bought chocolate croissants and olive-studded, olive oil-soaked breads at Aux Delices Normands, then hopped into an electric car on the center verge of the Ku'damm. In fifteen minutes we were at the lake.

Do you know the old-fashioned French bakery? The Ludwigkirchplatz branch is just up the road from S's new school. I sometimes cannot resist indulging in a chocolate eclair after drop off, buy a hearty quiche (two parts metallic spinach, one part quivering, nutmeggy custard) for an early supper, or picking up a perfect baguette and some crémant when a friend is joining us after bedtime.

They've recently taken over the old-fashioned maroon-granite interior of what used to be the Harry Genenz pâtisserie on Adenauerplatz, which sports the best West Berlin people watching I've seen in an age and was a perfect breakfast spot to begin a lazy weekend.

Aux Delices Normands, Pfalzburger Str. 76, Berlin-Wilmersdorf (map); Brandenburgische Str. 32, Berlin-Charlottenburg (map) and elsewhere
Traditional French bakery and delicatessen, open from early in the morning

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Three scenes of winter

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 The worst of it seems to have passed, no? I don't mean just the season.

In between days

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Isn't it very early for cherry blossoms out of doors?

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Anyhow, my branches are still in bud.

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On my way to the office, I find myself walking down the platform to read all the whimsical, poetic billboards advertising the BVG.

Tiles-hansaplatz

While I'm there, I ogle the walls. How I wish I could raid the Industriekeramik stockpiles of yesteryear! I have been thinking very closely about tiles and struggling to find the magical third way: neither DIY shop nor noveau riche.

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A dear friend accompanied me to the newly opened voß tile shop in Spandau where we found some glimmerings of hope. Our reward: a visit to the two-storied Florida Eis ice cream parlor. (Yes, mint-chocolate chip!)

Amaryllis-bud

And my amaryllis is beginning to bud and I've eaten at Yami Yami four times in the last month and haven't been disappointed once: but on that and everything else, more anon.

Recently, snow

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In the morning S packed a box full of snow and placed it in the freezer, chortling in anticipatory delight of taking it out in June. Then we went to join the sun-dazzled snowy streets. Lunch was a butch, bloody steak at Filetstück for me, a heap of perfect mashed potatoes for her. (We ate apples on the train, I murmur in my defense.) In the glass box that is the kitchen, we glimpsed the staff stealing spoonfuls of an anonymous dark mass in a metal bowl. S screwed up her courage and asked the waiter what it was when he brought us our change. Wollt ihr probieren? he said and when we shyly begged off, he brought us a bowl of buttery ground poppyseeds and two spoons.

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The snow was shin-deep at the cemetery playground. Swooping curves marked the course of wooden sleighs. We made our way north. When we arived, we sank into the embrace of a familiar royal blue sofa and listened to the Weihnachtsoratorium as the candles burned down.