Sun bathed the vast snowy gardens behind the Schloss Charlottenburg. The frozen river was melting, leaving the ducks dodging the ice floes.
After exploring the playground at the northern fringe of the park, we retreated to the Brauhaus Lemke across the street and thawed our toes. The impersonal space is popular with coach parties; the food is nothing special, but the tasting selection of four homebrews was a delight.
The rice noodle soups, which Do De Li sees as their speciality, have that performative element one often enjoys. The contents of the little bowls are tipped into hot broth: the albumen in the quail's egg whitens, the shrimps turn rosy. Nevertheless, I might well prefer the hand-kneaded wheat noodle soups, such as the beef one with its flare of Sichuan pepper described on Mel's wonderful blog.
Also in the chewy vein is the strange and rather wonderful sweet noodle dish dotted with cinnamon blossoms. (Forgive the pictures, it's a dim interior!) Those more adventurous than I might like to know Do De Li also serve such specialities as chicken foot or jellyfish salad. I get the feeling there's a lot of dross on the menu (and note that most of the menu is not displayed online), but those who tread carefully and ask lots of questions are rewarded.
The waitstaff have always been lovely, and in contrast to some of the restaurants on Kantstraße, this place has a homey feel, with an electric piano beside the bookshelves tucked in the back.
© Akihisa Masuda, from Tree Houses
But oh, lush ink-saturated pages can brighten a slate-skied day.
© Bibliothek Werner Oechslin, Einsiedeln, from Six Books of Euclid
Today I'm pleased to team up with a publisher I love, Taschen, who makes beautiful books on topics as varied as tree houses, geometry and contemporary illustration, for a giveaway marking a blitz sale that begins today at their temporary Schlüterstraße location (and indeed around the world).
© TASCHEN, from 100 Illustrators
Leave a comment below to win your own copy of the slipcased two-volume 100 Illustrators, which includes beloved Berlin-based illustrators Olaf Hajek and Christoph Niemann. I'll choose a winner at random on Sunday.
Volksfaden for their lustrous range of Spanish wools.
Du Bonheur for pastries that sing of buttery perfection (the Kouign Amann and the monkey bites are delightful variations on a theme).
And Moritzplatz for a moment of transport. The birdsong is back, doesn't it feel like spring?