Last month we were invited for a shooting at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin. We were thrilled as we really do miss Berlin and most of it, Berlin, during Christmas time. A total bomb! Berlin and staying at The Ritz.
Our trip started at 5am. We jumped on a bus towards the Swiss boarder and took a train to Zürich airport. I am so used to traveling alone with Pepa through the world, from Asia to Africa and all around Europe. Very easy going and relaxed. So this is how she has been already over 50 times on a plane.
But traveling with 2 kids is way more challenging. Not because it is hard to travel with both. But because of the number of things you have to carry around. One 20kg suitcase, a weekender backpack, a purse, the baby car seat, one toddler and her backpack, and a 3-month-old baby on the carrier. And all this over a 1.59- meter-tall woman.
Our plan was to travel by train and plane. But I remembered the fact I haven't bought the travel bag for my bugaboo Fox.
So I didn't take our stroller this time, and wow, was I wrong! I underestimated how useful and practical my Fox is.
So once we arrived in Berlin, we were amazingly greeted at The majestic Ritz-Carlton Berlin. The whole hotel has been refurbished during the past year and boy, they made it well. One of the things I liked the most is that they kept a lot of the beautiful details like their beautiful wooden doors.
If I have to describe their design in two words, it would be "marble heaven."
We needed a bath and bed after this journey, so we ran to the room. When we got into the room, and we were stunned with all the things that were waiting for us. The whole place was really prepared to host a three-year-old and a three-month-old. Two sets of robes for Pepa and Otis were lying on the bed and even a Steiff teddy bear with The Ritz-Carlton logo. Pepa was on the clouds!
The suite was so beautiful and minimalistic decorated, the bed frames were moveable, and they had such a Japanese design vibe to them. Soft beds and pillows, so we couldn't resist jumping a bit.. at least Pepa.
We usually sleep together in a bed when we are not home (and after 2am if I am being honest), but they were very thoughtful and installed us a crib with a changing table filled with all we needed, from diapers to rash creams and warm cuddly bags.
The first thing we did was have a bath. And that bathroom! Every little piece of it was marble. While Otis was sleeping, we were feeling like princesses preparing a bubble bath. We had kids' products, so I didn't have to stress about Pepa playing as a water fountain.
We laid in the tub playing with the toys and watch a film on our iPad.
The next morning was shooting day. We woke up early and met the team downstairs. Pepa had a blast while taking pictures. She even got some unicorn cupcakes, got to jump again in beds, and played with bubbles.
After the shooting was over, we went up for some quick lunch at the Club Lounge and ran back to the suite to get our gear on. Swimming time!
We three are water rats! We love water. I was born next to the sea and spent most of my life on beaches or living next to the sea, so it wasn't a surprise Pepa and Otis were thrilled when they had their first dip.
We put our robes on and our slippers and went down with their golden elevator full with beautiful buttons. The pool was next to the gym/spa, and we had it all to ourselves.
The pool has buttons one all of the edges that activate spa or jacuzzi features, and it was so much fun to turn on that waterfall. I got to test for the first time the underwater functionality of my iPhone 11 pro.
The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin gave us a list of things we could do around the city and a Berlin Welcome Card. As we used to live in East Berlin, we were happy to take a wander around West Berlin.
We started with the Naturkundemuseum. I haven't been there before, and it was quite impressive. We skipped through the halls watching animals and talking about them.
Pepa got to see the dinosaurs (she loves dinos) and was a bit scared of the t-rex. I was amazed by how much she actually understood the whole museum even being 3 years old.
She even stayed to see the video about planets... 4 times! And one of my favorite parts was playing a game: which person reminds you of this stingray? We agreed they are very happy (looking) animals. Don't they all look like they are smiling?
Back at the Hotel, we had reservations to POTS, the restaurant inside The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin that opened their doors in February this year. I was so happy to be able to go eat at a gourmet restaurant for the first time with the kids. The restaurant is cozy, filled with copper details, and if you know my designs, you'll know I love myself some copper!
The concept of the restaurant is "a modern twist on German cuisine that is based on sharing". Instead of ordering a set menu, you can order different plates to share, which makes it very easy to eat with a toddler. They have a kids menu, but my "Feinschmecker" daughter prefers exciting tastes. POTS introduces an inspired collaboration between the well-known Chef, Dieter Müller, Executive Chef, Frederik Grieb, and Sommelier, Mathias Brandweiner.
We started with the starters, of course (me and my dad jokes). We had the cured fjord trout with beetroot first, and it was instantly Pepa's favorite. For me, the Marinated Holstein tartare was the absolute best. But not to forget the salad that was mouth-watering as well. A marinated lettuce heart with hazelnuts, mayo, and cured egg yolks.. amazing. They paired it with a mineral-y Hauptstadt Gewächs from Gut Hermannsberg, precisely what I like for wine.
Suddenly the main courses arrived. We had a steamed redfish with mussels and a saffron sauce that was so heavenly made. POTS is a german food concept, and they serve my favorite german dish: Königsberger Klopse. But sadly, it contained gluten. They knew I can't eat gluten, and very fast, a new fish was made: Veal with blackberries and Riesling sauce served with Jerusalem artichokes. Did I mention now I have the recipe of the Klopse? I will try them at home with GF bread instead.
Last but not least, the dish on my bucket-list: a Deer ragout with pumpkin seeds and pepper jus... My god was this GOOOOD!!! Our side dishes were: Mashed potatoes with braised onions, carrots, and savoy cabbage, and Pepa couldn't stop eating them.
The pairing was an extraordinary Van Volxem 1900 Brut Riesling sparkling produced using the traditional bottle fermentation process. With a supple texture, its beautifully integrated, fresh acidity, and its wonderfully rich aroma, it ties in with the significant era of Saar sparkling wines around 1900. I loved that Carl the restaurant manager shared these wine stories during my stay.
The hostess came by and took Pepa to see the kitchen while I took Otis for a diaper change. POTS use seasonal and regional ingredients when possible and change their menu about 4 times a year. I have to accept we were pretty satisfied at this point. But we Talavera girls have a small stomach just for dessert. At first glance, I thought about just ordering the banana souffle. ButCarl convinced me to get both desserts and he was SO right!
We got first the souffle. A very lovely banana souffle with milk chocolate ice cream, and exotic fruits. Delicate flavors served with a delicate sauce. But then my Cedric Grolet moment arrived! The Mandarine arrived at the table! ta ta ta taaaaaan! It looks like a mandarine but is indeed a cheesecake. Just like the french pâtissier does. And it was accompanied by a creamy and delicious cinnamon flower ice cream. YUM! not to mention a very subtle but gorgeous pairing with a Riesling spätlese Pfaffenberg Schörnborn.
The next morning we went to the Club Lounge and had breakfast. We were so spoiled! One of the things I really enjoyed with the kids was our meals there. It was open 24/7 for drinks, coffee, snacks, and some delicious Riesling for mamma! The breakfast was supreme. We got fresh juice, pancakes or waffles for Pepa, and they had GF alternatives for me. I had to love myself some poached eggs over freshly baked bread.
We went back to the room to plan our day looking forward to our high tea invitation later on. Gave this handsome babe a bath, got us pretty and went for a walk
Some of the exciting places to go when you are visiting Berlin with kids are listed here, and of course, over Christmas Time, you have loads of Christmas markets everywhere. We used to go to the Scandinavian one, but I'll get back to that later on.
After a nap, we finally got "girl time" while Otis was sleeping (no, he wasn't alone)
Tea time, high tea. I had no idea what we are going to do. A couple of steps from the reception, they reserved a table for us. A small one for Pepa and another for me.
While we were watching the macaroons and other goodies like caviar and champagne, the waitress came by with a wagon filled with different kinds of teas in various drawers. We smelled a couple of them until we found the ones we wanted to order. I went for a salty caramel oolong and Pepa for a pink one, her princess tea as she called it!
They came and brewed it at the table. Then two 3-tier-plates came towards us. One for each of us. Mine was gluten-free and delicious. From tiny salmon sandwiches and cheese with walnuts to buns with whipped butter and chocolate brownies.
Pepa had an exclusive second level filled with chocolate goodies like chocolate lilies, muffins, brownies, mousse au chocolate, among others. We sat down, sipping tea, enjoying ourselves for a couple of hours. One of the most relaxing times we have had together in a while.
After that, we went to pick up Otis and went shopping at Mall of Berlin, only to find out they have a small Christmas market inside. Filled with tiny lights and ballerinas giving away Christmas cookies.
We were on a Christmas market mood, so we walked to the Christmas market in Potsdam square afterwards. We slid in the "snow" slope on giant tires and took the flying chairs, sooo much fuuuun!
But no visit to a Christmas market is complete without food and drinks. We munched some caramel nuts, and I had a much-deserved Glühwein, a traditional German mulled wine I live for during December.
Filled with sugar, we returned to the Hotel and hit the Club Lounge to play backgammon and a glass of wine for me.
We had such a great time. Everyone was super friendly, but not in every Luxus Hotel way, but in a very warm kind of way. Especially Esezi, the doorman, who stole Pepa's heart.
We really appreciate the time we had with Ritz Kids. Ritz Kids is The Ritz-Carlton service for families with kids; they offer the different things we did during our trip.The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin provides various offers and activities. Like kid's check-in, where they have the cutest stairs to reach the reception, crib service, pram service, baby changing room, drawing kits that kept Pepa busy at the restaurant, kids menu at POTS for the picky ones, kids high tea and much more.
We really would recommend you visit The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin with your family, even if you live in Berlin, it is a total experience, and you and your kids will love it
I am Andrea, or as my friends call me, Jinx. I am a foodie living in Berlin, eating my way through life. Here are my recipes, cooking events, dining experiences and more...