Where Berlin - - CONTENTS -

If there's one thing I love, it's hav­ing guests. Ev­ery year around this time, I start get­ting an urge to or­ga­nize din­ner par­ties and hol­i­day cel­e­bra­tions, test new recipes on my friends and just enjoy time with them over a glass of wine.

Be­cause there's some­thing about this sea­son that makes us want to stay in­side, light up our evenings with can­dles and dec­o­ra­tions, and share the joys of food with oth­ers. And it's not just the count­down to the hol­i­days that makes us want to share. It is this phys­i­o­log­i­cal feel­ing of an­tic­i­pa­tion caused by the run-up to the dark­est week of the year, the last week of De­cem­ber. This is prob­a­bly why most cul­tures of the past had im­por­tant cel­e­bra­tions around the win­ter sol­stice. Ger­manic and Celtic tribes had Yule, while the Ro­mans had their Satur­na­lia, a se­ries of cel­e­bra­tions which in­cluded a day of gift-giv­ing and which, ac­cord­ing to some, were later Chris­tian­ized to cor­re­spond with the na­tiv­ity.

So here I am, making a list of friends to in­vite this month, and a list of in­gre­di­ents to ex­per­i­ment with. If you are think­ing of do­ing the same, I rec­om­mend a visit to Marheineke Mark­thalle in Bergmannstraße for some of the best food prod­ucts and ed­i­ble gifts in town, or visit any Christ­mas mar­ket (p. 10) for fes­tive de­lights. And if you are look­ing to re­fur­bish your ta­ble set­tings, turn to p. 20 for Annabelle Mal­lia's rec­om­men­da­tions.

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