From London I went over to Berlin to see my lovely parents. Both my mother and father decided to have end of the year health scares so I was really very relieved to be going to see them! Dad had something called an ‘ablation’ to the heart and my mother was told she required a pacemaker. Fortunately both are recovering well and with 2016 in full flow they are working on getting 100% better. My dad has even made a foray to the gym…pretty impressive stuff!
We managed to pack a lot into the trip but also had some lovely time just relaxing the three of us and spending quality time together. I really love being in Berlin with them as it really feels homely. On the first night we had a chilled evening at home eating all my favourite foods, my parents had hit the deli hard and I loved all of it (especially the multiple types of salami!!) The next day we took mummy for a doctor’s appointment where I learned things are done differently in Germany. The doctor was fantastic and he sat us down and explained every stage of the process to the point dad and I felt we could easily have put the thing in mummy ourselves! He really did a great job of putting our minds at rest and even set the appointment to be convenient for all of us! Amazing service all round!
Following the doctor Mummy and I went to do some light shopping and had an all important nutritious and delicious chocolate breakfast at Fassbender and Rausch which is Germany’s eqivalent to Neuhaus! Truly it is a gorgeous store and the cafe is lovely. The waiter was so helpful and even went out of his way to make sure my hot chocolate looked beautiful in spite of my not wanting whipped cream. The cake was to die for and I think that chocolate breakfast should be mandatory!! The next challenge is getting that gorgeous chocolate bear back to Dubai!!
In the evening dad met us and took us for dinner and cocktails at Einsteins which is my favourite Berlin hang out. The staff are all really knowledgeable and the food is divine! Dad and I shared an apple strudel the size of my face that tasted like heaven. The whole evening was great fun and it was nice to do something light hearted after our trip to the doctor. We managed to stay there till closing we were having so much fun! The history of Einsteins is fascinating and well worth a read. As you walk through the door you walk over the two gold pave stones that honour the Blumenfeld’s who committed suicide during the holocaust. It’s very poignant to realise that while this house has happy memories it is also the site of some real tragedy. Berlin doesn’t shy away from it’s dark history and instead chooses to honour the dead as best it can. You see these golden stones all over the city and it always gives you pause for thought.
On Tuesday my parents threw a party so I could meet some of their friends. During the day mummy and I went to a few of her happy places in Berlin. There is a street near hers with all second hand designer clothes shops – there were some gorgeous things and mummy kindly got me a pair of stunning MaxMara sunglasses that are my new favourites. We also checked out ‘Broken English’ which is a store that sells all English products, even food and drinks that you can’t get elsewhere. The lady who runs it was so lovely and it was fun to explore the stuff they had. Later we went to be made pretty by the fabulous Mariusz, he is a genius with hair! He has now got me started with all new shampoo and conditioners which should help undo the damage of the horrible Dubai water.
At around 7 people started to arrive for the party which was GREAT fun, my parents have made some really lovely friends all of whom were charming and so lovely about my parents. There was a nice mix of ages too as my friend M lives in Berlin and she came and a few of my parents friends have children my age…so we all ended up sitting together in the ‘naughty corner’ which made us all feel about 15 in quite a nice way! It really was a great night all in all and it makes me very happy that my parents have made such great friends already in their new city.
On Wednesday Dad and I decided it was time to get our shop on for mummy…we hit what felt like every store on the KuDamm and had many adventures before we found the perfect items for madam. I am not sure we can show our faces at any of the stores we went to as ‘decisive’ wasn’t really the name of the game! That said many hours of work later we found the perfect gifts and mummy seemed very happy on the big day! The highlight of the shopping trip for me was stopping for chinese food. Dad and I hadn’t had lunch just us in far too long so it was nice to chew the cud and really catch up. The restaurant he chose was brilliant and served sumptuous dim sum which is something Dubai seems to lack. All in all it was a really lovely day out and I even enjoyed gift wrapping in the evening!
On Thursday we decided to spend the day locally and checked out some fabulous shops near my parents. They had very kindly decided they wanted to get Bond and I a joint Christmas present and had settled on a piece of art from a local art gallery. They wanted my approval and help in choosing the perfect piece. It took quite a while to select the ideal piece and I absolutely love it. I definitely recommend checking out the artist. My parents also bought Bond a really cool glass, it has a special base so that you can spin it without it spilling! So clever and original. Berlin has fantastic shops if you are looking for unique one off pieces.
In the evening we went to Tugra for amazing Turkish food – it was all delicious. I enjoyed every bite and now I am determined to find an equally good Turkish place here! The restaurant was also lovely and the staff were utterly charming. We had such a fun evening and Mummy and I even enjoyed an Aperol Spritz which brought back fun memories of my last trip to Berlin. I am adding Tugra to my list of ‘must go’ places!
Christmas day saw us at the Regent Hotel which was the perfect spot to celebrate the big day. The pianist played beautifully and all the food was perfection. There was everything that you could possibly want to eat. My highlight was the delicious brownie with apricots – the texture was lovely and the flavour was ideal. I really enjoyed every moment of being there! After lunch we headed home for present opening. It’s always a highlight watching everyone opening gifts and seeing if you’ve made good choices! I think that my parents were happy with their gifts, especially the painting I commissioned of the view from our London flat. I loved all my presents too and we all felt thoroughly spoiled and lucky to be together!
Boxing day was total indulgence at the Adlon spa, my dad had decided to treat all of us to some pampering. Mummy and I each had a La Prairie facial and dad had a massage. The facial was amazing, I felt like a new woman afterwards. The whole process was relaxing and I left glowing! They even gave us a lovely bath oil as it was Christmas. Then mummy treated us all to lunch in their restaurant. I had the best burger ever, it was totally decadent. Dad had to go and do some work so mummy and I decided the best way to kill some time was to eat cake! I had the most increidible marzipan and chocolate cake. Every bite was to die for good. Just sitting here now I am reliving the moment!
In the evening we decided to just relax at home so I could do some packing and relax with the lovely Tuxedo who as ever was loveable and gorgeous. He really is so cute! The last evening is always sad because it means soon I am leaving which I always hate. The worst part of living abroad is not getting as much quality time. Still we are all happy in our new locations so we have to take the good times when we can!
Sunday sadly I had to depart back to Dubai but not before my parents filled me full of good hearty German food! We went to a traditional German restaurant where I ate a MASSIVE wiener schnitzel, it was so big it kept me going for many hours while I travelled. Naturally I thought it would be rude not to have yet more marzipan cake which is my new obsession.
The flight back was uneventful until I landed to find that BA had lost one of my suitcases!! It was totally maddening…a week later I finally got it back and as yet BA have still barely apologised and have proven that Terminal 5 deserves it’s reputation as a black hole for luggage…not to end on a ‘low point’ though I truly had a fantastic time and I can’t wait to see my parents soon…this time in Dubai as they told me they booked their trip this morning!! WOOHOO!!!