Chill out with a refreshing chilled soup recipe that can be served as a classy shooter at your next cocktail party.
I’m sitting in my hotel room at the Hilton Berlin gazing directly into the heart of the historic Gendarmenmarkt. I had never been to Berlin. Like most Americans who are old enough to remember before The Wall came down; it was a Russian controlled, dark and scary place to most of us. Today it is an amalgam of boxy concrete buildings with a few beautiful pre-WWI buildings lucky enough to have escaped the bombing of WWII, a spectacular concert hall, revitalized neighborhoods, a lovely park, an influx of friendly young people, and a burgeoning art, nightlife and restaurant scene.
Berliners tell me that ”we are poor but sexy“ is the current popular slogan in the city. It’s on tee shirts at the Segway tour and bike rental shop, and cab drivers spout it off when they learn you are American. Of course nowhere do I see a Berliner wearing that tee shirt.
Although many come to visit the East Gallery, a colorfully painted kaleidoscope of what is left of The Wall, Brandenburg Gate Berlin’s most famous landmark, and Checkpoint Charlie, they aren’t on any planned itinerary for me. I prefer to walk a city and let it unfold. For this reason I chose the perfectly situated Hilton Berlin in Berlin’s city center Mitte district. A long stroll or a quick cab ride away is the Reichstag. Built in 1893 under Emperor Wilhelm II it survived the bombs of WWII no doubt because Hitler had closed the building; he didn’t like that it represented the democratic Weimar Republic. Today it has been restored and once again is the seat of the German Parliament. Capped with a stupendous glass dome you may walk in to the top, there is also a wonderful restaurant next to it on the roof called Kafer with top-notch food and wine and spectacular views of the city of Berlin.
As I mentioned, the Hilton Berlin is well-located as a base to explore the city; but it is also a destination. The Listo-Lobby Lounge is Berlin’s upscale living room hosting casual pre-dinner cocktails, snacks and tea time, to apres-event nightcaps. I attended the Hilton HHonors private Live Nation concert of the artist Grimes (you use your member points to buy incredible concert experiences in an auction), and beyond the after-party meet and greet with Grimes, we partied well into the night with glasses of Pommerey Champagne sur glace in this beautiful space.
I loved this cucumber apple shooter. At Listo-Lobby Lounge they we were served in solid ice shot glasses chilling in a huge glass vessel of sparkling green-tinted ice. Hilton Berlin sure can party!
Image by Kurt WinnerPrint
Michelle was born with a fork in her hand. As a culinary travel writer and confirmed foodophile she delights in the world-wide discovery of new flavor profiles, spices, salts and herbs. Based in one of the world's foodie meccas; Portland, Oregon, not far from "Pinot Noir Heaven" Michelle shares culinary travel and chef's recipes. Her photography has appeared in Saveur Magazine and she has contributed culinary travel articles to Forbes online, WSJ online, Business Insider, Condé Nast Digital Media, Islands magazine and many others. A confirmed globetrotter, she still keeps her bags packed and fork in hand (well . . . except through airport security.)