On Saturday morning I leave my hotel just after 09h00. I have a slot for the Pergamon museum at 10h30, so I figure I might as well walk. And walk. And walk some more.
My hotel is on the rear side of the Tiergarten, in what used to be West Berlin. I decide to take the long route, so I first walk up to the Siegessäule, and then from there through the park and past the Bundestag to the Brandburger Tor. I keep on going through the gate and then continue all the way down Unter den Linden until I hit the Berliner Dom.
The Pergamon museum is right next to the Dom, and totally worth a visit. Currently, the museum is being refurbished and expanded. And I’ll definitely need to come back once it’s done. Because even with many of the exhibits currently inaccessible due to the ongoing construction, it’s still an impressive collection to see.
What I like about this museum, is that they have tried to reconstruct what the exhibits originally looked like, which obviously gives visitors a much better impression of what they’re looking at. The photo below is a reconstruction of the famous Ishtar gate. The decorative animals on the walls are from the original construction.
From the Pergamon museum I first head in the direction of the Alexander Platz, which is currently a bit of a mess as they’re renovating parts of the square.
And then from there I head to the Humboldt Forum, which I guess is to Berlin what the Centre Georges Pompidou is to Paris. Apart from the interesting events and shows they put on at the Humboldt Forum, it’s quite interesting to go up onto the roof of the building, where you have a good view of the city. There’s also a restaurant.
By the time I’m done, it’s already gone 13h and I’m seriously starting to run out of steam. I’m also very hungry. Luckily, I have a reservation for afternoon tea at the Regent Hotel near the Gendarmen Markt, which is only a few minutes away from the Humboldt Forum.
The Regent Berlin
The Regent Berlin sits on the Charlottenstrasse in one of the corners of the Genderamen Markt. From the outside, the building is quite unprepossessing. But once you step into the lobby, it’s a very different story. The afternoon tea is held in a small room with only six tables, so it’s a fairly intimate setting.
The staff are all very nice, and clearly they have been trained well. The head waiter is knowledgeable about tea and suggests I try a few different ones throughout my stay. I first try a First Flush Darjeeling, before moving on to a rather striking & smoky Early Grey.
It’s the perfect pot of tea, nicely flavoured but timed to ensure there isn’t the slightest hint of bitterness in the leaves.
We start with an etagere of savouries on three levels. On top there are canapés of tête de moine cheese and focaccia with chestnut paste.
On the second level, we have a choice of finger sandwiches.
The choices are ham and cheese, boiled egg…
… smoked salmon and cucumber.
And then comes a second etagere with the sweets.
The top tier has a selection of little sweets: a raspberry meringue, a peanut Florentine and a kind of butter cake with lemon curd.
The second level has a plate of berries and fruitcake.
The scones are on the lower plate and they are served nice and warm. What’s more, full brownie points go to the Regent for using real clotted cream and not whipped cream instead.
The afternoon tea at the Regent is a great way to while away a lazy Saturday afternoon when it’s cold and wet outside. The staff are excellent and very welcoming. It’s a great way to take a rest from the toils of shopping and or sightseeing.
The afternoon tea is very popular, and I would strongly suggest you book in advance if you want to experience it. While I was there, several persons were turned down and the couple on the next table inquired about afternoon tea in December, only to be told there were no more slots available until Christmas.