October: time for long tea breaks and admiring the brightly hued, falling leaves. Around this time of the year, I always pay a visit to Galeries Lafayette to stock up on tea from my favorite brand, Mariage Frères. My must-have blends are Lotus Royal, with lotus flowers, and Casablanca, aromatic with Moroccan mint and bergamot oil. After a pleasant cuppa, I can't resist spending some time in the French department store's ground-floor gourmet section, where you can sample marvelous French cheeses with wine and even French-style sushi with camembert.
Cheese and wine aside, October is also the month of beer. With the liveliness of Munich’s Oktoberfest resounding throughout Germany, maybe it’s time to put on some Lederhosen and visit a Biergarten for some Bavarian fun – or create your own version of Oktoberfest by visiting one of Berlin’s numerous microbreweries. Turn to page 14 for Hilda Hoy's roundup of the best local beers in town, the result of many hours of delicious research.
This month also marks the 25th anniversary of German Reunification (p. 16), so head to Brandenburg Gate on 3 October and join the crowds as they commemorate the event that changed the course of modern European history. Or celebrate the occasion by shopping for some of the country's most luxurious and world-renowned brands, which Jenna Rose Robbins has rounded up for you on page 10. Enjoy!