eatDoori

eatDOORI is a modern take on your traditional Indian cuisine. Now I’m going to be honest here, I love Indian food and I am quite picky when it comes to Indian food. One of my friends back in London has three very successful modern Indian cookbooks so I’m quite spoiled. My husband also cooks from these books, the recipes are right on.

But not everyone dares to cook Indian dishes at home and traditional ones at that, so I highly recommend walking yourself to eatDOORI on either Kaiserstraße or Oeder Weg. You will find very nice atmosphere with kind staff and a delicious selection of modern Indian cuisine. The appetisers are very nice and the drinks are quite satisfying.

It’s easy, yummy and relatively cheap. So it’s a very good option for meeting up with friends.

The decor on Oeder Weg is very pleasing and the outside area is very cool, all blue.


Address:
Two locations:
Kaiserstraße 55, 60329
Oeder Weg 30, 60318 (map shows Oeder Weg location)

Hours:
Kaiserstraße:
Monday – Sunday, 11:30am – 11pm

Oeder Weg:
Monday – Friday, 11:30am-3pm, 5pm-10pm
Saturday – Sunday, 11:30am- 10pm

Additional info: website | instagram | facebook

Price Guide: €€



outdoor dance party

LAZY. Frankfurt outdoor party

LAZY. Frankfurt outdoor party is thrown by djs Weller, Yannick & Pedo. Located at Schwedlersee they have a great sound and play a wide range of music that they love!

When I was in the States this last summer I got a call from my husband saying, “hey I pulled a Kelly last night”. I was like, “what”? He said, “well I met some really nice people while drinking a beer with my work mates at Friedberger Platz and they mentioned going out to a party called LAZY in Schwedlersee”.

Let me pause here for a second and explain a few things. I’m the party-goer!  I always instigate a going-out session or hanging out with random people I’ve just met, not my husband, even though he’s always happy to go along. But in that moment he thought, what would Kelly do?  So he went out to Schwedlersee with people he just met.  He had a great time at his first LAZY. party. I was super proud. He raved about the setting and the music and said it was still kicking at 4am when he left.

Last month when friends were visiting from the States I got to experience my first LAZY. party. We went early, because well, we had a baby sitter.  We wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to really enjoy it. Luckily when it comes to our babysitter, my husband always goes home early to release her. I get to stay out. 🙂

It rained cats and dogs just before we arrived, so, it was wet! Luckily though the main area is covered. The party started out nice and easy, great atmosphere to sit and have a conversation. We had several drinks and then decided to hit an area with big tables where we could chat.  I think the chat got deep!  haha, but what a great setting to have a catch up.

We left around 12am to head home and at that time it was just starting to really kick off!!!!! My husband went on ahead and my friends and I stopped into DIE KLEINSTE disko DER WELT on the way home. Two awesome parties, right next to each other, on the same night, doesn’t get much better than that!  Perfection!

GOOD TO KNOW:

  • The next LAZY. party is next weekend!!!! LAZY Vol. 6 Save the Last Dance. Friday, 20th September, 8pm – 6am, get your tickets here


Address

Schwedlersee
60314 Frankfurt

Hours:
8pm – 6am, check their instagram and facebook page for more information

Additional info:   facebook | instagram



Kollekt

Looking for something different? Something not so Frankfurt? Fashion with a New York vibe? Then Kollekt Konzept Store is just the boutique for you! Located in the beautiful West End, this pop-up shop brings you luxury fashion from New York and beyond. You will find brands like: House of Lafayette, Milly, Love Binetti, Lever Couture, Love Shack Fancy, Puma Italia, and a capsule collection by Kollekt.

You will also find a wide selection of beautiful products for your home, accessories and art.


Address:
Kronberger Str. 22, 60323

Tel: 01590 1367257

Hours:
Monday – Friday, 12pm-7pm
Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Sunday, closed

Additional info: instagramfacebook

Price Guide: €€€



BrauStil

Locally brewed beer, you can’t get much better than that! BrauStil, located on Oeder Weg, is a local brewery specialising in handcrafted beers from start to finish. Their entire beer making process is done by hand from malting to fermentation to bottling. They source their raw materials locally as they believe in quality, sustainability and working with locals. They may only have a small selection of beers on tap, however, this is not to be looked down upon as their small selection is of the highest quality.

BrauStil has an amazing outdoor space and is perfect for those lovely summer evenings. Enjoy the outside area until 10pm, from 10pm drinking must continue inside in their quaint lovely space. Just be sure to be the first one in there or you won’t get a spot. Due to space constraints, it fills up quickly.

If you’re hungry then head next door to Super Bros and order a pizza. They’ll bring it over to you! I know, amazing right!


Address:
Oeder Weg 57, 60318 Frankfurt am Main
Tel: 069 98669557

Hours:
Monday – Wednesday 4pm – 12am
Thursday 4pm – 1am
Friday 12pm -1am
Saturday 12pm – 12am
Sunday 4pm – 10pm

Additional info: website | instagram | facebook

Price Guide: €€



Museum Angewandte Kunst

Museum Angewandte Kunst

Museum of Applied Arts

The Museum Angewandte Kunst or in English the Museum of Applied Arts has sat beautifully along the south side of the River Main on Museum Row since 26 April 2013. This museum is used as a template to exhibit applied arts from the past, present and future.  Furthermore, the museum’s concept is A Space of Possibility. It explores our developments in society with an emphasis on art and fashion.

Begin by walking the museum grounds and find a world of inspiration.  Next, enter the modern building and find yourself surrounded by crisp clean lines, open space and loads of light. Finally, it has a specular interior that  inspires you before you even enter an exhibition on display.

I finally set foot into this amazing museum during the Museumsuferfest. On display: Sagmeister & Walsh Beauty, Contemporary Muslin Fashions, The Colour of Jade and Eternity. 2500 Years of Chinese Celadon Ceramics, Richard Meier: A style Room, Style Rooms from the Collections and Dieter Rams: A Style Room. Each of these exhibitions stood strong in their own space and encouraged you to experience the exhibition using all your senses. A full body experience if you will.

I highly recommend it for the whole family. Kids will most definitely appreciate this space.

Good to know:

  • Emma Metzler is a fantastic little cafe in the museum grounds.  Also it has a green space out front for the kids to run around while you quietly have a coffee
  • be sure to head into beautiful Sachsenhausen and explore its streets and all it has to offer


Address:
Schaumainkai 17
60594 Frankfurt, Germany

Foyer:
T + 49 69 212 44539
Information about the Museum:
T + 49 69 212 31286 / 38857
Information about the Guided tours:
T + 49 69 212 38522
[email protected]

Hours:
Monday, closed
Tuesday, Thursday – Sunday 10– 6pm
Wednesday, 10 – 8pm

Additional Info: website | instagram | facebook

Price Guide:



Das Herz von Frankfurt

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder they say, however, I promise you everyone that walks into or passes this cafe will define it as absolutely beautiful.

Let me begin by describing this glorious place to you. First off, very high ceilings, there is an airiness about it which makes you already feel good.  The walls are graced with plant wallpaper and the ceiling completely covered in what I think are fake plants, but my friends that is beside the point, whatever it may be it’s amazing. The grey flooring brings a certain sophistication to the room, petit black shiny tables and velour grey seating completes the look. Essentially, I would describe this place as a jungle heaven.

Now let’s not forget to talk about why we are actually there, food and drinks. I seriously had one of the best iced lattes of my life and a platter full of hummus, breads and dips. Let’s just say it was mouth watering and completely hit the spot. Even my seven year old daughter was silent, that definitely tells you something.

It’s the perfect place for coffee with friends, a light lunch or drinks in the evening. Whatever you choose, you’ll be satisfied with your surroundings.


Address:
Braubachstraße 31,
60311 Frankfurt am Main
Tel: + 49 69 96752944

Hours:
Sunday – Saturday 10am – 12am

Additional info:   instagram | facebook

Price Guide:  



Best cocktails in Frankfurt

The Kinly Bar

Firstly, lets us just say that Kinley Bar picked up Bar of the Year 2020 in Germany.  So, there is NO doubt that you will get some of the Best Cocktails in Frankfurt!

The vibe

A nod to a by gone era of prohibition and speakeasy (speak softly lest the bigots hear). An inconspicuous door, a copper door bell and a stringent entry policy, the atmosphere here is just as important as the cocktails they serve!

In addition to their famous cocktails Kinly Bar is also all about good old fashioned hospitality.  You are swiftly greeted at the door before being led down the wooden staircase into the cellar below to be seated.  Notably, the incredibly talented mixologists create the cocktails whilst the low lighting, black and white photos, vintage gramophone and maze like interior create the mood.  Moreover behind the bar is a treasure troth of infused gins, aged whiskeys, bourbons and any other spirit needed to create the most intricate of cocktails.  Concoctions I might add, to delight even the most skeptical of cocktail naysayers.

The Service

Of course what’s atmosphere without staff?  The Kinly ‘boys’ are a rare type of rugged awesomeness!  No nonsense but still attentive, the definitely know their business kind!  Most notably, they there when you need them and nowhere to be found when you don’t!  

The Cocktail Menu

Forget syrup and sugar heavy, toothpick umbrella & fruit kebab laden cocktails = here the devil is absolutely in the detail. The mixology and cocktails  here are a masterpiece.  No hint of aniseed, lavender or coconut is there by chance, each flavour, aroma and decorative piece is there to ensure the end goal, an absolute tasting pleasure!

The cocktail menu is ever changing.  With the season, the mood and of course, with the patrons Kinley loves to serve.

Good to know:

  • cash only
  • they only serve cocktails
  • atmosphere and mood is paramount at Kinly, if at any point this is being compromised or if at any point a patron is being made to feel uncomfortable by another the ‘situation’ is dealt with swiftly and professionally by the Kinly boys
  • found just off Kaiser Straße in Bahnhofsviertel
  • there is no large sign to indicate it’s there so look out for the copper door bell
  • Their instagram page too is a thing of beauty.  Imagery that manages to recreate and capture the mood of their bar whilst skilfully displaying their cocktail mastery!
  • for more great cocktails check out Hunky Dory


Address:
Elbestraße 34
60329 Frankfurt am Main

Hours:
Monday – Thursday, 8pm – 2am
Friday & Saturday, 8pm – 3am
Sunday, Closed

Additional Info:    website | instagram | facebook

Price Guide: €€€



Frankfurter Kunstverein

Hidden amongst the rebuilt Altstadt, the gem that is The Frankfurter Kunstverein is tucked away quietly. Having passed it several times, I did not take notice as I was looking elsewhere, clearly. But it is a building that should not be missed. It houses some of the best up and coming artist of our time. This gallery merges art, social issues, culture and society and allows us to question, talk and explore our ideas within these mediums. In 2014, Franziska Nori took on the position of director and since has focused the gallery’s program on diverse intersections between art, science, and contemporary society.

I first attended the gallery on the opening night of the Empathische Systeme exhibition featuring artists: Yves Netzhammer, Takayuki Todo, and Theo Jansen. What a truly amazing event it was as each artist captured our attention visually as we explored the complexity of our emotional relationships between humans and technology. Our communication process no longer only happens from human to human, but between humans and technology. Digital technologies are also increasingly exchanging data solely between each other.

The current exhibition is on only until 8th September so be sure to check it out. Sign up to their newsletter for upcoming events and exhibitions.

Here’s some history about The Frankfurter Kunstverein. (please note this paragraph has been taken directly from their website and we do not take credit for it)

The Frankfurter Kunstverein was founded in 1829 and is among the oldest and largest Kunstvereine in Germany with over one thousand members. Since 1962, the institution has been located at the Steinernes Haus directly in the city center. The building’s extension, realized in the 1950s, has since officially been named a historical monument. With the redesign of the Dom-Römer-site, the exhibition house is centrally embedded in the structure of the new urban development. Through the addition of a second entrance, the Frankfurter Kunstverein has now opened itself up to the new district even more, reaffirming its commitment to being a venue designed with and for the city’s residents.


Address:
Steinernes Haus am Römerberg
Markt 44
D-60311 Frankfurt am Maina

Tel. +49 (0)69 219314-0
Fax +49 (0)69 219314-11

[email protected]

Guided Tours and events:
Tel. +49 (0)69 219314-77

Member Service:
Tel. +49 (0)69 219314-10

Press Service:
Tel. +49 (0)69 219314-30

Cafébar:
Tel. +49 (0)69 84770863

Hours:
Tue–Sun: 11 am – 7 pm
Thu: 11 m – 9 pm
Mon closed

Additional Info: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | youtube

Price Guide:
Admission: 8€ regular, 6€ reduced

Reduced admission fee for groups of 8 or more people: 6€ per person | students and schoolchildren: 4€ per person.

Free admission: for members of Frankfurter Kunstverein, of another ADKV-Kunstverein, holders of a Museumsufercard, of ICOM, of AICA-Card, of IKT-Card, for children up to 6 years of age.



City Break: Berlin

City Break: Berlin

Berlin City Break by Train

The nice thing about living in Mainland Europe is I can get most places by train. Living in London was great but there weren’t many places I could travel to living on an island. Ok yes Paris was just a short train ride away but I most likely wouldn’t have taken a train to Berlin.

My husband and I tried for 4 ½ years to get ourselves to Berlin but it never worked out, so when a job became available in Frankfurt we took it. Frankfurt is by no means Berlin, but the upside of now living in Frankfurt is I can get to Berlin in 3 ½ or so hours by train! This is a major perk as I consider Berlin the best city in the world. I literally feel alive when I am there. It’s so full of life, culture, fashion, music and techno and on and on and on.  So any chance I get to hop on over to Berlin I take it. Now a quick side note, Berlin is a great place for both a family getaway and a party getaway. I will try to hit on both.

A few months ago I met up with my friend Sally in Berlin. She flew over from London so we could hit up some of the amazing flomarkts there. Now Sally is a very stylish women and I wanted to make sure I took her to some cool places in Berlin. So I sat down one afternoon and put together some ideas . Now I can’t say we actually went to all of them as we partied like Berliners and didn’t get home until 8am Saturday morning, but my God was it a fun weekend.

where to eat and drink in berlin
Berlin City Break

Things to do in Berlin

I wanted to share with you some of my favourite places to hit up when visiting this amazing city. As you probably know the city is full of amazing restaurants, bars, fashion boutiques, book shops and clubs. I’m sharing only the places I went to on this last trip and also including a few places my family visited when we all went together.

Garments Vintage– Vintage Clothing

I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this store. I go everytime I’m in town. Luckily my brother-in-law lives right across the street. They have two locations now. One on Linienstrasse and one on Stargarder Strasse. I’ve only been to their Linienstrasse store and each time I’ve been I have always come away with a beautiful vintage piece. I unfortunately left one dress behind the last time I was there and I’m still thinking about it. Sigh…

The Store – Soho House

Woah what a store. Properly high-end but full of inspiration and pieces you hope to have hanging in your closet one day. The Store is beautifully curated with only the finest, it also has a coffee shop so you can enjoy your trendy surroundings.

Quadrat– Polish Designer Clothing Boutique

I first discovered Quadrat last year while attending Berlin Fashion Week. I was surprised to discover so many amazing Polish designers. Quadrat showcases many of the Polish Designers that I discovered during fashion week. I pop in everytime I’m in Berlin.

Arkonaplatz– Flea market

I was given a long list of flea markets to check out while in Berlin and I have to say Akronplatz was by far the best. Located in Prenzlauer Berg, it’s full of very cool stalls, loads of amazing vintage and the clientele is trendy and cool. There are also lovely cafes and coffee shops around.

City Break: Berlin

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin

Khawnfood

Located on Revaler Street. This Thai restaurant is a modern twist on traditional Thai cuisine. The space is what you would expect from a Berlin restaurant, cool with a bit of an edge. The staff are super friendly and more than willing to strike up a chat and make a recommendation.

OraBar

Stepping into Ora is like stepping back in time. It’s chic with a bit of a speakeasy feel. I recommend sitting at the bar so you can watch the mixologist wor their magic. A definite place to hit up.

Yafo– lunch

I absolutely loved Yafo. They describe it as Tel-Aviv in Berlin. The décor is umassuming but cool and the food is very good. We had roasted cauliflower and boy what a scrumptious and a huge portion it was. Their hummus and bread is amazing too. I definitely recommend this place for lunch.

House of Small Wonder– Brunch

I first discovered this little gem last year. I was intrigued by their Japanese- American cuisine and the interior from the pictures looked absolutely divine. So I took myself there for my birthday brunch. I went by myself and enjoyed the scrumptious food, daring atmosphere and lovely staff. Menus are in English. I highly recommend the Homemade Biscuit Benedict.

BRLO Brewhouse–  Brewery

For all you beer lovers out there, this place is for you. With a lenghty variety on tap, you can order a sampler platter or just try them out one by one. They have a very impressive garden in the back. Perfect for large groups or just meeting up with a friend.

Pratergarten– Beer garden

My husband and I have been a fan of Pratergarten for years. It’s the perfect beer garden to meet friends with kids. We know we can go here let Edith run around and we can sit happily and drink a beer. It’s a win win situation. They also have a food bar where you can order sausages and potato salad.

Limonadier– bar

Want a really great cocktail??? Then definately hit up Limonadier. They have an amazing happy hour too.

I hope you find this list useful on your next trip to Berlin. I could go on and on and on. I’ll keep updating this list every time I visit. And if you have any questions please write me. I am always happy to make suggestions.

Berlin Clubbing

Sisyphos– club

I had heard of Sisyphos many times, but I never seemed to make it over there. But this last time we did!!! We arrived at about 3am and stayed until about 6:30am. We walked right in and didn’t have to cue, it wasn’t too crowded and the music was great. I highly recommend hitting up this club.

Bar Zum schmutzigen Hobby – club

After eating the best meal over at Khawn we headed here. To be honest, at the time I had no idea where we were at, but the music was super fun, the crowd was chatty and we made some friends!

About Blank– club

I had never heard of About Blank until some friends from the USA came to visit me last weekend and he mentioned there was a big festival happening there. So we went and properly enjoyed ourselves. The major bonus of this famous club is the garden area. It’s big and full of interesting lights. It’s like walking into Alice in the Wonderland. The soundsystem was below average but the music was great so in the end this didn’t matter. No pictures are allowed here so they put a sticker on your camera to respect everyones privacy.

For other city break ideas check out our Getaways section

Berlin City Break


It’s a Pride thing….CSD Frankfurt

One of the things I do so miss about India is the exuberance & colour that dominated their festivals – nothing was too much when celebrating, it was either go big or go home!  I went down to Konstablerwache on Saturday and Sunday & let me tell you the CSD parade and celebration was all about exuberance, colour and embracing who you are….!

Of course what is now allowed to be celebrated was as a result of a very dark event 50 years ago, the Stonewall riots on Christopher Street in New York – a marginalised group of society pushed too far, so, no longer willing to be pushed it erupted and ended in violence. Of course society has come a long way since then but my my it still has a long way to go!

Over the week end over 5000 participants peacefully walked the streets, the procession began in Römerberg square (with an address from the mayor) before snaking its way round much of the inner city.  What really struck me was the number young people (I’m referring here to those younger than 20)that were participating –  young people who are allowed to embrace & celebrate who they are, and, for those still figuring it all out allowed to explore without prejudice (well for the most part, there are still unfortunately those who do!)

Partying & performances dominated the Konstablerwache over the weekend with plenty of flamboyant fashion statements, rainbow flags and smiles so many smiles, what a joy to be in and amongst it all! 

Of course it wasn’t all just about partying & there were plenty of Stands that lined Große Friedberger Straße offering resources, education & support for anyone needing them.  Regardless of sexual preference everyone needs a community & support! 

Clean up was also a bright colourful affair!!  Until next year auf wiedersen and HAPPY PRIDE!



ALMA

One of the most satisfying things for us here at TFE is finding brilliant and talented local designers.  There is something so incredible about not only being able to see exactly where the product you’re buying is made but being able to chat to the person who made them.  Hear their story, see their smile….

Alma, a jewellery and accessories designer, has the most effervescent personality and it shines through in all her designs!  With a focus on fair fashion, her innovative jewellery uses amongst other materials pure brass, gold plated and acetate all sourced from small factories trying to keep the production chain as short as possible! 

Her earrings are a particular favourite of Janice and her body chains a huge favourite of Kelly’s!

Good to know:

  • She together with some other very cool local designers are having a pop up at Ostend…


Address:
Sonnemannstraße 73
60314 Frankfurt am Main

Hours:
Wednesday and Thursday, 12pm – 7pm

Additional Info:  website | facebook | instagram



City Break: Strasbourg

City Break: Strasbourg

Strasbourg makes for a perfect City Break, an easy 2 and half hour drive from Frankfurt means even the most active of kids doesn’t have time to be bored. Also, I want to mention how good the roads are but then realise I’m no longer living in India and this really is no surprise to anyone and more over, it’s expected!

Our air bnb is perfectly located, just up from Notre Dame (Strasbourg Cathedral) & the old city – everything we need is within walking distance & the car stays parked for much of the week end!  In my opinion, the weather is perfect, partly cloudy which always makes for more beautiful pictures.

Why Visit Strasbourg?

  • Its history is immense!

For centuries Strasbourg has been a somewhat contentious issue between France & Germany exchanging hands between the two countries countless times!  Almost like a game of ping pong – it began it’s life under the Romans, a town called Argentoratum (hmmmm Argentoratum, Strasbourg – same same but different?) it then became a free imperial city in 1262, turned French in 1681, German in 1871, French again in 1918, German in 1940 and French again in 1944.). The influence of both countries very evident in the uniqueness of this beautiful city.  French restaurants serve up regional favourites of Spätzle noodles & flammkuchen, the German nuances undeniable

  • To wander the streets of Petite France

Ok so I love a bit of history as much as the next person but sometimes I wonder if it’s best not to be ignorant at times!?  For instance, one of the recommended things to do in Strasbourg is to wander the streets of Petite France.  So of course you immerse yourself in its ‘quirkiness’, the half timbered Gingerbread buildings.  You fall in love with the shuttered covered windows with petunia filled flower boxes and the undeniably narrow & cobbled streets.  Restaurants of all descriptions entice you with their chequered table clothes with the promise of wine and beer.  Now, skip forward, to another recommended thing to do, a guided boat ride.  Here you come to learn the origins of Petite France, a quarter you’ve now come to love was in fact the quarantine area for a Syphilis outbreak brought in by the kings soldiers.

  • To Visit Notre Dame Cathedral

A lone Cellist sits playing his weathered instrument directly in front of the enormous doors of Notre dame.  Again the following day in the very same square buskers catch my attention.  Interestingly this time it’s group of Mongolian musicians.  Moreover it’s the deep raspy sounds coming from deep in the back of their throats that forces me to stop and watch.  Of course, these are not unfamiliar scenes in front of most landmark and historical places today.  And, for the most part I’m not a fan, however, sometimes they create something special sometimes they create a moment!

Notre Dame is not only absolutely spectacular from the outside, walk inside and during the few split seconds of darkness as eyes begin to adjust, the glow through the stain glass windows is even more breath taking – greens, blues, yellows and the reds, the reds just WOW!  Make your way round to the Astronomical Clock, an absolute Renaissance masterpiece complementing the otherwise Gothic structure!  After marvelling at the lady’s interior its time to scale her 330 spiralling steps to the viewing platform (this does require a moderate level of fitness but it’s well worth the effort!)

Also, find one the ingenious ‘hammock’ type structures built by the city and admire the cathedral from below.  The spire creates a rather dramatic view against the skyline!

Finally, get out of the city

Now, if your family is anything like ours city time needs to be complemented with some form of physical activity (best if it involves swimming!) then there are some lakes in close proximity to Strasbourg. Armed with our SUP (stand up paddle board) we headed out the city to Neubiltz-Reichsett and spent a day in the water.  Definitely recommend this for those with kids who can only do so much site seeing!

Where to eat and drink:

  • La corde a Linge:  set in a square in the Petite France it has an absolutely fantastic atmosphere with quick service.  Not even a stones throw away is one of the river locks which provides great viewing and entertainment for little humans!
  • Bistrot et Chocolat:  tucked behind just off the square of the cathedral is this gem of a place.  Vegan (for those who aren’t don’t let this put you off) serving absolutely flavour filled dishes, my boys had veggie bolognaise and were none the wiser!  And of course with a name that includes ‘Chocolat’ did not disappoint with a menu that would have even the most die hard dessert fan satisfied!
  • Cafe de L’Opera:  just glorious sitting on the steps of the Opera House for coffee & pastries
  • Cafe Broglie:  we had breakfast here one morning.  The scrambled eggs and bacon were delicious (a simple dish so many often get wrong!)
  • Le Gayot:  sundowners and happy hour.  Set in square just off Rue de Freres it was perfect.  Our kids found an enormous sculpture to climb and made a friend so were thoroughly entertained for hours
  • La Cantina:  in the same square as the Le Gayot we simply moved across the square for dinner.  Gorgeous setting as mentioned before and brilliant location with active kids as the square is easily contained.  The pizza was good but I wouldn’t say exceptional.

For other city break ideas check out our Getaways section



Living in Frankfurt

Living in Frankfurt: what you need to know

Unfortunately we not living in the movie ‘Up’ and therefore can’t attach a couple thousand helium balloons to the roof of our house and fly it across the sea.  So, if you considering working in Germany or are new in Frankfurt, the chances are you will need to find a new place to live!

Now whilst it’s true everyone has different criteria and standards it is sometimes useful to hear someone else’s perspective and experiences.  With this in mind I’ll share a few of my tips for moving and things I learned when relocating to Frankfurt!

Living in Frankfurt

Living in Frankfurt is fairly easy in many aspects.  For instance, Frankfurt is surprisingly small!  So, getting across the city is far quicker and more simple than it is in London for example.  Saying this, choosing somewhere close to your kids school and or work is still advisable.

First, country folk or a city slickers?

Country folk?  Then living in the Taunus is definitely for you!  A few areas to consider would be Bad Soden, Kronberg and Oberursel.

If however the call of the hills falls on deaf ears and you more in tune with the hum of the city (which is the direction I leaned) then here are few things I wish I knew…

  1. You not guaranteed to get your first choice property (arrrrrggggg!!)
  2. Unfurnished literally means no light fittings or kitchen!  Yes, people move with their kitchens!
  3. You are expected to address people Frau and Herr (just roles off the tongue)
  4. Finding an apartment with 2 bathrooms in Westend is like gold dust or costs a billion Euros.
  5. Things are not quite as structured and organised as you may expect.  Sometimes stereotypes are just that, an overly simplified idea not a true reflection
  6. You may need wine most evenings until you settle

Second, a few Quick Moving Tips for living in Frankfurt

  1. Take into consideration both kids school and work locations when choosing which Frankfurt neighbourhood to settle in
  2. Find a good relocation agent! Ours was fantastic for the fundamentals when we couldn’t speak the language because all the documentation was in German
  3. If you moving with your family, definitely consider using a family settling in service like Main(e) Familienagentur
  4. Get an idea of the areas before you start looking.  Narrowing that down first makes your search much easier.  See our neighbourhood breakdown below
  5. Each area in Frankfurt very much has it’s own flavour so definitely hit the pavement and ‘taste the coffee
  6. Popular with expats are Westend, Nordend and Bornheim.  From here you can walk most places in the city.  An absolute bonus on the nights out where you’ve had a cheeky drink (or ten)
  7. If you set on Westend, Nordend etc and have a car, check the parking situation with your landlord or agent.  Parking is a nightmare without an allocated space
  8. Also, be aware popular expat areas such as Westend and Nordend are very much on the high end in terms of rental cost.
  9. To avoid turning 10 minute journeys in 3 hours (trust me I know!), a basic understanding of the transport system is always a good idea
  10. Learn German and find a great language school to do it.  Because whilst Frankfurt may be touted as very international, let’s just say it’s a good idea to learn German.

Overcoming German Administration Red Tape Tips:

  1. CITY REGISTRATION.  One of the first things that needs to be done when first arriving in Frankfurt is to register with the city that you live in.  Furthermore, this registration must be done within 14 days of your arrival in Germany.  And one of the easiest ways we’ve found to do this, is by using Move-In’s online registration form.  For a small fee you will fill out the form online after which you will print it off along with a checklist of all documents you require to take with you to the appointment.
  2. KINDERGELD.  Kindergeld is a child allowance which is available to all residents in Germany.  Also, it is independent of your income.  Once again we have found Move-In’s KINDERGELD online registration form to be the easiest way to apply.

Frankfurt Neighbourhoods breakdown (this is by no means an exhaustive list):

  1. Westend
  2. Nordend
  3. Bornheim
  4. Europaviertel
  5. Sachsenhausen
  6. Bahnhofsviertel

Each Frankfurt neighbourhood has it’s own flavour and feel, for an idea of which area most appeals to you, head to our ‘neighbourhoods’ tab where you’ll find photos and more detailed information including where to eat, drink and things to do!

Once you have an idea of which area most appeals to you and your family, head out onto the streets and pound the pavement to get a first hand account and try the local cafes & restaurants (as I mentioned our neighbourhoods section should give you some ideas until you find your feet!).

At times I felt we would never find a place and after we lost our first choice apartment I literally panicked (try not to do this it’s unhelpful) and settled for an apartment that I ordinarily wouldn’t have chosen.  Saying that everything happens for a reason, our rent is now substantially less than it would have been (happy husband), we have underground parking which saves a hundred hours every morning during winter (no ice scraping ????) and it takes no time at all getting out the city!

So whilst my heart was set on Westend  we finally settled in Europaviertel.

Happy Hunting



Frankfurt transport

Frankfurt transport - quick guide and tips

Arriving in a city and navigating the public transport is intimidating even when you speak the language!  So blimey it’s full blown hide and seek when you don’t (disclaimer, I am blonde ????).  So, understanding Frankfurt Transport!?  Trains, planes and automobiles, now add trams, buses, bicycles and traffic signals which are not entirely logical in my brain (cars, pedestrians, bicycles GO at the same time – SERIOUSLY?!!!) .

For the better part of the first year I lived here I tried avoiding any and all forms of public transport .  One family attempt was a dismal failure – something that should have been at best, 15 mins took 3 hours.  So, the thought of doing it on my own was too much.  Let me clarify, it wasn’t the going that terrified me it was the coming back.  Moreover the idea of being lost and playing charades (in an attempt for people to understand me) with 2 screaming children??  Uum, No Thanks!   

Like everything in life, once you’ve figured it out and you look back, you do wonder what all the fuss was about!

Frankfurt transport 101 for all those fresh off the boat:

  • Ubahn – underground & mostly central
  • Sbahn – central and out to suburban routes
  • Tram – city

Unlike London, the metro system does not have turnstiles to control people coming and going.  Saying that, plain clothes ticket officers appear like ninjas and can check your ticket anytime.  Furthermore should you choose to attempt this and get caught a €60 fine awaits you.

Quick Tips

  • When travelling alone particularly alone, have an idea of how and where you are going!  With this in mind, having a safety plan is a good idea.
  • Buying a day pass (Tageskarte) is often cheaper than buying a round/return trip
  • Many companies partly or fully fund their employees public transport costs
  • Using RMV prepaid you receive 20% of each single ticket
  • Einzelkarte (single ticket):  this will generally ensure you are able to get anywhere in the city
  • Kurzstrecke (Short trip ticket): for a journey of less than two kilometers (though unfortunately our tip doesn’t extend to how to determine the 2km 😬)
  • Weekends and after 7pm weekly, monthly and yearly travel cards holders may have a plus one free of charge.  Also, all your own children or up to 3 other children may travel free

After 1am most trains and trams are no longer running.  You can however still find buses at a reduced service, be sure to check the schedules before you head out.  It’s cold at those bus stops late at night, ask me, I know!

As I mentioned Frankfurt public transport doesn’t run all night so taxi is often your only option.  Taxis are however a luxury, dear heaven most are Mercedes Benz which makes quite a change from India where I wasn’t sure the car would make it to my destination.  Thus be prepared to part with a few of your hard earned euros.  On that note, Uber has recently been reintroduced which makes for a slightly less extortionate ride but hey ho at 3am who worries about 3\4 euros ????

Invaluable transport apps:

When I first arrived I was like a headless chicken boarding trains in the wrong direction and then boarding the next train still in the wrong direction (yip I’m special like that) .  I also found it almost impossible to ask anyone for directions because I couldn’t speak German.  When I was in India they’d give you directions even if they had no idea what you were asking about, I’m still wondering what’s worse!

  1. RMV – public transport route planning which can be directly connected to credit card of your choice to buy tickets! (app)
  2. My taxi\Free now (website)
  3. Uber – Frankfurt has a ‘on again off again’ relationship with uber
  4. DB Call a bike (app) –
  5. Tier Mobility (app) – electric scooters

Other forms of transport here in Frankfurt:

  • Bicycles.

Now, this is a whole different ballgame, quite a serious (and angry) bunch really .  Thought exercise was supposed to make you happy?  If you happen to be driving, ensure you at least a mile a way from any known cyclists (in particular those wearing headphones, which is most) . If however you are unable to do this they will be sure to point it out whilst waving their hands (that should be on handle bars) and screaming at you.   Forget Bahnhofsviertel and its reputation I’m terrified of the cyclists!

  • Electric scooters

Recently these have taken Frankfurt by storm and for 15 cents a minute you too can command your very own e-scooter & wizz around the city.  Things to note, you require the Tier Mobility app (or similar) to rent one.  And finally, they should be driven on the bike paths and roads at a maximum speed of 20km\hour.

In my opinion driving in Frankfurt is way easier than in London (and India) if you take it with a pinch of salt.  Like the cyclists many drivers like to shout, hmmmmm maybe I’m the problem?

Final Anecdote

  • Picture this, sitting at a traffic light for what seems like an hour as you wait for it to turn green.  Behind you cars begin to blare their hooters at you.  You sit oblivious to all the fuss and mentally curse the obnoxious drivers behind you.  Finally, one of them got out their car only to point out a pressure pad that your tire needs to roll over to initiate the green light.  This ever happened to you?  Yeah, me neither!  If however for interest sake you want to know which sign to look out for which indicates that this is in fact the case it’s the first picture in the series below!



City Break: Dresden

City Break: Dresden, The Jewel Box of Europe

Dresden, The Jewel Box of Europe

Living on mainland Europe the city break options are endless and many within driving distance.  For this week end getaway we visit Dresden, the Jewel Box of Europe.

Retracing the steps my granddad walked 75 or so years ago was the inspiration for this emotional rollercoaster of a trip!  I’m not here however to rehash my family history with you (I’m certain you’d prefer a nap) I’d far rather tell you what a glorious city Dresden & its surroundings are and tell you that it’s definitely worth a visit.

So, Why Visit?

Dresden sits on the Elbe river and was once known as the Jewel box slowly it is reclaiming its nickname.  Many of its magnificent buildings that were totally annihilated by bombings in WW2 are slowly being restored and lovingly rebuilt.   A largely baroque style of architecture dominates throughout the city, beautifully ornate structures with gold finishes continuously punctuating the skyline.

Now what’s a jewel box without treasure??  For the literal interpretation of jewels you need only head over to the Green Vault, where not only plethora of gems, precious stones & artefacts leave you in awe but the very chamber (historic green vault) that encases them demands attention in its own right!  For a slightly less literal translation the richness of culture that Dresden offers can be found in the opera, museums & churches delighting & feeding your soul leaving you perhaps a little more enlightened than when you first arrived!

The buildings lining the river as you walk along are gorgeous and lead you to the steps that take you down to an Archway where you can wonder into the Altstadt & explore. At the steps it’s interesting to witness the rebuilding in progress the painstaking process of restoring stone by stone to its original and rightful place!

Myth has it that during the bombings The Frauenkirche pillars stood tall whilst glowing bright red before finally succumbing & imploding to the ground – for years she lay in pieces serving only as a memorial to what had once stood before.  Finally in 1993 the long and arduous process of restoring her to former glory began and it would take another 12 years be completed – she now once again stands tall commanding her space whilst humbling you in yours!

Where to stay?

We chose to stay outside of Dresden itself in the small village of Maxen – I highly highly recommend looking up Franziska’s property on airB&B.  She has beautifully renovated the the apartment to a very high level.  High ceilings low doorways and the rooster crowing in the morning brought back childhood memories of growing up in South Africa and waking on my grandparents farm, the sun only just beginning to rise and it slowly creeping through the gaps in the blinds.

Dresden Surrounding Areas and things to do

The lanes & areas surrounding Dresden are well worth a drive (I’m talking avoiding the highways!) we made the customary stop in Meissen to find out all about the porcelain it’s famous for.  After careful consideration however, we chose to leave my parents to visit the factory alone as the fear of leaving liable for hundreds upon thousands of Euros damage if two little terrors (aka my gorgeous little boys) went rampant was a risk we just weren’t prepared to take!  We decided feeding said terrors was a far more sensible thing to do & found that the town square was absolutely delightful!

Now if WW2 history is something that really interests you we did visit the Stalag 4B site outside Mulberg and I found it was an incredibly emotional but worthwhile visit!  

The camp had a decisively eerie feel and the light that filtered through the trees was muted in a way that my brain couldn’t fully decipher or understand – the graves of fallen soldiers lay before me and I felt akin to an imposter being there and photographing it all!

We walked along the lanes, much of what was there all those years ago destroyed, only glimpses of the original structures left behind….people don’t always want to remember!  Suddenly through the quiet the rumble of a lone motorcycle engine filled the air, I turned and saw the machine heading towards us, the dust kicking up behind it – the sound and visual for some reason put me back so vividly, images I’d seen in books & television filling my head recreating the scene and making me feel as though I’d step back 70 years in history (imagination can be such strange phenomena)

Dresden educated me, thrilled me & left me wishing I had another day still to explore all it had to offer!

Where to next?  BerlinStrasbourg?



Pizza

Pizza - Super Bro's

It’s all about the Pizza

That is to say, it’s Napoli in a mouthful only in Frankfurt!  Our first encounter with Super Bros was at the Fressgasse festival and we were absolutely astounded at the pizzas coming out of a make shift tent.  If they tasted that good coming out of a tent by goodness their official establishment had to be visited!!

Firstly, Super Bros is all about championing an age old Italian favourite, Pizza!  Walk into the pizzeria on Oederweg and after the aroma of freshly baked pizza finishes assaulting your senses the large wood fired oven commands your attention – perfectly charred pizzas being removed at lightning speed (these Bros definitely know their business)

Secondly, they only serve pizza!!

The Vibe

Order at the counter and find a seat. Choose between the deep mahogany high top tables with metal bar stools or the standard tables and chairs for those who like their seating closer to the floor.  Geometrical metallic light fixtures, pollaroid pictures and a blackboard hand written menu complete the rustic look!

The Service

As previously mentioned you order at the counter, there is no table service!  With this in mind, the food arrives incredibly fast!  Of course this is not only good news for those who are hungry but also for those eating out with their kids.  Finally there is a real Italian warmth about the whole establishment that makes you want to go back not only for the pizza!

Good to know:

  • cash only
  • You will only find pizza on the menu 
  • vegan options available
  • for another great family restaurant with a full Italian menu try Papanova


Address:
Oeder Weg 55
60318 Frankfurt am Main

Hours:
Monday, Closed
Tuesday – Thursday, 11am-10pm
Friday & Saturday, 11am-11pm
Sunday, 3pm-10pm

Additional Info:   website | facebook | instagram

Price Guide: €€


Cafe bockenheim

Frida’s Cafe

A magic little cafe on the streets of Bockenheim serving up incredible coffee.

The Vibe

Outside, zebra stripe cushions perfectly complemented with a tiny pop of yellow (it’s always the smallest details that leave the impressions) the centre piece on the marble-esque tables.  Inside, maps cover a corner wall whilst a large portrait of Frida herself commands another, just below it, an emerald green sofa invites you to take a seat and make yourself comfortable with Frida herself (the cushions sport little Fridas too)

Benches built in under the windows, dusty pink chairs and a tiled floor complete the look of the cafe.  A beautiful ode to the Mexican Artist who certainly left her mark on the world!

As with many cafes in Frankfurt, Frida’s has an alter ego….coffee (great coffee) by day, cocktails by night!  Of course on very rare occasions coffee & cocktails are just not enough and for this reason there too is a food menu – homemade burgers, focaccia, quinoa bowls, quiche, vegan chocolate cake, Oreo tiramisu to name but a few things to satisfy the smallest to biggest of hungers.

The Service

Finally what is a place if not for the staff, the staff here are absolutely out of the top draw.  The barista Sam in himself is the perfect ‘accessory’ with so much knowledge (an air of John Lennon about him too) relaying stories & history which allow you to really indulge & get a flavour of what the area is all about (he’s also pretty good with coffee!)

Good to know:

  • alternative milk choices
  • vegan Tuesdays


Address:
Leipziger Str. 108
60487 Frankfurt am Main

Hours:
Monday – Saturday, 9am – 10pm
Sunday, 10am – 9pm

Additional Info:   instagram

Price Guide: €€



Luke's Place

I can’t tell you how happy I was to see a cool new place pop up on Sandweg. Luke’s Place is a cute cafe serving as both cafe and bar. Head there during the day and you can get yourself a great coffee and some vegan or vegetarian food, even pancakes, my favourite! In the evening grab yourself a drink and hang out with the locals, it’s like heading over to your buddies for a drink. I love how unpretentious and cosy it is. When you visit you’ll meet Luke the man himself. If you’re in the area then definitely pop in.


Address:
Sandweg 80
60316 Frankfurt am Main

Hours:
Please contact for opening hours as they vary

Additional Info:   instagram

Price Guide: €€