Sunday, 6 October 2013

Welcome to Expat Mummy in Berlin

I moved to Berlin from Copenhagen with my English husband and toddler in 2011.  I usually turn to the internet to find out the answers to most questions in life but struggled to find the information I needed to start to get my son and I integrated into life there. I had done the expat thing before but it is harder second time round with a child.

I felt that the Berlin mummysphere is hard to penetrate and I often simply didn't know where to find things out - and I don't think I was alone. 

By exploring both the internet and the real world, my son and I started to slowly find things and places that we needed to have fun, save money, meet other people, enjoy food and a multitude of other experiences. I wanted to help other English speaking mums new to the city , who may have been feeling like I was and that is where this blog came from.

I'm not for one second suggesting that this is the definitive guide to all things mum (and dad) and baby in Berlin especially as we were based in the Prenzlauer Berg area but it is a start and everything here has been tried and tested by me and my son. If we liked it, its here. There are a number of businesses mentioned here but none of them have been asked to be featured unless the post says it is a sponsored post. Everything is my personal opinion but I hope that it is of use to you.

So welcome and enjoy. I no longer live in Berlin but I think that the content here is still helpful.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Airbnb - city breaks for families

I hadn't heard of Airbnb until my husband found it via a web search for accommodation for our trip to Copenhagen. Copenhagen is infamous for its expensive hotel accommodation, especially if you need to travel with children. Airbnb offers you the chance to stay in a real home in many places across the world. For us it meant that we could stay in an apartment in the heart of our old neighbourhood with a bedroom for us and one for Noah plus a huge kitchen and beautiful living space for less than the price of a night in one room in a hotel. It made our trip very relaxing and enjoyable especially as there were toys for my son to play with.

Where we see more click here

I would certainly use Airbnb again. The admin side of it takes a bit of time as you need to register and, as you are asking to stay in someone's home, you need to make sure there is a bit of honest information about you on the members' section of the website so prospective renters can get a feel of you, but it is worth it. You can also list your own place for rental.

When friends are planning to visit us in Copenhagen, I would certainly recommend the place we stayed in.

This does sound a bit like a sponsored post (which it isn't) but I was so pleased with the opportunities that this website has opened to us for future city breaks and also that so few people I have mentioned it to have heard of it, I wanted to share it here.


Friday, 28 December 2012

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Expat Mummy's top....places to eat

We have eaten in a number of places in Berlin and these are our top picks in no particular order.

Nola am Weinbergsweg - great seasonal menu and a wonderful location.

Yumcha Heroes - Chinese dumpling heaven

da Piadina - homely Italian food

Milchmanns - best brunch plate we have tasted here

La K√§serie - probably one of my most favourite places here, both for the cheese and the service

Vanilla - Kay's cupcakes are some of the best I have tasted

Monday, 17 December 2012

Domklause - restaurant at the DDR Museum

After a great morning in the DDR Museum, we went to the adjoining themed restaurant for lunch. I will begin by saying the decor is amazing and the history of the original Dom Klause makes it even more fascinating. The service is great and the prices OK although the main meal part of the menu is a bit pricey.

I will also say that the portions are good and the selection of traditional DDR food is very interesting. Eating here is more of an extension of the experience of the museum rather than a restaurant in its own right. I did not enjoy my soup (top right) but that is probably my taste and no reflection on the execution of the dish.

It is definitely well worth finishing your time in the DDR Museum with a meal here.

Address: Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 1, 10178 Berlin

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Thursday, 13 December 2012

DDR Museum

This museum has been on my list of places to visit for a while and I am delighted that we made it. We arrived when it opened at 10am which was a good move as it got very busy later on. My son enjoys museums but I don't think he has spent over three hours in one before and I think he would have stayed longer.

This is the ultimate hands on museum, everything there is for you to look at, touch and really experience.

The biggest draw for him was the Trabant that you could sit in and drive whilst watching a video of a DDR housing estate. I think we went back to this car about twenty times.

The presentation of the main exhibits is a representation of DDR prefab housing blocks.

There are drawers to open that hold real things from the era and in many cases you can get them out and touch them.

I loved this construction toy which allowed children in East Berlin to build their own prefab structure.

This drawer delighted my son - it is a DDR apartment in miniature.

And there is a life size one too. Again you can open all the cupboards, watch the TV, pick up the phone and really immerse yourself in the East German experience.

There is a lot of mixed media dotted around - listening posts (in German) of contemporary broadcasts, video screens and a little screening room running short films (again in German).

My son loved typing on this portable typewriter (which was almost identical to one I had when I was about nine).

They have used a lot of new technology in the museum to keep it interesting - above is the desk in the Party office and each item, when placed on the hidden screen on the desk, pops up an interactive screen.

There were a number of school parties in the museum when we were there and I have never seen so many young people really engaging with a historical exhibit.

The museum explores all aspects of DDR life from recreation, lifestyle, food and other consumer items, political life, prison - the list goes on. If you take time to read everything you will go away knowing all you want to about life in East Germany/Berlin and if, like me, you were enjoying through a child's eyes, they have a great book you can purchase which follows all the information in the museum.

This is the notice that greets you when you arrive and it really lives up to it. If you only visit one museum in Berlin make it this one!

Address: Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 1, 10178 Berlin

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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Mein Laden, Dein Laden secondhand shop

I reviewed another of these indoor flea markets back in the summer and I recently rented a shelf at one in Pankow called Mein Laden, Dein Laden. This is a busy shop and there is a lot of footfall so a great place to pick up bargains and also to sell your own stuff.

I will have a shelf there until Christmas selling a rotation of great quality things so please stop by if you are in the area. Below is my shelf this week.

For more information about renting space here, visit their website below.

Address: Damerowstrasse 8, 13187 Berlin (in Forum Pankow)

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