The cheapest Michelin starred food in the world at Tim Ho Wan's restaurant in Mongkok, Kowloon may not be a secret - you will be able to identify the small restaurant by the queue outside - but what I did discover this year was that you could get takeaway. The pleasure I took in walking past all the outraged queuing tourists to pick up my freshly baked pork buns was only topped by the pleasure of sitting by the side of the road eating the delicacy.
2-20 Kwong Wa Street, Mong Kok
Flat 8, Ground Floor, Phase 2, Tsui Yuen, Mansion, 2-20 Kwong Wa St
+852 2332 2896
Google map: bit.ly/X010Bv
I wanted to find a pretty German lake for a swim on a sunny day, and Wandlitz was the obvious answer. But however hard I looked online I couldn’t find the answers to any of my questions, or even find the train station on google maps, so here goes…
To swim in the lake get on a train from Berlin Karow and get off at Wandlitzsee, and almost opposite the train station is a lido in the lake. It costs about two Euro to get in and there’s grassy banks, the lido, but also access to swim in the whole lake, rowing boats, diving boards, food and drink and lots of German families.
If you don’t want to go to the main public part of the lake try heading to the right as you approach the lido and take the path round, every so often there are areas you can access the lake for a swim, have a picnic, or just enjoy the peace and quiet.
This is all within Berlin zone C so easy to get to, and only about 15mins from Karow. We took a picnic and asked the woman in the boat hire to look after our things while we went for a swim which she was more than happy to do, but most people just left their belongings and as with everywhere else I went in Berlin you never really got the feeling that anything would get stolen.
Apparently it takes about three hours to walk round the whole lake but it was far too hot to even consider attempting that. And apparently the town is quite pretty, but I was desperate for Kaffee und Kuchen and so bi-passed that and headed back to the city.
Highlights? Watching the many varied attempts of people falling head first, feet first, and far too often belly first off the diving boards into the lake; and just swimming in a huge, calm, clean (although not quite crystal clear) stretch of water.
It’s no secret that Berlin isn’t too pretty and you don’t find a Medieval gem hidden round each corner, but frankly that’s not why you would visit so no shame in that. But if you are on the lookout for some old palaces, grand gardens and cute streets then look no further than Potsdam and bask in the glory of Frederick the Great’s architectural legacy.
And is it worth it? Yes, and I’d have been gutted if I had not gone, and ended up going twice. On the western edge of Park Sanssouci is the Neues Palais (take a bus from the station or hire a bike, although make sure you book in advance on sunny weekends) and then I wandered through the park past the Orangerie, the Chinese House and on to Schloss Sansoucci, Mr the Great’s favourite palace.
Maybe because it was the first one I saw or maybe because it is actually the most impressive, the Neues Palais stands out for me. It’s huge, it’s imposing, it’s incredible that anyone needed so many palaces, but apparently they did, and it’s possibly even more impressive than Pemberley, although Mr Darcy would probably make a more accommodating flatmate than Fred.
But what is more impressive is just wandering around the park on a sunny day and enjoying a completely different experience to Berlin, each part of the park you come across is interesting in it’s own right, and I’m sure I missed loads even after going twice. So you should go and check it out, even on a short trip to Berlin.
Potsdam itself is a nice place to explore, have some drinks, some food, a spot of shopping, and generally relax. We had lunch at Backstolz (on Dorturstrasse, just off Brandenburger Strasse) which was really nice.
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