Coffee In Berlin

February 17, 2014 • BerlinCoffeeTravel

there are many things i look forward to when traveling to berlin, but the cool coffee bars definitely are number one on the list. it doesn’t matter how often i go there, every time there are about half a dozen more places that serve great espresso. and the best part of it? they’re all really different. they’re not just taking a page from the ‘how to open a hipster hangout’ – these places have their own identities, and seriously cool ones to boot.

the australian owners of silo have done such a great job creating a space that feels warm and cosy, with lots of nooks and places where you can sit with friends or get some work done. i love the contrast between all of the wood and the bare brick walls, and between the overall muted color scheme with little pops of red. i would have loved to spend a lot more time there.

concierge coffee is another newcomer on the berlin caffeine scene. it is literally a hole in the wall kind of place, where you take your coffee to go, or sip it sharing juicy gossip with your friends who live or work in the neighborhood – at least that’s the impression i got when i was there.

one of its owners recognized me from instagram (always so fun to meet insta contacts in real life!) and took me on a tour in the space behind the coffee shop. at the time they were planning to open a larger lunch place that would also moonlight as a local design showroom. come summer there’d also be a large terrace outside to enjoy the sunshine. i can’t wait to return and check it out – but if you go or have been there in the meantime, let me know how it turned out!

Berlin Souvenirs

January 30, 2014 • BerlinDesignInterior

i’ve always loved bringing back souvenirs from my travels. ever since i was a little kid i would love scouring local boutiques in search of the one item that perfectly represented the place i was in. i have had entire collections of snow globes, starbucks coffee mugs, posters and various knick knacks that invariably ended up in some sort of box or dark corner of the closet because, well, they seemed like such a good idea at the time.

the last couple of years i’ve been traveling ever more frequently, and i quickly figured out that my souvenir hobby wouldn’t survive – our tiny apartment simply has not enough spare boxes and empty corners for an incorrigible hoarder. so instead of looking for ‘souvenirs’, i now keep an eye out for items that have a connection to the city where i pick them up, but that i would have loved to have even without it.

the first time i wandered into voo store – a little over two years ago – i think i must have spent more than an hour there, not just photographing the place for the travel guide i was writing, but picking up and studying every. single. item on display, too. everything is just so well curated. i was overwhelmed with choice, so obviously i ended up leaving empty-handed. (does that happen to you, too?)

i had noticed those cement letters by danish, berlin-based architect and designer sigurd larsen, and i haven’t been able to stop thinking about them. so that’s why i didn’t feel the slightest bit guilty buying this beautiful R – the first letter of my husband’s family name. i already brought back an old neon letter S from the rose bowl flea market in los angeles, and i ordered this giant playtype poster M from copenhagen, so now we only need a D to complete both sets of our initials. and while satisfying my hunger for typography in our interior, i’ve managed to gather bits and pieces of my favorite places around the world – right here in our home.

as for the vodka. yeah, i jumped on that bandwagon. it’s all over the internet, but admit it – the packaging is just too good to pass up. i’m afraid i’ll probably never open it and it is destined to live a long and happy life as a design object around the house. which is probably a shame, because i’ve heard good things about the guys who brew the vodka in berlin.

photos by stephanie duval


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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


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